SOA Blog

Links for the week of December 19, 2011

The penultimate weekly links round up for 2011 is in for risk management. Happy holidays and happy reading.

  • The New York Times’ David Bornstein reports about progress the Freelancer’s Union has had in providing independent workers with health insurance and retirement savings. According to the article, about 42 million people (or a third of today’s U.S. work force) do not currently have “traditional” jobs. And as things stand, millions of these workers – many of whom have been laid off due to the weak economy – live day by day “without health and unemployment insurance, protection against discrimination and unpaid wages, and pension plans.” Health insurers assume these workers are riskier to insure simply due to the fact that they often lack reliable information about them. Financed with $17 million in loans and grants from social investors, the Freelancers Insurance Company currently covers 25,000 independent workers and their family members in New York State at premiums more than a third below the open market rate. (Source: New York Times)
  • Ironically, the department that seems to be behind the curve when it comes to social media is the IT department, according to CIO Magazine. This is not for a lack of knowledge of the subject, but rather a reluctance to admit that employees will use social media whether organizations like it or not. Rather than closing the door on such developments, businesses should embrace social media in order to build relationships and conduct business. Isabella Mark, the director of Global Solution Management at Unisys says, “Capitalizing on the sophistication employees have gained can help organizations reduce the security and privacy risks that can attend use of social media. There can be a bigger business risk if those companies don’t take action – loss of value-creating ability and competitiveness.” (Source: CIO Blog)
  • IT consulting company Kroll has released a list of the 10 most significant cyber security issues for businesses. As the world becomes more mobile, Kroll underscores the need for small businesses to invest in protection. Many of them are becoming increasingly subject to “hacktivism.” Small and medium sized businesses tend to attract cyber attacks more often than big businesses due to the fact that they house large amounts of valuable data but lack the security budgets of their big business peers. Recent security awareness research from Symantec shows that while they may be up on the latest threats, these businesses tend not to protect themselves against them. (Source: ZDNet)
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