Handling sensitive data

Are you responsible for holding sensitive data specific to individuals?

If you hold sensitive data specific to an individual or business then you are considered responsible for it and as a result run the risk of being liable should it be misused. If this happens then you may be in the firing line should a case be raised. It is important that you understand the ways in which you should look to protect against this. Especially as new GDPR regulations will be coming into force in May 2018 and this will mean that businesses practice must change and the way in which they handle data and report breaches alter.  Sensitive data can be held in many industries with the finance and medical industry two of the most common to hold this kind of data. You should consider the following actions before the introduction of GDPR to help with minimising your exposure.

Actions to undertake;

Ensure that all data is stored in the securest place possible,

Have a backup of data so as you are able to continue business operations should a breach occur,

Restrict access to a need to know system, I.E. employees only have access to the data they need to complete their work,

Delete users that are no longer necessary,

Encourage password changes every 6 weeks.

 

Another consideration that a business may look towards in order to help protect themselves is the purchase of cyber insurance. Cyber insurance is an effective way to protect the business financially should a breach occur. Cyber insurance is designed to put businesses back into the position they were in before a breach occurred. Costs such as notification costs and regulatory fines can be covered under a policy. Especially as under GDPR fines can reach up to £20m or 4% of turnover whichever is bigger. Can your business afford to take the risk?

Domiciliary Care Agencies – We Need You

Doctor holding clipboard

According to a recent report from Which? there is a short fall in care for the elderly as we have an ageing population. This short fall amounts to approximately 50,000 beds by 2022. This is merely a forecast and should not be taken as gospel but even so there must be a degree of truth in the matter. Domiciliary care is a fundamental requirement for some elderly people and without the help of carers there lives would be dull. A lot of the time it is these types of carers that not only help the elderly but provide support and comfort for the families. And for that Domiciliary care agencies we thank you.

This is not a sob story, about the elderly. But merely a thank you for the work that a lot of you are carrying out but also a plea that you continue to do your best and also grow to fulfil this need.

We are here to help…

We have a responsibility as insurance brokers to allow this to happen. Domiciliary care agencies need the opportunity to grow to fill the gap. We feel that it is important we are able to support them in doing this. This is why we continue to support and seek insurance to allow them to go about their daily activities without worry. We aim to provide insurance for Domiciliary care in order to allow them the freedom to grow and continue their good work.

 

Get in touch and see how we can help your business…

New Medical Device Regulations

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As new medical device regulations to monitor the sales, manufacturing, and distribution have come into force our friends at Markel have put together all the important information that you will need. Markel have identified the changes in the regulations and made it easier to read;

 

The 25th May 2017 marked the start of a transition period, in which companies have 3 years (for MDR) and 5 years (IVDR) to prepare for the following changes:

 

– Tighter controls on high risk medical devices; Class III and implantable medical devices will be subject to harmonised procedures relating to clinical evaluation, clinical investigation and mandatory post market clinical follow up and periodic safety update reports.

– Reclassification of certain high risk Class II devices to Class III. – Software which drives a device or influences the use of a device, falls in to the same classification of that device; if independent from the device it will be classified in its own right.

– Oversight of Notified Bodies moved from Competent Authorities to multi-national teams.

 

– Inclusion within the regulations of products without an intended medical purpose;

– contact lenses

– products used for modifying the anatomy or fixation of body parts (other than tattoo products or piercings)

– products for fat removal

– dermal/mucus membrane fillers

– lasers, intense pulse light equipment for skin rejuvenation

– products using electromagnetic fields to modify neuronal activity

 

– Creation of EU wide database of medical devices and device traceability via a Unique Device Identification system. – Strict liability on Authorised Representatives (AR) of non EU manufacturers, who will be jointly and severally liable with the importer and the manufacturer for defective products.

– No grandfathering; devices that do not comply with MDR/IVDR at the end of the transition period will not be able to be marketed.

– All organisations subject to the MDR/IVDR will be required to have a designated Qualified Person (QP) with at least one year professional experience in Regulatory Affairs or Quality Management Systems.

Click here to look at our medical device insurance product

The Ogden rate is changing… 20th march 2017

Ogden Rate calculator

As of the 20th march 2017 there will be a new Ogden rate.

What is the Ogden rate?

The Ogden rate is a discount rate that is applied by the court when receiving a lump sum of compensation on personal injury claims. The Ogden rate is an adjustment that is made to this lump sum to ensure that the compensation to be paid is fair and just for both parties. This rate takes into consideration the investment that may be made on receipt of a lump sum compensation payment and as a result applies the Ogden rate to adjust the amount to be paid to the injured party meaning that the payment if invested can earn more.

What’s changing?

The Ogden rate had remained the same since 2001 at 2.5%, however upon review by the lord chancellor he decided that the rate needed to fall and it was set that the Ogden rate was to fall by 3.25 points to -0.75%. this has meant that the discount rate has caused an increase in the amount that should be paid out in compensation.

 

What does this mean to me?

Due to the increase in the amount that an insurer may have to pay out in personal injury they will begin to value the risks higher and in turn this will impact on the premium prices for insurance. To put it into context a claim for a 21 year-old , male, with a future in nursing care has been injured meaning he cannot work. Under the old rate of 2.5% the claim would have meant a compensation payment of approximately £9,000,000 however under the new rate of -0.75% the compensation due saws to £20,000,000.

As you can see the cost of personal injury has rocketed under the new rate and as a result the cost to insurers will increase. This will mean that even small risks will see an increase in premiums to cover the cost of these claims. This will mean that all types of insurance may see premiums rise, from motor insurance to medical malpractice insurance, most premiums will be increased.

Changes to Insurance Premium Tax

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Insurance premium tax is a tax that is charged on all insurance policies. Insurance premium tax is added to the price of the premium that is quoted by the insurer. This tax has seen numerous increases recently and this trend looks to stay, as stated in the Autumn statement, insurance premium tax is due to increase again on the 1st of June 2017. This increase will see IPT (insurance premium tax) rise from 10% to 12% meaning that you may notice an increase in your overall premium.

Backstop date-

There will be a back date of June 1st 2018, this will mean that any premium purchased on or after this date will be charged at the higher rate of 12% with some exceptions to return premiums. As of this data all premiums will be subject regardless whether it is new or existing risks.

This new rate applies to most general insurances such as; motor, property, liability, or medical insurance all of which are subject to the standard 10% IPT currently.

There are some exceptions to this which include; insurance sold with car and domestic appliances and all travel insurances will be charged at a higher 20% level which it is currently set at.

What will I be charged?

All insurance policies with a start date on or after 1st of June will be charged at 12% IPT whereas any renewals or new policies with a start date prior to 1st of June 2017 will be charged at the old tax rate of 10%.

Mid- term adjustments

If the MTA result in a reduction in premium and a refund is required, IPT will be credited at the rate applied to the premium being adjusted

If the MTA results in an additional premium being charged for a policy with term start date before 1 June 2017, where the additional cover starts before the backstop date and which is processed up to and including 31 May 2018, it will be subject to the 10% IPT.

 

Intellectual Property- Don’t Give Away Your Advantage

Intellectual property  (IP) is the intangible property that you as an individual or a business owns. Intellectual property can often be what sets you apart from your competition. Without it you can almost blend into the background of the market without excelling and propelling the business forward. IP can be any little idea to a massive change that you wish to implement to your business to do numerous things. you could be changing the way you manufacture to reduce costs or increase output, it may even be an entirely new product . The implementation of these ideas can often become a business unique selling point. The unique selling point to a business can be one of its biggest attractions to customers. Especially relevant in markets where competition is dominated by major businesses.

IP can be protected in a variety of ways, you can have a patent if the idea relates to a tangible good. You can use copyright and trademarks to stop people from using your branding or colour. For example, Cadbury’s have a trademark on their shade of purple and copyright protection on their logo.

You may be asking why would we tell you this if were looking to provide insurance? Well, intellectual property insurance is the method in which you can defend yourself or chase somebody that is either using your intellectual property or considers you to be using theirs. Intellectual property insurance is the money that you can use to defend against a claim. So you may well have a patent in place or copy right or even a trademark. But if you want to chase somebody that’s infringing on your IP  then the costs will come out your own pocket and sometimes businesses just can’t afford to pay to stop this, insurance can cover these costs for you.

IP is a way of ensuring that you stand out in a market that is often worldwide. The use of technology has made the world a smaller place and competition is more dense than ever, this means that being unique is the best way of surviving of the dog eat dog world which is business.

Do you value your intellectual property?

I believe that one of the best things you can do for your business as an innovator, is implement your idea’s because it may just be one of those idea’s that can take the business to the next level. IP has a value as it maybe the difference between profit and loss. This value is difficult to calculate but that is down to us to help you determine. Never the less IP is is valuable to your business and can be considered a business asset. You should protect your assets, so protect your IP as it adds value to the business.

 

 

READ MORE…

Cyber Essentials-

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Cyber Essentials

As we have all become aware, cyber crime is becoming a big issue for big companies, just look at Talk- Talk for example of even Yahoo. But what about the SME’s the enterprises that are looking to grow and expand? well unfortunately these companies aren’t safe either, it isn’t just the big fish that the cyber sharks are looking to attack they will look at the little fish to that they consider and easy target. Never before has it been more important to become protected, especially as an SME.

The government are looking to help organisations become more secure and have better defences. They have now launched a Cyber essentials scheme to teach SME’s about cyber crime, as well as allowing them to get defend themselves from cyber attacks. The Cyber Essentials scheme means that business can gain a recognised certification that demonstrates that they are more cyber secure than other. For some businesses this will mean that they are more likely to pick up clients as a client will recognise that they are competent with their data and also that they take cyber security seriously.

The Cyber Essentials  scheme will mean that businesses help prevent issues surrounding cyber crime, this in turn can potentially save thousands as it can help prevent an attack or helps you identify an attack sooner so less damage is done. Despite this scheme, Cyber attacks may still happen and you may still be affected. This is where a cyber insurance policy can help.

Cyber Insurance

A cyber insurance policy isn’t what you may think it is. Often insurance policies are considered to just be the money that is used to correct something that has happened, which is sometimes the case. However a cyber insurance policy is often more than this. It does have money available to help rectify a situation but when it comes to cyber insurance there are often specialists that have to get involved should a claim arise. Most cyber insurance policies will allow you to have access to these specialists so should a claim arise you can get people in to rectify the issue quicker and potentially stopping some of the businesses disruption as well as saving money as the problem can be rectified a lot sooner.

Cyber insurance policies also tend to offer ransom ware cover, this means that an attack that steals files and demands a ransom to get them back, the cost will be covered by the insurer.

Another must have on a cyber insurance policy has to be data asset loss protection, this means that you are able to claim back the cost of recreating/reinstalling a piece of data that has been lost or stolen. You can also get a similar product that covers software. Should software your software go down or be lost etc. the policy will cover the costs associated with putting it back in place so as you can continue with your daily operations.

Read more on cyber insurance;

 

Cyber Attacks- Small businesses you aren’t safe either

It has been calculated that 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. This merely emphasises the issues that cyber-crime is causing to the UK and industries around the world. Cyber criminals will target any business that they think they can extort, whether it be theft of data or, shutting down systems to stop work and then demand a ransom to put the system back in place. An example of a small business that has been hit is;

It seemed like just another ordinary day for staff at vehicle hire company MNH Platinum when they became the victim of a virus which encrypted over 12,000 files on its company network. A ransom demand followed – the criminals would decrypt the company’s files in exchange for more than £3,000.

“Small businesses are a softer target,” said Sian John, a chief strategist at Symantec. This shows the likely hood of small business attacks as cyber criminals want to get their money fast and have an easier time doing it. This is often why small business are targeted as they know that they are less likely to have any safeguards in place that means they can operate once a system goes down or data is stolen.

Small business need to consider cyber-crime as a real threat to their business and look to take steps to defend and protect themselves should something go wrong or an attack happen. A small business can take steps to safeguard their data and systems by becoming more aware of the signs of a cyber-attack as the earlier you catch an attack the less damage it can and will do.

Once an attack has happened it is crucial that you can implement a structure that allows you to get back in to the position you were before the attack happened. By this, you could have a backup system ready for such an incident so as you can carry on until you can secure the primary system again.

Another way that businesses can protect themselves from the consequences of a cyber-attack is to insure against it. Cyber insurance is a growing market in the industry as the industry is having to adapt to new threats facing businesses they insure. They want to be able to protect clients in as many ways as possible to not only provide the best service and make money but ensure that their clients can grow and expand. With cyber insurance businesses are not only covered financially in case of an attack but they are able to use the insurers resources to rectify the problem and implement strategies to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

 

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Staying Safe and Avoiding Cyber Threats- SME’s

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When it comes to technology and particularly using the internet it is extremely important that you know the tips and tricks to make sure you are staying safe. Most cyber crime comes through a form of hacking a network or using ransom ware and phishing e-mails. it isn’t common that cyber crime is committed by a physical action although that can happen also.

In order to protect your business there are things that you can implement in order to ensure that you don’t fall victim to the most common forms of cyber crime;

Encrypt files, wherever you store your files ensure that they are encrypted so as anyone who hacks in through your system can’t just take them and use them,

Back up files, all important files should be backed up as well as having a hard copy this will mean that the business can still operate with little disruption however you must inform the relevant services and customers should a breach occur,

Get smart with email you ensure that your emails are protected and do not download any malicious software by mistake, to ensure this make sure you can trust and trace the sender of the e-mail,

Undertake regular assessments
continually look at your cyber risks and assess ways in which you can fill the gaps, whether it be using and implementing two step authentication for users or having password protected information that only certain people have the password to access,

Get insured one of the best ways that your business can protect itself will to get cyber insurance this will then mean that the costs of a breach are covered as well as giving you the help you need to remedy the situation and ensure it doesn’t arise again.

Get a quick cyber insurance quote here;


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