5 Ways to Help Protect Your Company’s Data

A data breach could turn into a catastrophic event for any company, especially for small businesses that may not be prepared for this emerging threat. The 2015 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report found that 60% of all targeted attacks struck small- to mid-sized companies.1 As a business owner or an employee, there are a number of preventive steps you can take to help keep your company’s data secure. The most important place to start is to know the common causes of data breaches and how to avoid them before the damage is done.

You may think data breaches are mainly caused by outsiders hacking into the system. While that scenario is the one that makes headlines in the media, the fact is that employee error, such as a lost or stolen computer or mobile device, or downloading malicious software, can also lead to data loss or a data breach incident. Train your employees to better understand these risks to help protect your company’s data.

Following are some safety steps, including how to help protect your work space, stay safer when receiving email and create strong passwords.

  1. Protect Data at Your Work Space

If you step away from your desk while you are in the middle of a project that includes sensitive business information, take some precautions to protect company data from visitors or others who are not authorized to see that information. Remember these simple tips for keeping your work spaces secure:

  • When you step away from your computer, lock it up. You can also change your preferences to require your user account password when unlocking or waking up your computer.
  • After a meeting, clean up your materials.
  • After printing, copying or faxing, pick up your documents right away.
  • Keep sensitive documents in secure locations.
  • Always stay aware of your surroundings.
  1. Be Aware of Phishing Schemes

Phishing emails are fake email messages that can be used by criminals and hackers to target your credit and identity, gain control of your computer and network or steal your password and access company information. They often appear as if coming from a trusted source, such as your credit card company or another vendor, and can often include links or attachments that they ask you to download. You should delete suspicious emails without opening them.

Before you open an email or respond to any requests to download files or click on links, confirm that it:

  • Comes from someone you know.
  • Comes from someone who has sent you an email before.
  • Is something you were expecting.
  • Does not look odd, with unusual spelling or characters.
  1. Passwords: Longer is Stronger

Using strong passwords and changing them regularly makes it harder for thieves to access information. Never share your password with anyone. Choose something cryptic so it is difficult to guess, but it should also be memorable so you can avoid writing it down. If you do write it down, keep it in a locked cabinet or drawer.

Best practices for strong passwords include the following:

  • Passwords should not contain all or part of your name or ID.
  • Passwords should be at least seven characters long.
  • Passwords should contain characters from at least two of the following four categories: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols (e.g., &, %, $, #).
  1. Stay On Guard While Traveling

Portable devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones, can be easier to lose and a target for thieves. Be aware when logging in to secure systems in public places so others cannot see your username and password.

  • Keep your mobile device with you at all times while at the airport, on public transportation or in any public space, and never check it with your baggage.
  • When you travel by car with your laptop, put it in the trunk of the vehicle. Take it with you when you arrive at your final destination.
  • Never store your password or backups with your mobile devices.
  • When away from the office, keep your company laptop, mobile device and portable storage devices, such as flash drives, secure, either locked up or in your personal possession.
  1. Recognize Social Engineering

Much like piecing together a puzzle, social engineers get what they need by gathering pieces of information from many different sources, including your social profiles and other information about your organization. Since people may not be who they claim to be, always verify before providing any kind of information.

If someone you do not know claims to be a fellow employee, you can:

  • Try calling the person back at their work phone number.
  • Send a code word or number to his or her company email address and ask the person to call back with it.

Share these tips with others in your organization to help keep your company’s data safe. Learn more about cyber risks and how to create cyber security training for employees.

Sources: 1 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, April 2015, Volume 20: https://www4.symantec.com/mktginfo/whitepaper/ISTR/21347932_GA-internet-security-threat-report-volume-20-2015-social_v2.pdf




What is Excess Liability Coverage?

This coverage provides extra liability limits over an Umbrella policy. This coverage typically follows the terms of the first underlying insurance policy.

Higher limits may be necessary for businesses with high loss potential, high profile, sizable sales, numerous assets, large auto fleets, worldwide presence, significant public exposure.

Talk to ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC today about your business operations and we can advise you what kind of liability coverage you need to protect yourself and your company. Just give us a call at (267) 614-4234 and we’ll help make sure you’re covered.


What is Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

If umbrella policies are good for individuals, then they are imperative for business. When a catastrophic liability loss occurs, an umbrella insurance policy can mean the difference between a business surviving, or not.

The rising costs of lawsuits and judgments are important for today’s business owner to consider. Catastrophic liability losses can happen to any business at any time, and a Commercial Umbrella Policy protects you when those losses exceed your basic liability coverage. The time and effort you have taken to build your business is too important for it to disappear after one unforeseen event. Call ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC at (267) 614-4234 or email us today about a commercial umbrella insurance policy.

Commercial Umbrella helps you protect your assets by providing liability limits above and beyond your other policies. In some cases, it even broadens your protection. Due to the unpredictable nature of jury awards ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC recommends that your business insurance program include this coverage.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance is extra liability insurance that goes above and beyond the limits of the insured’s property, vehicle, business, or watercraft insurance. It can protect you against some lawsuits not covered by your other insurance policies. One example would be if you were sued over an accident involving a boat that you rented while vacationing in Europe. It also provides coverage for some claims that may be excluded by other liability policies including, but not limited to: false arrest, libel, slander, and liability coverage on any rental units that you may own.

The more that your assets increase or the more income that you accrue, the more likely it is that you would benefit from an umbrella insurance policy. If you are concerned about losing assets or income or being involved in a lawsuit, call or email Alliances Insurance Agency, LLC today and we can help you find the right coverage for your needs.

There are many money saving discounts that are available if you are already have other insurance policies with Alliances Insurance Agency, LLC. The cost of an umbrella policy depends on how much underlying insurance you have and the kind of risk you represent. The greater the underlying liability coverage, the less expensive the policy will be since you would be less likely to need the additional insurance. An umbrella policy is the absolute best buy in the insurance business. It can cost as little as $150 to $200 for the first $1 million of coverage, then about $100 for each additional $1 million.

What types of bonds can we provide?

Here are some of the types of bonds we can provide:

Contract Bonds

  • Bid Bonds
  • Performance & Payment Bonds
  • Supply Bonds

Commercial Bonds

  • License and Permit Bonds
  • Contractor License
  • Highway and Street Permit
  • Agent/Adjuster/Broker License
  • Fuel Dealer
  • Professional License
  • Automobile Dealer
  • Alcoholic Beverage Compliance Bonds
  • Probate Bonds
  • Administrator
  • Executor
  • Guardian
  • Trustee Bonds
  • Receiver or Trustee Bond in Bankruptcy
  • Public Official
  • Notary Public
  • Sheriff
  • Deputy Sheriff
  • Constable
  • Jailer
  • County/City/School Treasurer Bonds
  • Court Clerk
  • Loan Closing Attorney
  • FHA Schedule Bonds
  • Court Bonds
  • Plaintiff Replevin
  • Plaintiff Attachment
  • Cost Bonds
  • Miscellaneous Bonds

Fidelity Bonds

  • ERISA (Pension Plans)
  • Business Services Bonds (e.g. janitorial, home health care or security)

Financial Institution Bonds and D&O Coverage

  • Commercial Banks and Savings Institutions, etc.

What can Workers Compensation Coverage Include?

Some workers compensation coverage can include:

  • Innovative payment systems
  • Medical disability case managers
  • Utilization management nurses
  • Certified life care planning nurses
  • Vocational rehabilitation consultants
  • Physician consulting services
  • Legal staff
  • Contracts with medical network providers
  • Managed prescription drug program

What do I need to know about Commercial Property Insurance?

  • Replacement Cost of Building

Do you own a commercial building? If so, do you have enough Commercial Property Insurance to cover replacement costs? Although cost estimators are available, we recommend that you secure an appraisal from a third party to accurately determine the current replacement cost of your building. Give ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC a call today at 267.614.4234 and we’ll help you determine if you have enough commercial property insurance for your business.

  • Flood

Most commercial property policies exclude flood as a covered cause of loss. A separate policy must be purchased to protect you from resulting damage. Check your current property insurance policy to be sure you are covered. If you are unsure, just ask ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC to review your coverage and we will help you find the best solution.

  • Business Personal Property

Business personal property insurance covers property at a specified location for furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory. Be aware that most commercial property policies have very limited coverage for property taken off the specified location. If you have equipment that is frequently taken off–site to various locations, it is important that you have an inland marine policy (equipment or installation floater).

  • Business Income (Business Interruption Coverage)

This coverage reimburses a business owner for lost profits and fixed expenses during the time that a business is closed. It applies while the premises are being restored because of damage from an event, such as a fire. Business income insurance may also cover financial losses that occur if civil authorities limit customer access to your neighborhood or business after a disaster. ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC strongly recommends that all businesses acquire this coverage.

  • Electronic Data Processing (EDP)

This coverage is separate property coverage specifically designed to protect your computer related equipment. Most commercial property policies have limited coverage for computer networks. EDP broadens the causes of loss to include things like power surges and in some cases virus attacks.

Based in the Tri-State area, ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC understands the business insurance needs of our customers. The right coverage for you is unique – call us at 267.614.4234  today to find out how to protect your business and your future with the right insurance.

Are there additional types of General Liability Insurance?

Take a look at the list below for additional general liability coverages that are often available:

  • Professional Liability Insurance (Errors & Omissions)

Errors & Omissions (E&O) covers professionals for negligence and errors or omissions that injure their clients or cause damage to a third party’s data. This type of insurance is particularly important to licensed professionals such as accountants, attorneys, insurance agents, architects, engineers and technology companies. ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC recommends that all professional and technology companies have E&O coverage.

  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

Employment Practices Liability Insurance for employers covers employment-related liabilities other than on-the-job injuries. This can include legal fees and damages for suits such as wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other alleged violations of employees’ legal rights. If you have employees, ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC recommends considering this type of coverage.

  • Directors and Officers Insurance (D&O)

D&O covers directors and officers of a company for negligent acts or omissions and for misleading statements that result in lawsuits against the company. There is a variety of Directors and Officers coverage available such as corporate reimbursement coverage, personal liability, and entity coverage. D&O policies may be broadened to include coverage for employment practices liability as well.

To find out more about these, as well as other products and services, call ALLIANCES INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC at 267.614.4234 and we’ll help make sure you’re properly covered.

Surety Bonds Insurance

A Surety Bond ensures contract completion in the event of contractor default. Whether you are a contractor looking for a complex bid bind or a business owner in need of a simple license and permit bond, Alliances Insurance Agency, LLC is here to help. We know that you cannot conduct business or win the job without the backing of a solid surety bond. That’s why we work with only the most reputable and trustworthy surety providers. We partner with only the best sureties to give you outstanding products supported by value-added services to contractors and businesses. Talk to an Alliances Insurance Agency, LLC agent today about protecting your assets with financial backups for promises made by others.

Workers Compensation Coverage

Workers Compensation Coverage pays for medical care and physical rehabilitation of employees injured at work and helps to replace lost wages while they are unable to work. In most cases, this coverage can also protect an employer from being sued by an injured worker.

Alliances Insurance Agency, LLC can help your business find complete solutions to your unique workers compensation insurance needs. We will find solutions to create safer and more productive workplaces, more confident and secure workers and overall savings that you will see on the bottom line.

Alliances Insurance Agency, LLC also offers “pay-as-you-go” billing options which enable insureds to pay for their workers comp premiums based on actual exposure. So, essentially, the insured pays what they owe when they owe it. This improves cash-flow, reduces or eliminates end of term audits, and provides the ease of electronic billing. Contact us today at (267) 614-4234 regarding your workers compensation coverage.