CIC Services, LLC is thrilled to announce that it has been honored with the title of “Captive Manager of the Year 2023 (< $1bn GWP)” by Captive Review, a leading publication in the captive insurance industry. This recognition underscores CIC Services’ commitment to excellence, innovation, and exceptional client service within the captive insurance landscape.
The Captive Review Awards celebrate organizations and individuals that demonstrate outstanding contributions and leadership in the captive insurance industry. CIC Services’ exceptional performance, forward-thinking strategies, and unwavering dedication to its clients have propelled the company to the forefront of the industry.
“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as Captive Manager of the Year 2023 by Captive Review,” said CIC Services Principal and Chief Operating Officer Bryan Ridgway. “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team, as well as the trust and collaboration we share with our valued clients. At CIC Services, we are committed to delivering innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients and help them achieve their risk management goals.”
CIC Services, LLC has consistently demonstrated its commitment to delivering exceptional captive management services, innovative risk management solutions, and industry-leading expertise. Through a combination of deep industry knowledge, personalized client relationships, and a focus on delivering value, CIC Services has solidified its position as a leader in the captive insurance sector.
“We take great pride in our client-centric approach and the solutions we provide to help our clients navigate the complexities of the captive insurance landscape,” added Ridgway. “Receiving this award affirms our dedication to excellence and motivates us to continue pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve for our clients.”
CIC Services, LLC would like to extend its gratitude to Captive Review for recognizing their achievements and to their clients for their continued trust and partnership.
About CIC Services:
CIC Services is a captive insurance manager and strategist. Since 2005, the company has helped small and mid-sized business owners turn risk into wealth by owning their own insurance company. More information on CIC Services can be found at captivatingthinking.com.
The realm of real estate stands as a pillar of economic growth, encompassing diverse sectors such as residential, commercial, industrial, and retail properties. Amidst the promising prospects that real estate presents, it is not without its share of risks and challenges that can potentially erode investments and disrupt operations. In this dynamic landscape, robust insurance coverage is a vital tool for safeguarding assets and ensuring business continuity. Enter captive insurance, an innovative approach gaining traction within the real estate sector. By building a solid foundation of risk management through captive insurance, real estate businesses can fortify their operations, mitigate risks, and pave the way for greater profitability.
Erecting Shields Against Risks and Challenges
Within the realm of real estate, risks come in various forms, including:
Property Perils: Natural disasters, accidents, and unforeseen events can lead to property damage, necessitating repairs and causing revenue loss during downtime.
Liability Landscapes: Real estate entities are susceptible to liability claims arising from accidents, injuries, or property disputes. Such claims can lead to legal battles and financial burdens.
Economic Fluctuations: The volatility of the real estate market, coupled with shifts in interest rates and economic conditions, can influence property values, rental income, and investment returns.
Environmental Exposure: Environmental hazards, such as pollution, contamination, and hazardous material concerns, can trigger regulatory fines and cleanup costs.
Rental Revenue Woes: Non-payment of rent, tenant defaults, and periods of vacancy can disrupt cash flow and diminish overall profitability.
Captive Insurance: The Cornerstone Strategy
Captive insurance, a strategic risk management tool, is empowering real estate businesses with a range of benefits:
Bespoke Coverage: Captive insurance enables tailored insurance policies that precisely address the unique risks faced by each real estate entity, leaving no vulnerability unattended.
Economical Advantage: By retaining a portion of the risk, captive insurance often leads to reduced premium outlays to external insurers, translating into substantial cost savings over time.
Profit Amplification: Captive insurance companies can invest their reserves, potentially generating additional investment income that bolsters the profitability of the parent real estate business.
Control and Flexibility: Real estate entities gain enhanced control over claims handling, underwriting criteria, and policy terms, fostering agility in responding to evolving risk scenarios.
Sustainable Stance: By embracing captive insurance, real estate businesses are cultivating a long-term approach to risk management, nurturing a culture of risk awareness and proactive mitigation.
Laying the Cornerstone: Implementing Captive Insurance
The integration of captive insurance into a real estate business requires a thoughtful approach:
Holistic Risk Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify and analyze potential risks specific to the real estate portfolio.
Expert Collaboration: Collaborate with insurance specialists, legal advisors, and financial consultants well-versed in captive insurance intricacies to navigate regulatory landscapes.
Adequate Capitalization: Ensure the captive insurance company is sufficiently capitalized to handle potential losses and claims, laying the groundwork for financial stability.
Embedded Risk Management: Infuse robust risk management practices within the organization to preemptively minimize risks and fortify the foundation.
The real estate industry, marked by promise and unpredictability, demands a strategic approach to risk management. Captive insurance emerges as a powerful cornerstone, enabling real estate businesses to erect a solid foundation of protection against a myriad of risks. With its tailored coverage, cost efficiencies, profit potential, and enhanced control, captive insurance equips real estate entities to not only secure their investments but also elevate their profitability and enduring stability. By building upon this foundation, real estate businesses can navigate the dynamic landscape with confidence, resilience, and a heightened capacity to thrive.
Cybercrime has become an increasingly prevalent threat in today’s digital landscape, affecting businesses of all sizes. While large corporations often make headlines when targeted by cyberattacks, small businesses are not immune to the detrimental effects of these crimes. In fact, they are particularly vulnerable due to limited resources and cybersecurity measures. According to recent statistics, there have been a staggering 832 reported cybercrime incidents, with 130 of them resulting in confirmed data closure. In this article, we will investigate the impact of cybercrime on small businesses, exploring the frequency of attacks, common patterns, threat actors involved, their motives, and the types of data most commonly compromised.
1. Frequency of Attacks
Small businesses face a constant barrage of cyberattacks, with a staggering 832 incidents reported recently. This alarming number highlights the scale of the problem and emphasizes the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures. These attacks can disrupt business operations, compromise sensitive data, and lead to financial losses. Small businesses, often lacking dedicated IT departments or comprehensive security strategies, are attractive targets for cybercriminals seeking easy prey.
2. Common Patterns
System intrusion, social engineering, and privilege misuse emerge as the top patterns observed in cybercrime incidents, accounting for 98% of breaches. System intrusion involves unauthorized access to a business’ network or computer systems, allowing hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and gain control. Social engineering tactics, such as phishing emails or phone scams, trick employees into revealing sensitive information or granting access to confidential systems. Privilege misuse refers to the abuse of authorized access privileges by insiders, such as employees or contractors, who exploit their elevated permissions for malicious purposes.
3. Threat Actors
Cybercrime incidents involve various threat actors, with external entities accounting for 69% of breaches, internal individuals responsible for 34%, and a small percentage (3%) involving multiple actors. External threat actors, including organized criminal groups and state-sponsored hackers, target small businesses seeking financial gain or aiming to disrupt operations. Internal threats, on the other hand, can arise from disgruntled employees or individuals with privileged access who exploit their position for personal gain or revenge.
4. Actor Motives
Financial gain emerges as the primary motive behind cybercrime incidents, accounting for 100% of the breaches reported. Small businesses, often viewed as softer targets compared to larger enterprises, are targeted for their financial resources, customer data, or proprietary information. Cybercriminals seek to exploit vulnerabilities in small business security defenses to extract ransom payments, commit fraud, or sell stolen data on the dark web. The potential monetary gains, coupled with the relative ease of targeting small businesses, make them attractive targets for financially motivated threat actors.
5. Compromised Data
When it comes to the types of data compromised in cybercrime incidents, credentials top the list, accounting for 93% of breaches. Hackers target login credentials, passwords, and other authentication information to gain unauthorized access to systems or perpetrate identity theft. Internal data, constituting 4% of breaches, includes sensitive information stored within the organization, such as financial records or employee data. The remaining 3% involves the compromise of multiple types of data, ranging from customer information to intellectual property.
The middle market faces a unique set of challenges in today’s evolving information technology horizon. Among the numerous threats they encounter, three stand out as the most common: ransomware, the use of stolen credentials, and phishing. We will explore each of these topics in detail, providing real-world scenarios and highlighting the similarities and differences between
Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts a company’s data, rendering it inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the attacker. This threat has become increasingly prevalent, targeting middle market businesses with devastating consequences. For instance, a manufacturing company may fall victim to a ransomware attack, resulting in the complete shutdown of its production line, leading to significant financial losses and reputational damage. Ransomware attacks often exploit vulnerabilities in a company’s network, compromising sensitive data and demanding ransom payments in cryptocurrency. The commonality between ransomware and the other two threats lies in their potential to disrupt business operations and cause financial harm.
The use of stolen credentials involves cybercriminals obtaining and exploiting login credentials to gain unauthorized access to a company’s systems or accounts. This threat poses a significant risk to the middle market, as stolen credentials can be sold on the dark web, providing malicious actors with access to sensitive information. For example, an employee’s compromised credentials may grant unauthorized access to a company’s financial systems, allowing the attacker to manipulate transactions or steal funds. Similar to ransomware attacks, the use of stolen credentials can lead to financial losses and damage a company’s reputation.
Phishing is a deceptive tactic used by malicious black hats to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, or financial data. Middle market companies often face sophisticated phishing campaigns, where employees receive fraudulent emails or messages that appear legitimate. Once the recipient unknowingly provides their credentials or clicks on a malicious link, the attacker gains unauthorized access to company systems or personal accounts. A common scenario involves a phishing email disguised as a legitimate request for login information, leading to compromised accounts and potential data breaches. The shared characteristic among phishing, ransomware, and stolen credentials is their reliance on social engineering techniques to exploit human vulnerabilities.
Utilization of Captive Insurance
Forming a captive insurance entity can provide significant benefits when it comes to customized insurance arrangements tailored to a company’s specific risk profile. One crucial aspect of a captive insurance entity is the ability to obtain specialized coverage for emerging and unique risks, such as cyber extortion coverage for ransomware attacks and data compromise coverage for incidents involving stolen credentials and phishing.
Having cyber extortion coverage within a captive insurance entity offers protection against the rising threat of ransomware attacks. In such coverage, the entity would define specific terms and conditions related to ransomware incidents, including the trigger for coverage and the maximum limits. For example, the coverage may encompass financial losses resulting from ransom payments, expenses associated with data recovery and system restoration, and even public relations costs to manage reputational damage. By customizing the coverage, the entity can ensure that the insurance aligns precisely with their risk appetite and potential financial exposures in the event of a ransomware attack.
Similarly, a captive insurance entity can provide data compromise coverage to address incidents involving stolen credentials and phishing. This coverage aims to protect against the financial losses, legal liabilities, and reputational harm resulting from compromised data. The entity can establish specific coverage terms and conditions, such as defining what constitutes a data compromise event, the scope of coverage for legal expenses and regulatory fines, and the extent of coverage for customer notification and credit monitoring services. With this tailored coverage, the entity can mitigate the financial impact and potential legal consequences arising from incidents involving stolen credentials and phishing attacks.
By establishing a captive insurance entity with customized insurance arrangements, companies can proactively address their specific risk profiles and emerging threats. The ability to have cyber extortion coverage for ransomware attacks allows companies to transfer the financial risks associated with such incidents, enabling them to recover from attacks more effectively. Likewise, data compromise coverage within the captive entity provides a mechanism to manage the consequences of stolen credentials and phishing incidents, reducing financial losses and protecting the company’s reputation. In both cases, the tailored coverage ensures that insurance aligns precisely with the company’s risk management strategies, enhancing their ability to navigate the evolving cybersecurity landscape.
As a refresh from our last article, our world today is composed of security incidents and data breaches that we must identify and resolve before we, ourselves, are compromised.
In today’s article, we will dive into the transformative dangers of tech, as we all know the benefits of how the lightbulb and iPhone paved way for society.
Here’s a little joke: Why did the computer go to therapy? It couldn’t decide whether it was a bug or a feature!
This is completely true! The issue at hand is that data is constantly being generated, shared, and stored, and the threat of security incidents and data breaches looms large. These incidents can have far-reaching consequences, impacting individuals, organizations, and even entire nations. Understanding the various action categories through which such incidents occur is crucial in comprehending the complexity of these events. These action categories include hacking, malware, errors, social engineering, misuse, physical breaches, and environmental factors. By delving into each category, we can gain insights into how security incidents unfold and the potential ramifications they can have.
Types of Actions
One action category that often comes to mind when we think of security incidents is hacking. This involves unauthorized individuals gaining access to systems or networks through various means such as exploiting vulnerabilities or employing sophisticated techniques. Once inside, hackers can steal sensitive information, disrupt services, or launch further attacks. Recent examples of hacking incidents include the high-profile breaches of major corporations’ databases, resulting in the compromise of millions of user records and financial losses.
Another prevalent action category in security incidents is malware. Malware refers to malicious software designed to infiltrate systems and carry out harmful actions. This can include viruses, worms, ransomware, or spyware. Malware is typically spread through infected email attachments, compromised websites, or malicious downloads. Once installed, it can enable unauthorized access, data theft, or system disruption. The impact of malware can be widespread, affecting individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure.
Not all security incidents are caused by malicious intent. Errors, both human and technological, can also lead to breaches. Human errors can involve inadvertently sharing sensitive information, misconfiguring systems, or falling victim to social engineering tactics. Technological errors can stem from software bugs, system misconfigurations, or faulty hardware. Despite their unintentional nature, these errors can still result in the unauthorized exposure of sensitive data or system vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors.
4. Social Engineering
Social engineering is a category that relies on manipulating individuals rather than technological vulnerabilities. In these incidents, attackers deceive or manipulate individuals into divulging sensitive information or granting unauthorized access. Social engineering tactics can include phishing emails, phone scams, or impersonation. By exploiting human psychology and trust, attackers can gain access to confidential data or compromise systems without needing to employ sophisticated technical methods.
Sometimes, security incidents occur as a result of internal misuse or abuse of privileges. This can involve authorized individuals within an organization intentionally accessing or using data inappropriately. Misuse can range from accessing sensitive information without authorization to intentionally sabotaging systems or leaking data. Incidents involving misuse can be challenging to detect, as the individuals responsible often have legitimate access rights.
6. Physical Breaches and Environmental Factors
While much of the focus in cybersecurity is on digital threats, physical breaches and environmental factors can also play a role in security incidents. Physical breaches occur when unauthorized individuals gain physical access to premises or systems, bypassing physical security measures. Environmental factors, such as natural disasters or power outages, can disrupt critical infrastructure, leading to data loss or system downtime. These incidents highlight the importance of implementing robust physical security measures and disaster recovery plans.
With this in mind, we will discuss the most prominent types of security incidents and data breaches.
Types of Security Incidents
Firstly, a security incident refers to any event or activity that compromises the security of a system, network, or data. It can include unauthorized access attempts, malware infections, or human errors.
According to the above charts, we can see that web application and DoS (denial of service) hacking are the 2 most common action vectors in security incidents.
For more information about these two varieties, web application hacking and denial of service (DoS) attacks are both forms of hacking that target computer systems or networks, but they differ in their objectives and methods.
Web application hacking involves exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications to gain unauthorized access or manipulate the application’s functionality. Attackers may exploit weaknesses in the application’s code, configuration, or user inputs to carry out various malicious activities, such as stealing sensitive information, defacing the website, or taking control of the underlying server. The goal of web application hacking is typically to compromise the security and integrity of the targeted application.
On the other hand, a DoS attack aims to disrupt or disable the normal functioning of a network, system, or service by overwhelming it with a flood of malicious traffic or resource requests. In a DoS attack, the attacker floods the target with an excessive volume of traffic or exploits vulnerabilities to exhaust system resources, such as bandwidth, processing power, or memory. The objective of a DoS attack is to render the targeted system or network unavailable to its intended users, causing service disruptions or downtime.
While web application hacking and DoS attacks have distinct objectives and methods, they share some similarities. Both types of attacks involve exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems or networks. They can cause significant damage to organizations by compromising sensitive information, disrupting services, and undermining user trust. Additionally, both web application hacking and DoS attacks require a certain level of technical expertise and knowledge of system vulnerabilities to be executed effectively.
Types of Data Breaches
Secondly, data breaches specifically involve the unauthorized access, disclosure, or loss of sensitive or confidential information. While a security incident can be any security-related event, a data breach is a specific type of incident that involves the compromise of data itself.
Web application hacking and social engineering, as well as the use of stolen credentials, are all methods used in hacking to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks. While they share the common goal of bypassing security measures, there are differences in their techniques and approaches.
As we previously mentioned, web application hacking involves exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications to gain unauthorized access or manipulate their functionality. Attackers may target weaknesses in the application’s code, configuration, or user inputs to carry out various malicious activities. In contrast, social engineering relies on manipulating individuals rather than technical vulnerabilities. Social engineering tactics involve deceiving or tricking people into divulging sensitive information or granting access. It often exploits human psychology, trust, and social dynamics to gain unauthorized entry into systems.
The use of stolen credentials, on the other hand, refers to the act of utilizing login information (such as usernames and passwords) that have been obtained illegally. This can occur through various means, including hacking, phishing, or data breaches. Once the credentials are acquired, hackers use them to gain unauthorized access to systems, networks, or accounts.
While these hacking methods differ in their techniques, they also share some similarities. Firstly, they all involve unauthorized access and the compromise of computer systems or networks. Whether through exploiting vulnerabilities, manipulating individuals, or using stolen credentials, the end goal is to gain unauthorized control or access to sensitive information. Additionally, all three methods require a certain level of technical expertise and knowledge of system vulnerabilities or human behavior.
Effect On Our Assets
The fact that over 80% of our data is stored in servers and only 20% is stored on people can be intimidating when considering data breaches. While the majority of data stored in servers may be vulnerable to hacking and other cyber threats, the data stored on people is often compromised through social engineering attacks.
When data breaches occur, the vast amount of information stored in servers becomes an attractive target for hackers. These breaches can lead to the exposure of personal data, such as names, addresses, financial details, and even sensitive health records. As our reliance on technology and online services increases, the volume of data stored in servers also grows, making them an appealing target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in these systems.
On the other hand, the data stored on people themselves, such as their behaviors, preferences, and personal interactions, is often targeted through social engineering attacks. Social engineering involves manipulating individuals through deception or psychological tactics to trick them into revealing sensitive information or granting unauthorized access. Attackers may impersonate trustworthy entities, employ phishing techniques, or exploit human psychology to gather valuable data directly from individuals.
The statistics reveal that almost 60% of compromised assets are located on web application servers, indicating the vulnerability of these systems. Additionally, 25% of compromised assets are found on mail servers, while 20% are on desktop or laptop devices used by individuals.
The high percentage of compromised assets on web application servers is alarming due to the critical role these servers play in storing and processing sensitive data. Web applications are often targeted by hackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in the software or gain unauthorized access to databases containing valuable information. Breaches in these servers can result in the exposure of personal and financial data, leading to identity theft, fraud, and other forms of cybercrime.
Similarly, the compromise of assets on mail servers is a cause for concern. Email is a common communication channel used for both personal and business purposes, often containing sensitive information. Attackers may exploit vulnerabilities in mail servers to intercept or manipulate emails, compromising the confidentiality and integrity of communications. Breaches involving mail servers can have severe consequences, including unauthorized access to sensitive data, unauthorized email forwarding, or even email account takeover.
Lastly, the compromise of assets on desktop or laptop devices highlights the risk posed to individual users. These devices often store personal information, credentials, and access to various online accounts. User devices are targeted through malware, phishing attacks, or social engineering, with the goal of stealing sensitive data or gaining unauthorized access to online accounts.
To protect business assets from potential cyber events, integrating uniquely designed insurance coverages like errors and omissions (E&O) coverage and media liability coverage can be beneficial. E&O coverage, also known as professional liability insurance, provides protection against claims arising from professional mistakes, negligence, or failure to perform professional services. Media liability coverage, on the other hand, specifically addresses risks associated with media-related activities such as publishing, advertising, or broadcasting.
By integrating these insurance coverages, businesses can mitigate financial losses resulting from cyber-related incidents. E&O coverage can safeguard against claims arising from errors or omissions in professional services, including those related to cybersecurity. It can help cover legal defense costs, settlements, or judgments in the event of a lawsuit due to alleged professional negligence or failure to provide adequate cybersecurity measures.
Similarly, media liability coverage offers protection against claims related to media content, such as defamation, copyright infringement, or invasion of privacy. In the context of cyber events, this coverage can be valuable for businesses involved in digital media, social media management, or content creation. It can help cover legal expenses and damages resulting from cyber-related issues associated with media content, such as accidental dissemination of sensitive information or intellectual property violations.
By integrating these insurance coverages, businesses can proactively shield themselves from potential financial repercussions caused by cyber events. However, it’s important to carefully
review the policy terms, conditions, and exclusions to ensure the coverage aligns with the specific needs and risks of the business. Consulting with an insurance professional or broker experienced in cyber liability insurance can provide valuable guidance in selecting the appropriate coverage options for comprehensive protection.
Businesses who implement ERM programs combined with a captive to plan for unforseen risks stand a better chance of surviving, and passing to the next generation.
Improved Cost Controls
Captive owners can leverage their ERM and captive programs to improve their negotiating ability when renewing their commercial insurance coverages.
Profitable captives will see their reserves grow over time to significant sums which can be utilized by their owners for retirement or other life cycle needs.
Advantageous Tax Treatment
Insurance companies are the only entities allowed to expense projected future expense against current-year revenues (claim reserves). Small captives (premiums of $2.2M or less per year) may also elect to only be taxed on their investment income, potentially resulting in substantial tax savings for their owners.
Utilizing your captive to reduce or replace your commercial insurance coverage with policies issued by your captive allows you to capture insurance profits previously realized by the carriers.
Improved Risk Management
Adding a captive and ERM program will result in a higher awareness and enhanced strategies for how your organization thinks about and plans for all risks.
The assets held by a properly organized and managed captive enjoy a very high degree of protection from both the business’ and business owner’s creditors.
Choose the captive manager with a proven track record of fighting for its clients, and winning.Learn more.