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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Majority of Cyber Attacks Launched by Company Insiders

Business, technology, internet and networking concept. Young businessman working on his laptop in the office, select the icon cyber security on the virtual display.

According to figures released by IBM, nearly 60 per cent of all cyber attacks in 2015 were launched by “company insiders,” based upon data gathered from 8,000 of their clients’ devices. Though industry experts have warned for years that a company’s employees may inadvertently make systems vulnerable, IBM found that 44.5 per cent of attacks were, in fact, malicious.

It’s important to note that IBM defined an “insider” as anyone who had either physical or remote access to a company’s assets. While this would certainly include employees, it would also include business partners, contractors and vendors.

While insider threats can be difficult to detect, businesses can still work to prevent them. Above all, it’s important to have a cyber security plan in place—one that manages passwords in a mindful way and protects shared documents.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Contractors Pollution Liability Insurance

Demolition of 1960s building in Sighthill, Edinburgh.

Contractors, no matter what industry they work in, face environmental risks stemming from operations on a daily basis. For most contractors, a single pollution incident or loss can seriously damage their operations, balance sheet and even reputation. Making matters worse, pollution incidents can be sudden or occur gradually over time.

While many contractors assume that environmental claims will be covered under their commercial general liability (CGL) policy, the unfortunate reality is the most CGLs contain pollution exclusions that leave contractors uninsured in the event of a pollution incident.

Thankfully, contractors are increasingly turning to contractors pollution liability (CPL) insurance to ensure they have the right coverage in place to remain secure and profitable.

CPL Coverage Basics

CPL policies provide contractor-based insurance for third-party coverage for bodily injury, property damage, defence, and cleanup as a result of sudden and gradual pollution incidents arising from contracting operations performed by or on behalf of the contractor. CPL insurance is intended to provide coverage to all types of contracting operations, including contractors who are involved in building construction and environmental firms that remediate polluted sites.

CPL policies are offered on either a claims-made or occurrence basis. What’s more, CPL policies are non-standard, meaning each policy is different and can be modified to cover the various needs of the contractor purchasing the policy. Policies can be offered on a project or blanket program basis.

In some instances, CPL policies can also be used to cover losses from civil fines, penalties and punitive damages.

Covered Pollution Incidents

Contractors should keep in mind that CPL insurance policies differ in regard to the types of pollution incidents that are covered. Two important considerations when evaluating CPL insurance policies are:

  • Whether or not the policy will respond to gradual releases of pollutants, as opposed to sudden and accidental releases; and
  • The types of substances that are considered “pollutants” under the terms of the policy.

Generally, policies that cover both gradual and sudden releases of pollutants provide contractors with a broader scope of coverage. In addition, policies that provide a broad definition of pollutants are considered superior to those that contain a narrow definition. Accordingly, it is important that contractors work with their broker to find a CPL policy that is tailored to their needs.

CGL Pollution Exclusions

A primary reason why contractors obtain a CPL policy is due to the various pollution exclusions contained in most CGL policies. The pollution exclusions found in most CGL policies take one of two forms, either “absolute” or “total.”

CGL policies with an absolute pollution exclusion remove coverage for most pollution events that would occur in the course of an insured’s business operations. However, despite its name, an absolute pollution exclusion may preserve coverage for certain incidental pollution damages, products and completed operations liability, and certain off-premises work.

However, more commonly, CGL policies include a more restrictive “total pollution exclusion.” This type of exclusion effectively removes coverage for any event the insurer characterizes as a pollution incident.

Contractual Requirements

Contractual requirements serve as another motivating factor that lead many contractors to obtain a CPL policy. In many instances, project owners and general contractors will require contractors to obtain pollution insurance that meets certain, predetermined standards. From this perspective, having a CPL insurance policy in place can serve as an upfront sales tool during the bidding process that enables contractors to qualify for opportunities when such coverage is required.

Finding the Right Policy

Regardless of specialty, all contractors should be mindful of the pollution risks associated with their work. A CPL insurance policy can provide much-needed security in the event of a pollution incident, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

CPL insurance is not only good for business, but it also provides peace of mind in industries that are full of surprises and risks.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Dyn DDos Attack Serves as a Cyber Security Wake-up Call

Security concept: blue opened padlock on digital backgroundIn late October, Dyn—a cloud-based internet performance management (IPM) company in the United States—had its server infrastructure compromised following distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks.

In essence, DDos attacks work by overwhelming targeted machines and servers with junk traffic, often causing website crashes. In this case, the attacks disrupted popular sites like Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and Amazon.

While DDos attacks are common, experts are concerned at their growing effectiveness, as Dyn is a large firm that services many Fortune 500 companies. It’s clear that cyber attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, and hackers are no longer simply IT-student pranksters, but rather nation states and other large entities with malicious agendas.

Because of this fact, the looming threat of a cyber attack is more a matter of when than if, and businesses will need to turn to cyber liability insurance for the necessary protection. What’s more, as a reliance on cloud services becomes increasingly important for successful business operations, the value of a strong cyber liability insurance policy will only continue to grow.

A typical cyber liability policy can help protect you from costs associated with a data breach, copyright or trademark infringement, data loss due to hacking and business interruption.

For additional protection, it’s critical that you create a formal, documented risk management plan that addresses the scope, roles, responsibilities, compliance criteria and methodology for performing cyber risk assessments. This plan should include a description of all systems used at the organization based on their importance to the organization, and the data stored and processed within them.

Experts recommend that businesses review their cyber risk plans on an annual basis and update them whenever there are significant changes to their information systems or the facilities where systems are stored, or other conditions occur that may impact the organization.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

3 Tips for Increasing Your ROI When Sponsoring an Event

abex-at-golf-tournamentMarketing your business can be done in a variety of ways, including billboard ads, radio spots, social media campaigns and TV commercials. However, another way that businesses can increase their exposure is by sponsoring an event.

Sponsoring an event can help attract new customers, increase audience engagement and improve your reputation. It’s likely that events of all kinds take place in your community every year, and it’s important to sponsor one that ties back to your business’ mission or products.

The following are some tips you need to keep in mind if you are going to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of sponsoring an event:

  1. Understand your target audience. Before choosing an event to sponsor, it’s imperative that you have a deep understanding of the demographics you want to attract—their age range, gender, etc. From there, choose an event that will allow you to reach the most potential customers or have the greatest impact in the community.
  2. Understand your investment. Most events have different levels of sponsorship, with higher tiers generally providing access to more exclusive outreach tactics. Prior to finalizing an agreement, examine sponsorship levels to ensure you choose one that best fits your company’s needs.
  3. Engage with your audience. There is no worse way to go about sponsoring an event than simply cutting a cheque and remaining hands off. For the maximum benefit, it’s critical that you find a way to interact with event participants, whether it’s through a booth activity, free handout or other tactic.

Remember that you don’t have to exclusively rely on pre-existing events, and that many businesses find success sponsoring their own. Just make sure that the event attracts your preferred client base and that you are not overextending your budget.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved



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