Cyber Attacks: Understand what you can control

October 31, 2017 Uncategorized no comments
One of the challenges facing cyber security today is the feeling that a cyber breach is something
that can not be avoided, something that is essentially out of your control. A common
misconception is that – unless you’re a large company with a ton of resources you can devote to
cyber security, intrusion detection, malware scanning, and all the other fancy bells and whistles
– there’s little to nothing you can do to prevent your business from becoming a target.
But that’s where you’re wrong.
Did you know that the largest cyber security threat to small and medium-sized businesses is
actually your own employee or vendor negligence? A recent Ponemon Institute Study found the
top two causes of breaches to be negligent employees or contractors (at 48%) and third-party
mistakes (at 41%). As it turns out, these are two areas where business owners do have some
semblance of control.


1. While they may look harmless, and even familiar, embedded links and popups that redirect
an employee to an unknown site and ask for personal information are always a red flag.

2. Malware in an email attachment can affect your system once opened by an employee.

3. When an email appears to be from within the company, usually from a CEO or CFO, and
directs an employee to send data or money – it’s almost always a case of email spoofing.

4. Though old school, be aware that attacks may still take place via telephone. Be wary of
anyone who calls asking pointed questions while claiming to be a known vendor or even an
internal employee.


1. Talk to your entire staff often about cyber security and implement an onboarding training
session for new and future employees. Remember, the most common form of attack – phishing
or social engineering – is caused by simple human errors. When you make cyber security a
priority – your employees will, too.

2. Teach employees to spot problems by always following these golden rules:
Always verify senders before opening a link in an email. Never click a link or
download an attachment from an unknown sender.
Put a system of checks and balances in place for targeted data that can prevent
email spoofing scams. Any email or website asking for sensitive data such as
banking information, payments to unknown accounts or unknown vendors, and
additional employee data should be verified by more than one employee before
sending anything.

3. Talk to all of your vendors about the cyber security practices they follow and how their
actions may impact your company’s security. Make sure that all of the people with access to
your customer’s data are working as hard to protect it as you are.

4. Always keep all of your systems up to date. Security patches in software are designed to
close the gaps.

5. If employees are using company tools such as phones and computers for personal use, be
sure to educate them about the importance of cyber security. Always require two factor
authentications on every device and system that stores information, and be sure to password
protect all phones and laptops.

6. Get a cyber insurance policy – and don’t underestimate the power of having one.

In the wake of large scale cyber attacks, such as the ones we’ve seen in the public eye recently,
it’s reasonable to be worried. Will these tips stave off all attacks? No, most certainly not. What
these tips will do, however, is give you peace of mind while harnessing the control you do have.

Protecting Your Family and Home from a Hurricane or Windstorm

September 6, 2017 Company News , Uncategorized no comments

If you own a house that is located along the ocean, bay or within a coastal county, your home may be vulnerable to wind damage caused by a hurricane or severe storm. It is important to take preventative measures to help protect your family, home and possessions. Here are some things you can do:

Before a Severe Storm:

  • Prepare an “Action Plan” in the Event of an Evacuation. Become familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plan and know your evacuation route. Have a predetermined destination in mind so you can quickly relocate. Select a common meeting place or single point of contact for all family members. If you have pets, plan for their evacuation as well as many shelters don’t accept pets. All vehicles should be fueled well in advance of evacuation. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge, and bring along the charger.
  • Protect Personal Belongings and Important Documents. Valuables such as jewelry and collectibles should be inventoried and stored in a secure location (such as an inland bank safety deposit box). Keep all important papers such as legal papers, birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers, and insurance policy information in a bank safe deposit box or other off-site storage. If off-site storage is not possible, then place items in a waterproof container and store in an interior closet.
  • Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit. Assemble and maintain an emergency supply kit throughout the hurricane season. Items should be stored in a watertight container. Include items that will sustain you and your family for a 72-hour period. This kit should include flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, canned food, a fire extinguisher (ABC rated), bottled water, cash, blankets, clothing, toiletries, and a first aid kit. Store your kit in a place commonly known to all family members.
  • Address landscaping concerns in advance of storm season. Large trees and shrubs can be contributing factors to structural damage. More than 75% of the trees that fall during a weather event suffer from pre-existing and often correctable conditions that make them vulnerable. Take action and have your trees and shrubs trimmed or addressed prior to storm season.
  • Clear loose objects. Bring outside patio and lawn furniture, potted plants, and outdoor bicycles and toys indoors. Help your neighbor bring in their items as well so these items do not become flying objects that impact your home. Be sure all awnings are closed and secured. Tie down any other loose items that may become projectiles in a high wind.
  • Reinforce windows & doors. Make sure windows, doors and skylights are protected with appropriate shutters or impact resistant glass. Plywood can be used as last minute protection. However, be sure it is strongly secured.
  • Reinforce your garage door. If you do not have a storm bar or other garage door reinforcement, you may want to back up your car against the inside of your garage door to help prevent it from “twisting” due to high winds.
  • Test and refuel your backup generator. If you’ve installed a gas-powered generator as a backup power supply in your home, regularly test it to ensure that it is operational at the time you need it. When a storm approaches, run another quick test and make sure that plenty of fuel is available.

During a Severe Storm:

  • Stay informed of approaching storms by monitoring local television and radio stations for severe weather updates.
  • Evacuate if requested by authorities.
  • Identify a “shelter” room in your home, if you are unable to evacuate. This enclosed area should be on the first floor, in the central part of the house and with no windows. When the storm gets bad, go there. Avoid all unprotected windows and doors until the storm passes.
  • Secure household appliances. Appliances, including personal computers, should be unplugged and stored away in cabinets or interior closets.
  • Move furniture and household fixtures. Move them away from exterior door and window openings. If possible, elevate these items and cover them with plastic.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so by authorities.

After a Severe Storm:

  • Beware of loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the proper authorities.
  • Use your emergency supply of water or boil any water before drinking, until official word is given that the water is safe.
  • Do not operate a gas, propane or charcoal grill, or generator indoors or near ventilation areas.
  • If your home has sustained damage, take steps to prevent further damage. Cover roof damage with tarps and cover windows with plywood. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Source: Chubb

Avoid Boiler Fines for NYC Boiler Inspections

August 15, 2017 Company News , Uncategorized no comments

As of August 14th, 2017 the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will no longer accept paper or bulk fillings from vendors such as Insparisk or Praeses (JOL). All fillings must be entered into the new online platform, DOB NOW: Safety for Boiler Compliance Portal, by the inspector.

A requirement of the new system is that every building owner, or owners designee must be registered with DOB NOW.  This is mandatory and must be completed so an inspection report can be filed.  If the annual inspection is not filed, a $1,000 fine will be levied for each boiler not reported.

Owners can go to to register.  If you have any questions, contact your B&G Account Executive or broker.

AIG Family CyberEdge

March 31, 2017 Company News , Uncategorized no comments

AIG Private Client Group offers a range of coverage options to supplement your homeowners’ insurance. Family CyberEdge helps you stay ahead of potential online threats, and facilitates your financial and emotional recovery in the unfortunate event that you are victimized.


Coverage highlights of our Family CyberEdge

Family CyberEdge includes protection from a broad range of incidents and helps you proactively manage your family’s cyber footprint. Customize your limit of insurance for each of the coverage features listed below, from $50,000 – $100,000. Please note that coverage extends to events discovered during your policy term or no later than 30 days past its expiration.

Data restoration

You can be reimbursed for costs incurred for data restoration expenses after a cyber attack on you or your family’s personal computer system, including wireless and mobile devices. Through our partnership with K2 Intelligence, you can access help to restore data and remove any malware on your personal computing devices. (Minimum deductible: $1,000.)

Cyber extortion

This coverage reimburses money paid by you or a family member to terminate a cyber extortion threat against you or a family member. It also provides access to an expert cyber consultant to assist if a criminal demands ransom in exchange for your data. In addition, we cover the costs for the cyber professional to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the threat. (No deductible required; you can choose one to control costs.)

Crisis management and reputation restoration

If cyber extortion or a similar cyber attack affects your reputation or that of a family member, we can reimburse the cost of hiring a professional crisis management firm. (No deductible required; you can choose one to control costs.)

Cyberbullying expenses

If you or a family member is a victim of cyberbullying, we can cover the cost of related expenses including psychiatric services; professional digital forensic analysis to aid in prosecution; professional cyber security consultant services; lost salary due to wrongful termination; public relations service fees; and temporary relocation expenses. (No deductible required; you can choose one to control costs.)

In addition, Family CyberEdge coverage includes credit monitoring services for up to two family members per household, provided by our identity service provider CyberScout. Monitoring draws from three credit bureaus, public and court records, and additional records that include personal data.

You don’t have to have a claim to benefit from this added layer of protection.

Family CyberEdge Assistance

Stay ahead of sophisticated, quickly evolving threats by taking advantage of supplemental services offered by best-in-class cyber security specialists.

Partnerships include:

Stay ahead of sophisticated, quickly evolving threats by taking advantage of supplemental services offered by best-in-class cyber security specialists.

  • CyberScout AIG Private Client Group homeowners policyholders in the U.S. are automatically eligible to access a menu of complimentary identity theft protection services from CyberScout.
  • K2 Intelligence For those whose cyber concerns go beyond basic identity protection, K2 Intelligence offers additional services at reduced rates for AIG policyholders. Its Cyber HouseCall features a holistic assessment of your devices, home network, wireless access points, secure online accounts, along with best practices and training to family members. Privacy Pulse online monitoring assesses and tracks the availability of your personal information.

Contact us for more information.