Defend your business from cyberattacks  with CyberSecure Canada

Defend your business from cyberattacks with CyberSecure Canada

Defend your business from cyberattacks with CyberSecure Canada

Is your business prepared for battle?

Battle against cyber criminals, that is. These modern-day pirates are multiplying on the digital high seas, targeting businesses large and small with a chilling array of assaults – disruptive hacks, malware, ransomware (demanding a ransom payment from their victims) and more.

If you think your company is not at risk, think again. Any business that uses the internet is exposed, and there’s a very good chance that criminals will target you at some point.

What is cybersecurity?
In simple terms, cybersecurity is about protecting all of your assets in the digital sphere – including your website, computers, servers, modems, tablets, smartphones and social media platforms, along with the data held on all of those technologies.

CyberSecure Canada can help you make your business cyber secure

Not surprisingly, many small and medium sized organizations (SMOs) lack adequate cybersecurity expertise and practices, due to time or financial constraints. And, it’s incredibly difficult for busy entrepreneurs to keep pace with digital technologies and risks.

Fortunately, there’s assistance ready to help. Working with the Government of Canada’s CyberSecure Canada program is a convenient way for SMOs to help protect themselves against cyber threats.

Through the program you can:

  • Improve your knowledge – Free, self-directed eLearning modules (20-60 minutes in length) tell you how to assess your vulnerabilities and protect your data, devices and networks. These modules are designed for people with minimum technical knowledge.
  • Reassure your customers/partners: Certify your business with CyberSecure Canada and take advantage of their how-to guides and resources.
  • Market your business as cybersecure: Once you are certified, display the CyberSecure mark so your stakeholders know their information is safe.

Cyber attacks are a costly problem for SMOs

Every year online criminals become increasingly sophisticated, using advanced tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning and automated technologies to inflict all sorts of financial and operational havoc on organizations. These attackers are part of a multi-billion dollar industry stealing data, damaging IT systems and disrupting customer service.

The trends are alarming. In 2021:

  • 25% of all businesses experienced cyberattacks.
  • 41% of small businesses that suffered a cyberattack reported that it cost them at least $100,000.

Ensure your organization is cyber ready – and enjoy smooth sailing

Are you up to speed on the digital threats facing your business? Are you prepared, both for now and for an increasingly digital future?

Having a cybersecurity program in place is essential to guard your data and operations in the digital era, limit the impacts of an incident, and maintain the trust of your valued partners and customers that you can keep their sensitive information safe.

Now is the right time to get cyber-ready so you can keep your business sailing smoothly, even in pirate-threatened seas. Don’t wait for a cyberattack to occur. Get started with CyberSecure Canada today to strengthen your cyber defenses and avoid the harm of a costly, disruptive cyberthreat.

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Unprecedented Times

Unprecedented Times

By Chris Sekine

 

The phrase “these unprecedented times” is one that has been overused during the past few months, but I can find no alternative that is more descriptive or accurate. Now that much nicer weather has arrived across Canada, many are venturing outside more often, finding that it eases some of the mental burden of being cooped up. While we all enjoy the nice weather, I believe everyone needs to remain vigilant about social distancing to protect the health of each other and to protect against further shutdowns of the economy.

While the past few months have been difficult for all of us, I’d like to provide you with an update about Trisura. We initiated our business continuity plan on March 16th, and since then, our staff have been working from home on a full-time basis. I’m very pleased that the transition was seamless and all of our service and business functionality have continued without disruption. I would like to thank the great staff at Trisura, our brokers and all of our business partners for enabling a successful transition to working from home.

One of our top priorities since the lockdown has been to keep you informed of the status of Trisura’s operations, as well as the assistance available to our brokers and insureds, including important resources. While trying not to overwhelm you with too many updates, we aimed to provide necessary and pertinent information to help you with both your business and your transactions and dealings with Trisura.

We recently reported Trisura’s Q1 results, and I am pleased that both Trisura Guarantee’s business in Canada and the consolidated business of Trisura Group Ltd. performed extremely well in the first quarter. Trisura Guarantee experienced almost 25% year-over-year growth in Q1, and we also reported an increase in underwriting income of over 30%, which produced an industry leading combined ratio of just over 82%.

On behalf of everyone at Trisura, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our broker partners for your continued support, especially during these difficult times.

We understand it’s tough out there. The pandemic and the economic consequences are significant obstacles that every person and every business on the planet is facing. A broker friend of mine (Matt, you know who you are) recently gave me a book called The Obstacle Is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday. The book was first published in 2014, but there is no better time to read this book than today from both a personal and business perspective. Thanks, Matt.

It is remarkable to see the number of familiar and successful businesses that were started during times of economic crisis. As cited in the book, some examples are:

  • Coors (Founded 1873 – Depression)
  • General Motors (Founded 1907 – Panic of 1907)
  • Fortune Magazine (Founded 1929 – 90 days after market crash)
  • Revlon (Founded 1932 – Great Depression)
  • Hewlett-Packard (Founded 1935 – Great Depression)
  • Costco (Founded 1976 – Recession)
  • FedEx (Founded 1973 – Oil crisis)
  • Microsoft (Founded 1975 – Recession)
  • LinkedIn (Founded 2002 – Post-dot com bubble)

In addition, a few other notable companies were started during the most recent financial crisis:

  • AirBNB (Founded 2008 – Recession)
  • Uber (Founded 2009 – Recession)

In addition, Holiday notes, “half the companies in the Fortune 500 were started in a bear market or recession. Half.”

For me, the message is that times of adversity can spawn ingenuity and be transformative for those willing to face their obstacle. Yes, times are uncertain, but we are not picking up our ball and going home. In fact, we are doing the opposite. In May, Trisura Group Ltd. raised over $60 million in new capital to support growth across all of its operations. The strong reception we received from the capital markets will allow us to navigate near term volatility confidently, support our partners and growing platforms and plan for a bigger, better Trisura.

For our broker partners, Trisura’s unwavering commitment to help support you is our essential service. We will continue to underwrite risks based on their individual merit as consistently as possible and provide you with great service. I am confident things will get better.

Wishing you and your loved ones remain safe and well,

Chris

Trisura Guarantee Makes the 2020 “Top Small & Medium Employer” List

Trisura Guarantee Makes the 2020 “Top Small & Medium Employer” List

Mediacorp Canada Inc.’s annual list of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers has been released – and Trisura Guarantee has made the cut.

Appearing on the list for the fourth year in a row, Trisura Guarantee is honoured to be named along with so many outstanding organizations.

“It is truly an honour to be recognized among so many top organizations in Canada,” Trisura’s head of human resources, Cindy Grant, says. “When it comes to our employees, we take a simple, uncomplicated approach. It’s our entire team, everyone from Halifax to Vancouver, that make us successful through their unwavering commitment to delivering on our philosophy of excellence, discipline and passion every single day.”

2020 marks the seventh year of the competition. The editors of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers evaluate employers based on the following criteria:

(1) Physical Workplace;

(2) Work Atmosphere & Social;

(3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits;

(4) Vacation & Time Off;

(5) Employee Communications;

(6) Performance Management;

(7) Training & Skills Development; and

(8) Community Involvement.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have a large role in Canada, being responsible for over 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product. SME also account for over 90% of the private-sector labour force, and out of all the jobs created in the last 10 years, more than 95% are because of SMEs.

To read up on what makes Trisura Guarantee a 2020 Top Small & Medium Employer, including prioritizing work-life balance and open communication, click here.

To learn more about how winners of the competition are selected, visit the Canada’s Top 100 website.

About Trisura Guarantee:

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a Canadian specialty insurance and surety company with offices across Canada, providing customized solutions and expertise through a select broker network. Trisura Guarantee is uniquely positioned to satisfy Canadian risks in Contract, Commercial and Developer Surety, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity, Professional Liability including Media and Cyber Liability and Warranty products.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Trisura Group Ltd., a leading international specialty insurance provider operating in the surety, risk solutions, corporate insurance and reinsurance segments of the market. Trisura has three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Trisura International Insurance Ltd. and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company. Trisura is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “TSU.”

About Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers list:

Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an annual editorial competition published by Mediacorp Canada Inc. The list recognizes small and medium enterprises that excel in workplace culture, as well as innovative and progressive human resources initiatives. The competition is open to employers whose head office is in Canada and have less than 500 employees globally. Qualifying companies are commercial, for-profit organizations.

Trisura Cyber Policy Ranked Among the Best in Canada

Trisura Cyber Policy Ranked Among the Best in Canada

By Sara Ametrano

 

Comprehensive cyber coverage is proving more and more crucial each year as hackers continue to become increasingly sophisticated and successful in their attacks. Insurance Business Canada recently surveyed brokers across the nation to uncover the best cyber policies on the market. The publication revealed the top 17 carriers, which included Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company.

Smiling woman with brown hair and blazer in front of buildings backdrop.

Angela Feudo, manager of professional solutions, Trisura.

Trisura’s manager of professional solutions, Angela Feudo, believes the organization’s cyber policy win is a testament to its customization ability. “At Trisura, we really listen to the insured and broker to ensure we understand what they are looking for,” she explains. “Working closely together allows us in to find the right solutions for their unique needs.”

In an ever-changing market, cyber insurance policies have had to adapt. There was a pressing need for policy structures to sustain future losses. With many individuals and companies working remotely for nearly two years, risks were greater, as was the need for education and training. “There is a greater awareness among organizations about cyber threats and, as a result, there have been improvements made around cyber security controls,” Feudo says.

As for what comes next, Trisura’s resident cyber expert anticipates there will be further market growth due to reliance on technology through process automation and internet connectivity. “The exposure for these businesses will grow and evolve and so must the insurance products that protect them. There will also be continued focus on not only cyber security controls, but also the use of cyber experts to aid in risk selection.”

Past cyber struggles and future challenges for the Canadian market are not necessarily unique. The global market must also be prepared to adapt, as Feudo notes, “cyber risk doesn’t have borders.”

About the 5-Star Cyber Awards:

Over the course of 15 weeks, Insurance Business Canada conducted one-on-one interviews with brokers and surveyed thousands more within the publication’s network. Brokers shared their thoughts on current cyber offerings and the most important policy features.

The top carriers were determined based on how they were rated in the following categories:

  • Relationships with brokers
  • Claim-handling abilities
  • Underwriting expertise
  • Product strength

For the official 2021 5-Star Cyber Awards report, click here.

Changes in Surety as the Construction Industry Rebounds Post Pandemic

Changes in Surety as the Construction Industry Rebounds Post Pandemic

By John Thorpe

Construction IndustryThe Canadian construction industry has been remarkably resilient over the past 18 months and has enjoyed a surprisingly low number of contractor defaults notwithstanding the headwinds brought on by the pandemic. As we emerge from the pandemic, the surety industry is placing greater emphasis on a contractor’s ability to navigate and, in some cases, absorb unforeseen costs due to the challenges that remain. Risk mitigation has never been more important.

 

 

 

Scaling up coming out of the pandemic:

Rapid growth by taking on too much work too quickly can place a tremendous amount of stress on working capital as the business scales up. Contractors need to have a firm understanding of the business’s financial capacity and what cash is required to execute the backlog. Things to consider include:

  • Access to working capital like cash and credit facilities to cash flow the backlog;
  • Access to skilled own forces labour and qualified trades;
  • Access to the equipment to execute the work. If more equipment is needed, how will it be acquired (purchased or leased) and what does this do to company financial metrics?
  • Access and timely delivery for materials required to execute the work;
  • Understanding the financial position of the project owners and availability of project funding, if doing private work;
  • Sticking to what you know by being selective in the work being targeted;
  • Understanding the obligations being entered into by reviewing the contracts thoroughly.

Material and equipment price inflation driven by supply chain concerns:

Dealing with material and equipment price escalation is not a new issue for contractors but seems to be quite erratic today. The pandemic has shuttered supply chains globally, causing delays in construction projects while also creating uncertainty for contractors when pricing and submitting a tender package. Material and equipment vendors are also struggling to provide pricing and quote commitment windows are becoming shorter as a result. Lengthy project awards can further compound this problem. Ways to risk mitigate against supply chain concerns include:

  • Thorough review of order confirmations and purchase order and subcontracts and involve a construction solicitor in the geographic area of project, if necessary;
  • Be aware of penalties for late completion or overreaching indemnity provisions;
  • Source common materials in bulk if working capital, credit facility capacity and available storage areas allows for it;
  • Establish strong relationships with lenders and establish temporary increases in short-term financing to assist with material procurement;
  • Work with common vendors for cost certainty;
  • Negotiate with project owners for the inclusion of material cost escalation language in the contracts;
  • If all else fails, contractors should make best efforts to price in the risk of material cost uncertainty or use that as basis to negotiate more reasonable escalation contract terms.

Shortage of skilled labour:

As work programs ramp up, the need for skilled labour intensifies. A skilled labour force on a project can be the difference between a successful project and a project fraught with deficiencies, causing delays in achieving substantial completion, incurring damages due to late completion and increases in insurance claims arising from poor quality and craftsmanship. Contractors never have enough profit to build things twice!

Slowdown of Government assistance:

Many businesses survived the early stages of the pandemic with the assistance of government programs such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). As these programs wind down later this year, there will be companies that suffer financial challenges, and we are likely to see an increase in contractor defaults as a consequence. Companies that find themselves in a fragile state will need to pivot quickly and adapt to the new circumstances.

New Bond Forms:

The surety industry continues to adapt and work with industry partners to provide bond wordings that respond to specific needs of the industry and demands of the current market conditions.

Understanding these current issues will give you confidence when making decisions around work selection, material procurement and staffing. For further information about changes in the surety industry post pandemic, please reach out to one of the surety underwriting experts at Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company.

 

 

The views expressed in this article are exclusively those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect the views of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, its affiliates or partners.