Learn from the Best at Trisura through our Exclusive Education Series

Learn from the Best at Trisura through our Exclusive Education Series

By Sara Ametrano

 

The pandemic has prevented us from meeting with our broker partners in person, and we’ve really missed that interaction. It made it clear that now is the perfect time to try something new. So we’re seizing the opportunity to get creative, because after all, at Trisura, we love innovation.

You’ve participated in our e-learning courses (more coming your way this year!) and possibly even some in-person webinars with our subject matter experts. But now, we’re stepping things up even more, expanding our catalogue of courses with free webinars!

Hosted by an exclusive Trisura team, our education series will be a new way to learn about specialty insurance and surety. A fun way to learn at a distance, our instructors will present interactive courses live and will be ready to take any questions you might have. And that’s not all: continuing education credits will also be available to those who attend!

We’re looking forward to bringing exciting new courses your way and hope to see you at the webinars.

Stay tuned for more information including course information and accessibility and dates coming your way soon!

Championing Women Every Day

Championing Women Every Day

By Sara Ametrano

 

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. We are seeing strides in the workforce; we are more diverse than ever, but we must continue to challenge and shape the future.

Trisura’s staff is 52% women strong, with several being influential members of Trisura’s leadership team. Women are difference-makers, and we stand by their personal and professional growth, as well as support their important initiatives.

We all know that the pandemic has posed unique challenges, including forcing companies and individuals to adapt to a new business landscape. Our team acted quickly towards navigating operations remotely and were there to assist our broker partners with any concerns they had. In fact, one of our very own underwriters, Emily Thompson, was the recipient of the 2020 Underwriter of the Year award from Insurance Business Canada, a reflection of her efforts to quickly streamline business and find solutions during the pandemic.

One of the people behind the faces of Trisura is our senior vice-president of Human Resources, Cindy Grant. Cindy works to ensure every element of the organization is a step above, from bringing top talent on board to managing Trisura’s philanthropic initiatives. An accomplished individual with a colourful career in the financial services sector, Cindy is an inspirational leader and her door is always open to everyone, whether it’s a work-related matter or simply to catch up.

“I am passionate about celebrating women in business and building inclusive workplaces where women thrive,” Cindy says. “Choose to challenge yourself–to learn, to grow, to teach.”

Women are an integral part of the workforce, and we honour them today and continue to be inspired by their drive and dedication.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Cyber Security and COVID-19: What Everyone Needs to Know

Cyber Security and COVID-19: What Everyone Needs to Know

By Sara Ametrano

 

In these times of social distancing and working from home, it’s become even more crucial to ensure strong cyber security measures are in place for your business. Working from home can pose its own challenges and takes adjusting to; the last thing anyone would want is a cyber breach to occur at the same time.

As organizations have moved to a work-from-home state, it can be argued that the risk of cyber exposure is even higher. This is due to an expanded attack surface with potentially weaker security protocols. Employees may also be using devices provided by the company and/or personal devices when accessing the company network, making the cyber playground vaster and more vulnerable.

We at Trisura are also working from home and have compiled some tips and tricks that work for our team to share with you and your clients. This article will highlight several different tools and strategies companies, employees and brokers can use to combat potential cyber breaches.

What organizations can do:

Implementing a multi-factor authentication process (at least two steps) for logging into a company’s network remotely adds an extra layer of security as it requires identity confirmation through a variety of factors. This could be in the form of security questions, multiple email addresses or sending a code to a mobile device.

Installing smart anti-virus software can help to alleviate any worries surrounding breach protection. It is recommended that organizations opt for “next-generation” and intelligence-based anti-virus software since these types of virtual shields can evolve like viruses do. They are programmed to analyze data, such as unique characteristics, rather than simply looking at signatures.

Just as it’s important to always hit the “Save” button as you work, offline and offsite data backup is also good housekeeping for combating ransomware. Frequent backups, both at the PC and network levels, will prove to be useful should you be required to wipe the system clean and reinstall everything.

What employees can do:

Having up-to-date firewalls and technology (i.e. patching) are certainly important, but it doesn’t stop there: ensuring employees have the proper training and information about cyberattacks is equally important. If an attacker tries to obtain personal information through email, for example, employees who know how to spot suspicious emails are more likely to thwart a possible breach than those without cyber awareness. 

The employee’s responsibility begins at the login page. Once an attacker knows the username, cracking the password may not be too difficult. To avoid an attacker breaking into your network, here are some password tips to keep in mind:

  • Change your password often;
  • Make your password hard to guess with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols; it should not be something related to you;
  • Do not share your password with anyone.

What brokers can do:

As there may be some uncertainty surrounding the vast world of cyber, brokers should familiarize themselves with the risks. Brokers can serve as a resource for your clients and spread awareness through news stories and articles that highlight the exposures.

It’s also important to gain an understanding of where your clients may be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Find out your client’s cyber protection measures and help identify these gaps. With the help of insurance carriers, you can then suggest experts your client can use to strengthen their cyber breach prevention practices.

Now you’re ready

We hope these tips prove helpful in mitigating your and your client’s cyber exposures. Though there are many controls that can prevent cyber-attacks, remember that the human element is the most important piece of the puzzle. Employee errors cause the most breaches, so if the organization has good employee training and awareness policies, you are well on your way to combating the bad actors.

If you have any questions or are want more advice, don’t hesitate to contact your Trisura expert.

This article does not intend to provide legal or technical IT advice.  You should consult your own legal counsel or IT professional in connection with matters affecting your own legal or technological requirements or interests.

Woman Up!

Woman Up!

By Sara Ametrano

Every year on March 8th, countries all over the world celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s a day to recognize women’s personal and professional achievements as well as the daily challenges they face. The event’s theme this year is #EachforEqual.

Marilyn vanGansewinkel, vice-president, specialty insurance solutions, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company“I look at the team we have [at Trisura] and am proud of the diversity of the team and the skillset that they bring to the table,” Marilyn vanGansewinkel, Trisura’s senior vice president of specialty insurance solutions, says. Over her 23-year career in the specialty insurance industry, Marilyn has seen a great deal of change. She began as an underwriting assistant, and at that time, nearly all administrative/assistant positions belonged to women.

Today, the industry has considerably changed, with women holding many senior positions at insurance companies and brokerages alike. Hiring a candidate has transitioned from the gender associated with a specific job to focusing more on the qualifications of the individual applying. The opportunities in the workforce continue to grow, and Marilyn is excited to see how women will seize them. “While hiring people, I am continually impressed with how driven women are now. They know what they want and where they want to go.”

Women have a critical role in their own success and the success of their peers. In fact, there are certain advantages that come with being a woman. “Women are excellent at being empathetic,” she explains. “This makes them good at listening to any challenges the person that they are talking to might be dealing with.”

Marilyn firmly believes it is important to surround oneself with influential and dynamic people – and there’s no shortage of this in the insurance industry. In fact, the people she crosses paths with while working is one of the things she likes most about the industry. Along with hard work, she credits several female and male colleagues and managers she’s worked with over the course of her career with helping her get to where she is now. She believes that she was given opportunities throughout her career to move into more challenging roles as they presented themselves.

Speaking from her own personal experience, Marilyn acknowledges that although being a mother while working can appear daunting, it’s all about finding the right balance. “Be present wherever you are, whether it’s at work or at home,” she advises.

Trisura’s President & CEO, Chris Sekine, has known Marilyn for over two decades. He applauds her support of those around her and is excited to see the impact women will continue to have in the workforce:

I have known Marilyn for well over 20 years, and as one the original Trisura employees from 2006, her leadership qualities and character are an integral part of Trisura’s DNA today. She is and has always been a tremendous mentor to many of our employees, both women and men. In addition to Marilyn, Trisura has been fortunate to attract many empowered and strong women into senior leadership positions since our beginning. Janet Mascitelli, who is now retired, ran our surety business in Toronto and Donna Anderson started our surety business in the Prairies. Rebekah Alberga, is our General Counsel and started our claims team in Toronto. The list goes on, and it also includes Cindy Grant, our Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Pina Mazzoli our Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution and Marketing.

 

As a father of two daughters nearing the start of their own careers, empowering women is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Our next generation of leaders have to be comprised of more women—our daughters. The more women we can inspire to be leaders, the greater the talent pool that organizations can draw from will be, which will bring diversity in thinking and formulation of strategy. Organizations that can effectively empower women will have a great strategic advantage.

From the start of her career to now, Marilyn has seen women’s confidence flourish, and it’s one of the things she’s most proud of, saying, “Women know what they want, and now they go for it.” She encourages women to continue to seize the opportunities that come their way. “Be confident. Don’t be scared to ask for what you want–there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious. Rise up and deliver.”