The Risk of Insider Threats in Cybersecurity

An introduction

With geographical and physical borders no longer being barriers for the expansion of an organization, people other than the traditional employees — remote workers, contractors, vendors — are involved with organizations.

  • Insider threat is a huge cybersecurity issue that a lot of firms are fighting against.
  • Loss of sensitive data, damage to reputation, and downtime are common consequences of insider threats.

Examples of insider threats

When the enemy is on the inside, detection is relatively hard. The motive, ranging from personal gain to revenge, can fuel cyber attacks that can impact the organization heavily. Let’s look at a few examples of insider threats.

  • A former disgruntled employee of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought down its computer network. Christopher Victor Grupe, who was not known to have a good relationship with his employers, deleted files, changed passwords, and removed administrator-level accounts in the firm’s network.
  • An employee of the oil and gas company EnerVest reset the company’s server after he learned that he was going to be fired. This affected the firm’s business operations for approximately 30 days and cost a lot of money to retrieve data.
  • Hackers infiltrated into Target Corporation’s network after stealing credentials from a third-party vendor. Approximately 41 million customer payment card accounts were said to be affected as a result of this data breach.

Employees often fall victim to targeted phishing attacks and BEC scams causing security compromises on a large scale.

What can organizations do?

Monitoring employee activities is a typical prevention measure organizations follow. But this could result in the violation of employee privacy if not handled properly. Other measures organizations can implement include:

  • Limiting access to sensitive data. Employees can be given access to resources and data on a need-to-know basis.
  • Mandating multi-factor authentication.
  • Implementing a predictive persona analysis tailored to the organization. For example, disgruntled employees based on different indicators can be identified and monitored. But this involves carefully treading on a thin line between preventing insider threats and violating privacy.
  • Educating employees about cyberattacks can help combat the risk associated with negligent employees in insider threats.

5 Things to Consider Before You Purchase Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance (Article taken from The Trust)

Professional Liability insurance (also called Malpractice or Errors and Omissions insurance) is coverage that protects a qualified professional against claims alleging negligent acts, errors, or omissions in the performance of providing professional services (defined as those services for which one is certified, licensed, accredited, trained, being trained, or otherwise qualified to provide as specified in a given insurance policy).

All practicing professionals need Professional Liability insurance! This is the case whether an individual is employed, self-employed in independent practice, or in training. Why? Because the cost of a malpractice claim could be so high that it could easily wipe out a lifetime of savings. Also, the cost of defending against a board complaint or government investigation, even if it is frivolous, could also run into tens of thousands of dollars. Professional Liability insurance is the primary (if not the only) line of defense in protecting one’s personal and business assets.

Five things to consider before you purchase Professional Liability insurance:

    1. Find a reputable insurance company — one that is fully licensed in all jurisdictions, is financially stable (check the A.M. Best rating), provides support with claims, provides confidential ethics and risk management consultation (such as The Trust’s Advocate 800 Service), and has competent and convenient customer service. Ask colleagues and mentors for recommendations. Professional associations are another good resource when searching for reputable insurance companies. Strong recommendations which cite specific strengths and benefits are solid indicators of a company’s good reputation.
    1. Don’t assume that the least expensive policy is the best. For malpractice coverage, the devil is often in the details. That is, the wording of the contract spells out the scope of coverage, and an inexpensive policy may represent limited protection. For example, the policy might exclude higher-risk areas such as working with victims of trauma and performing custody evaluations. Some insurers may offer less expensive premiums by reducing the policy limits by the amount of legal costs the company incurred in defending the psychologist. Some policies may only cover the defense of claims filed by a patient (and not third-party claims, such as might occur if a patient injures a third party).

      Malpractice policies generally exclude coverage for certain events such as claims for unlicensed practice; dishonest, criminal, fraudulent, or intentional acts; business relationships with current or former clients, and claims arising out of prison work. Most policies also have specific limitations for sexual misconduct claims, but the nature of these limitations is especially important. Some carriers will not defend any sexual misconduct claims. Unfortunately, psychologists acting honorably can still be falsely accused. Fortunately, the best policies will defend against such accusations, but be aware that most policies will not pay damages or only pay limited damages.

    1. If you are or will be insured under an employer/agency/institutional policy, find out the extent to which you as an individual are covered and seriously consider purchasing your own coverage. Otherwise, will you be fully protected and receive priority when allegations of malpractice or misconduct are made? Will you be fully covered for the costs of defending a complaint filed with a licensure board? Will your employer’s policy defend you for activities outside of your employment contract, specific employment setting, or what is considered you or your employer’s scope of practice?

      Employer or facility-based insurance policies are designed primarily to provide coverage for the larger entity, and then by extension cover the individual employee. The policy may limit coverage to a narrowly-defined scope of employment, and it may not provide sufficient individual coverage for Board complaints. Individual policies generally provide broader definitions of coverage, have fewer exclusions, include full separate limits for defending board complaints, and mitigate any divergence between the needs of the employer and those of the employee when a claim or complaint is filed.

      When an individual separates from employment, depending on the scope of the policy, he or she should remain covered under the employer’s policy for services provided during the employment period, as long as the employer or facility remains in operation and renews coverage. An Extended Reporting Period or “tail” coverage is generally not provided to departing employees. Without one, any claim filed against you for work conducted during your years of employment could be financially devastating to you. Again, it is wise to know the coverage and limitations of an employer’s malpractice insurance policy.

    1. Choose the coverage amount that matches your level of risk. Today most practitioners purchase $1 million per incident and $3 million per policy period; that is, the policy will pay a maximum of $1 million for a single incident and up to $3 million for the year the policy is in force. If you’re practicing in a professional area with a higher probability of suits or complaints (with at-risk patients, for example), consider purchasing higher limits. You may also want to consider higher limits if you practice in a volatile legal environment-one where high jury verdicts make national news. Also, make sure the policy includes coverage for licensing board complaints and Medicare/Medicaid investigations.
  1. Choose the type of coverage best suited for your situation. Malpractice policies are offered in two forms: occurrence and claims-made policies. Occurrence policies are usually more expensive in the first few years than claims-made policies, but it is generally easier to understand and administer. Claims-made policies costs less initially especially in early years (the pricing differential eventually nearly matches that of occurrence policies over time), but the coverage requires one to be more diligent about either renewing the policy or inquiring about coverage options if one discontinues the policy.
      • An occurrence policy covers alleged misconduct that occurred during a policy period. The claim can be reported anytime regardless of whether the policy is in force at the time of the report. A special feature of occurrence policies is that a practitioner may drop an occurrence policy at any time (e.g., as a result of retirement, a job change, a change in carriers, or transition to a claims-made policy) without fear that a suit filed in the future for alleged malpractice that occurred when the policy was in force would not be covered.
    • The other type of professional liability policy is a claims-made policy. For coverage to be triggered, the alleged malpractice or incident must happen while the policy is in force, and, the claim must also be reported or made while the policy is in force. Once the policy period has expired, there is no coverage (unless an “extended reporting period” (ERP) endorsement is purchased-see below) even though the alleged wrong-doing may have happened while the coverage was in force. With a claims-made policy, if you retire, stop practicing, or change carriers, you need to maintain continuous coverage in place. You can do this in one of two ways-either purchase an ERP, also known as a “tail”, or you can purchase prior acts coverage. The ERP is a one-time purchase that extends the time to report claims beyond the last day your policy was in force. It does not extend coverage into the future, just the time to report incidents. With an “unlimited” ERP the time to report claims is extended indefinitely into the future. Limited ERPs are also available for shorter periods of time. After this time elapses, there is no coverage for any future claims. You must purchase an ERP within 90 days of terminating a claims-made policy. The cost for an unlimited ERP is roughly 2x the last annual premium. Under certain circumstances some companies provide free ERPs (i.e. death, retirement or disability).

      The other option for continuous coverage with a claims-made policy is to purchase prior acts coverage or a “nose”. You purchase this from your new carrier when switching insurance companies. The new carrier assumes liability for any new claims that are made from your previous years of practice, reaching back to your prior carrier’s retroactive date, or the earliest date of your claims-made coverage. A note of caution here-not all policies are alike. Review the new carrier’s coverage carefully. If the new carrier excludes certain types of claims, such as sexual violations or those arising out of prison work, then there is no coverage should such a claim be made even if these were covered under your previous policy and you paid for such coverage. There is no separate premium for this. The total premium with the new carrier is based on your retroactive date.

There is one final thing you should be aware of. When insurance claims are denied, it is usually because of a policy exclusion (sometimes this can be a pre-existing issue) or because the insured neglects to report a potential claim during the required reporting period. This is particularly the case with government or Board investigations. For example, a licensing board may notify an insured that a complaint has been filed but that its validity has yet to be established. Even this initial process could take time, so rather than wait for the Board to proceed one way or another, the insured should notify the insurance company within the required reporting period. The best practice is to report all incidents as soon as possible. Our experience with Board investigations is that the sooner an attorney is hired to defend you, the better. It is both less likely to be as costly and less likely to result in any serious consequences to you than it would be if you tried to handle the matter on your own or there were delays in responding.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Offer Health Insurance

by Kristal Barghelame

1. It’s easier than you think to offer health insurance

First thing’s first: You don’t have to do this alone. A broker or health insurance advisor can guide you through the whole shebang.

As your go-to agent, they’ll:

  • Help select a plan that’s right for you and your team, based on your industry and the coverage preferences of all the folks in your company.
  • Set everything up and keep you compliant on an ongoing basis.
  • Be the resident healthcare know-it-all for your employees, so you don’t have to answer difficult questions on all things health insurance.

2. Health benefits make your employees happy

According to a survey by Glassdoor, employees said health insurance is, by far, the most important benefit they receive from their employer. That’s why employers should offer health insurance as their first company benefit, then add on additional benefits over time.

The top three benefits that make employees the most satisfied, according to Glassdoor’s study, are:

  1. Health insurance
  2. Vacation and PTO
  3. Pension plans, 401(k) & other retirement plans

If health benefits are a top priority for your employees, it should be a top priority for you. Offering it can help with recruiting and entice them to stay longer at your company.

3. It saves you money on taxes

Savings for employees

When employees buy health insurance on their own, they have to use post-tax dollars to buy it. That is, they make money, the government taxes that money, and then they take the remaining amount to buy what they need.

But when employees buy health insurance through a group plan, they pay for the insurance with pre-tax dollars. That can save them up to 30 to 45% on their health insurance premiums.

Savings for employers

Here are all the tax savings you get by offering group health insurance:

  • Employer contributions are tax-deductible
  • Employer payroll taxes are reduced by 7.65 percent of employee contributions
  • Employer workers compensation premiums are reduced

Paying for health benefits instead of higher salaries can save you money because you don’t pay payroll taxes and workers compensation premiums on money used towards health benefits. Plus, your employees may prefer benefits over salary as well. According to that same Glassdoor study, nearly 80% of workers said they would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase.

4. It can give you access to more doctors and hospitals

Group insurance networks are often larger than individual networks. That means on an individual plan, you don’t have access to the same doctors and hospitals you would on a group plan.

The network differences vary by state, but in California, networks for individual plans are typically two-thirds the size for group plans. So purchasing a group plan can increase your access to more, and often better, doctors and hospitals.

5. Providing health insurance helps boost employee productivity

study from MetLife found that 60% of employers say offering health insurance has led to higher productivity levels. And according to the CDC, employees who prioritize preventive care—like regular checkups—get more accomplished at work.

As an employer, you want your employees to focus on being their best productive and successful selves at work. Worrying about health insurance drains their energy and time. As you know, health insurance can be a pain to set up. And if your employees are enrolled in individual plans, all of that burden of setting up and managing their plan shifts from you to them.


And there you have it. From building a healthier, happier team to actually saving money, there are many reasons to take the plunge and offer health insurance to your team. Offering health benefits signals that you care about your team, ultimately building a culture of trust.

Sora Global – Reinventing Ourselves

I have been hearing the phrase “Reinventing Yourself” for a long time. The fact is, Sora Global has been evolving for over a decade.
I (Sora Global) began in 2006 offering Life, Long Term Care and Annuity policies as a viable means of financial survival for young families in case of a catastrophic event. A couple of years into this successful endeavor, as the recession rolled around followed by the Affordable Care Act phenomenon, I found the need to make my first reinvention. By 2010 Sora Global had become a provider of International Health Insurance products with clients throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.
As the domestic economy stabilized, in 2015, I found a niche market created by the Affordable Care Act in the realm of health benefits for groups with less than fifty employees. My second reinvention.
Last year we did another reinventing within the insurance industry, a bit different from the Life and Health products we had been specializing in for the previous twelve years. We took a giant step forward into Property and Casualty. While most agencies begin with General Lines products for their clients, i.e., homeowners, auto, business insurance, then introducing benefits programs for their business clients, we took the opposite route. But then, I am not your conventional follow-the-rules kind of guy. Just ask my wife, she’ll tell you how “special” I can be. Nonconventional is my middle name.
Today we are proud to offer our clients programs that will protect their business and their homes, their employees’ health as well as the future of their family. We have become a Full Service Boutique agency.
We are also proud to tout twelve plus years of benefits experience and have partnered with professionals who bring over forty years of general lines experience, as well as Life, Investments and 401K programs for your small business.
That’s a lot of reinventing for thirteen years. Don’t you think? Who knows, there may  still be more to come.

Navigating The Waters of Health Insurance

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… The opening phrase from Dickens’ a Tale of Two Cities, seems to depict today’s health insurance market.  Let’s switch it around a bit by saying that, in terms of health insurance, these could be considered the worst of times, to most individuals anyway, yet, for the small to middle group-insurance market these could possibly be the best of times in product innovation.

Let’s get the grim facts out of he way before I shower you with positive and tantalizing information which will help you to grow your business.  In the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act insurance premiums have risen anywhere from thirty to thrityfive percent, personal deductibles are capping at $6500 per year, HMOs and POS (hybrid between an HMO and a PPO) are the fare of the times, PPO’s are becoming as extinct as your favorite dinosaur, your medication of choice is being switched for god-knows-what, and so-on and so-on and so-on… Yet, at the end of what seems to be a dreary tunnel, a glimmer of light shines upon the life of the group health policy.

For the small and middle sized company the possiblities, although not endless, certainly open themselves to options never before seen, or envisioned to exist.  Would you believe me if I tell you that a company with as few as two employees could receive similar benefits as a large company?  What if I tell you that a company with as few as twentyfive employees can look into the possibility of self-insuring.. would you believe me then?  Maybe not; both of these possibilities were unheard of in the past, yet, today, these are as viable as any traditional group plans available in the marketplace; human ingenuity and the will to overcome, have, once again, triumphed over the implausible.

The balance between domestic and international has created a self insured progam wich is to become cutting edge in the industry.  Offering the smallest companies the ability to operate as a large company, without the expense, has given the micro-entrepreneur an edge over their competition.

The best way to find out if your company is eligible for any of these cutting-edge programs is to contact your insurance agent and ask them to look at your existing program; or you can email us at info@soraglobal.com and we will gladly set up an appointment for a free, no-obligation, evaluation.

The Affordable Care Act And Its Misconceptions

For the first time in US history most Americans are faced with the concept of open enrollment.  Open enrollment used to be a phrase associated with group insurance when you worked for a medium to larger size company, or participated in a Medicare program.  Today the phrase “open enrollment” pertains to everyone and anyone who is insurable in these United States.  It is one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), also called by its acronym, ACA.

Now you ask, why did I title this blog the way that I did?  The answer is very simple, most of the people that I come in contact with, including insurance agents, still do not understand what the Affordable Care Act is all about.

Most still believe that it has to do with going on your Federal Government or State website, called an Exchange, to apply for your health insurance because you can afford anything else.  The exchanges available to individuals as well as medium sized businesses, is part of the Affordable Care Act, but not the crux of its existence.  Actually, the crux of ACA has to do with offering every American affordable health care; it is how it’s done that was legislated.  In the following blogs I would like to offer you, my client, and possible client, a clearer picture of what ACA is all about.

In the meantime, l would like to leave you with some “is” and “does-nots” of the program just to keep you interested and coming back to the next blog.  Also, this is a blog, not a book.

The Affordable Care Act is…

1.  A law that, supposedly, makes “affordable” insurance readily available to US citizens and legal residents.

2.  A law that allows some Americans, and legal residents of the US, to obtain credits that will help them and their families pay for their monthly insurance premiums; if you apply through one of the available Exchanges.  The State of Florida does not have its own exchange, so Floridians wanting to obtain their Health Insurance through an exchange in order to receive credits have to resort to the Federal government’s website.  Healthcare.gov.

3.  A law that requires that there be an open enrollment period, this year beginning November 15th, in order to obtain new coverage or change your present coverage.  There are exceptions to the law which we will be covering in future blogs; loss of a job, change in marital status, moving to a different state, etc.

4.  A law that will penalize any individual, who can afford to pay for their health insurance, but decides not to participate in any of the plans offered.  This is done through IRS monitoring.

5.  A law that requires guaranteed issued policies.  Basically, Guaranteed Issue means that an insurance company which claims to follow the ACA guidelines cannot deny coverage to any indiviudal because of a preexisting condition.

The Affordable Care Act does not…

1.  Obligate you to go to one of the Exchanges.  You will only go to the Exchange if you feel that you are eligible for any credits, otherwise your insurance agent can quote you or you can go directly into any of the insurance company’s website to obtain your own quote.

2.  Afford you the possibility of obtaining insurance if you are outside the Open Enrollment period.  This year Open Enrollment begins November 15.  There are some exceptions, of course.

3.  Allow you to change from one insurance carrier to another until the open enrollment period.

4.  Allow you to be without some sort of health policy that includes the 10 essential benefits.  Details to follow.

5.  Allow you to be covered if you are not a US citizen or have legal status in the US.

One more caveat; in many cases there is nothing Affordable about the Affordable Care Act.  In many cases insurance rates have sky rocketed for many individuals and their families, as much as 60% to 70%.

Stay tuned, more great information on ACA to follow.

Sounds Too Much Like Communism

The new catch word, “liberal”. To me they are disciples of Marx and Engels in disguise.

Let’s talk about a most alarming subject, and one that most Americans do not want to touch upon. The trampling of the Constitution by limiting the right to worship and personal religious beliefs. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) does just that. Forcing Religious institutions to offer birth control options in their insurance programs is appalling, at best. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you may be on with this subject, the fact still remains that for most Christians birth control is at the core of their beliefs, one that does not step over anyones boundaries, because it is a matter of personal choice. If one beliefs birth control to be an important issue in their life, then you try other means as proposed by the Church. If you don’t believe birth control to be an important issue in your life, then you practice it. It is your God-given right to exercise your own judgement, then you deal with your deity, or not. But our constitution guarantees our right to those beliefs as long as no one is hurt in the process.

If our society would read, what some may call today archaic, books such as the Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, one would be surprised to see the similarities with the Obama administration, hidden, of course, behind the cloak of Healthcare Reform, as well as other government sanctioned programs. Now, I am not, at this point, attacking the whole healthcare reform, that’s a subject for another time. I am just bringing to light how the Communist Manifesto sets out to bring forth the decay and destruction of any society by destroying the pillars on which each stand, Family and Religion; Judaism and Christianity being the two main focus. Both religions find their strengths in the value of the family. Psalm 127, verses 3 to 5, “3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court”. Birth control, and specially abortion, could be perceived as the Biblical demise of the family as we know it today. Obamacare is doing just that!

For those who were unaware Karl Marx was a frustrated individual who happened to be a Jew and Judaism was at the center of financial power in Europe in the 1800s; second, Christianity, mainly Catholicism, was the most powerful religion of the times. Obama is also a frustrated individual who will obviously go to any lengths to destroy what our forefathers so generously bequeathed us.

Marx, in his Manifesto, sets out to destroy both, family and religion, by creating a false sense that in any society the Mother should be the Homeland and the Father is whomever is in power; thereby, taking away the person’s need for the family nucleus creating a false sense of security. The Obama administration is creating the same false sense of security as laid out by the Manifesto. We have not seen this administration do anything to create jobs, even something similar to FDR’s brigades during the 1930s, where minimal paying jobs were created to offset the effects of the Great Depression, where men and women could proudly sustain the every day needs of their particular family. Today, we see the government handing out anything and everything that they can in order to create grateful masses which in turn will create grateful voters. We se how this administration constantly advocates the mythical philosophy of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. They are over taxing the Middle American entrepreneur which, in turn, takes away the ability to create jobs, which, once again, creates a dependency, among the masses, on the existing government by offering welfare, food stamps, free healthcare and other freebies.

As far as religion is concerned, the manifesto calls it, “the opium of the masses”. By this statement, the document seeks to instill a fear and hatred for all that is God-related. Humans are naturally inclined to seek that perfect being, that deity which is set apart from humanity; yet the manifesto, as well as the Obama administration, seek to destroy humanity’s natural instinct to reach out to their God by chiseling at the core of their existence, which is humanity itself. This administration is trying to accomplish its goals by forcing the Church to its knees when the institution is forced to abdicate their most basic teachings; the sanctity of human life.

You see, both religion and family are intrinsically intertwined, bringing a moral dimension to our society which has withstood the winds of time; but only because men and women, just like you and I, have stood firm in our belief in family and God, and not allowing this or any administration to destroy the essence of our being.

We have the right to work in order to sustain our families, we have the right to worship as we wish; we have been called upon by our God to offer of our first fruits to those in need, we also have the right to choose who we offer those fruits to. Our rights to be family by birth and by religious conviction are being trampled upon, let us raise our voices and let us be heard.