As, risk managers, we often get asked by clients, “what is the appropriate period to retain insurance policies” - the easy answer is “forever”... You are probably thinking that guidance seems a bit excessive, however quite a few types of policies, such as commercial general liability, may be triggered long after the policy has expired and thus should not be discarded but rather meticulously tracked.
Congratulations to Southern Marinas Holdings II, LLC on the purchase of Elliott Bay Marina, one of the largest private marinas on the West Coast. The ALS Team is proud to be part of Southern Marina’s acquisition team and appreciates the opportunity to partner with such a wonderful organization and its leadership team to support their risk management due diligence efforts. Click on the image below to read Southern Marinas full press release.
As organizations are becoming more aware of Cyber-attacks and Ransomware and are improving IT security tools they use; Ransomware and Cyber criminals are also evolving and are devising new ways to breach a company's systems. In addition, expenses related to Cyber breaches/attacks are steadily increasing. Ponemon's 2019 Cost of a Data Breach study noted that "breaches originating from a malicious Cyber-attack were not only the most common, but also the most expensive."
Below are several tips to help combat Ransomware and other Cyber threats:
- Strong passwords aren't enough - companies should be implementing and enforcing two factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access using a company account, especially for users with elevated access rights.
- "Over the counter" anti-virus is a bit outdated - look into rolling out Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) software. It's smarter and responds fast to threats than your average anti-virus software.
- Implement Email Spam Filtering - a quality spam Filtering service will not catch all spam and phishing attempts but it will prevent most of them from reaching a user's inbox; therefore reducing the threat that a user errantly clicks on a malicious link For the ones that do get through, educate your staff on how to identify and deal with phishing attempts.
- Introduce multiple point of redundancy - in some cases your backup system may be compromised or unavailable. Remember, cloud servers and backup systems can get hit with ransomware too. It's best to have a backup to your backup.
- Patch servers and computers regularly and update firmware on hardware devices.
Last but not least, make sure you have adequate Cyber insurance that covers ransomware events, extortion payments, legal and forensic fees and data recovery in additioon all of the other beneficial coverages that are provided by a Cyber Liability policy.
As the Covid related restrictions are being lifted and we are slowly returning to our pre-pandemic routines, we are all looking forward to celebrating Independence Day.
Fireworks are a staple of Fourth of July celebrations in the United States, and while some small towns are still scaling back their professional fireworks displays, Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks on the East River are back in full force. People are gathering again for cookouts in their backyards, parks and beaches to barbecue and put on their own firework displays.
The ALS team is celebrating our first Independence Day in our new home and, as always, our mindset is that of mitigating risks. To that end, we wanted to share some important points on the fireworks safety.
The Great American Flag - the largest flag ever made, measuring 193 feet by 366.5 feet - will be displayed on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on July 3rd and 4th as a salute to the nation's Bicentennial, it was announced today jointly by J.Clarence Davies Jr., Chairman of the New York City Bicentennial Corporation; David L. Yunich, Chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, and Dwight C. Minton, President of Church & Dwight Co., Inc. makers of Arm & Hammer products, sponsors of the Flag. Mr. Minton stated that the project has been undertaken because Arm & Hammer has been celebrating their 130th year during the nations' Bicentennial, and because "the traditions of our Company and those of America re so closely linked."
Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of summer and, as the AAA predicts, almost 37 million Americans will be travelling this Memorial Day for the first time in over a year.
Whether you and your family are planning a trip to the beach or just having friends over for a barbecue in the back yard, please stay safe and enjoy the long weekend!
As you and your loved ones gather to celebrate the unofficial start of summer, please take a moment to remember the true meaning of the Memorial Day and to honor those who sacrificed their lives for our country.
The ALS team wants to thank the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. We are deeply grateful and will always remember our fallen heroes.
Mother’s Day is a special day to honor all moms and while we honor our own moms, we wanted to give a shout out to all of the moms who are part of our team!
Cyber risk and, particularly, the risk from ransomware appears on everyone’s top risks list these days, including ours. The threat from a ransomware attack has rapidly increased over the past nine months, as many organizations continue to “work from home” which can come with more relaxed cybersecurity practices. As we go further into 2021, cybercriminals will continue to become more sophisticated, forcing these organizations to waste resources reacting to a ransomware attack.
Despite being full of positive, useful and educational information, the internet is chock-full of potential dangers, and your children can unintentionally get into quite a few uncomfortable and, sometimes, dangerous situations. These risks are even more prevalent now, as many parents are working from home and children are attending classes remotely. As highlighted in our past blogs on this topic, if you have a standard Homeowners policy, you will likely have little protection from the legal liabilities that can result from inappropriate actions via the internet. So, what can you do?
In the last 10 months so many employers have adapted to a remote workforce. Here at The ALS Group we are no different. We have highlighted a few ways we have remained connected as a team through this pandemic, and how we have driven productivity with the help of our employees!