Is Your Business Protected Against Data Security Breaches?

By the end of 2009, 45 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories had enacted laws requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information. New York’s law is typical. It requires businesses that own or license computer data that includes private information to disclose any security breach of the system to any state resident whose private information the business believes was accessed without authorization. The businesses must provide the notice by mail, phone or e-mail as soon as possible after discovering the breach, inform the state government of the notices, and inform consumer reporting agencies if the breach affected more than 5,000 residents.

Notifying the victims is only one part of the costs businesses that suffer security breaches can expect. They might face lawsuits from the victims, fines from regulators, and serious harm to their reputations. Lockton International has estimated the cost of a security breach to be $15 per person affected. Lockton issued a paper in 2010 that discussed several ways that businesses can avoid cyber attacks and handle those that do occur, including:

  • 1. Assemble a multifunctional team to identify cyber risks and develop plans for preventing attacks. The team should include individuals responsible for legal compliance, risk management or insurance, information technology, procurement of vendors, and operations.
  • 2. Comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, including HIPAA (which applies to security of private health information) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (which applies to private financial information.)
  • 3. Manage vendors that have a high risk of data security breaches, including payroll companies, credit card processors, and accountants. Require them to meet legal and industry standards, obtain insurance against security breaches, and indemnify the business from related losses.
  • 4. Manage the people as well as the system. Train and educate employees on system security, monitor them for poor security practices and possible malicious acts, and verify that they have not installed unauthorized software that would increase vulnerabilities in the system.
  • 5. Regularly test the system and repair security problems. Perform internal tests, external system penetration tests, scans for viruses and other malware, and evaluate work processes.
  • 6. Encrypt private data on the network, while it is being e-mailed or transferred another way, and while it is on laptops, smart phones, and other mobile devices.
  • 7. The team should develop a plan for effectively responding to security breaches.

As more businesses become aware of their exposure to data losses, insurance companies are beginning to offer specialized policies to cover these incidents. An electronic data liability policy covers a business’s liability for damages resulting from accidents, negligent acts, errors or omissions, or a series of these, leading to a loss of electronic data. Coverage applies to claims made during the policy period for losses occurring on or after a date specified in the policy. Another policy offered by specialty insurers covers a business’s lost income and extra expenses resulting from harm to its reputation after a security breach.

Most businesses and organizations today have some exposure to loss from cyber risks. Just as they try to prevent fires, car accidents, and workplace injuries, businesses must make preventing data security breaches a standard part of their operations. Speak with our professional Protection Coaches about the insurance you might need when breaches occur. With proper loss control and the right insurance, a business can survive a cyber attack.

Here are 4 Easy ways to reach our Total Protection team if you have any questions or would like to review any protection:

1. Call 877-994-6787 or 951-600-5751 
2. Fax 951-677-6265 
3. Email insure@siaonline.com
4. Visit us on the web – www.SIAonline.com

Congratulations to Julie Jeromchek!

Julie is our June 2010 winner of dinner and a movie for two.  Hope you enjoy and thank you for your referrals!

We are almost half way through 2010, that means we are getting closer to giving away 4 fabulous Grand Prizes, including Gas Card $$$, New Lap Top, New BIG Screen TV and #1 Cold Hard CA$H!!!

Don’t wait – Keep telling your friends, family and business colleagues about Stromsoe Insurance Agency for your chance to WIN!  Make sure they mention your name when they contact us.  And remember there is NO LIMIT to the number of entries you may have.

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Here are 4 Easy ways to reach us:

1. Call 877-994-6787 or 951-600-5751
2. Fax 951-677-6265
3. Email – insure@siaonline.com
4. Visit us on the web – www.SIAonline.com

PS Julie is another insurance agent who trusts SIA with her own clients…

7 Secrets of Success…from the Wooden Pyramid

Substantial words from a coach that had ZERO losing seasons in his coaching career:

” Knowing that you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming”

Thanks coach Wooden for the Pyramid of Success and thanks coach Fore for allowing me to personally witness John Wooden share wisdom that will never be forgotten.

Click below for John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and some of my notes written when I saw Coach Wooden speak in 2006. A true WOW moment!

Click HERE for John Wooden’s  7 Secrets >>>> http://bit.ly/c3gQr0

Prevent Employee Claims of Invasion Of Privacy…

It’s not easy being an employer. The business must offer competitive wages and benefits without over-paying. It must keep employees happy but still maintain workplace discipline. It must protect its customers and its assets without seeming to distrust its employees. Without being overbearing or acting as a strict parent, it must ensure that employees are doing their work and doing it well. Many employers, using modern technology, are keeping an eye on workers — literally. A 2007 study by the American Management Association and The ePolicy Institute revealed that:

  • – 66% of employers monitor employees’ Internet connections
  • – 65% use software to block employees’ access to some Web sites
  • – 43% monitor employees’ e-mail
  • – 45% monitor the time employees spend on the phone and the numbers they call
  • – 16% record employees’ phone conversations
  • – 9% monitor voice mail messages
  • – 7% monitor employees’ job performance using video surveillance

 

Also, in certain industries employers search workers’ workstations and lockers, perform drug tests and physicals, investigate their backgrounds, and even monitor their activities outside of work. When an employer disciplines or fires a worker based on information it learned through one of these methods, the worker might become angry enough to sue the employer for invasion of privacy. Although federal and state laws generally permit employers to monitor workers’ activities and use of employer property, some suits succeed and all of them divert financial and human resources away from the employer’s main business. There are several things employers can do to avoid this.

  • >> Establish a workplace policy about non-business phone and Internet use, and include it in the employee manual. The policy should describe the extent to which the employer will monitor phone and Internet use, if any, and the consequences should employees violate the policy. Ensure that employees are aware of it by discussing it at staff meetings and asking them to document that they have read it.
  • >> Be careful about audio recording conversations. Although state and federal laws generally permit employers to use video monitoring of employees, some restrict the ability to make audio recordings or to listen in on conversations. Employers should become familiar with the wiretapping laws in their states before using audio monitoring.
  • >> Keep employee e-mails confidential. Employers have the right to monitor their employees’ use of the business e-mail system, but making e-mails public (absent some legal or business requirement) might violate employee privacy rights.
  • >> Include in the employee manual a written policy regarding employer searches of desks, workstations, and lockers. This should describe the employer’s right to conduct searches, the reasons it may do so, and the consequences should an employee refuse to cooperate. Conduct searches only when absolutely necessary for business or legal reasons, and take care to respect the employee’s dignity by doing the search out of the view of other employees.
  • >> Perform drug tests for legitimate business reasons and at appropriate times, such as during the hiring process and following a workplace accident. If the employer will administer random drug tests, it should have a written policy stating as much in the employee manual and it should conduct the tests with as little privacy infringement as possible.
  • >> Obtain a job applicant’s written consent for a background check, and investigate only those factors relevant to the position. For example, a credit check might be appropriate for a position that requires handling money.Keep employee information safe from individuals outside the company. Instruct managers and staff not to discuss personnel matters with outsiders and employees who do not need to know the information.

Employers must run an efficient operation, maintain a safe workplace free of harassment, make employees feel comfortable in their work, and make a profit. Following these steps will reduce the chances of employee lawsuits and allow the business to focus on its core mission.  If you have any questions regarding any items mentioned throughout this article, call 951-600-5751 and ask for Mike! We have easy to implement solutions that can help you with all of these matters today!

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We hope this helps!

Any questions, please contact any one of our protection coaches at:

Phone 877.994.6787
Fax 951-677.6265
Email – insure@siaonline.com 
Web – www.siaonline.com

Do You Need A Separate Watercraft Policy For Your New Boat?

Before you go out and purchase that new boat you have been dreaming about all winter, consider the importance of also purchasing the proper watercraft coverage that you will need for your new toy.

Many people mistakenly believe that their boat will be covered under either their Personal Auto policy or Homeowners policy. Auto policies do not provide liability coverage or coverage for damage on boats. Homeowners policies might cover only boats that have low value or are low-powered. So before going out and purchasing a boat, contact us to discuss the proper watercraft coverage that you will need.

Here are some considerations when it comes to figuring out if you will need separate watercraft coverage for your boat. These types of boats will require a separate insurance policy:

  • >> Any boat valued at more than $1,500
  • >> A sailboat that is more than 26 feet long
  • >> Powerboats that have motors exceeding 25 horsepower

Insurance companies will often deny coverage for particular types of watercraft unless you arrange for proper coverage before hitting the water. These types of watercraft might be denied coverage:

  • 1. Watercraft such as jet skis or wave runners, due to the high number of accidents with them.
  • 2. Houseboats, homemade or kit boats, competition bass boats, and speedboats.
  • 3. Boats that are more than 15 to 20 years of age, due to a higher loss frequency (Note: It is also wise to order a marine survey or inspection of an older boat before purchasing, which can point out deficiencies in the boat that could cause you to reconsider the purchase or renegotiate the price).

Finally, when it comes to purchasing the proper watercraft coverage needed for your new boat, also consider purchasing a Personal Umbrella policy. This policy would be in addition to a watercraft policy and is especially beneficial if you are going to purchase a speedboat, one designed for skiing or any other type of craft that has a higher potential for loss of life or damage. Umbrella policies are relatively inexpensive and will provide additional coverage above the liability coverage found in a watercraft policy.

If you have any questions about your protection, call the Stromsoe Insurance Agency Total Protection Team for the right answers to your questions.

Here are 4 EASY ways to reach us:

1. Call 877-994-6787 or 951-600-5751
2. Fax 951-677-6265
3. Email – insure@siaonline.com
4. Visit Exclusive New Website –  www.siaonline.com