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The Unpleasant Side of Cyber Space

Posted By Federated Insurance, Thursday, July 21, 2016


The Internet connects businesses of all sizes to data networks and computer systems around the world. It also exposes companies to hackers, viruses, and other computer attacks. And, let’s face it, there is no such thing as perfect computer security. Whether by hacker, glitch, or employee error, many businesses will experience a data breach incident at some point.

Knowing a breach is practically inevitable, and the recovery cost potentially devastating from a financial, public image, and regulatory enforcement standpoint, how does a business owner protect his or her organization?

A few years back, Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) teamed up with The Ponemon Institute to conduct a study of small businesses and the impact of data breaches. Their findings are eye-opening and informative, and can serve to inspire business owners everywhere to take steps to protect their valuable data.

  • Fifty-five percent of small companies have experienced at least one data breach; 53 percent have experienced multiple breaches.
  • Only a third of small businesses notified people that their personal information had been compromised, even though 47 states require notification.
  • Nearly three-fourths of companies that experienced a breach were not able to fully restore their company’s computer data.

The research also revealed the three most likely causes of data breaches. More than half were due to employee mistakes. Forty-two percent involved lost or stolen hardware (laptops, smart phones, tablets, and storage media such as USBs and back-up drives). And, more than a third were a result of procedural inadequacies.

 But, the breaches aren’t caused only by internal errors. There is also a significant exposure when exchanging information with outside entities:

  • Eighty-five percent of businesses share customer and employee data with third parties, such as those providing services for billing, payroll, employee benefits, and information technology. Most do not have contracts that require third parties to cover all the costs associated with a data breach.

As cyber-crimes get more sophisticated, your defense against them needs to keep pace. Federated Insurance can help you learn ways to minimize the risk of a breach, and, if you are a Federated client, you also have access to a seven step cyber security plan through Federated’s Shield Network®. To learn more, visit

Tags:  Cyber Attacks  Cyber Space  Federated Insurance  safety 

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Risk Management That Measures Up

Posted By Federated Insurance, Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Provided by  Federated Insurance, a PDCA Partner



Ineffective risk management could give you plenty of wrong things to measure


We live in a measurement-focused society: how many; how far; how fast; how much more, or less, than last year. 


Popular thought often asserts that if it’s not measurable, it’s not a worthwhile goal. How can you justify spending time and money on something you cannot prove or quantify? On the surface, that may not be easy, but consider the following:


In a society focused on measurements, realize that you will rarely know, or be able to measure, those catastrophic events that did not occur due to the execution of good, consistent risk management practices.


It is still important to measure standard business benchmarks: injury-free days or an increase or decrease in claims or accidents, for instance. But, how do you measure…


Ø  the car accident that never happened because your business implemented a distracted driving policy?


Ø  the fatality that did not occur because you requested an employee’s motor vehicle records, which uncovered several previous driving incidents?


Ø  the employee who did not cause an unsafe situation because your drug- and alcohol-free workplace program got that person the help needed to be fully functional on the job?


Ø  the firm that did not go out of business, saving dozens of jobs, because it had a well-executed business continuation plan in place when the owner passed away?


You may never be able to fully measure the positive effects a risk management culture has on your business. But, you will definitely be able to measure the negative ones.


Now, it must be said that all the value-added risk management applications in the world will not keep all bad things from happening. But, are you confident your firm is doing everything it can to help eliminate preventable risks by executing good, consistent risk management practices?

Tags:  federated insurance  risk management  safety 

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