The global economic crisis has imposed higher risks and challenges for board governance.
Boards of technology companies have significant challenges. Often times they have incomplete management teams, inexperienced founders, lack of resources and more. In the TechAssure Association annual risk report, we cite that global regulations also impact the effectiveness of board governance.
During the second set of meetings during the Global Strategic Leadership Forum in Atlanta, the World Affairs Council stated that contemporary global companies face more intense governance issues than ever before. Their determinations have led to discussion on how globalization has called on companies to re-examine their risk management strategy in order to successfully adapt to the complicated matrix of the regulatory environment.
The World Affairs Council stresses the fact that the board should re-evaluate governance strategies to include not only profitability and growth, but escalating risks due to the overly complicated regulatory processes they face in the U.S. and other sovereign nations. Unfortunately, government intervention in company dealings can come suddenly and unexpectedly. Rules and regulations across the globe can be conflicting which makes the governance of an international board even more complex; diluting the potency of solid governance strategy.
Regulatory laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK’s United Kingdom Bribery Law, and the Dodd-Frank Legislation have had a major impact on internationalized business board governance. Conflicting global legislation can have major consequences for international technology companies. Even if an infraction occurs in a small jurisdiction and is committed by one employee, the board must be informed so that they may take action to avoid catastrophic damage to a firm’s finances and reputation.
These regulations have increased risks to firms to the technology industry. A strong board which implements a versatile board governance strategy is the only way in which a company in today’s market can survive and flourish globally. Consistent risk audits must be performed regularly and CEOs and board members must remain vigilant; reassessing strategies and making adjustments which correspond with audit results.
Board members and officers are faced with increasing personal risk in an ever changing global regulatory environment. Working with a TechAssure Association member can help your board stay protected and help your firm develop a broad global risk management strategy in a rapidly changing world. Please contact us for more information.
Article Credit: TechAssure Association by Julie Davis
It’s one thing to worry about malware infecting your computers but another to worry about how long you will be out of business. Who has considered purchasing an internet security and privacy insurance policy? Perhaps you should start considering one if you currently don’t have one.
Imagine one of your employees opening their inbox along with their unread emails and suddenly, completely unnoticeable, your employee opens an email linked to malware. Let’s say you have an online store that allows you to sell online goods that can be streamed or downloaded from a customer’s computer, but after that malware goes viral you are done for. Everything shuts down and you cannot operate—not only do you have to pay people to clear up the virus, but you aren’t making any money either. It’s extremely realistic and devastating all at the same time, but there are ways to soothe the pain. Looking into an internet security and privacy insurance policy that includes business interruption may seriously be worth your while if you feel threatened.
This could also work for small local businesses like coffee shops and ice cream parlors—if a fire came rolling through and destroyed your physical property you would still be out of business for a portion of time. However, if you have business interruption coverage then this will offset financial losses resulting from business closure due to a covered peril. There are different policies for everyone and even though it is cliché, it is better to be prepared than deal with the consequences all with your lonesome bank account.
Turns out our friends in the tablet industry were keeping little white lies from us, and one person in particular is not a happy camper. Andrew Sokolowski, a lawyer based in Los Angeles, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft on Tuesday for allegedly misleading consumers about the amount of storage space on the Surface tablet after he ran out of space on his 32 GB tablet shortly after buying it. Apparently, the Surface tablet is lying about the storage space and in reality 32 GB equals 16 GB because all that other storage is inaccessible and unusable!
This goes for all tablets and smartphones! For example, for those of you with 16 GB iPads, guess what… you really only have a little more than 14 GB of available storage. Now that’s not as extreme as Microsoft, but geez why not market it as is? Well, that is just what Microsoft started to do in early November right before the Surface debuted sales and their website is currently updated with information about the amount of available storage space. However, the company should not assume all customers understand the operating system and that pre-installed applications reside on the device’s internal storage thereby reducing the total free space.
In Microsoft’s defense, they did point out that you can add more storage through the microSD card slot or the USB port. In the end, people don’t want to spend that much money on a tablet where they only have access to 50% of its memory. I hope Microsoft is financially prepared for anything that comes their way regarding this issue. One little lawsuit can turn into several, and unless Microsoft has some form of coverage they will be paying every penny out of their own pocket.
For those of you tech saavy people, Google has recently released their Chromebook. A portable notebook that is “cloud-based” and accessed through your Google credentials. This sophisticated notebook is powered by an ARM processor comparable to that of tablets and smart phones, but lacks the noisy fan of laptops. It also only weighs 2.4 pounds and measures only seven tenths of an inch thick and it is all for the low price of $249. The Chromebook holds 16-gigabytes of local storage but 100-gigabytes of cloud storage and it will not run your Microsoft Office programs—however, through Google Drive, you will be able to edit and access saved documents. Also, the Chromebook has a beautiful Samsung screen and connects to the internet through WiFi, but in a few weeks they will release a 3G version.
Comparable to that of the MacBook Air, the Google Chromebook is an excellent alternative for many people who are looking for something a little more affordable. Let’s face it, after reading the reviews and at only $249, it is a pretty good steal. The battery lasts for about six and a half hours on one charge, and there are two USB ports, an SD card slot, and an HDMI port for sharing content with TVs. Ideally, you would use the Chromebook as you would use your tablet or smart phone—it’s really designed for people who want more comfort and the feel of a laptop but without the weight. Basically, Google created this device for those who want a second or third computer that is not complicated to use, but don’t want to spend a large lump sum of money.
I wonder how well it’s going to sell with Apple just releasing its iPad mini and other competitive tablets out in the market.
Who hear hates getting a call from their bank notifying you that your card seems to have been breached and now you need a new one? I DO! In fact, this just happened recently to me and I was wondering where and who could have breeched my information. This sort of stuff happens every day to people all over the world, and it is so frustrating because of how common it is. Companies need to find better strategies to prepare for and prevent security breaches.
Here’s a little story I came across on the Wall Street Journal—it turns out our friends at Barnes and Noble had a not so small breach. Tuesday evening Barnes and Noble warned there had been a breach in their pin pads. Some genius got a hold of so many devices in SIXTY-THREE different stores in NINE different states and stole our personal card numbers and pins! The states that were affected are California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. The case had been handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and they asked not to disclose the matter to the public for fear of impeding an investigation. However, Barnes and Noble did let the public know Tuesday evening, and a spokesman for the FBI said it was investigating the incidents. The U.S. attorney’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
I hope Barnes & Noble have some sort of coverage on this because I can just envision costs rising and rising and lawsuits flowing in like a massive flood. No matter how prepared people think they are, there is always going to be some risk that is unforeseen.
Well, I’m not pointing any fingers but it’s good to have an idea of where that alert on my card might have come from.
With more and more new and old companies gathering our personal information, there is so much electronic and digital data out zipping across the internet. It is no surprise that professional hackers can easily access this information, but in this day in age it’s imperative we protect our data property. The fact of the matter is that the social security numbers, email addresses, bank/ credit information, and all of that other personal information we withhold in our precious drives or clouds can be accessed by vicious hackers… and when that happens… LAWSUITS my dear friends, LAWSUITS! All of that sumptuous personal and sensitive data that has been so kindly given to us must be protected beyond the average hacker.
Now, the question is, HOW do we protect ourselves on top of that data? Insurance, people, it’s that simple. Not many people know about cyber insurance, but have no fear because that is why we are here!
A good cyber policy starts with third and first party coverage for the loss of or damage to your stored digital data. This is what we call Network Security and Privacy Coverage. This coverage comes in handy when, say for example, one of your employees decides to take work home on their laptop and then the laptop is stolen and there goes the precious data. Not entirely getting the gist yet? Here’s another scenario, one of those genuine cyber criminals infects several hundred thousand computers and all of your data is lost… you are in for an insipid long-haul.
Cyber insurance pays for the recovery of this lost or stolen data and even protects you from any lawsuits that are filed against you and your company. These costs can summate to $6.75 million, not to mention you have to notify stakeholders, credit monitors, deal with data restoration, and regulatory fines.
So let’s get down to the numbers, shall we? The average costs for an insurance policy are between $3K and $100,000 depending on the size of your company and depth of handling sensitive data.. All in all, it’s worth getting that minor dent in the budget to protect your cyber property versus dealing with the colossal financial damage when it finally does happen.
In the past 12 months, several management liability insurance carriers have changed their underwriting guidelines for privately held California insureds.
Some of the changes include:
- Increased rates
- Increase retentions
- Reductions in coverage
- Reductions in total limits offered
- Reductions or removal of wage and hour defense cost sub limits
- Non-renewal of certain insureds based on industry
In recent years, there has been a surplus of capacity from Management Liability Insurance carriers to write accounts at attractive rates and terms. The marketplace appears to be reaching a point where this capacity will no longer be utilized to offer terms we have been accustomed to seeing.
Why is this happening?
- Poor economic conditions
- EPL claims expenses rising
- Wage and Hour claims being far more prevalent than anticipated
- Increase in D&O claims
What should I expect?
- Increases in retentions and premiums
- Defense costs for wage and hour claims will be harder to get
- Non-renewals by some carriers based on class of business
The bottom-line is that the California MLI marketplace is changing and there are many advantages in being prepared. Please call 415-257-2100 or click here to visit our website.
Leftcourt, Paul. Hardening Management Liability Marketplace for California Clients. San Francisco: Socius, Mar. 2011. PDF.
Many people know absolutely nothing about Errors and Omissions Insurance. Some have a general idea, but choose to believe that it does not apply to their personal situation. This is not a good thing. In reality, this type of insurance applies to almost every profession. Errors and Omissions Insurance covers mistakes (errors and omissions) that cause financial harm to another person. It helps an individual or company from bearing the full cost of defense for lawsuits and related cost of “lives or property lost” concerning the error or omission. If you have any effect on the financial standing of the people you work with, you should consider looking at your options for coverage.
How does it apply to technology companies?
Errors and omissions insurance coverage is the cornerstone of a technology company’s insurance program. In addition to coverage for professional services, this policy can cover network security, personal injury, privacy liability, intellectual property, copyright, and trademark.
As you can see, this type of insurance covers a wide variety of liabilities. Come visit our website to find a policy that fits your needs!
One of the biggest technology manufacturers in today’s market, Sony, is expected to report a loss of 3.2 billion dollars for this fiscal year. Based out of Japan, the company had nine production plants that were damaged by the tsunami in March 2011. This caused massive disruption to supply chains and domestic consumption. A devastating national disaster like this could not have come at a worse time for a company like Sony. A series of hacker attacks on their online networks, a declining DVD industry, lack of a stronghold in the video gaming industry, and declining TV sales were all pre-tsunami issues that the company was dealing with. Not to mention, this will be the third consecutive year that the company is expected to lose money. It is horrible when something like this occurs, but it is never a bad idea to be prepared.
Here are some ways that you can be prepared for a natural disaster:
- Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
- Flood Insurance Coverage
- Earthquake Insurance Coverage
One of the most important things you can do is be aware of your surroundings and the potential risks that you may face based on your area. If you have any questions contact us today! Call us at 877-500-6997
The difference between an internet company’s success and failure is dependent on the number of people who access their website. Trying to figure out how to get more web surfers on your page is a dilemma that companies deal with everyday. One way to promote your website is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Utilizing an SEO Consulting Agency could be one of the most important things a company does to market themselves on the internet.
Here are some ways that SEO agencies can help businesses with online brand management:
- SEO Consulting helps companies keep up with latest monitoring tools, analytics, and changes to search engine algorithms. These tools give valuable information about what is working and not working.
- They assist brands in improving rakings on search engines and adding to overall public visibility.
- Implementing positive brand strategies to deal with negative search results.
- Help increase brand acceptance, loyalty, and credibility.
When managing a growing brand, businesses should consider different types of technology insurance. Take advantage of our E&O policy, our Office Package, and our Management Liability coverage that we offer on our website.