Category: Legal Branding

Legal Branding

Data Breaches are Soaring

2017 was a high-profile year for cyber attacks. Hundreds of millions of Americans were exposed to massive breaches at Equifax, Yahoo, and others. But while a few instances may have dominated headlines, the story of 2017 was how data breaches soared overall.

Data released by the non-profit Theft Resource Center brings the issue into stark relief. In 2017 there were 1,300 significant breaches at US organizations including businesses and government agencies. In 2005 there were less than 200 comparable instances.

The researchers are careful to point out that the numbers may not be as stark as they seem. Companies are now required or compelled to report breaches, which would inflate numbers over a decade ago. Unfortunately, there is plenty of other evidence to suggest that data breaches are becoming more common and more frequent.

The New Definition of Massive

We are used to hearing about data breaches that affect millions of consumers and involve huge amounts of stolen data. But since these massive attacks are so common, it’s hard to notice that they’re growing as well.

The cybersecurity firm Gemalto estimates that 2.6 billion records were stolen over the course of 2017, which is an 88 percent increase over the previous year. That means hackers have multiple personal records on most people in the country.

The Gemalto data also highlights that theft isn’t the only troubling issue. The firm estimates that 1.9 billion records were lost accidentally. This could be due to improper disposal, misconfigured databases, or basic human error. Regardless, the total is 580 percent higher than the previous year. Hackers are troubling, but even simple mistakes can have huge consequences.

The New Definition of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity was already an urgent issue headed into 2017. It’s not like companies were caught off-guard by the problem and suffered larger breaches as a result. The troubling fact is that companies invested a ton of time, energy, and money in cybersecurity. Yet breaches still skyrocketed.

That is leading many to rethink the shortsighted nature of cybersecurity. Historically it has focused on prevention and deflection, basically keeping threats out of networks. But after years of failed efforts, companies are considering the other half of the equation. Understanding that incidents are inevitable, responding to problems and mitigating damage are new priorities.

That is leading companies to create detailed response plans, organize emergency IT teams, and practice crisis PR. They are also taking out cyber policy insurance in order to insulate themselves from fines, penalties, and lawsuits. Companies increasingly understand that even if they can’t avoid cyber incidents, they can avoid the worst of the damage.

By the end of 2018, we will likely have recorded some new lows in cybersecurity. Hacking is a lucrative enterprise, which is why cyber criminals are more motivated than ever. Unfortunately, there is no reason to expect data breaches to decline next year or anytime in the near future.

Investing more in protection is the only practical and prudent way to respond. The key thing is not to invest short-shortsightedly. Protecting against threats is important, but so is recovering from them on sound and stable footing.

Legal Branding

Auto Insurance As A Part of Everyday Life

If you live in the United States of America, chances are that auto insurance is part of everyday life, at least for car owners. Driving a car is a privilege which comes with some sorts of responsibilities in the form of auto insurance policies.

Proof of insurance is basically an indicator that you are willing to take responsibility for your driving and you care about other drivers’ safety and welfare. Most states in the country make auto insurance compulsory; similar to a driver license; you must be an auto insurance policyholder to be considered the legal driver.

There are, however, several states where auto insurance is not state-mandated requirements including New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and California. 

New Hampshire

Since 2010, residents of New Hampshire are no longer required to purchase auto insurance. This regulation applies to any driver who has not been involved in a road accident, convicted of DWI (driving while intoxicated), or convicted of any serious traffic violation.

However, if you are involved in any road accident, you have to be responsible for covering damages both for bodily or property injuries. If you cannot fulfill this responsibility, the state will probably revoke your driver license. In other words, your responsibility is required only in the event of an accident; you do not have to pay a premium fee, but you need to cover all the damages for the injured party when required.

Viking insurance company of Wisconsin 

There is no compulsory law requiring drivers to purchase auto insurance in Wisconsin, but the state does require you to prove responsibility is some other ways.

You can do this by placing a cash deposit of $60,000 with the WisDOT (Wisconsin Department of Transportation) as liability insurance for vehicles or filing a bond with the department. If in any case, a police officer stops you while you are driving, the officer will check to determine if you have any of those. 

California

California has similar regulations to those of Wisconsin. Drivers can prove their responsibility not by purchasing insurance but simply covering for damages in which case they are at fault in road accidents. The compensation can reach up to $30,000 for injury or death in a single accident.

For property damage, the compensation can reach up to $5,000. Since you do not have to purchase insurance, you should place a deposit of $35,000 or file a bond of that amount with California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Although insurance is indeed not compulsory in some states, drivers are still required to be responsible and prove it by covering damages of the injured party in the event of accidents. Proof of financial responsibility can be done by placing deposit or filing bond with the state.

Legal Branding

Benefits Of Business Commissioning

Commissioning for business has a number of benefits in many areas of work. 

As per the definition, it is the process by which an equipment, facility, or plant (which is installed or is complete or near completion) is tested to verify if it functions according to its design objectives or specifications.

This post aims to show you how it can benefit you.

Tenant/Owner

1. Performance criteria are established and benchmark goals are verified.

2. The working environment is improved including lighting levels and indoor air quality.

3. Lifecycle building costs are reduced.

4. Documents clearly project process.

5. Minimizes disputes among all parties in both the design and construction processes.

6. Establishes operation and maintenance policies.

7. Baseline expectations for the Owner’s Program Requirements are identified.

8. Represents the interests of the Owner independent of the contracting teams and design.

Facility Managers

1. Equipment post-warranted is verified

2. Improves installed systems documentation

3. Documented testing procedures verify building controls and operations of systems

4. Verifies that staff training goals have been achieved

5. Maintenance schedules are established

Design Team

1. Verifies benchmark goals and establishes performance criteria

2. Lifecycle building costs are reduced

3. Project processes are clearly documented

4. Disputes between all parts involved in the construction and design processes are minimized

5. Establishes operation and maintenance policies

6. Baseline expectations for the Owner’s Program Requirements are identified

7. Represents the interest of the Owner independent of the contracting teams and design

Contractors

1. Warranty calls backs from field issues are reduced

2. Punchlist items are minimized when the project ends

3. Contract documents are reviewed for bidding that is more competitive

If you want more tips on commissioning then read this post from Quanta.

Legal Branding

Don’t Miss Out On Business In Countries With Bad Reputations

Say you’re a value-added reseller (VAR) who wants to broaden your reach and grow your profits by expanding into foreign markets. You’ve heard horror stories about the seizure of every item in Brazil. You’ve caught word that India is highly protective of their local production and has begun raising duty on certain imports. But is throwing up your hands and giving up on huge markets the wisest choice for you?

Below are a few examples of tricky nations in which it can be a challenge to do business, as well as some important tips on what you can do to expand your presence in any country – including how to reduce costs when importing items and making smart partnerships to maximize efficiency.

Brazil

South America is appealing to IT manufacturers and VARs because of its large population and growing consumer middle class. Brazil is the eighth largest economy in the world, but shoppers often complain about their goods getting seized and stuck at customs. Brazil requires multiple tax ID numbers to be registered there. Firms spend many man hours filing the tax forms required. Rumors of corruption and items ‘disappearing’ certainly aren’t encouraging, either. Hearsay? If true, is it worth the hassle?

Russia

They have some of the lowest electricity bills in Europe – appealing for a VAR pushing a variety of hardware – but it also takes businesses several months to get an electricity connection.The country has a bad reputation for the time it takes to export goods, but if you’re the seller, this isn’t a problem. American companies face troubles trying to export to the nation because of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers making it difficult to ship some goods, e.g., alcohol. In 2014, U.S. food and agricultural exports were banned after Crimea’s annexation.

Indonesia

It’s incredibly hard to start a new business here because of the 1.5 month minimum launching time for a new business. Infrastructure issues cause many new companies’ hopes to crumble. They’re begging for investors to drop billions in their bucket. They do have some appealing natural resources like coal that has caught China’s eye. Some of these issues are potential problems for new businesses to set-up shop, but are they necessarily a problem for your company’s specific expertise and products?

So what?

If a country has a bad reputation for doing business, you’re automatically going to have decreased competition because of the number of lazy companies who will check out. The nation’s problems might not have much to do with your goods, either. Often people won’t take their time to look into rules and regulations before they spread bad word-of-mouth. There’s a simple way to handle much of this –get an expert to do it for you.

Hands down, the best choice you can make if you want to expand globally into any country is partnering with an importer of record (IOR). TecEx, for example, has a long record and presence in any country where you might want to conduct business. How can an IOR help? Well, to start, you might be legally required to use one. They’ll look after all required import permits and arrange brokerage, clearance, and local delivery to your destination. There’s no need to worry about import compliance and your shipment will clear smoothly through customs. It’s also important to find an importer of record who can provide full tax recovery services for all of the indirect taxes incurred. TecEx specializes in shipping electronics and IT equipment abroad, and these items usually suffer import VAT, customs taxes, co-location taxes, and taxes on purchasing local goods.

Some nations might be tricky to conduct business in; however, if you make smart partnerships with companies who can streamline the process, and if you do some research into whether these nations are actually troublesome for your specific type of business and product, you’ll find the barriers were just a smokescreen, providing your partner with the right IOR services.