Watch Out for the Newest Cyber Threat: Ransomware

| posted in Blog

The cyber-security stakes have gotten higher for enterprises with the recent news that a hospital in Los Angeles had to fork out $17,000 to pay cyber criminals after they crippled its network. The ransomware that infected Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and the ransom they had to pay the hackers to unlock their system reflect the newest danger facing any organization that has a computer network. The hospital’s case is not an isolated one, and experts are warning that cyber criminals have increasingly switched their targets from big companies to small and mid-sized businesses as their networks are easier to infiltrate,…
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Record Rain Forecast from El Nino; Is Your Business Covered?

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With forecasters predicting significant rainfall thanks to the El Nino weather phenomenon, you could be putting your business at risk if you are not properly insured. The average commercial flood claim is $89,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. And 25% of businesses that shut down after events such as floods never reopen. You might be thinking that you might qualify for federal disaster assistance. But most federal aid comes as a loan – not an outright grant. A $50,000 loan at 4% interest would result in an annual payback of $2,880 – over 30 years. Damage from flooding,…
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Many Small Businesses Can’t ID Workers’ Comp Fraud

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Fraud eats away at workers’ comp costs for all businesses, but it hits small businesses the hardest as they may not have the resources to identify bogus claims. According to a new study by workers’ comp insurer Employers Holdings Inc., about 20% of small-business owners are not sufficiently prepared to identify workers’ compensation fraud. It’s estimated that at least 10% of claims are fraudulent, so identifying those illicit claims would keep your workers’ comp claims in check and reduce your workers’ comp premiums. Claims fraud happens when an employee tries to gain workers’ comp benefits by falsely stating that an…
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Want to Reimburse Your Staff for Health Premiums? A $36,500 per-employee Fine Lurks

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By now, most business owners know about the yearly $2,000 per-employee fine they would face for not securing health coverage for their employees under the Affordable Care Act. But there is even a larger fine that threatens under recent regulations issued by the IRS – and it’s not for failing to secure coverage. It’s for helping them secure coverage from a public exchange or open private market. And it applies to ALL employers, even those that are small enough to not be required to provide insurance for their full-time employees under the ACA’s employer mandate. The fine? Up to $36,500…
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Address Risks of Cloud Storage before Making Switch

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As cloud data storage becomes more ubiquitous, you may be considering migrating many of your company’s storage functions to a cloud service. Going with cloud storage can save you money in terms of data storage and hardware, but there are also issues you need to consider, particularly: • Accessibility • Dealing with data loss and recovery • Escrow agreement with provider • Continuity after termination • Ability to handle advanced workloads First and foremost, you should not focus exclusively on cost as it is just one parameter you have to consider when initiating a cloud service. One of the most…
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Independent Contractor Classification Clarified amid Crackdown

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

On July 15, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an administrator’s interpretation regarding the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act with respect to the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The new interpretation is required reading for any business that uses independent contractors to any degree – often or seldom. It’s also important as the government continues to crack down on companies that misclassify their employees as independent contractors, most recently evidenced by the decision that Uber drivers are employees, and not independent contractors. The interpretation came after a ruling by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office that a…
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Drug Inflation May Push Many Plans into Cadillac Tax Territory

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As health care inflation starts to climb again, more health plans are likely to breach the Cadillac tax threshold. A new report by the consulting firm Milliman predicts that a typical family of four covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) health plan will incur health care costs in excess of $25,000 by 2016, which is just a few thousand dollars shy of the Cadillac tax threshold of $27,500 for a family of that size. While 2014 marked one of the lowest rates of health care cost inflation on record at 5.4%, Milliman notes that costs have increased 6.3%…
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