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Archive for category: Privacy


The Multitude of Risks Facing the Life Science Industry

The life science industry by nature carries a multitude of inherent risk. The board of directors and executive body must address risk management on a continual basis, meeting constant demands stemming from partners, insurers, physicians, patients, lawyers, and media. As need arises, added complexity and heightened risk can overlap these issues, creating a more difficult environment for overall efficient company management.

Because of the nuances involved in the life science industry, you must take appropriate precautions to identify and evaluate all risks to your organization. They could include:

  • Compliance with numerous regulatory entities such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, etc.
  • The ability to adapt to constantly changing and accelerating global regulatory activities
  • Security breaches and IT failures
  • Inadvertent exposure of intellectual capital
  • Cost and availability concerns

Life Science firms can also take risk and turn it into a marketplace opportunity. The most common areas where we witness life science firms that manage the flip side of risk include:

  • Competitor product failure that allows for your firm’s product to become a forerunner for approval
  • Products are approved ahead of schedule, allowing for early availability
  • Product manufacturing improves or is produced ahead of initial projected time frame
  • An unanticipated gain in market need for a product or unanticipated market sharing upon launch of product

It is important to implement a broad risk management plan. Tips for advancing your risk management strategies include:

  • Keeping on or ahead of schedule for product review and release through strategic planning
  • Addressing increased demand for cost effective products from physicians, consumers, politicians and regulators and increased interest from investors
  • Heeding the call from consumers for safer or risk-free breakthrough therapies

Biopharmaceutical and life science firms need to rely on a comprehensive insurance plan to deal with an ever-evolving matrix of risk. TechAssure members can help your firm deal with a multitude of issues concerning risk management including, but not limited to: network and privacy security, increased global competition, loss of intellectual property and delays or business interruption in Research and Development. Please contact us for more information on how our members can help you minimize risk to your life science firm.


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.


Beef Up Computer Security with These No-Cost Tips

Your business survives on its data. Information about your customers, products in development, budgets, and employees must remain confidential and secure if you want your company to prosper. Protecting against viruses, corporate espionage, hackers, and malware generally requires some spending on software, hardware, and training. However, some basic tips can beef up your security without cost.

Prohibit the use of any password-protected websites on mobile devices in coffee shops, restaurants, and other areas with unsecured networks. This should extend not only to accessing confidential parts of the company website but also to personal email accounts that employees use to conduct business. Hackers can use unsecured networks to break into your computer. They can also use their smartphones to physically record the usercode and password you type in.

In the office, require that any unused mobile devices be locked in a drawer or cabinet. It’s too easy for a company visitor to pick up a smartphone that’s just sitting on a desk in plain view. When not in use, monitors should be turned off either manually or automatically with screen savers. This prevents potentially sensitive data from being left on display.

Hackers can use networked cameras and microphones to look inside your company or listen to private conversations. If possible, turn these devices off or disconnect them from the network when not in use. If they must remain on, such as when built into a laptop or tablet, put a piece of black tape over the lens or microphone.

If you’d like more information on improving security for your company or how we can use out expertise to implement more comprehensive insurance and risk management solution for your network, security and privacy exposures, please contact us.


California, are you Ready for More Changes?

Again the California bill, designed to expand data security breach notification law, has cleared the senate. The California state Senate passed SB46. This bill has been expanded to include a number of additional items. Bill SB46 expands the triggers to include passwords, user names, security questions and answers and more. The additional list of triggers expands the responsibilities that a firm has on their reporting requirements.

As this bill makes its way to the Assembly for review, California firms will need to review their new requirements, processes and procedures for managing their risks.

A TechAssure member can help you better understand your network, security and privacy risks.


Are You Ready for Canada Privacy Reform?

Coming to Canada soon! Are you ready? Canada’s Federal Privacy Commissioner has released a roadmap for getting Canada’s federal private-sector law ready for the future.

Big Data and changes in the privacy world have made it important to get Canada in a more current state.

Canada’s Federal Privacy Commissioner is calling for measures that are strong enough to ensure organizations invest appropriately in privacy, require organizations to report breaches, increase transparency, hold firms accountable and create legislation that evolves to keep up with the changing laws.

If you need assistance in better understanding your network, security and privacy risks, please contact our TechAssure member in Canada.


Technology Firms Have Intangible Property, but Where Can I Get Coverage?

Intangible property is a large part of most technology firms. Intangible Property includes software and data, exposed to damage or theft by electronic means such as virus, unauthorized access or usage, as well as theft of computer system capacity.

Property forms respond to direct physical loss such as fire or windstorm – not computer attacks. Limited coverage may be available for intangible property loss due to a physical event, but property forms are not able to sufficiently deal with loss resulting from non-physical events such as viruses or other types of computer attacks.

Under a comprehensive network risk program, coverage for the damage, destruction, corruption or theft of an Insured’s important information assets, including bandwidth, due to a covered computer attack. That may address some of the coverage concerns for intangible property. However, every exposure and situation is different.

TechAssure members are experts in designing insurance products that are tailored around the unique needs of a technology firm. Contact a TechAssure member to help you design a comprehensive program.