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Professional liability insurance experts discuss cyber Risks in the Transportation Industry

Not only are cyber attacks increasing in size and severity, they are now affecting industries that were once relatively safe. This is especially true for the transportation and trucking sectors, as the adoption of new technologies has opened new doors for hackers.

In fact, just one cyber incident can put a trucking company’s vehicles, data and employees at risk. In order to protect your fleet, employees, customers and bottom line, it’s important to understand the common cyber risks in the transportation industry.

New Technology Vulnerabilities

With the advent of telematics and embedded software, trucks are more connected than ever before. While this connectivity can simplify data collection, increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve safety, it also increases the likelihood that a fleet will be targeted by a cybercriminal.

In just a few minutes, hackers can steal the private data your fleets collect. This data can then be ransomed against your firm. In addition, vehicles with embedded software can be accessed and taken control of by malicious parties, putting the safety of your drivers and the general public at risk.

Cargo Theft

Cargo theft is a chief concern for fleet managers, and new technology creates vulnerabilities that make it easier for criminals to steal freight.

Through a tactic known as “fictitious pickup,” thieves can easily look up the routes of valuable loads. Then, using fraudulent credentials, they can access a contract, arrive at the listed pickup point, load up the cargo and drive away, all without being detected. This deception can be incredibly costly and damage a fleet’s bottom line, productivity and reputation.

Vehicles with embedded software can be accessed and taken control of by your drivers and the general public at risk.

In addition to implementing the fictitious pickup scheme, criminals can steal cargo by hacking a truck’s telematics system and disabling its acceleration and brakes. After disabling the vehicle, the criminals could easily overtake the driver and take off with the freight. Using a similar strategy, criminals could hack a truck and strand the driver, suspending product delivery until a ransom is paid.

Loss of Personal Data

Any organization that stores or transmits sensitive data can become the victim of a cyber attack. For firms operating in the transportation industry, information at risk includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Cyber Risks in the Transportation Industry

  • Sensitive employee or customer data, including credit card numbers, addresses and birthdays
  • Sensitive information from vendors, providers and other partners
  • Any proprietary or intellectual property you store
  • Logistics, freight, billing and collection data

Theft of any of the above information can financially sink a company or take away its competitive advantage. In some cases, loss of sensitive data can enable competitors to steal processes, systems, concepts or designs.

Customize Your Protection with Cyber Insurance

As the transportation industry becomes increasingly connected, a wider range of data will be transmitted across networks. While storing data is a necessity for modern businesses, trucking firms will need to take the proper precautions in order to protect sensitive information, their fleet and customers.

The best way to protect your fleet from cybercriminals is through cyber insurance. These policies can be tailored to meet the unique needs of your firm, ensuring that you are ready if and when an attack occurs.

Need a professional liability insurance quote? Then contact us today.

© 2017 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Critical Cyber Exploits Affect Nearly All Computers

As professional liability insurance coverage professionals in Canada, we need to stay updated about risks in various industries. Cybersecurity researchers recently announced the discovery of two major security flaws that could allow hackers to bypass regular security measures and obtain normally inaccessible data. The flaws, referred to as Meltdown and Spectre, are both caused by design flaws found in nearly all modern processors. These vulnerabilities can be exploited to access all of the data found in personal computers, servers, cloud computing services and mobile devices.

Because Meltdown and Spectre are both caused by design flaws, experts believe that they will be harder to fix than traditional security exploits. Additionally, software patches that have already been released to help address the vulnerabilities can cause computer systems to slow down significantly, which may impact their ability to perform regular tasks.

Researchers believe that Meltdown and Spectre may be limited to processors manufactured by different companies, but also warn that the design flaws that contribute to Meltdown and Spectre have been present for years. Here are some key details about each flaw:

  • Meltdown: This flaw can be used to break down the security barriers between a device’s applications and operating system

in order to access all of the device’s data. Meltdown can be used to access the desktop, laptop, server and cloud computing systems, and can even be used to steal data from multiple users who share one device. Although researchers have only been able to verify that Meltdown affects processors made by Intel, other processors may also be affected. Many software developers have already released updates that prevent hackers from exploiting Meltdown.

  • Spectre: This flaw can be used to break down the security barriers between a device’s different applications and access sensitive data like passwords, photos and documents, even if those applications adhere to regular security checks. Spectre affects almost every type of computer system, including computers, servers and smartphones. Additionally, researchers have confirmed that the design flaw that enables Spectre is present in Intel, AMD and ARM processors that are used by nearly every computer and mobile device.

Software developers are currently working on a patch to prevent the exploitation of Spectre, but some experts believe that future processors may have to be redesigned in order to fix the vulnerability.

When Meltdown and Spectre were originally discovered in 2017, researchers immediately reported them to major hardware and software companies to work on security fixes could begin without alerting hackers. As a result, services and applications offered by companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon have already been updated to help defend against the flaws. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on a software patch to protect against these vulnerabilities. Here are some steps you can take to protect your computer systems and devices from Meltdown and Spectre:

  • Update all of your devices immediately, and check for new updates regularly. You should also encourage your friends, family members and co-workers to do the same.
  • Contact any cloud service providers and third-party vendors you use to ensure that they are protected against Meltdown and Spectre. Cloud services and computer servers are especially vulnerable to the exploits, as they often host multiple customers on a single device.
  • Install anti-virus and firewall systems to protect against regular malware. Researchers believe that hackers need to gain access to a device in order to exploit Meltdown or Spectre, so keeping your devices free of malware can help prevent data theft.

For additional risk management updates or more information about professional liability insurance coverage in Canada, contact KRG Insurance Brokers today.

The content of this News Brief is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. © 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The 10 Most Common Life Insurance Myths – as told by professional liability insurance coverage professionals

While we are professional liability insurance coverage professionals, we know a whole lot about life insurance. Just the term itself can put people on edge. People might think they are wasting time and money if they sign up for life insurance when they don’t consider it necessary.

However, you should purchase life insurance because it will be essential sometime in the future. Life insurance protects your loved ones in case something happens to you by designating beneficiaries who will collect financial benefits upon your death.

Term life insurance is generally the simplest and cheapest form—you buy coverage for a specific time period, and it can usually be renewed, but premiums will increase based on age and health factors. All other types of life insurance are permanent, but there are a few varieties—whole life, universal life and variable life. Each type is slightly different, making each one ideal for certain types of people.

The ten myths listed below are some of the largest misconceptions individuals have regarding the necessity of life insurance. Read on to learn why life insurance is important to purchase.

Myth 1:

I just simply don’t see the need for life insurance. No one is immune to having to pay back his or her financial obligations after death. If you have a vehicle to pay off, or credit card or student loan debt that has accumulated, life insurance is a very beneficial option for you. If you die unexpectedly, no one waves a magic wand and makes those responsibilities disappear—you have to make the preparations to take care of them, or your family members will be stuck with the bills.

Myth 2:

I’m young. Why would I start spending my money on life insurance now? Being young also usually means you’re more active and probably putting yourself at risk more often than the older generation by travelling, clubbing, hiking, boating, driving long distances and staying out later. Your body may be younger and less likely to break down on you, but your high-risk activities put you in the same boat as older, less healthy people.

Myth 3:

I’m a stay-at-home parent. There isn’t a need to replace my income since there isn’t an income to replace. If you’re a stay-at-home parent and you pass away, your spouse may not be able to afford childcare for your kids. Or, if there is no partner in the picture, your relatives or friends might not be able to take care of your children in a way that allows them to attend the same school, with the same parenting style you used, etc. Also, when the time comes for college, you will want your children to have the option of affording the education they desire.

Not having an income and staying at home means you are saving money you would be spending from a spouse’s income (or from any other source of income) on childcare and even on tending to your home. When you’re gone, those things still need to be covered, and life insurance can do that for you.

Myth 4:

My kids are all adults and my house has been paid off, so what do I need life insurance for? Everyone has daily living expenses. Just because the home is paid off doesn’t mean there aren’t other financial obligations for which your spouse would be responsible, such as owning multiple cars, a boat, an RV or another large purchase you both made later on in your lives. Also, consider this: If your spouse outlives you by 10, 20 or even 30 years, he or she might not be able to afford to stay in an assisted living centre when he or she can no longer take care of him- or herself.

You need to ensure that your spouse continues living with the same financial security he or she has with you now. You don’t want your spouse to fear to have to take care of daily expenses with only half the income.

Myth 5:

I’m a smoker. Insurance companies won’t even consider me. Being a smoker doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage. Your premium will be a bit higher than the premium for someone who doesn’t smoke, but it is more affordable than you may think.

Myth 6:

Even if I quit smoking, I’ll always be considered a smoker to insurance companies and be stuck paying a higher premium. Most insurance companies consider you a non-smoker if you’ve stayed away from cigarettes for at least a year. Even if the first six months were an accident because your spouse hid your cigarette packs, you can most likely get your premium lowered after a year.

Myth 7:

Life insurance seems too good to be true.

It can seem that way, but it’s not. Life insurance isn’t like one of those free vacation spam emails—it’s the real deal. As long as you keep paying the premium, you’re covered, whether that is until your kids move out or until your home is paid off.

Myth 8:

It is too much of a hassle to obtain life insurance. Finding life insurance isn’t as hard as you think. Getting a life insurance quote is quick and painless. All you need to do is provide basic information about yourself, including your height, weight, age and gender. Once you have a quote, you can choose the right coverage for you.

Myth 9:

I get life insurance through my job. Why would I need more? The life insurance you get through your job might not be adequate coverage. You should compare your family’s living expenses with your coverage to see if it’s sufficient to cover all of your family’s needs. You should be thinking about future responsibilities as well, like being able to pay for your children’s education after you’re gone.

Also keep in mind, like all good things, your employer-paid coverage ends when the coverage limit is met—which is the maximum amount your employer will pay out upon your death. Most experts suggest obtaining coverage five to eight times your yearly salary. If you are only covered for half of that amount, what will your family do when their living expenses exceed that amount?

Myth 10:

My mortgage lender provides me with coverage. Isn’t that enough for me? Your mortgage isn’t the only expense your spouse or children will have to take care of if you pass away—there are cars, college education, food, medical expenses, funeral costs—the list goes on. Life insurance can cover those for you.

Contact us for a professional liability insurance quote today.

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Stock Throughput Policy – a different take on professional insurance liability coverage

As the global economy expands, many businesses have more exposures to the transportation of their goods, both domestically and internationally. Traditionally, the responsibility for insuring goods travelling overseas fell on freight forwarders, while local insurers would provide coverage for cargo within the country. However, that arrangement led to potential gaps in coverage when loading and unloading cargo.

In the 1970s, insurers began to devise a type of marine coverage that could address this gap—something called a stock throughput (STP) policy. An STP policy provides end-to-end coverage for the insured’s cargo, both on land and on water.

What Does an STP Policy Cover?

An STP policy is meant to provide protection for the flow of goods from the production point to the final destination, typically covering physical damage to inventory—including works in progress and finished goods—while in transit. An STP policy can help provide continuous coverage to inventory throughout the entire supply chain.

In general, STP polices have the following three components:

  1. Ocean cargo insurance
  2. Inland transit
  3. Property/storage

STP policies are designed to integrate transportation, inventory storage, material handling and packaging by protecting the shipment of raw materials, works in progress and finished goods.

Why Would I Need an STP Policy?

Often, organizations will carry several policies to ensure deliveries make it to their customers safe and on time. While this insurance solution works for some, general coverage for goods often doesn’t include protection against catastrophes. What’s more, most insurance doesn’t provide coverage when your goods are in transit or when you ship goods to another country.

STP policies are essentially all-in-one policies that provide broad coverage, lower insurance costs and reduce insurer conflicts created by multiple policies. Premiums for STP policies are adjustable, allowing companies to purchase coverage that better suits their business.

What’s more, many STP policies can provide regulatory coverage, split limits on transit and storage, and reduce gaps in loss settlement significantly.

Benefits of STP Policies

STP policies are growing in popularity for a variety of reasons. Benefits of this type of coverage include the following:

  • There are no coverage gaps. Coverage begins the moment the insured assumes an interest in the covered goods and ends as soon as interest ends, even if the goods are in the hands of a third party.
  • There are no time limitations. Coverage continues as long as the insured has a risk, regardless of whether the goods are in transit or in storage.
  • There is a competitive rating structure.
  • Deductibles are low for goods in storage or detention, even in earthquake and windstorm zones.
  • Liability limits are high. Limits can exceed $100 million per location.
  • Catastrophic coverage is significant. STP policies cover perils that would otherwise be subject to sub-limits in property policies.
  • The goods remain insured regardless of the terms of sale, as long as there is still an interest in the goods at the time of loss.
  • STP policies help manage premium expenses by providing a choice of distribution channels. This flexibility can lead to more control of the supply chain and increased purchasing volume.

Although wholesale, retail, and food and beverage industries have historically benefited the most from STP policies, any industry sector with significant inventory and transit exposures can benefit from them.

Contact KRG Insurance Brokers to see whether an STP policy is right for your organization. We have the expertise to help you mitigate your risks and protect your bottom line.

Contact us for professional liability insurance quotes today.

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