Benefits Of Cyber Liability Insurance

As technology becomes increasingly important for successful business operations, the value of a strong cyber liability insurance policy will only continue to grow. The continued rise in the amount of information stored and transferred electronically has resulted in a remarkable increase in the potential exposures facing businesses.

In an age where a stolen laptop or hacked account can instantly compromise the personal data of thousands of customers, or an ill-advised post on a social media site can be read by hundreds in a matter of minutes, protecting yourself from cyber liability is just as important as some of the more traditional exposures businesses account for in their general commercial liability policies.

Why Cyber Liability Insurance?

A traditional business liability policy is extremely unlikely to protect against most cyber exposures. Standard commercial policies are written to insure against injury or physical loss and will do little, if anything, to shield you from electronic damages and the associated costs they may incur.

Exposures are vast, ranging from the content you put on your website to stored customer data. Awareness of the potential cyber liabilities your company faces is essential to managing risk through proper coverage.

Possible exposures covered by a typical cyber liability policy may include the following:

Data breaches: Increased government regulations have placed more responsibility on companies to protect clients’ personal information. In the event of a breach, notification of the affected parties is now required by law. This will add to costs that will also include security fixes, identity theft protection for the affected and protection from possible legal action. While companies operating online are at a heightened risk, even companies that don’t transmit personal data over the internet, but still store it in electronic form, could be susceptible to breaches through data lost to unauthorized employee access or hardware theft.

Intellectual property rights: Your company’s online presence, whether it be through a corporate website, blogs or social media, opens you up to some of the same exposures faced by publishers. This can include libel, copyright or trademark infringement and defamation, among other things.

Damages to a third-party system: If an email sent from your server has a virus that crashes the system of a customer, or the software your company distributes fails, resulting in a loss for a third party, you could be held liable for the damages.

System failure: A natural disaster, malicious activity or fire could all cause physical damages that could result in data or code loss. While the physical damages to your system hardware would be covered under your existing business liability policy, data or code loss due to the incident would not be.

Cyber extortion: Hackers can hijack websites, networks and stored data, denying access to you or your customers. They often demand money to restore your systems to working order. This can cause a temporary loss of revenue plus generate costs associated with paying the hacker’s demands or rebuilding if damage is done.

Business interruption: If your primary business operations require the use of computer systems, a disaster that cripples your ability to transmit data could cause you, or a third party that depends on your services, to lose potential revenue. From a server failure to a data breach, such an incident can affect your day-to-day operations. Time and resources that normally would have gone elsewhere will need to be directed towards the problem, which could result in further losses. This is especially important as denial of service attacks by hackers have been on the rise. Such attacks block access to certain websites by either rerouting traffic to a different site or overloading an organizations server.

Cyber liability insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure. It is important to work with a broker that can identify your areas of risk so a policy can be tailored to fit your unique situation.

Test Your Knowledge of Cyber Risk Terms 

Contact Anastasi Insurance Agency to learn more about how Cyber Liability Insurance is right for your business.

Protect Your Business – 7 Ways To Prevent Cyber Attacks

Protecting your business from cyber risks can be an overwhelming venture. More spam is being delivered to your inbox and yet another well-known company is the victim of a data breach. The world will never be free of cyber risks, but there are many loss control techniques you can implement to help protect your business from exposures.

1. Install a firewall for your network. Operating systems often come with pre-installed firewalls, but they are generally designed to protect just one computer. Examine the firewall’s options and select the best configuration to keep the computer safe. If your business has a network of five or more computers, consider buying a network firewall. They can be pricey but network firewalls provide a fine level of coverage for an entire network.

2. Install anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware software. This loss control technique is the easiest and most effective way to increase security at your business. Make sure to install the software on each computer in your network—computers that don’t include these types of software are much more likely to be exposed and can possibly spread malware to other computers in the network. There are a host of viable options for each type of software, ranging in price from free to an annual subscription. Be sure to keep the software as up-to-date as possible.

3. Encrypt data. No firewall is perfect. If a hacker manages to get through your firewall and into your network, your data could be a sitting duck. Encryption will make the data unreadable to a hacker. Consider using an encryption program to keep computer drives, files and even email messages safe from hackers.

4. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows employees to connect to your company’s network remotely. VPNs eliminate the need for a remote-access server, saving companies lots of money in remote server costs. In addition to these savings, VPNs also provide a high level of security by using advanced encryption and authentication protocols that protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. If your company has salespeople in the field or employs workers who work from home or away from the office, a VPN is an effective way to minimize cyber risks.

5. Implement an employee password policy. One of the most overlooked ways to keep your business safe is instituting a password policy. Essentially, a password policy should force employees to change work-related passwords every 90 days. The policy should encourage the creation of easy-to-remember, hard-to-guess passwords that include letters, numbers and special characters. For example, an easy-to-remember, hard-to-guess password could be “M1dwbo1025.” (My first daughter was born on Oct. 25.) Passwords that contain words from the dictionary or contain sensible combinations (abc123, qwerty, etc.) should never be allowed. Let employees know that they should not write passwords down and leave them in a desk or out in the open. If they are having trouble remembering passwords, there are password-keeping programs available for download.

6. Back up data regularly. Important data should be backed up daily and in multiple locations, one being off-site. In addition to being safe from cyber risks, off-site data would not be exposed from physical attacks, like a fire or tornado. Restrict access to backed-up data. The public should never have access to it. If the data is tangible, keep it in locked filing cabinets in a locked room, and only issue keys to those who absolutely need them.

7. Develop a business continuity plan. If the worst should happen and your company suffers a data breach or similar attack, you should have a business continuity plan in place. A business continuity plan helps:

  • Facilitate timely recovery of core business functions
  • Protect the well-being of employees, their families and your customers
  • Minimize loss of revenue/customers
  • Maintain public image and reputation
  • Minimize loss of data
  • Minimize the critical decisions to be made in a time of crisis

The plan should identify potential cyber risks, along with the recovery team at your company assigned to protect personnel and property in the event of an attack. The recovery team should conduct a damage assessment of the attack and guide the company toward resuming operations.

We Are Your Loss Control Expert Keeping your data safe from cyber risks requires constant attention to ensure an attack never happens. Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. has the resources and know-how to help you identify potential risks and keep your business running smoothly in the event of an attack.

Cyber Attacks – Why Small Businesses Are Big Targets

58% of cyber attacks aka malware attack victims are categorized as small businesses.

The major reason for this is because small businesses tend to be unprepared, easy targets. Cyber threats target those who are least likely to put in the effort to protect themselves because they think it can’t happen to them.

In 2017, cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses an average of $2,235,000.

What exactly is a cyber attack?

Simply put, a cyber attack is an attack launched from one computer (or multiple) to another computer or network.

Cyber attacks might be broken down into two broad types that each have a specific goal:

  • Attacks where the goal is to disable the target computer or knock it offline.

A few examples of this type of attack:

 Malicious code that renders your website unusable

 Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that make your website inaccessible to employees and customers alike

 Viruses, worms or other code that deletes critical information on a business’ hard drives and other hardware

2. Attacks that are targeting your computers data.

Examples:

 Your client’s private information such as credit card / payment information

  Your company’s bank information

 Your employees personal information / bank information

There are many ways that a hacker gains access to your information.

  • Malware (malicious software) downloaded to a target computer that can do anything from steal data to encrypt files and demand ransom
  • Phishing emails that are crafted to fool victims into giving up passwords or taking some other harmful action
  • Denial of Service attacks, which overwhelm a web server with bogus traffic
  • Man in the middle attacks, which fool the target computer into joining a compromised network

How can a cyber attack cause a business interruption? Hackers, thieves and other unauthorized individuals have become adept at exploiting weaknesses in a business’ computer system, whether through traditional hacking methods or social engineering. There are several types of attacks that could completely cripple your ability to perform normal business activities.

Contact us at Anastasi Insurance to learn more about how to protect yourself. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article.

Cyber Risk

This week, Anastasi Insurance Agency is focusing on Cyber Risk / Cyber Liability Services. Each day we will be posting new content on Cyber Risk to help you learn more about this very critical issue.

Cyber threats are an increasing concern for businesses of all sizes, yet many businesses lack the resources to protect themselves. In fact, two thirds of businesses do not have a stand-alone cyber insurance policy, and over half have not discussed cyber insurance coverage with their broker within the last year. As cyber attacks continue to become more sophisticated and common, cyber insurance will be an essential part of a business’s insurance coverage package. Cyber Risk should not be ignored.

 

Having a conversation about cyber insurance is not something that should be delayed. In fact, nearly 20 percent of businesses that had not discussed cyber insurance with their broker within the last year had a cyber security incident during that period. As cyber policies continue to become more necessary and commonplace, now is the time to have the discussion and find the correct policy for you.

 

Check out this video on Cyber Risk.

 

In recent years, cyber attacks have emerged as one of the most significant threats facing organizations of all sizes. The Internet and other network operations have created risks that were unheard of less than a decade ago. When cyber attacks (such as data breaches and hacks) occur, they can result in devastating damage, such as business disruptions, revenue loss, legal fees, and forensic analysis and customer or employee notifications. It is important to remember that no organization is immune to the impact of cyber crime. As a result, cyber liability insurance has become an essential component to any risk management program.

Take this quiz to determine your organization level of risk. Contact us today to make sure you are properly covered for your level of risk.

Take The Survey

Employee or Independent Contractor? Avoid Misclassification

Worker misclassification can be a costly mistake. As a result of misclassification of those doing work for you, not only could there be federal ramifications but in some cases, state too. The IRS goes into great detail on how to classify your workers. While the information is out there, it often is confusing. Because of the amount of information it can be overwhelming.

This video helps explain the difference between an independent contractor and an employee.

Also, the IRS has a general rule –  an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work, not what will be done and how it will be done.

In addition, here are two key points to keep in mind when it comes to classifying workers:

  1. Control. Most important, the relationship between a worker and a business. If the business controls what work is accomplished and directs how it is done, it exerts behavioral control. In addition, if the business directs or controls financial and certain relevant aspects of a worker’s job, it exercises financial control. This includes:
    • The extent of the worker’s investment in the facilities or tools used in performing services
    • The extent to which the worker makes his or her services available to the relevant market
    • How the business pays the worker, and
    • The extent to which the worker can realize a profit or incur a loss
  2. Relationship. Equally as important is how the employer and worker perceive their relationship is also important for determining worker status.  Key topics to think about include:
    • Written contracts describing the relationship the parties intended to create
    • Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation or sick pay
    • The permanency of the relationship, and
    • The extent to which services performed by the worker are a key aspect of the regular business of the company
    • And the extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses

 

At Anastasi Insurance Agency, we can help you avoid the consequences of misclassification and help you determine if your workers are employees or independent contractors.

Tick Explosion! How To Protect Yourself

Massachusetts: Tick Explosion!

Some are calling this summer Tick Explosion! “Ticks are the primary carrier of Lyme disease and according to the latest data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there were more than 8,600 infections in 2017 — a 50 percent increase from 2013. The most infections last year came from Plymouth (1449) Middlesex (1,424), and Worcester counties (1077).”

Before you head out into the great outdoors, you need to be aware of a danger lurking not so deep in the woods—Lyme disease. This bacterial infection is contracted after coming in contact with a deer tick that has feasted off another infected animal.

Healthy Hints

Bacteria from a tick bite do not transmit into your bloodstream for 36 to 48 hours, which lessens your chance of contracting the disease if you find ticks and remove them immediately:

  • Use a tweezers to grab the tick firmly where it has entered the skin.
  • Slowly, yet firmly, pull the tick directly outward.
  • Once the tick is removed, clean the bite thoroughly with a disinfectant and watch the area for any symptoms.

CDC’s Preventative Steps From Tick Bites:

  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions.
    • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
    • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid Contact with Ticks
    • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
    • Walk in the center of trails.

After You Come Indoors

Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and daypacks.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc.

www.anastasiinsurance.com

(508) 248-1440

10 Most Common OSHA Violations in Construction

We have reviewed the most recent statistics from OSHA reveal the top standards cited in the fiscal year 2017 for the construction industry and compiled a list of the top 10 most common violation. We also added the ACV (Average Cost per Violation) – which is the average cost per violation that employers in this industry paid in 2017.

To learn more about each violation, click on the name to be directed to OSHA’s regulations.

Top 10 OSHA Violations in the Construction Industry (establishments engaged in the construction of buildings or engineering projects e.g., highways and utility systems)

1. Duty to Have Fall Protection – $4,717

2. General Scaffold Requirements – $2,747

3. Ladders –  $2,283

4. Training Requirements –  $1,447

5. Eye and Face Protection – $2,270

6. Hazard Communication –  $853

7. Head Protection – $2,230

8. General Safety and Health Provisions – $2,401

9. Aerial Lifts – $2,806

10. Fall Protection Systems Criteria and Practices –  $2,229

 

 

 

Who are we? We are a hand-picked group of insurance professionals that take the time to slow down and understand you and your business. What do we do once we know you? Backed by the region’s largest insurance exchange – with over $600,000,000.00 in written premium – we leverage our buying power with the intimate knowledge of your operation to secure the best prices while ensuring you are properly protected.
During our 20 years, we have forged partnerships with insurance consultants, Workers’ Compensation analysts, legal experts and third-party administrators, all of which enabled us to handle the most complex situations that your business may face.
Anastasi Insurance has been recognized as an industry leader in providing Truckers and Contractors with innovative ways to reduce the cost of insurance while effectively managing risk. We’re here to make sure you’re protected so that you can do what you do best.
At Anastasi Insurance, it’s always Your Business First….

National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month. As an outdoor worker, it is important to take precautions against exposure to sun, heat and bug bites during the summer months.

We have some helpful safety tips for keeping you safe during warm weather

Sun Safety

  1. Wear lightweight, tightly woven clothing that you can’t see through. 
  2. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays. Make sure to reapply as needed.
  3. Wear a hat that protects your neck, ears, forehead, nose and scalp
  4. Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Heat

Heat can be a serious health threat during the summer months. Protect yourself in the following ways:

  1. Drink plenty of water before you get thirsty.
  2. Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as dry-fit material.
  3. Eat small meals before work activity.
  4. Skip the caffeine and soda; drink water instead.

Ticks

If you’re working in tall grass or wooded areas, take the following precautions to protect yourself from ticks:

  1. Wear light-colored clothing to see ticks more easily.
  2. Wear long sleeves and long pants (tuck pant legs into socks or boots)
  3. Wear high boots or closed shoes that cover your feet completely.
  4. Wear a hat.
  5. Use tick repellants, but not on your face.
  6. Wash and dry your work clothes at high temperatures.
  7. Examine your body for ticks after work, and remove any attached ticks promptly with a tweezers. If you get bit and develop a rash, see your doctor.

Insect Bites and Stings

Bee, wasp, hornet and yellow jacket stings are typically only dangerous to those who are allergic or have been stung multiple times.

  1. Wear bug repellant.
  2. Avoid wearing heavy perfumes or scented lotions.
  3. Check before drinking from cups, bottles or cans. Stinging insects are attracted to sweet drinks.

Be safe and healthy on the job at with these helpful tips provided by Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc..

RHODE ISLAND HANDS FREE LAW

Hand Held Devices BANNED – Rhode Island

Beginning June 1st drivers will now be issued $100 fine for using cell phones / hand held devices while driving. Holding your cell phone while driving, along with any headphones/ear buds are also illegal.

Sgt. Greg Cunningham, of the Rhode Island State Police said first-time offenders face a hundred dollar fine, but there is a way to get the ticket dismissed.

“In the meantime, since getting your ticket and going to court, you are able to purchase some type of Bluetooth device or something that can help you use the phone hands free. Bring the receipt into court and the judge will waive the fee for you,” said Cunningham.

The State of Rhode Island issued this flyer to explain what is and isn’t allowed:

hand held

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full law here: http://www.dot.ri.gov/projects/HandsFree/documents/Hands_Free_Law_Enacted_7-10-17.pdf

 

Over the past 20 years, many businesses have considered us an extension of their own back office, where we have consistently saved them time and money by obtaining comprehensive coverage at the lowest possible cost – year after year. With that, we provide the peace of mind in knowing that your business is properly protected.

Who are we? We are a hand-picked group of insurance professionals that take the time to slow down and understand you and your business. What do we do once we know you? Backed by the region’s largest insurance exchange – with over $600,000,000.00 in written premium – we leverage our buying power with the intimate knowledge of your operation to secure the best prices while ensuring you are properly protected.

The staff at Anastasi Insurance understands the many pressures facing a small business owner today and your need for fast accurate results. From juggling the needs of employees and customers to managing cash flow and staying ahead of intense competition, we are in a unique position to help you evaluate the cost of assuming risk or transferring that risk to an insurance company or surety.

At Anastasi Insurance, it’s always Your Business First….