Archive for 'Operational Risk'

11 Reasons Your Laptop Will be Hacked and How to Immediately Prevent it.

John Downey is the Vice President of Software Development at ClearRisk Inc. The ClearRisk team is excited to share John’s technical expertise to help you manage technology risk at your organization. 

It seems like every day now that we hear about another company’s network or laptop being hacked, or a business accidentally revealing confidential files. From Stanford Hospital exposing 20 000 patient records to the hacker attack on Sony that compromised 71 million accounts, even the largest and most seemingly secure organizations are susceptible to data insecurity.

Collaborating with the IT security experts here at ClearRisk, I’ve created a list of 11 easily preventable mistakes almost everyone unknowingly makes. I’ve also provided information security tips that are necessary to help prevent data insecurity as a result of these common mistakes.

Top 11 Easily Prevented Information Security Threats:

1. Using the same password for multiple account.

Never use the same password for two separate accounts. This is especially important for your email; if a hacker can gain access to your email, it’s likely that they can also get into other important accounts from your email, such as your online bank account. Think about this: if you sign up for a service, providing your email and creating the same password you use for your email, this is the only information the wrong person needs to gain access to everything else. 

Preventing Data BreachesAt the very least, you can create different groups of passwords. For example, create one password to be used for your email, one to be used for your banking, and another for all low security accounts. Ideally, you should use a password generator or manager that allows you to create passwords that are impossible to guess.

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RIMS Canada Conference: 10 Years Post 9/11

September 11, 2001 is this generation’s Kennedy assassination. It’s the day when everyone knows exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first found out about it. For risk managers in Canada, that day was spent in Ottawa at the RIMS Canada Conference.

RIMS Canada Conference in Ottawa I was walking through the exhibit hall when a friend with BI&I (the Hartford Steam Boiler -Munich Re) asked if I had heard what happened. I spent the rest of the day mesmerized and horrified in front of my hotel room TV. The rest of the conference was sombre and serious as we thought about our industry friends and colleagues that were among the victims that day.

In a few days, risk managers from across Canada and many from the US will once again gather in Ottawa, the nation’s capital. The annual RIMS Canada conference runs from September 18th through 21st. I suspect there will be a lot of reflection about what has changed in the world of risk and risk management since that dreadful day. The short answer: everything.

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The 6 Biggest Risks Concerning Small Businesses


SMB RiskI recently participated in an interview on the risks faced by SMBs with Pam Clark of Business Insurance.   Matthew Brodsky of Risk & Insurance Magazine, Jon L. Gelman an expert on worker’s compensation and I set out to give small business owners some useful advice on their most pressing risk management issues. Go here to view the full interview.

Matthew and Jon provided some excellent answers, so the entire article is well worth reading! For the benefit of our readers, I want to reiterate 6 important points we covered.

Early Risks to Address

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How to beat the odds of survival: Risk Management for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

This week ClearRisk is proud to provide a guest post by Bert Fens of Forces Risk Management. Bert is a risk professional with 20+ years of international experience in risk management, holding several senior management positions. He is also a member of the Risk Management Consultants of Ontario (RMCO).

Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMB’s) can benefit considerably from a simple but effective risk management program.

Business continuity plan

Consider this: more than 2 out of 5 small business owners in Canada have experienced a significant disruption to their businesses; 80% of businesses affected by a major incident have to close within 18 months, yet 62% of business owners have placed  business continuity planning low on their to-do-list and 18% of them admit that it is not even on their radar. These numbers are a clear and very scary indicator that the odds of survival for companies that have been hit by a major loss are incredibly low.

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Do your employees feel safe blowing the whistle?

Throughout the lifespan of a corporation, stakeholders can be faced with the risk of economic crime.  Often, it becomes a reality long after the issue should have been brought to the attention of the board of directors. Entrepreneur that have invested a great deal of time and energy building a company from the ground up, find it hard to imagine that something as intrusive as economic crime can happen to them.Why you need a sample-whistleblower policy

Do you have the processes in place within your company to mitigate this risk?  If you don’t have a plan and solutions in place, there is a possibility that you will be blindsided by fraud, worse yet – there’s a chance it could have been prevented.

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The Downside of Upside

The economic downturn has presented its share of challenges for business around the world. Adjusting to the “new economic normal” hasn’t been an easy task as the broad scope of operational changes, closures and bailouts have shown. It’s been a trying time for business, but positive signs of change are beginning to emerge; strategies are being aimed at making the most of the upturn, investments are leading economic activity and strategists are identifying early increases in consumer confidence.

ClearRisk Blog The Downside of Upside

Edging out of the recession and seeing better economic conditions around the corner, it’s important that businesses be aware of the downside of the upside of risk!

It’s common to view risk negatively, but every entrepreneur knows that there is no reward without risk. Risk brings opportunity and is the balance between the upside and the downside. There are many changes that will come with a global economy that is on the upswing; credit will become more widely available, businesses will begin to prosper and begin hiring, business spending restrictions will ease, investments will be made in infrastructure and companies will look for ambitious growth.

As discussed in one of our blog posts from last year, the downturn has been a time for improving operations, strengthening relationships with customers and preparing to make the most of the recovery. Now that the upswing is upon us, bringing positive change and room for growth, it’s important to plan for the risks that will no doubt accompany the opportunities presented. In the upturn of the economic recession, make sure you don’t become your own worst enemy.

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Social Media Policy: Avoiding a Death-Blow!

A company’s reputation is its biggest asset! Successful companies have always guarded their reputations at all costs. Corporate communications have always been very structured and deliberate and the messaging meticulously controlled by dedicated professional spokespersons. That was before blogging, Twitter, Facebook and all the other new social media that gives all of your employees and customers a soapbox and a bullhorn with a global audience!ClearRisk Blog Social Media Policy Avoiding a Death-Blow

You’d be hard pressed to find someone these days who can argue against the impact that social media has had on the way that we conduct business. From customer support and advertising to internal controls and knowledge sharing, social media has changed the way we work and has changed the expectations of customers.

As we try to better understand how to use social media to our advantage, it’s important to consider managing the associated risks. We need to ensure that employees know the Dos and Don’ts and the potential impact on the company and them of going “off script”.
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Strategic Risk as an Element of Operational Risk

Tom Cooper is currently an Assistant Professor at Memorial University in the area of strategic management. As a member of ClearRisk Board of Advisors, Tom’s research and blogging focuses primarily on the interplay between strategy, risk and compliance as well as their effects on corporate responsibility. ‘Strategic Risk as an Element of Operational Risk’ is the fourth in this ongoing series.

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How Stress Can Hurt Your Business


While it may not always be at the forefront of our thinking on risk management, work-related stress can be extremely costly if not properly monitored and controlled. As with most risk management activities, being proactive is not only better for your employees, but it’s also better for your bottom line. Being proactive costs a lot less than being reactive.

What are the costs associated with employee stress?

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Office Holiday Parties and Liquor Liability

ClearRisk Blog Office Holiday Parties and Liquor Liability

It’s that time of year again. The shopping days are counting down, decorations are going up, and holiday gatherings are starting to fill the calendar.

Hosting holiday celebrations for your employees can be a great way to come together, to show appreciation for their contribution throughout the year, and to unwind and celebrate the holidays. But it is important as an employer to minimize the risks associated with consuming alcohol at holiday get-togethers.

Employers in many jurisdictions have been held liable for damages resulting from employee intoxication at a company event. To prevent losses and to limit liability related to alcohol consumption at work-related events, employers should implement an Alcohol Policy.

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