Could Another 2008 Recession Be on Its Way?

Potential cyber threats could lead to a catastrophe comparable in size and in magnitude to the 2008 economic crisis

Nobody wants to be hacked. But today, with our lives and infrastructure increasingly expected to be online, it’s becoming more and more of a reality and a risk that has the potential to turn into a worldwide crisis.

In 2013 alone, 740 million records were exposed in data breaches worldwide. That made 2013 the worst year ever for breaches. As an example, 93% of large businesses in the United Kingdom suffered a data breach in 2013, resulting in a different headline each week.

For the past year, Zurich Insurance and the Atlantic Council met with cyber experts and risk professionals across different industries to tackle this very issue. Their findings show that people, regardless of company size, need to focus on preparing for the inevitable — a security breach with massive potential.

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Cyber Security & Privacy Starts with Good Planning

It’s not so much of question of if it will happen, but when it will happen.

Data breaches have escalated to one trillion dollars worldwide. In 2013, more than 740 million records were hacked and is on record as the worst data breach year in history. We are culture that increasingly relies on technology and devices. Whether it’s to entertain, do business or connect with people — we are all users of technology and we are all at risk.

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National Data Privacy Day: Securing personal and business data


By Scott Hammesfahr


Stories about data security and privacy have been in the news cycle for years. We hear about security breaches, scores of personal data lost and sometimes millions of dollars in losses for businesses. These stories invoke fear that nothing is safe, and to some extent that can be true. However, these events give us something we can learn from and the only way to really protect ourselves is through vigilant risk management on at both the personal and business levels.

Today is Data Privacy Day, which began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the January 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is now a celebration for everyone, observed annually on January 28.

In recognition of this day, we offer a few quick tips for both individuals and businesses that can help minimize cyber risk.

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Managing Cyber Threats to the Digital Supply Chain

Companies face several threats to their business and supply chains on a regular basis, but one that has emerged as a primary threat is cyber. With news around Chinese hackers launching attacks, the U.S. government as well as companies are being more vigilant than ever before in protecting their data and information. But what are businesses doing about their supply chains?

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Risk & Reward: Mobile Banking in the BYOD Era

The numbers really tell the story when it comes to mobile banking and it’s upward trend over the last year.

  • 82% of banks offer mobile banking technology through apps
  • In 2012, 1 in 5 people use a mobile device for banking transactions
  • In 2013, 1 in 3 people use a mobile device for banking transactions
  • Remote deposit capture doubled to 21% from 2012 to 2013

With mobile banking on the rise in addition to companies switching to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture – it creates a perfect storm of opportunities and risks for both banks and employers – so how do they manage that risk?

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Expect the Unexpected in a more Interconnected World

Cyber risks, security and threats have been on the forefront of the news lately, particularly with the latest reports about the U.S. accusing China of cyber warfare. Some would say that the topic of cyber risk never ceases to attract attention, but it’s for good reason. The threats and risks that insurers and customers face are very real and the wide reaching impacts can cause global disruption. So in an interconnected world – how do you keep your business safe?

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Navigating industries and risks of the future

This year we did a study on what the hottest growth industries of the future would be. What we found is that while we’ll move forward in the area of healthcare – with care being more mobile and technologically advanced than ever – we’re also going “back to the future” in the manufacturing industry. Read More…

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Big Data: What’s the impact on healthcare?

There’s been a lot of talk about Big Data in the news lately and how it will impact the way businesses do business, how people are marketed to and more importantly, how it will change the way people live. But how will Big Data change healthcare and the way it’s delivered?

To help answer that question and provide some perspective around Big Data, we caught up with Larry Collins, vice president of our E-Solutions unit within Zurich Services Corp.’s Risk Engineering Services.

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Data and Information – How to manage a business’s greatest asset

Business is more interconnected than ever through the use of mobile applications to help better serve customers and maintain contact with business partners. Naturally, the more interconnected we are the more risk that arises when it comes to security and privacy of information.

The single greatest asset a business possess in this digital age is information. Data and intellectual property can lead to a businesses success, but if not protected properly, can lead to its downfall. A “self-check” of the types of information a company has can help them better understand what is out there and how it should be managed.

Zurich recently put together a guide to assist a business in going through this process. The word cloud below puts emphasis on perhaps the most important pieces of this puzzle – “data” and “information.”

Click to enlarge word cloud

Wordle: Data Info Privacy

Access the Zurich General Information Privacy Self-Check Program

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Greenwashing or Green Fraud?

I knew something was wrong the moment I walked in the door.

I had just stopped in to check on a job recently for a new client, when a burning chemical smell assaulted my senses. After checking on our technicians to make sure they were OK, it didn’t take me long to trace the source of the harsh fumes. Not far from our team, a worker from another company was stripping and waxing our client’s floor.

My first thought was there must be a mistake. Our client prioritized using environmentally friendly alternatives at their facility and the service truck in the parking lot was from an “Eco” branded company. So I checked out the chemicals this “green” company was using and I quickly found the answer: greenwashing. Read More…

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