North American snow fall increases flood risk
The heavy snowfall hitting the east coast of the US and Canada has caused widespread disruption, property damage, injuries and deaths. Forecasters and authorities are now warning that with milder weather on the way for the weekend there is an increased risk of flooding as the record-breaking snowfall begins to melt. The US National Weather Service says that Buffalo, NY was hit with 65 inches of snow this week; its average is normally 94.7 inches for the whole year.
Russians spying on internet-linked CCTV
Authorities have uncovered a major breach of internet linked CCTV, webcams and even baby monitors. The issue concerns a Russian website which is streaming live footage from internet-linked systems across 250 countries. Many small businesses use systems of this kind as it gives owners remote access to their CCTV, however many users do not change the default password on systems or have no password at all. It is this oversight rather than hacking that is giving the Russian site access. Security experts advise that anyone using internet-linked camera systems should switch off remote access if it’s not needed and use a robust password. Passwords should not be words associated with the user, preferably not words in the dictionary and ideally made up of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols. The longer the password can be, the harder it will be to guess or crack.
Reputational risk can cost you dearly
The rise of social media and review websites has made the potential risk for reputational damage far greater than ever before. A new report from Deloitte shows that financial losses are the biggest issue for those who have suffered an attack on their reputation with 41 per cent citing it as the biggest impact on their business alongside loss of brand value. That figure is closely followed by regulatory investigation. For small businesses it’s estimated that around 25 per cent of a business’ value is from its reputation and any damage to that would most likely mean an impact on cash flow. Experts advise monitoring what is said about your business online; this is good advice for insurance agents and brokers as well as for clients.
Tributes paid to Citigroup risk executive as police investigate death
Tributes are being paid to Shawn D. Miller, global head of environmental and social risk at Citigroup who was found unconscious and later died in his apartment earlier this week. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death apparently from a neck injury.