From the category archives: Insurance Protection Blog

Cyber Liability

Cybersecurity: It’s A Game and They Are Winning

post image It is similar to a Chess Game, but different: Each day, the small business owner is busy focusing on running his shop. He has customers to please, suppliers to deal with, product to promote and daily issues to address. He has little time each day to consider of all the ramifications of making sure that all his data is protected. He knows that it is important, but with all his responsibilities, he cannot give this aspect of his business, the attention it deserves. The hacker, sits in front of the computer, focused on the task of stealing your data. That is his day, his purpose, his job and he is very good at it.  He knows that the small business owner has many things to concentrate on. He understands “small business vulnerability” and he uses it to his advantage. He also knows that big business has teams dedicated to making sure that their data is secure and firewalls are strong, so he chooses to target the mom and pop shops. One player is focused on the game, the other di ...
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Threat Detected - Has your computer's been infected?

post image You cannot flip through the newspapers, listen to the radio or scroll through online headlines without hearing about, this organization or that business being hacked or having their computers infiltrated by a virus. Even with amazing anti-viral software, installed firewalls and constant software updates, Hackers are always changing it up, so that what is protected yesterday is vulnerable today. So, with the constant cat and mouse game that seems to exist in the virtual world, how exactly do you know if your computer has been hacked or is experiencing a virus? Here are some tell-tale signs: 1. Fake antivirus messages- We have all experienced it. To click onto a website and suddenly you receive the dreaded Fake Antivirus Warning Message. Once you see this message the damage has been done. Clicking “No” Or “Cancel will not stop the process, your system has been exploited.  2. Your Computer Seems to Be Going Nowhere: The fan is on, the disk is spinning away, but nothing’s happen ...
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Finally, businesses are listening to this great advice

post image An article came across my desk last week, that immediately caught my attention. A recent story in CFO online magazine has given me the news I had been hoping for. Finally, I am seeing the results of everything I have been working for, recommending, advocating and advising my clients, for the last 10-years…. Love this statistic: “A September survey by the Risk and Insurance Management Society found that 80% of the companies recently surveyed, purchased a stand-alone cyber-security policy in 2016.” The takeaway: Policies covering exclusively cyber exposures are becoming the new normal for many large companies. Yahoo! Mail, is one of the largest and latest data hacks that has grab headlines since Sept 22nd. More than 500 million users saw their passwords, phone numbers and other information accessed in an ongoing data breach. This continuous cavalcade of data breaches, ransom-ware, cyber extortions, theft of trade secrets and theft of intellectual property, has affected major corporation ...
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PUBLIC WIFI – Are you risking everything by logging on?

post image Most of us are guilty of it.  You are sitting in a coffee shop, an airport or in the park and you find a moment to open your backpack and pull out your laptop, I-Pad or smart phone. Time to check in at work, (or see what is happening in the lives of your Facebook friends). The Wi-Fi Wave at the top of your device will give you options on which wireless network to choose to interface with. Scroll down and you may find everything from optimumwifi, to wisedragonfly to hiltonguest. Twenty options may appear. The choice you make, may mean the difference between keeping your personal and private information safe, and sharing it with thieves that may rip you off. So, what is the wise choice. 1. Choose the Network with the “Lock” On it. - You are going to have a choice. Many hotspots across the country have no security set. You can simply log on. And that is where the danger lies. If you have an account with a company such as Optimum Online, you can change the settings on your devise to recognize ...
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Oh no. Where did all of my clients information go?!?

post image I find it fascinating … I have been immersed in the insurance industry for close to 30 years now. I serve on industry boards, I speak at conferences and my clients consist of businessmen from Fortune 500 companies to the Mom and Pop shop down from our Corporate Headquarters. I have sat with entrepreneurs that are just beginning in the world of small business, to executives who have 40 years in their chosen industry. They often inquire as to my opinion on insurance for their company and I am happy to give them advice and recommendations. But it is simply fascinating to me that often when I mention Cyber-Security Insurance, businessmen that I am speaking to, often look at me with confusion, unsureness and complete doubt. It seems to me, that many business people, I talk to, are under the false impression that: *We are too large to have any security issues – Our company has invested into the most sophisticated firewalls and blocking mechanisms currently available for our information system ...
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Cyber Criminals - More than Just the Geek in the Basement

post image Usually in movies they are portrayed as a maniacal recluse. Sitting in front of multiple computer screens, with AC/DC blasting and crumpled cups of coffee and Red Bull scattered all over the desk and the floor. Or as a “V for Vendetta”, Guy Fawkes-styled freedom fighters with a score to settle. Cyber Criminals, Hackers, Data Thieves are the designations we have given them. And they come in all shapes, sizes and forms, from all walks of life, male/female, rich and poor. Their motivation is as varied as their backgrounds. Some choose to become hackers because they seek revenge on someone who betrayed them. This category includes employees of businesses; citizens angry against the government; lovers who feel they have been wronged. Other cyber criminals are looking for monetary gain, often holding data “hostage”. Businesses need to pay a “ransom’ to receive a “key” to be able to unlock and access their data. Since the inception of mainframes and shared/networke ...
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One of the biggest “holes” in your defense against a data breach is the cell phone.

post image I was fascinated to read the results of a recent survey from the Ponemon Institute (for Cyber Research) A little background first, the Ponemon Institute was founded in 2002 by Dr. Larry Ponemon. Headquartered in Michigan, the Ponemon Institute is considered the pre-eminent research center dedicated to privacy, data protection and information security policy. They publish multiple monthly reports, surveys and data concerning all things “cyber.” The following TWITTER post jumped out at me when I was scrolling through the site last week: 51% of respondents on a recent survey do not take any steps to protect the data that is connected to their cell phones. (Ponemon Institute) That is a shocking statistic and I was so amazed at that sentence that I downloaded the entire report and read each word (link to website below) It gets a bit worse… Here are the accompanying statistics: ·      Only 20 percent of respondents describe their use of smartphones or table ...
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Protecting your child from a bully, just got a little bit easier

post image It is unfortunate, but many parents will find themselves in this situation sometime in their child’s lives. Your tear-filled daughter will approach you one evening, usually clutching her smart phone or laptop.  She will tremble as she shows you the horrifically mean, totally out of bounds, unbelievably nasty posts about her that are sailing across social media. Maybe someone created a Facebook group to bash her. Maybe they posted a video telling her to harm herself.  Maybe a “not so flattering” photo of her was making the rounds between the student body of her school. Cyber-Bulling can take many forms. As a parent you are responsible to protect your child, but cyber-bullying is an entirely new frontier.  There is no end to what “Cyber-Bullying” can do to a child’s reputation, their self-image and worth. And removing the damaging information is difficult … it takes on a life of it’s own, it grows and permeates all aspects of your life, 24 x7&rd ...
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Do you have customers? Yes. Then you need cyber-liability coverage.

post image   The evolution of technology to become consumer-facing, followed by the real embracing of consumer  smart phone technology had a lot to do with raising peoples awareness of data and privacy issues.  But anyone who deals with technology, or has been for many many years dealing with security, has always been aware of the importance of keeping people out of the data that they are not supposed to have access to. So this concept of privacy and data security,  is not really new to anyone, it is simply in vogue, right now to speak about it. Fifteen years ago those of us who have been aware of the risks of data, were the "Chicken Littles" of the world. We ran around telling anyone who would listen that, the sky is falling and we have to do something about data security issues and take ownership of the fact that we have  "Care, Custody and Control" of other people’s data. If someone drops their suit at the dry cleaner they trust you to take care of their property, and if some ...
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ATTENTION: SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS ....

post image I have the greatest respect for the small business owner. Mom and Pop shops and Main Street businesses are the core of this country. Our business, WRG, was founded as a small insurance agency back in 1864, on the corner of Main and South Streets in Warwick, NY,  and grew to the bi-coastal company that exists today due to hard work and determination. Many of our clients are our neighbors and are still the heart of of our company. We look out for each other. We give each other sound advice. We help each other grow and thrive and enjoy each others successes. When discussing insurance with small business owners, I  have encountered individuals who are rapt and captivated when discussing their companies insurance needs, they often listen intently ... until Cyber-Insurance is mentioned, and then they scowl, seem perplexed and shake their heads. When I inquire why they are so resistant as to considering Cyber-Insurance, they simply state that they don't feel that it is something that will every eff ...
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