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Insurance market evolving to handle terrorism risks

Insurance market evolving to handle terrorism risks

While the number of incidents and casualties declined in 2017, a report released Monday by Marsh L.L.C. said terrorism is still a significant threat and that the insurance market is adapting to handle the evolving risk.

Marsh’s 2018 Terrorism Risk Insurance Report, which explores the state of the terrorism insurance marketplace, said that in the wake of recent events, terrorism insurers are expanding terrorism definitions to include active assailant events.

In some cases, the report said, insurers also are developing specialty products that offer first- and third-party business interruption protection for businesses that suffer lost income or revenue without the need for a direct property damage trigger.

Although fewer people were killed in terrorist attacks in 2017 than in 2016, the Marsh report said the means of attack and perpetrators have shifted.

“Past attacks were carried out primarily by specific groups against perceived high-value-high-profile targets,” the report said. “While that threat remains, many recent attacks have come against soft targets and been perpetrated by ‘lone wolves’ and small groups with no direct connection to known terrorist organizations. Weapons of choice now include vehicles, knives and other handheld devices.”

In 2017, the report said, pricing increased in five of the 17 industries surveyed by Marsh, with the sharpest increases being felt by hospitality and gaming companies, public entities and nonprofit organizations, which have been targets of terrorist acts in recent years.

Pricing declined in seven industries, the report said, most notably for energy and mining and construction companies, reflecting the generally positive conditions in the property insurance market prior to the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

Sixty-two percent of U.S. companies in 2017 purchased coverage embedded in property policies under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, or TRIPRA. Companies in the Northeast U.S. were most likely to purchase terrorism insurance, Marsh said.

The number of Marsh-managed captive insurers actively underwriting one or more insurance programs that access the TRIPRA increased 44% to 166 captives in 2017.

After incurring sizable ransomware losses in 2017, kidnap and ransom insurers are seeking to restrict coverage for cyber risks in their policies.

Terrorism insurance capacity remains strong, the report said, but pricing could increase as global insurance costs generally increase following natural catastrophe losses in 2017. January 2018 year-over-year pricing changes for a majority of reinsurance program renewals that included terrorism coverage averaged flat to an increase of 10% on a risk-adjusted basis, according to the report.

The Marsh report made several suggestions for businesses in the face of evolving terrorism risk, including continually reviewing and reevaluating their risk financing programs to ensure they have adequate protection for property, business interruption, workers compensation, general liability and cyber losses.

The report also encouraged businesses to effectively model their terrorism risk and to build and test robust crisis management and business continuity plans.

Author: Rob Lenihan

Source: Business Insurance

Risky business: Keeping employees safe in a world of emerging threats

Risky business: Keeping employees safe in a world of emerging threats

Recently, I had the chance to spend some time at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, when I attended the NAMIC conference in February. One session included a presentation by Barry Dillard, director of claims for Walt Disney World, where he shared the company’s approach to handling a wide variety of claims.

I sat down with their vice president of risk management to learn about some of the strategies they employ, and I had the opportunity to tour Walt Disney World itself to peek behind the curtain and see how this massive theme park creates the magic for its guests and cast members while keeping everyone safe.

Believe it or not, the Walt Disney World Resort covers 40 square miles and is twice the size of Manhattan. Within its confines, this world-class attraction employs 75,000 cast members, each of whom plays a critical role in spreading the Disney magic. Their emphasis on safety is both taught and caught, which is especially important when serving the millions of guests who visit the Disney attractions around the world.

The Walt Disney Company is extremely proactive in their risk management strategies — it truly is everyone’s responsibility — not just the realm of those at the corporate level. As is often the case in life, the simplest things can make the biggest difference. Merely walking the parks, hotels, shops, and restaurants can yield valuable information, allowing cast members to identify small issues before they become larger ones. Even in one of the most magical places on earth – reality tends to intrude.

Unexpected risks arise every day and training plays a key role in mitigating them. Hackers are constantly devising new ways to access company information or hold it for ransom. The use of ransomware is expected to increase 350% this year, so being vigilant and backing up data has never been more important.

The number of shooting incidents in businesses and other settings is increasing at an alarming rate. Knowing what to look for and how to respond in these situations can literally be the difference between life and death.

For better or worse, new risks are changing our behavior — how observant we are in open spaces of our surroundings, what we post on social media, where and how we protect our personal information, what we open online and how we train our staffs. It really is the smallest things that can make the biggest difference in keeping people safe.

Author: Patricia L. Harman

Source: PropertyCasualty360

6 Essential Tips for Getting Through Any Nonprofit Crisis

6 Essential Tips for Getting Through Any Nonprofit Crisis

Is your nonprofit ready to be tonight’s breaking news?

You don’t even have to be guilty of something to become the daily news. Bad things happen even to worthy nonprofits.

During my nonprofit career, organizations I have worked for have experienced a client’s death; a product tampering that threatened the biggest fundraiser; an athletic scandal; and a mass shooting on campus.

We learned the hard way to be prepared or prepare to suffer more than necessary.

Here are six suggestions for better crisis management by your nonprofit.

01. Don’t Wait

Many organizations only get their crisis plans underway once a disaster has struck.

Instead, brainstorm possible scenarios or types of disasters that could happen and start planning for them.

Educate yourself about nonprofit crises and talk to those who weathered them. Invite a veteran of disasters to speak to your staff and your board. Assign your public relations staff to draft a crisis plan and give them a deadline.

Advocate for real emergency preparedness. Many people in nonprofits, especially small organizations, don’t think anything bad will ever happen. They don’t want to think about it. They don’t believe that they have the time to prepare.

And they might even resent staff who push on this topic.  Speak up anyway. If that crisis happens, people will appreciate your forethought.

02. Realize That Crises Take Many Steps

Crises come in all flavors. Some are high profile. Others might be more low key. But, in a time of 24/7 news, thinking you can keep the situation out of the public eye is a fantasy. If nothing else, local media will likely be all over it. Have you built up good relationships with local media outlets?

Like a fire, quickly getting on top of a crisis can make a huge difference in the outcome.

Your crisis might be an accident involving a volunteer, the death of a client, embezzlement by your chief financial officer, a lawsuit by a former employee, or a hack attack that threatens the privacy of your donors and clients.

They all require different responses. Prepare for as many as you can imagine, and do your best to put plans in place to minimize the damage to your nonprofit’s reputation.

Even if something happens that you didn’t think of, your preparation for other types of emergencies will help. The planning may reveal gaps in security, insurance coverage, inadequate human resource policies, or the shortage of people with particular skills.

Practicing any emergency response is likely to make your organization better prepared for others.

03. Develop a Logistical Plan and a Communications Plan

A logistical plan has to do with getting everyone out of the building in case of an earthquake, texting staff and clients that a gunman has been spotted in the building, or handling a medical emergency.

Develop a risk management program to deal with the loss of life, property, and insurance issues. Identify point people who can go into action quickly, notify appropriate help, and manage evacuation plans.

A communications plan involves identifying spokespeople, assigning someone to gather the facts as they emerge, writing press releases, and locating a place to have a press conference.

04. Get Your Social Media House in Order

Social media can be a blessing during a crisis IF it you handle it well.

Almost all nonprofits use some level of social media. Decide now who will manage that media during an emergency situation. Set up a dashboard (here are nine to consider) where you can monitor all social media platforms and respond quickly.

Because of social media, there is little chance of controlling information in a way that used to be possible. So don’t try. But you can give useful information, fight rumors with fact, and express concern.

Don’t just let your social media pages sit there. Use them. One study found that nonprofits often do not respond to social media questions or complaints.

However, social media may be the best way to show the human face of your organization and shore up its reputation for being kind, sympathetic, polite, accurate, and a source of unbiased information.

05. Prepare to Speak

Every minute counts after a crisis. Don’t waste any of them. Silence is deadly. Get out with appropriate statements and messages immediately, even if it is only to say that you know about the situation, you’re working on it, and that few facts are known at the moment.

Then keep it up with updates as events develop. For many situations, you may have already prepared statements.

In all communications, be concerned, show concern, speak concern, and always tell the truth. Don’t be afraid to say, “We don’t know.” That is better than guessing. Add that you are working as quickly as possible to get all the facts.

Far more is lost by refusing to speak to the media than is risked by doing so. A vacuum of information breeds media hostility and public loss of confidence.

06. Provide Media Training

Media training will be your best friend during a crisis. Don’t risk a media meltdown.

Put together a media training program before disaster strikes. Train anyone who might need to be a spokesperson. That might be your board chair, your CEO and other key staff, such as a media relations person.  Also, consider your top fundraiser, your volunteer coordinator and, where applicable, your security person or facilities manager.

Media training need not cost a lot if you have someone on your board who works in public relations or someone who is a member of the media. The key is to do it regularly so new people become trained, and others don’t grow stale.

 

Author: Joanne Fritz

Source: The Balance, Small Business

What Organizations Can Do to Strengthen Their Cybersecurity Stance

What Organizations Can Do to Strengthen Their Cybersecurity Stance

The challenges of cybersecurity have been covered ad nauseum: the ever-increasing volume and sophistication of attacks, the shortage of skilled cybersecurity analysts, and the general inability to keep up with all that is going on in the cybersecurity market have all been well documented.

So, what can be done? Given all these conditions, how can a business better protect their operations and resources? The short answer is they can start using a combination of technologies, services and education to stem the impact of cyber-attacks on their organization.

Technologies Can Help Fill the Gap Created by the Skills Shortage
Organizations can look for technologies that are primed to automate and orchestrate responses to cyberattacks.

This is not a new concept – back in 2011, the US Department of Homeland Services described, in their paper “Enabling Distributed Security in Cyberspace,” an ecosystem where “cyber devices are able to work together in near-real time to anticipate and prevent cyberattacks, limit the spread of attacks across participating devices, minimize the consequences of attacks, and recover to a trusted state.”

This is very different from what most organizations have today. Typically, companies have a host of cybersecurity technologies, from firewalls and to that are working alongside, but not in concert with one another. Each solution is specialized to look for something – e.g. evidence of a distributed denial of service attack, indicators that a user’s credentials have been compromised, pointers to data being leaked via cloud apps, signs that a mobile device has been taken over, etc.

Each of these solutions requires someone to deploy, manage and maintain it, as well as make sense of the information it generates. The data these solutions produce and the people managing them often remain in a silo, making it hard for anyone or anything to see the complete picture to quickly and confidently take action, as appropriate. But change is coming.

Half of the respondents (55%) to a survey by Intel Security “believe cybersecurity technologies will evolve to help close the skills gap within five years.” Likely this will come in the form of advances in intelligence, automation and orchestration. We have already seen vendors dabble with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to accelerate the identification of an attack and support the orchestration of more automated responses.

It has been particularly effective when entities or events can be easily incriminated or exonerated, such as in the incident response process. A large organization can average close to 17,000 alerts a week, which is why only one in five alerts ends up being something worth dealing with.

A solution, however, that can automate investigations and help prioritize subsequent activities is sustainable. Hence, we have seen an explosion in the IR automation market – the Enterprise Strategy Group found that 56% of enterprise organizations “are already taking action to automate and orchestrate incident response processes;” Technavio has the IR system market growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%.

To truly ease the burden on cybersecurity analysts and improve the efficiency and productivity of their cybersecurity infrastructure, organizations need to look for and demand more of these kinds of innovations from their technology vendors.

Services Play a Viable Role in Augmenting Capabilities
The reality is there are always times when organizations, even those with SOCs that are skilled and staffed appropriately, may need a little help. This is where services come in; we are finding there is greater acceptance that augmenting resources with a service offering can be a good way to enhance the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy and implementation.

An outsider’s view can give organizations the knowledge they need, a fresh perspective or a new way of thinking that helps drive better decision-making and ultimately better security.

The problem is managed security services providers (MSSP) are having to staff up themselves to meet the demand, which is why we’ve seen some a lot movement in this space. For example, there has been FireEye’s acquisition of Mandiant, IBM’s acquisition of Lighthouse Security, and BAE System’s acquisition of SilverSky, etc.

Ultimately, being able to deliver the experience and know-how organizations need will help close the gap and strengthen overall security.

Educational Opportunities are Key to Bolstering General Awareness and Expertise
At the end of the day, nothing replaces the knowledge and expertise of an in-house analyst. Only they truly understand an organization’s nuances, putting them in the best position to effectively identify, contain and fully remediate many of the more sophisticated attacks targeting the organization.

Unfortunately, as we’ve already mentioned, these folks are in short supply, so organizations need to look across their IT organization to develop cybersecurity awareness and know how.

Training courses taught by experts with real-world experience and include lab time are invaluable for building the skills that will be applicable to strengthen the organization’s security stance. Virtual sandboxes (vSandbox) and Ultimate Test Drives (UTD) are also good tools to deploy. They allow attendees to test and work with solutions in a safe environment, so they can see firsthand how they can be deployed and used to improve the cybersecurity capabilities of the organization’s own environment.

Ultimately, to address the cybersecurity gap and all the threats that are targeting an organization, it will take a confluence of technologies, services and experiential learning. Together, organizations can deploy the skills and capabilities they need to keep up, and ideally get ahead, in this harried cybersecurity landscape.

Source: InfoSecurity Group
Author: Pradeep Aswani

Risk Leadership: A Necessary Embrace for Nonprofit Leaders

Risk Leadership: A Necessary Embrace for Nonprofit Leaders

Generally, when we talk about risk management for nonprofits, there is a note of panic in the conversation, as we hold the image of organizations teetering with the uncertainties of government policies and funding, philanthropists changing the focus of their giving, and increasing demand for services. In fact, grantspace.org quoted the Alliance for Nonprofit Management as defining risk management as a discipline intended to identify and protect against any threat to an organization’s ability to deliver on its mission. It is a definition based on fear: fear of loss. A report covered by NPQ in 2016 represents another example of this approach.

In 2017, NPQ devoted an entire issue of its print journal to the subject of risk management in the nonprofit sector. The focus was on how to move from risk management to risk leadership, with an interview with David Renz providing focus for what that actually means. Not only do nonprofits live in a world of risk, but at times it is important to acknowledge that risk fully and even use it as a way to move forward.

A recent article in the Greenwich Sentinel by Michele Braun builds on this idea and proves some very simple how-to’s for nonprofit boards and leaders. Braun, director of the Institute for Managing Risk at the Manhattanville School of Business, argues that if nonprofits do not take any risks at all, they cannot grow, adapt, or respond to the needs of their clients. The question, instead, is how to be intentional about which risks to take on and how to avoid ones that could be detrimental to the organization’s survival.

Nonprofit leaders should ask a few key questions:

  • What risks do we face that can derail our mission?
  • What risks can we take that would help us accomplish our mission?
  • What processes do we have in place for assessing and managing risk?
  • Why haven’t we committed to be a risk-aware and risk-savvy organization?

Two easy steps to take, according to Braun, involve annually having a look at risk and your organization. A conversation among staff and representatives throughout all strata of the organization could lead to clearer understanding of what has changed internally and externally that might alter the risk landscape. Are there new threats or opportunities the organization should be aware of and act on? People from outside the organization should be included in this discussion, as they may see things from a different angle and set of experiences.

In addition, also on an annual basis, the organization’s insurance carrier should be asked to review coverage and services. Periodically, the organization should ask an insurance provider that is not their current carrier what they would propose as coverage. There may be something that the current provider is overlooking.

Inherent in what Braun is saying is that although we need to be aware of and prepared for risks, we need not always live in fear of them. A risk management policy can include more than simply how not to be devastated by a negative risk. It can also include ways to be aware of and take advantage of risks that will help us grow. By managing the process of taking a strategic risk, and with some forethought, your nonprofit can have the courage to do something new while minimizing the potential downside.

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

Author: Rob Meiksins

5 Tips For Picking Password Management Software

5 Tips For Picking Password Management Software

How many passwords do you use for work? Five? 10? More? Most nonprofit staffers have too many passwords to remember them all. This leads to bad habits –writing them down on sticky notes, sharing them with colleagues, or reusing the same password over and over. These bad habits can put your organization’s data at risk.

Many nonprofits are turning to password management services such as Dashlane, LastPass, and Sticky Password. These tools allow you to use just one long, complex password behind which you can store all your passwords. Most tools can be configured to automatically enter the right password whenever you go to an account website or open an application.

Some people worry that putting all your passwords in one place is too risky because one hack opens the door to all your data. That’s a valid concern, but chances are that the encrypted system used to manage your passwords and the value-added services you get from a password manager will make you more secure than whatever you’re doing currently.

If you’re interested in implementing a password manager at your organization, here are a few of the features you should look for.

  • Enterprise Control. One of the biggest benefits of a password manager is the ability to manage every password user at your organization. Look for a service that allows you to turn off access for people who have left your organization and select the users who should and should not have access to specific accounts. A good system will allow you to maintain this admin-level control without giving you direct access to any password content.
  • Audits and Changing. Many password managers can guide users to choose stronger passwords. Some will audit your passwords and suggest ways to strengthen them. Many also allow you to schedule password changing and even automate password changes.
  • Two-Factor Authentication. A good password management vendor will understand your concern that one password in the wild can lead to dozens more roaming passwords. Two-factor authentication, a method that requires you to verify your identity in a second way, adds an extra layer of security to make it more difficult for a thief to get into the system.
  • Multiple Devices. Chances are your staffers want to use various operating systems and mobile devices. Look for a password manager that is compatible with PCs, Macs, and all the various mobile devices out there.

Source: The Nonprofit Times