20Nov

Infographics: The State of AI in Business

The possibilities for how businesses communicate with their customers in real-time, manage their operations, and maintain business continuity during the pandemic are expanding thanks to AI capabilities. Companies are figuring out new ways to innovate and grow as technology develops.

Here are statistics on AI in terms of its use and value in business.

The state of AI in business infographicsWith the inevitability of AI growth and use in a business’ day-to-day transactions, it also asks whether enterprises are taking enough measures to protect themselves from liability while using AI.

If your need help finding liability insurance for your business in Hong Kong, connect with us today.

13Nov

Four Cybersecurity Outlook for Small and Medium Businesses in 2023

In the post-COVID-19 era, the market for cybersecurity insurance is anticipated to grow from US$ 11.9 billion in 2022 to US$ 29.2 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 19.6%.

Cyber insurance will be bought by more SMBs than ever. Industry research found that only 15% of SMBs had purchased some form of cyber insurance, even though cybercrime was one of their top concerns. This means that for the foreseeable future, cyber insurance represents the single biggest growth opportunity for carriers, brokers, and MGAs.

According to a recent survey by Inc.com, which found that there are more than 30 million small top midscale businesses in the US alone, 77% of these companies believe that adopting technology throughout their company is a key factor in their growth.

Cyber insurance will be a part of every organization that depends on digital technology currently or in the future.

Here are four outlooks for cybersecurity in 2023:

1. Insurance companies will factor in a company’s existing (or non-existing) cyber security measures.

For carriers and policyholders that lack an active risk management system for these risks, the cost of mitigating and insuring data breaches and other cyber catastrophes will keep rising. For small and medium-sized firms, a cyber event often costs insurance more than US$150,000.

The average cost of a cyber incident for large businesses is around US$10 million. Carriers will demand more security from businesses to buy insurance to reduce those expenses and keep a successful book of business.

We predict that, at the very least, policies with limits of more than $500,000 will need to have anti-virus, firewall, two-factor authentication, backup, and encryption.

2. Companies that’ve already experienced data breaches will have a harder time finding a cyber insurance provider.

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office  (gao.gov), the increasing threat of a cyber breach will drive an upsurge in cyber insurance premiums while reducing availability.

In 2020, 47% more buyers chose cyber coverage, up from 26% in 2016. The cost of cyberattacks roughly doubled for American insurance companies between 2016 and 2019. And as a result, there was a significant rise in insurance prices. Due to the current shortage of insurance capacity in the market and the fact that many firms are unable to obtain cyber insurance at an acceptable price, costs are likely to increase.

3. Costs are projected to rise as a result of the market’s existing lack of insurance capacity and the fact that many businesses cannot find cyber insurance at a competitive price.

Brokerages must now be ready to discuss a packaged approach: a pre-placement cyber risk report, a competitive cyber insurance policy, and a platform that continuously monitors exposures throughout the policy’s lifetime and notifies the insured before a breach occurs. This will help clients avoid a price spike following a breach and a claim.

This strategy may lessen the need for some coverage restrictions or exclusions while preventing premium increases.

4. The adoption of AI-powered automated underwriting for cyber policies will keep expanding.

Providers can help their clients in getting the coverage they require, lower the chance of a breach, and prevent premium increases when carriers and MGAs use tested automated underwriting supported by tested technology. In order to provide the SMB market sector with a cyber insurance policy, automated data-driven solutions are essential.

If your business needs help finding the right cyber insurance, get in touch with us at Village Insurance Direct.

17Sep

2022 Stats on Cybercrime and Cyber Security

Today’s internet users and businesses need to have cybersecurity. Consider it to be your home’s equivalent of an alarm or automated lock system. Your home door shouldn’t be left unlocked for criminals, and the same goes for your computer. The dark web is absolutely not where you want any of your confidential information, especially those of your customers, to end up.

Reduce liability by increasing cyber security. This year, concerns about malware and phishing have increased because there are significantly more online transactions for businesses.

Here are stats to keep in mind:

2022 Cybercrime stats infographicsNeed help finding cyber insurance and liability cover for your business? We can help.

9Jul

Tips for Businesses: Adapting to a Hybrid Way of Working

A lot of businesses have shifted to hybrid work with part of the week spent in the office and the other days spent with employees working remotely. It can be tough to keep everyone on the same page and to keep company processes streamlined.

Here are a few tips on how businesses can adapt to a hybrid working environment:

 

1. Schedule regular check-ins: Have weekly or biweekly check-ins with employees, either individually or in small groups. This is a time to touch base and see how everyone is doing both professionally and personally.

2. Set clear expectations: When it comes to hybrid work, it’s important to set clear expectations from the start. Employees should know when they are expected to be in the office and when they are expected to work from home.

3. Encourage communication: In a hybrid work environment, there will inevitably be more communication via email, chat, and video conferencing. Encourage employees to over-communicate, rather than under-communicate. Create a hybrid work policy: A hybrid work policy should spell out the dos and don’ts of hybrid work. This will help to set clear expectations and avoid any confusion down the road. Invest in the right technology: In order for hybrid work to be successful, businesses need to

4. Be flexible: One of the benefits of hybrid work is that it allows for more flexibility. Employees may need to take a break in the middle of the day to pick up their kids from school or take a walk to clear their heads. As long as they are getting their work done, be flexible with their schedule.

5. Set clear expectations and then let them work independently: Trust is key for this type of arrangement to be successful. If there are any misunderstandings, they can quickly snowball into big problems. If you micromanage them, it will only lead to frustration on both sides. If productivity has not dwindled, then you have nothing to worry about.

6. Invest in the right technology: In order for hybrid work to be successful, businesses need to invest in the right technology. This includes video conferencing software, project management software, and file-sharing platforms.

With technology, comes liabilities

Once your company has invested in the right technology, cybersecurity needs to be part of the package. Securing sensitive data, especially if you’re handling 3rd-party information needs to be a priority.

This can include investing in a good VPN, data encryption, and 2-factor authentication.

Create a remote work policy:

Much like your company’s regular attendance policy, hybrid work needs its own set of guidelines. This can help to prevent any misunderstandings about what is expected from employees. The policy should cover topics such as personal usage of devices, productivity trackers, etc.

Training employees about cybersecurity is also encouraged because your IT department is only as good as employees who understand the value of security protocols.

Regularly Back Up Data:

Backing up data is an essential part of any business’ cybersecurity strategy, but it’s even more important for hybrid businesses. This is because hybrid businesses often have employees working from different locations, which makes it more difficult to physically secure data.

Get Liability Insurance That Covers Cyber Security Breaches

This is one of the most important steps a company can take to protect itself against hybrid work-related risks. Cyber insurance can help cover the costs of data breaches, cyber extortion, and other risks that come with hybrid working.

Hybrid work can be a great way for businesses to adapt to the changing world. By being flexible with employees, investing in the right technology, and setting clear expectations, businesses can make hybrid work a success.

13Jun

The Value of Digital Health Services Post-pandemic

The pandemic has altered the way health care is given.

Insurance providers have reacted to the rising demand for digital and virtual GP services by developing products to fit customer needs.

Such programs have really taken off in terms of providing mental health support to consumers and those who have been affected by long Covid, and advisers recognise how crucial it is for clients to have access to them.

But, once Covid infection rates start to drop back, and restrictions are lifted entirely, will consumers continue using such solutions in the same way, or will they opt for face-to-face treatment as the country seeks to reclaim normalcy?

Increased Demand for Online Services

 

Jennifer Gilchrist, protection specialist at Royal London told Health & Protection said, “We’ve seen an increase in demand for digital health services coming out of the pandemic and people are becoming more used to virtual methods of accessing services.”

Gilchrist also added that many insurance providers devised more online and virtual capabilities quite quickly which has accelerated the digitalisation of an industry that’s been heavily reliant on more traditional processes when compared to other industries.

Ian Ranger, head of claims and medical underwriting from Canada Life also agreed and noted that a provider’s virtual support service was becoming part of customer expectations.

Health propositions lead at Aviva UK Health, Nina Brown, shared that for the first quarter of 2022, providers observed the average number of online appointments rise to 7,200 per month, with March seeing a record 8,500 appointments carried out.

Last October 2021, the average number of online appointments made was around 5,000 a month. These numbers are clear indications of continuing growth. Given this, healthcare providers, as well as insurers, need to respond to the demand and adapt.

Two factors must be kept in mind when innovating products/services:

1. speed
2. convenience

Less intrusive services and encourage patients to reach out more readily

 

The awkward waiting time at the doctor’s office or the energy-draining commute to the clinic can hinder some people to seek care. However, online services take away these factors and allow more people to reach out for mental health checks.

Virtual consults give plenty of breathing room for patients and lessen the anxiety some may feel when going to a therapist. Conducting a session in one’s comfort zone eases away a good chunk of the tension so there is more focus on more pending matters.

As the number of cases grows, digital delivery of services means long-term Covid patients don’t have to travel for treatment, as Dr Julie Denning, managing director of return-to-work rehabilitation firm Working To Wellbeing, points out.

“Those who have complex therapeutic demands, like those receiving cancer treatments or recovering from prolonged Covid,” Denning explained, “digital delivery means they don’t need to make additional travels outside of their home when they may be feeling exhausted, in pain, or concerned.”

The Demand for Digital Services is Unlikely Waning

While companies are making moves to return to work or have a hybrid setup, what healthcare providers and insurance can expect is the steadfast need for fast and convenient online services regardless of loose or non-existent restrictions.

Patients have realised the value of such services and there is very little sign of going back from this point forth.

 

20Feb

Increased Cyber Risks from Remote Work

Working remotely has become the default mode for many businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic. While this allows companies to continue operations while reducing their employees’ chances of getting sick it also opens up the company to new cyber risks.

Working from home requires access to Wi-Fi that may be insecure despite thinking otherwise. In the case of home networks, they are usually set up in default mode that permits devices to connect without passwords.

This even includes Wi-Fi-enabled appliances, monitors, door locks surveillance cameras, speakers and more. Your corporate mobile device may be using this Wi-Fi network also. And even if you are able to use a VPN and private servers, this does not mean your confidential data is not exposed to grave cyber threats.

The multiple variables of all your employees’ home network means that your IT department has to cover more computers. In addition, there will be some employees who don’t completely understand the probability of a data breach with an unsecured network – especially if they access work through public Wi-Fi like coffee shops for instance.

What can companies do to reduce the risk of cyberattacks while working at home? 

> Reinforce the use of VPNs for all remote staff

> Teach employees to scan devices before allowing them to connect with access by unauthorized software or hardware

> Double-check and lock remote devices wherever necessary to help reduce the possibility of cyber attacks without negatively affecting user experience.

> Disable split tunneling for VPN profiles to ensure that virtual employees won’t be able to access Wi-Fi networks directly without going through the corporate network first.

> Companies should also practice scheduled analysis of work-issued devices’ log data to improve detection of cyber incidents.

More importantly, companies should also update their cyber breach response strategies for the entire remote staff and practice plans through exercises with IT and security staff, along with officers and directors.

Many companies in Asia have been able to restructure operations and adapt to virtual offices. They are calling the remote workforce ‘the new normal’. Companies need to anticipate similar incidents like this pandemic – some may even pose more challenges.

For now, what’s needed are immediate measures to tighten online security of remote workers and revisit liability insurance policies that may not yet cover cybercrime-related claims.

12Nov

3 Common Ways Ransomware Gets to Your Computer

There’s a 50% chance that your computer at work could be infected with ransomware especially with more online interactions.

With ransom transactions averaging over US$80,000 in 2019, malicious software is quickly becoming cybercriminals’ choice of weapon.

Ransomware uses internal systems to encrypt a series of files and deactivate troubleshooting processes, preventing access to your own data.  The hacker essentially holds your data hostage until your business pays up a substantial amount.

Is your business prepared to deal with these types of cyberattacks now that you’ve shifted to more digital processes?

Cybersecurity training plus a good cybersecurity insurance plan are two crucial ways to safeguard your company from liability and the cost of cyberattacks. But how exactly does ransomware get to your computers and devices?

1. EMAIL

Ransomware sent via email is what’s usually called phishing. A majority of ransomware is delivered via phishing. Hackers use legitimate-looking emails to trick recipients into clicking a link or downloading an attachment that contains malware.

The recipient will then get redirected to a malicious site that starts the download of ransomware. Attachments to emails come in various formats like Word, PDF, Excel or ZIP files to make the email seem safe. When the attachment is opened, the ransomware instantly uploads itself, encrypting and holding files for the hacker.

To minimize the chances of falling victim to phishing, manually entering the links in your browser, hovering over links, and expanding shortened URLs can help prevent you from clicking on them.

For attachments, check if the sender’s email address is legitimate by reviewing the domain extension (e.g. sendersname@gmail-net.com is a suspicious address). And only open files sent by people who you trust.

This site helps you check if a certain domain is temporary or a throw-away: https://www.block-disposable-email.com/cms/

2. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

RDP is a communications protocol that allows IT admins to get access to other systems (e.g. company employees).  During the process of gaining access to a system, a computer can become exposed to hackers for a window of time. This is when hackers attack and deploy ransomware.

Make sure your IT puts in place authentication factors and added security measures for all your ports. This is more of a task for the IT department but is still worth knowing when you’re running checks throughout your system.

3. Illegal or Pirated Software

Some companies cut costs by subscribing to pirated or unlicensed software because they don’t see the value of cybersecurity in relation to the tools they use on their computers.

Hackers can easily embed malicious ware when you download from unsecured software sites.

The quick solution to this is to invest in licensed software especially if you’re using it daily. To prevent ransomware infections via pirated software, avoid downloading activators, key generators and software cracks from torrent websites. It’s also best practice to use a complete anti-malware application to detect any installations happening in the background while your computer runs throughout the day.

There are other channels to which malware infects systems. Make sure your employees undergo cybersecurity training and have a robust liability insurance cover in place to protect your business.

27Sep

5 Ways Cyber Insurance Will Change Cybersecurity

2020 changed the course of cybersecurity and the way we look at cyber insurance. Increased online interactions in both personal and business facets have highlighted possible points of attack on data which can lead to significant loss and security threats.

1. Increased scrutiny on claims and security in phone apps and software

There will be a greater emphasis on explicit details about cybersecurity measures such as employee online security awareness training, dark web monitoring, and verified back-ups (or how a provider stores and secures backup data).

Businesses can also expect cyber insurance providers to conduct network scans to see and experience how secure an app or software appears. Having these basic security measures in place will help cyber insurance providers determine the cost of premiums for a business.

2. Some industries may have a harder time finding insurance cover

Some of these industries are:

– SMBs with a high record count (e.g. medium-scale medical practices)
– Companies that move large amounts of money like manufacturers
– Organizations with historically poor security (e.g. local government units)

This does not mean cybersecurity will be completely inaccessible to these types of industries. It does imply that these groups will have to pay more or will need more effort to find a cover for them.

3. Specific features may be amended or taken out

Many cybersecurity insurers are making changes to help cover areas that may be more prone to risks or they may recommend add-ons for new security requirements.

Check the value of ransomware payments if it matches your business’ needs. Policy limits may be lowered so double-checking this feature is a must.

4. Higher premiums are inevitable but will be a NEED

The end of finding the cheapest cyber insurance came early this year when there was a global shift in how businesses should be looking at cybersecurity and the huge impact of hacking. Acting too late this 2021 will result in higher premiums in the future.

Most companies only think about cyber insurance after falling victim to an attack. Remember that your history as a business plays a significant factor in how much your premium will cost in the end.

Of course, there will still be good deals, especially from the venture capital side.

5. Validation of increased expenses in cybersecurity

This means is companies will have to really look at their liability insurance policies and include cyber insurance as an essential. Zero dollar deductible policies or cheap policies won’t cut it anymore.

Increased budget for the IT department will certainly become a trend with an emphasis on tools for better security measures as well as company training for online safety awareness.

This increased expense is a positive change for both business and consumer in the long run.

We will continue to see more shifts in the cybersecurity and cyber insurance space now that businesses have seriously considered pivoting to hybrid work set-ups. Stay tuned to see our analyses.

Need help finding cybersecurity insurance for your business in Hong Kong? Get in touch with us today.

 

7Aug

Infographic: The Cybersecurity Shortage

The projected loss from cyber attacks worldwide is forecasted to be in the trillions in 2021. With many companies shifting to virtual offices – some even permanently – malware, phising, and other forms of data breaches will most likely increase. However, data shows that there’s an alarming gap between the need for tighter cybersecurity and the number of organizations that understand its importance.

The infographic below provides impactful statistics and proposals to shorten the gap.

Sources:

https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-skills-shortage/

https://www.protectwise.com/post/survey-suggests-younger-generations-including-females-may-fill-the-cybersecurity-talent-gap/

https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-statistics/

2Aug

Understanding the Risks of Managing an e-Commerce Business and the Insurance You Need

E-commerce has had a huge impact in Asia even throughout the pandemic. People have been able to buy and purchase products overseas sans a physical store. The requirement of having a brick-and-mortar store has taken a backseat for many small business owners as well as large retail corporations.

And as is the case with anything emerging, the industry’s growth brings with it new risks that may not have existed a decade ago.

The fact that the e-commerce industry is growing at an incredibly fast pace is yet another reason for online retailers to make sure that they are protected from the many risks that can come with such rapid growth. According to recent studies, e-commerce sales increased to $4.058 trillion in 2020 and made up more than 14% of total worldwide spending.

Covid-19 has played a crucial part in this growth with lockdown and physical restrictions that encourage consumers to shop online.

So what are the risks involved?

1. Cybersecurity – e-commerce is one of the most targeted industries of cyber attacks, with 32.4% of all cyberattacks targeting this industry. Ecommerce stores are known to hold highly sensitive information such as a  buyers’ credit card information and home address.

Online shopping sites are liable for these types of breaches which can result in millions of dollars worth of lawsuits, especially for large companies. Having the right cyber insurance is a must-have.

2. Product Liability – Any product or service can malfunction and result in some form of injury or accident. Defective products or the lack of hazard warnings are grounds for legal liability even if you’re not the direct manufacturer. Online retailers have to remember that as long as you are part of the distribution chain, you may be deemed responsible.

Some companies have been opting to get insurance called Technology Errors & Omissions Insurance. This type of insurance combines product liability and cyber insurance, therefore addressing incidents involving physical injuries caused by a product, and the unauthorized disclosure of proprietary information, respectively.

Aside from product liability insurance, it’s recommended that companies purchase D&O insurance to have an added cover for directors, officers, and other decision-makers in the company in case of lawsuits.

3. Intellectual Property Issues – Copied designs and the use of copyrighted material (even if one does it unknowingly) can lead to legal problems for e-retailers. In fact, an e-commerce store can face liability related to a third party’s ad that’s seen on its website. A general liability insurance can cover these issues.

If your business keeps and receives shipped goods in a warehouse via a third-party provider, or if you ship your products directly to customers and other distributors, then cargo insurance may also be something to consider. This insurance covers your business from loss of inventory while in storage or shipping.

Need more information about the insurance you need for your e-commerce business? Get in touch with us today.