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Archive for category: TECHASSURE INFORMATION

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Mark Ware Elected as Chairman of TechAssure Association

Denver, CO, January 1, 2017 – IMA, one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokers, announced that Mark Ware, Senior Vice President of IMA was recently elected as chairman of TechAssure Association Inc., a consortium of independent insurance agents and brokers who focus on technology-related risks and has demonstrated advanced expertise in managing the technology, life sciences, clean tech industries, as well as the firms that fund them.

In his role as Chairman, Mark will work directly with all TechAssure committee chairs and strategic alliances ti ensure that the association’s goals and objectives are reached.

As the leader of IMA’s Technology Practice, Mark has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, and has been with IMA since 2002. Mark has been involved with TechAssure since 2004 and has previously served as Chairman of the multinational trade association. “Mark is one of the true leaders in the technology-risk space and has been a vital part of TechAssure for over a decade,” said Garrett Droege, Executive Director of TechAssure Association. “Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role and I am personally excited for where his leadership will take us in 2017.

“TechAssure is one of the most progressive and respected member-driven associations in the insurance industry and I am honored to serve as Chairman for a second term.” said Mark Ware. “We continue to evolve and prosper by expanding our global footprint while bringing world class resources, education, and technology to our members.”

About The IMA Financial Group

The IMA Financial Group, Inc. (IMA) is a diversified financial services company specializing in risk management, insurance, employee benefits solutions and wealth management. It employs nearly 700 associates at offices in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, New York and Texas. The IMA Financial Group is comprised of IMA, Inc., the ninth-largest independently owned retail insurance broker in the U.S.; Signature Select LLC, a retail insurance broker subsidiary providing personal and  business insurance services for midsized organizations; Towerstone, Inc., a wholesale insurance broker; Eydent Insurance Services, a managing general underwriter specializing in niche solutions; CORnerstone Risk Solutions, an alternative risk services company; and TrueNorth, Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that provides professional asset management and investment consulting services.

About TechAssure

Established in 2000, TechAssure is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to advancing corporate insurance and risk management practices for companies with technology-related risks. The association is comprised of independent regional insurance brokers located across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and India.

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TechAssure Unveils New Brand Identity

TechAssure is proud to announce the launch of the new corporate logo and update to its brand identity.

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Over the last 15 years, TechAssure has grown from a small trade association into a global network of the best insurance brokers working in the tech risk sector today. We have refreshed our logo to better brand the association to our key audience and to symbolize our growth and evolution.

The new logo, as approved by TechAssure’s Executive Committee, better reflects our involvement in the technology-related industries and incorporates a unique “TA” icon design that will help unify our brand across multiple channels.

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5 Basic Steps to Get Started in Enterprise Risk Management

If you are an innovative firm, then managing risk is an essential part of doing business. There are no standard enterprise risk management (ERM) plans that fit every technology firm. Each innovative firm is different and an Enterprise Risk Management program has to be designed to fit the specific needs on an individual business.

But there are five basic steps that a technology firm can take when starting their Enterprise Risk Management program. The ERM program should reflect the company’s culture and particular structure.

1. Personnel – The first step to developing an effective ERM plan is to involve key company personal. A team has to be assembled that will be responsible for overseeing the creation of the ERM plan as well as its implementation. Who are the key people in your organization that will be involved in establishing your enterprise risk management program?

2. Preparation – ERM preparation requires a realistic approach. By now you should have taken the basic steps to identify the critical risks that your organization faces. The next step will be to better determine your level of acceptable risk retention. Implementing an ERM program can help you broaden your scope of methods for managing those risks.

3. Documentation – The research involved with creating a company’s ERM plan needs to be thoroughly documented. This may involve interviewing key managers as well as conducting risk surveys and more. Sharing such documents among key personal can provide valuable ideas and provide resolutions for better managing those risks. The ERM plan should now be put together and reviewed. But keep in mind, an ERM program is always a working document. As your organization grows and changes, your ERM program will need to adjust.

4. Implementation – Once the ERM plan is created and passes the approval process, it is time to put it into place. All people involved with the ERM plan must be know their responsibilities. The plan needs to have event identification, risk impact response as well as defined actions that will be taken. An ERM plan without any implementation is not helpful in moving your organization to a higher level.

5. Monitor – Once an ERM plan has been created and put in place, it’s important it also be supervised. This can involve periodic audits, reviews, assessments and more. Effective supervision might also involve third parties to make certain the ERM plan is current and meeting all designated goals. Regular ERM monitoring will need to be done for the long term.

It’s important for companies in the technology and life sciences industries to manage all of their organizational risks. To do this properly may require getting assistance from industry experts. The members of TechAssure Association have the knowledge and experience necessary to provide expert advice for effective risk management. Contact us today to learn more.

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Corporate Risks and Cyber Criminals Lurking in the Cloud

Most of us are already aware of the benefits of cloud computing. But what many don’t realize is that cyber criminals are also harnessing the power of the cloud to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Phishing scheme artists, for one, have learned to utilize the redundancy, scalability, and automation powers of the cloud to gain illegal access to bank accounts. This is easily accomplished by procuring cloud services through a website with an approved, though likely stolen credit card. This sets the stage for criminals to work their craft anonymously and make them even harder to catch.

What are the risks of cloud computing to a corporation?

There are many risks that a company faces from the use of cloud computing. Some of the major risks include disputes over ownership of data, records and assets. Risks can also include lost data, unavailability of information and malicious attacks. In addition, risks from shared access, authentication and authorization are broad.

Will a Commercial General Liability respond to data breaches or cloud computing risks?

No, your Commercial General Liability will not respond to claims that arise from data breaches or activities in the cloud. In order to protect against those types of risks, a company should consider the benefits of purchasing a cyberliability policy that is designed around your unique risks.

What can a company do to prevent these types of security breaches to your network?

The good news is that cloud providers are more diligent than ever in detecting unusual patterns of activity as they monitor how customers utilize the service. One very effective measure is the deployment of a dedicated antifraud team trained to recognize illicit activity from the start, such as the detection of a stolen credit card to procure cloud services. However, this does not mean you should relax your own security measures. Whether your data sits on another server, or is in the cloud, it is your corporate asset and you should take appropriate steps to protect that risk. Companies should be on the lookout for any security loopholes that allow easy access from unauthorized parties.

Working with a member of TechAssure Association can provide your organization with a range of insurance and risk management tools to help you manage your risks in the cloud. Contact a TechAssure Association member for more information on risk management services that can protect your corporate assets.

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Ten Tips for Establishing a Board of Directors that Will Ensure Your Company’s Growth

Establishing a board of directors helps take your business to the next level. As a company grows, one may find it needs a board to keep the company running smoothly and efficiently. Being an entrepreneur, it is satisfying watching your company succeed, here are some tips to help you decide how to form the board of directors perfect for your firm.

  • Always plan for the long term. Recruit directors you feel will make it a priority to further company growth.
  • Root out the potential leader. During the establishment of your board, there will be an individual who stands out from the rest as your right hand man or woman. This individual should be a natural leader with exceptional governance skills. If possible this individual should be trained or chartered by the National Association of Corporate Directors
  • Create clear and concise job descriptions for each member. Executive and non-executive directors should have a clear idea of their responsibilities. These job descriptions should help the board tackle issues directly and strategically.
  • Each member should be and integral part of the team. Each should be diverse and well versed in their field of governance, but also be able to work well in a team environment.
  • Pick those who are not afraid to disagree with you on certain issues. Each individual should not be afraid of conflict and should be able to challenge certain decisions they feel will be damaging to the company. The board is not there to agree with you %100 of the time, they are their to help the company exceed expectation.
  • Seek consensus on all issues presented to the board. After discussion, presentation, and analysis, the board should be able to come to important decisions in matters of importance. Majority rules.
  • Be clear about each individual’s specific role on the board and allow each to stick to his or her position. For example do not combine or confuse CEO and the chairman as one in the same; delegate accordingly.
  • Respect the Hierarchy established on your board. It is the board’s collective wisdom and enhanced discipline that will get the job done and your company growing.
  • Always seek expert advice. If you need help deciding on how your board should be set up, don’t be apprehensive about asking for help.

In this tough economy, it is the professionals at TechAssure that understand that it is the entrepreneur who will keep America’s economy on track. Contact a TechAssure member to learn more about the insurance products and services we provide in management liability. Let us help you keep your business growing.

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What is Cyberliability Insurance?

A Chubb Group survey recently found that 2 in 5 companies suffered from a computer security issue in a 12-month period, with the typical data breach costing $5.5 million in organizational costs for 2011. About a quarter of the respondents expect another major incident this year. Yet, 65 percent do not have the proper cyberliability insurance to respond to their exposures. In the study it finds that the most likely reason for the omission is that most people don’t know what cyberliability is and that insurance protection exists for it. Further, most buyers don’t understand that the insurance policies vary greatly from carrier to carrier.

Cyberliability refers to the risks that your company faces from the operation of your network. The exposures include first and third party risks. It could involve risks to your company when information is compromised. or it may involve a virus entering your system and destroying your product data, a hacker stealing the customer credit card numbers stored in your database. It could also include a third party suing you for inadvertently putting a copyrighted picture on your website without permission.

When such incidents happen, at the very least, you’ll spend time and money to restore information, eliminate the threat, and perhaps, deal with any public relations fallout. Your company may also need to compensate third parties for any damages they suffered because of your computer problems.

Although specific policies differ, your traditional business insurance does not generally cover cyberliability. The and legislation to deal with computer security is rapidly changing and still evolving. You need a policy that specifically addresses your cyberliability exposures.

Please contact a TechAssure member to learn more about the insurance and risk management options available to your firm.