Backdoor access to IT systems can be purchased for $10 on the dark web, McAfee Labs researchers report. Remote desktop protocol access for tens of thousands of compromised systems could be used for system disruption, malware campaigns and other attacks.
One of the most compelling reasons to invest in companies that put an emphasis on diversity is that evidence shows diverse teams are more creative and more likely to reach short- and long-term goals, writes Betsy Moszeter, chief operating officer of Green Alpha Advisors. She adds that firms can give themselves a competitive boost by bringing on diverse employees and "giving them ample support and influence."
NAIFA has begun restructuring to pare down its 550 local chapters while also strengthening the ones that remain. Completion of the process is expected in January.
The expected influx of autonomous vehicles onto US roads could improve safety, as such vehicles are "being designed to be inherently risk-averse," but they present challenges in terms of cyberrisk as well as interacting with pedestrians and communicating with infrastructure and other vehicles, writes Thom Rickert of Argo Group's Trident Public Risk Solutions. Insurers need to be aware of how increasing automation "could require changes in policy language, the reevaluation of loss trends, and affect an entity's rates," Rickert writes.
A report from PCI and ISO showed the P/C sector's first-quarter net income after taxes was $17.1 billion, more than double the results from Q1 2017, while net written premiums rose nearly 16%, losses and loss adjustment expenses from catastrophes declined, and favorable reserve development improved. The Q1 2018 underwriting results were the strongest since Q3 2013 and likely reflect some market changes resulting from December's federal tax overhaul, PCI's Robert Gordon said.
Uber said it is working to improve its self-driving vehicles' safety by laying off 100 autonomous-vehicle operators and hiring 55 "mission specialists," who will handle test-track and road operations and give feedback to developers. Uber halted its autonomous-vehicle testing after an incident in which a pedestrian was struck and killed in Tempe, Ariz., but expects to resume its testing in Pittsburgh in August.
A report from JLT Re says a trend of underestimated losses is prompting concern over catastrophe models, although estimates for last year's hurricanes showed some improvement. Modeling was relatively effective for wind events with moderate losses, but "multiple areas of uncertainty in predicting industry-wide losses" mean that "vendor firms are likely struggling to satisfy market expectations for real-time loss information," the report says.
Federal data show a quadrupling in the number of large wildfires in the Western US in recent decades, while the number of homes destroyed by wildfires nearly tripled year-over-year in 2017. Drought and high temperatures have contributed to this year's wildfires, which have destroyed 2,600 homes and burned 3.3 million acres so far, nearly on pace with 2017's fires that ultimately burned a record 10 million acres.
California state lawmakers on a special panel are tasked with developing legislation to enhance wildfire prevention and response, and one of the biggest issues they will tackle is whether to reduce the liability of utilities deemed responsible for fires. "You have to maintain some type of liability so that you continue to have responsible parties," PCI's Mark Sektnan said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should not begin regulating self-driving vehicles while the technology is in its "nascent" stage, although NHTSA is "open to identifying when the time is right," Deputy Administrator Heidi King said. Safety advocates have said that approach is not aggressive enough, and while King said NHTSA could harness its defect-investigation and recall authority for autonomous vehicles, larger concerns are impaired driving and a lack of seat-belt use.
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