When it comes to damaging cyberattacks, a horror movie cliche may offer a valuable warning: the call is coming from inside the building.

According to PwC’s 2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey, almost a third of respondents said insider crimes are more costly or damaging than those committed by external adversaries, yet overall, only 49% have implemented a plan to deal with internal threats. Development of a formal insider risk-management strategy seems overdue, as 28% of survey respondents detected insider incidents in the past year.

In the recent report “Managing Insider Threats,” PwC found the most common motives and impacts of insider cybercrimes are:

Insider Cybercrime Consequences

These threats can come from a variety of sources, from employees to trusted business partners who are given extensive access. Even after the costly lesson from the Target breach about the risk of contractors with system access, only 44% of respondents in PwC’s survey have a process for evaluating third parties before engaging in business operations with them, and just 31% include security provisions in contract negotiations.

To fortify against the risk, the firm recommends that organizations use a phased approach to build an insider threat management program over time. This should be formed with an eye to compliance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework, which highlights the key functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. To explain how and when to tackle these, the report explains:

building an insider threat program

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HOUSTON—The recent spike in oil and natural gas production has led trucking companies to grow so quickly that they sometimes scramble to find qualified drivers. This has meant tightening coverage with a limited number of carriers and a market in “disarray,” Anthony Dorn, a broker with Sloan Mason Insurance Services, said today at the IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference.

“Carriers have taken a bath on construction risks,” he said. “Only nine carriers will write crude hauling.”

There is a huge need for risk management in trucking right now, he added. “A lot of these are fly-by-night companies. They are running with drivers that have no experience, they are getting violations from the DOT left and right for not having licenses and adequate brakes on their trucks and they are running on dirt roads that aren’t made for 100,000 pound units,” Dorn said. “It’s a very risky place for underwriters. If we don’t do something as agents and as risk managers there will be fewer carriers.”

The recent downturn in the oil and gas market has also been a game-changer for some companies. Dorn predicts a “cleaning of the crop” of truckers. Inexperienced companies with new drivers will “fall by the wayside. What we are going to be left with are companies that are well-run with proper safety procedures in their fleet.”

Once that happens, he believes more carriers will enter the market. “But as of now, in general the whole market is in disarray,” he said.

He noted that agencies such as the Department of Transportation have vehicle reports available online, which insurers now frequently access when considering whether to take on a trucking company as a risk. He suggested that companies looking for coverage also check these reports and work closely with their risk managers and safety directors to correct any problems, such as drivers without adequate experience.

“There is a huge opportunity out there right now for risk managers to approach these companies and tell them, ‘If you don’t have a risk manager to help with your losses, you are not going to be able to find insurance.’ Right off the bat, I’d say 50% [of trucking companies] are declined as soon as they walk in the door,” Dorn said. As a result, he has seen companies declined by every insurer and forced to form a new LLC or even shut down.

Loren Henry, also a broker with Sloan Mason, said that another thing they are seeing as oil prices drop is companies formed to haul salt water for hydraulic fracturing looking to other opportunities. “They start hauling agricultural products and paper products, whatever there is that is not oil and gas related,” he said. “That is typically not going to be covered under their auto policy.” He advised fleet owners to be aware of this and communicate any changes to their broker to find out specifically what is covered.

“We have had some losses recently, where a company made a shift from what they were hauling because they had lost some saltwater accounts. They were hauling cattle and they had a loss and it wasn’t covered because it is not in the policy language,” Henry explained.

“I don’t know where all these water-haulers are going to go,” Dorn added. “You’re going to see massive fleets go on sale and you’ll get huge discounts on trucks. You are going to see some transitions.”

Dorn added that one of his clients is now hauling salt water with half of his trucks and cattle with the rest. He advised his client to form another LLC for the cattle-hauling if he expects to get insurance coverage, as insurers would cover one or the other, but not both.

Asked whether companies are hiring risk managers and if they are also listening to their advice, he said, “Yes, especially after they get their premium. When they go from $5,000 a unit to $12,000 a unit their ears perk up pretty quick. They are willing to do almost anything to get that pricing down. It’s sad because companies are actually being put out of business because their premiums are too high.”

He expects the next year to see a lot of changes. “A lot of companies will go by the wayside,” he said. “A lot of smaller companies will be gone—they will sell their trucks or be bought out by bigger fleets.”


shale oil industry

HOUSTON—In the words of the well-known rock group REM, “It’s the end of the world as we know it,” at least for the energy sector in the last decade, said Ross Payne, managing director of Wells Fargo Securities and keynote speaker at the IRMI Energy Risk and Insurance Conference here. Since 2009, production in the United States is up 72%, he said. “That’s a phenomenal increase, driven by shale production.”

The huge boon in shale production was the result of technology. “Just sticking one straw into shale was not going to be economic, butwhen you were able to take that drill bit and turn it horizontal, and go out one to two miles horizontally and pop a hole into the ground every hundred yards along that one or two miles, you got enough flow to make that economically an option,” he said. “That’s why, when we broke the technology on that, it did change the world as we know it.”

Looking at energy from 30,000 feet, he explained that, since the early ’90s, the energy sector has enjoyed “one way pricing,” which was brought about by constricted supplies. The only new technology before developments to extract shale came along was in the deep water offshore arena, “a brand new territory for drilling in the 1980s and ’90s.”

Adding to that was dramatic global growth and demand, primarily from the BRIC countries–Brazil, Russia, India and China–and geopolitical issues such as the Arab Spring and the Iraq war, Payne said.

With high prices, however, “you get substitutions and you get disrupters. Clearly shale has become a disrupter.” What kind of impact has shale had on the industry? “Just since 2011 to 2013, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) doubled their crude basin estimates to 95. There are now 41 countries out there with significant shale assets. Shale reserves increased 980% in that two year time frame. Currently in the United States, 42% of production is through shale, with crude production around 50%,” he said.

As technology continues to evolve, Payne said, “we are continuing to do a better job of pulling this gas and crude out at a lower price. We are going to get more prolific and drive down costs even further.” Meanwhile, other countries, including China and Russia, are doing the same.

“Shale is the future, it’s the future on a global basis as well,” he said. The country with the largest shale reserves, he noted, is Russia, with the United States in second place. “We’re obviously the largest producer of shale crude, and China is number three. On the natural gas side, China is number one and the U.S. is number four.”

But how long will crude prices stay low? “We think it’s going to be awhile,” Payne said. “Because of shale, prices will be capped. As prices start to come up, we will see a situation where rigs come back on line very quickly. We think that, as we get into the $65 to $70 per barrel range, a lot of rigs will come back on line,” he said. “At peak, we were at 1,610 crude rigs in the U.S., and if you have 1,610 rigs working in the fields primarily on shale, you will get 1 million barrels of growth year-over-year.” He also does not see prices going much above $80 because of the ability to turn these rigs so quickly, primarily in the U.S.

A poll among energy experts in the audience as to where prices will be by the end of 2015 reached a consensus of $55 to $60 per barrel. Asked whether he believes the Nixon-era ban on exporting oil will be lifted, Payne pointed out that a number of CEOs have been pushing for U.S. exports of crude. “I’m surprised that Obama let LNG [liquefied natural gas] exports materialize as quickly as he did,” he said, adding that the president has allowed for other similar exports as well. However, he warned, “Once we start to export, there could be a knee-jerk reaction from OPEC. We are going to be viewed as a competitor rather than a customer, and they may want to squelch that competitor a bit longer than people’s expectations. So I think there is a danger to doing that, but it could very well move forward.”


According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, 4.1 million U.S. employees experience work-related injuries or illnesses each year and 1.12 million of those employees lose work days as a result. With the average employee missing eight days per injury, even a minor injury can create a domino effect in your company.

When employees experience illness or injury, it often impacts their ability to perform their jobs, especially in occupations that are more labor intensive. As soon as your worker is able, it is in everyone’s best interest to return him or her to work in some capacity. Oftentimes, this is done through formalized return to work programs. Return to work programs are extremely effective because they provide benefits to not only the employee, but also your company.

Example Job Duties

Return to work programs involve “light duty” or alternative jobs for recovering employees. For example, you can assign less strenuous or stressful parts of the employee’s normal job or have them work at a slower rate. You can also combine the less strenuous or stressful parts of several different jobs to create one full-time job for the recovering employee; this could free up other workers to take on special projects or catch up with work that is falling behind.

A supervisor can also assign a special project without a tight deadline to a recovering employee. As another alternative, some companies work with local not-for-profit organizations to keep the employee engaged with light work duties while making a notable contribution to the community.

Establishing these types of assignments will create a more fruitful and engaging return to work program. Still not convinced? Here is a list of the top 10 benefits of return to work programs for both your employee and business.

Top Benefits for Your Employees

Implementing a return to work program for injured employees communicates care and concern. It also shows employees that you value their well-being and want them back on the job as soon as possible. Employees benefit in the following ways:

1.            Retaining full earning capacity

2.            Maintaining a productive mindset

3.            Staying on a regular work schedule

4.            Avoiding dependence on a disability system

5.            Having a sense of security and stability

Top Benefits for Your Company

A return to work program can also benefit your company financially by:

1.            Anticipating and controlling hidden costs

2.            Reducing financial impact of workplace injuries

3.            Providing a proactive approach to cost containment

4.            Improving your ability to manage an injury claim and any restrictions

5.            Getting your experienced employees back to work, resulting in less time and money spent on recruiting and hiring

It should be no surprise that a simple workers compensation case may result in expensive litigation. A well-executed return to work program will also provide clear expectations and guidelines for employees injured on the job and have been shown to reduce litigation. Additionally, many workers compensation insurers now require their clients to establish return to work programs.

If nothing else, having a well-documented return to work program will show a prospective insurance company that your organization takes risk management seriously. It’ll demonstrate a commitment that may mean the difference in getting into a better insurance deal and/or more favorable rates.

Getting Started

Establishing a return to work policy and or program is not difficult. Some companies already include many of the policies unofficially in the way they handle claims. It is important, however, to execute these programs correctly. Clear guidelines and specific, consistent policies must be established in writing. Your insurance broker or carrier’s loss control or claims personnel can help you get started.

According to data collected by the Job Accommodation Network, 74% of employers that implemented some form of return to work accommodations rated them as either very or extremely effective—with most accommodations costing the employers nothing. Of those that do have associated costs, the one-time expenditure on average is $600. Seeing the minimal costs involved and the resulting high value begs the question: why not implement a return to work program?