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Latest blog entries All blog entries from http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/ http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/latest Tue, 29 Sep 2020 06:16:01 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb CNET Attacked By Russian Hacker Group http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/cnet-attacked-by-russian-hacker-group http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/cnet-attacked-by-russian-hacker-group  

A Russian hacker group has attacked the news site CNET. It later said it stole usernames, encrypted passwords and emails for more than one million users. 

CNET said a representative from the group - which calls itself 'w0rm' - informed it about the hack via a Twitter conversation.

A spokeswoman for CBS Interactive - the owner of CNET - said the firm had "identified the issue and resolved it".

According to CNET, w0rm offered to sell the database for 1 Bitcoin, or $622.

But it added that the hacking group said the plan to sell the database was to gain attention and "nothing more".

The representative of the group claimed that it hacked CNET servers to improve the overall security on the internet.

The group has claimed to have successfully hacked the BBC last year, as well as websites of Adobe and Bank of America.

It says that by targeting high-profile websites it can raise awareness of security issues.

"We are driven to make the Internet a better and safer place rather than a desire to protect copyright," the representative said in a Twitter exchange with CNET.

On Monday, the representative offered a security solution to CNET by tweeting: "#CNET I have good protection system for u, ping me".

According to CNET, 27.1 million unique users visited its desktop and mobile sites in the US in June this year.

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:38:43 +0000
'Intelligent' software up 8-0 on World Cup predictions http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/intelligent-software-up-8-0-on-world-cup-predictions http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/intelligent-software-up-8-0-on-world-cup-predictions Eight World Cup games have been played since Microsoft’s answer to Siri, Cortana, was given the ability to predict the outcome of football matches in an update - and it has accurately called the winner every time. A 100 per cent hit rate is something which even Paul the Octopus could not achieve during the 2010 competition. Since this article was written two quarter-final games have been played and with Germany and Brazil both winning Cortana has stretched its run of accurate predictions into double figures. Cortana is named after the AI character that appears in the Halo video games, and is voiced by the same actress that provided dialogue for the games. It was demonstrated for the first time in April this year and will become a key part of Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One in coming months. Currently it is only available to Windows Phone users in the US as a beta.

 

Adapted from telegraph.co.uk article 3rd July 2014

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:39:35 +0000
Auto-Enrolment, is ignorance bliss? http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/auto-enrolment-is-ignorance-bliss http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/auto-enrolment-is-ignorance-bliss We have all seen the adverts for work place pensions. It normally starts with a high profile executive declaring his commitment followed by a team of grateful employees approving. However it appears the marketing slogan should not have been “are you in” but more along the lines of “are you in time”. According to Jamie Jenkins from Standard Life only two thirds of employers have enrolled schemes in time between April and May. With a further 392,000 employers expected to enrol in the next 24 months, I fear it will not be long before The Pensions Regulator begins to take a heavy handed approach towards auto-enrolment. Pension providers have grown concerned that they are not seeing the expected amount of employers enrolling and worry that some have either buried their heads or simply do not understand their new obligation. Make no mistake whatever the case may be The Pensions Regulator will jump at the opportunity to make an example using daily fines in the thousands for none compliance.

 

There also seems to be a misunderstanding that Sage can “deal” with auto enrolment, while the software can assist with the administration, it cannot set up or qualify a work place pension.

 

Here at Nsure we have seen an increased amount of employers approach us with last minute auto-enrolment enquiries. By leaving it until last minute you limit your options available as many providers are now refusing to offer schemes to employers within months of their staging date. With the amount of firms staging each month increasing, clearly the providers have seen what lies ahead and understand the preparation needed. We encourage every employer to prepare in advance and not wait until their staging date. Our one concern is the thought of tens of thousands of employers trying to set up a scheme but being turned away or put at the back of a queue. When you consider the fines of up to £10,000 a day from The Pensions Regulator for not complying, is it worth leaving it until last minute?

 

We urge all employers to take an active approach towards their new obligation and plan ahead. If your staging date is approaching or you wish to get a better understanding of auto-enrolment, contact our specialist corporate adviser Ben Allen to arrange an initial meeting at no cost.

 

Ben Allen DipPFS

Financial Adviser

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Financial Services Blog Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:38:11 +0000
UK Information Security Breaches Survey 2014 - Worrying !! http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/uk-information-security-breaches-survey-2014-worrying http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/uk-information-security-breaches-survey-2014-worrying The UK government has published the Information Security Breaches Survey every year since the early 90s with the aim of increasing awareness of security risks. It’s an interesting read and provides a quantifiable insight into the current state of security across UK businesses.  This year’s report found that over 80% of large organisations and 60% of small organisations had a security breach in the last year. What’s more alarming is that breaches are costing twice as much as last year – the average cost of a breach to a large organisation is now £600k to £1.15m. This is predominantly driven by the costs of business disruption, incidence response, and lost assets and intellectual property.

 

Given the high costs, it doesn’t surprise anyone that security continues to be top of the list for UK businesses.  Around 80% of senior management ranking it as a high or very high priority and almost the same percentage have briefed their board on security risks in the last year. The majority of breaches take longer than a day to detect, while 14% of organisations took longer than a month to detect a breach, up from 9% last year. A bit of a worry is that 1 in 10 organisations discovered they had been breached by accident – you have to wonder if there are many more breaches that have yet to be discovered.

For further information please visit our website www.nsuretechnology.co.uk or contact Geoff Stanbridge on 01903-608106 or email @ geoff.stanbridge@nsure.co.uk

 

Taken from www.community.rapid7.com – 8th May 2014

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:41:25 +0000
Online DIY Investing VS Face to Face Independent Advice http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/online-diy-investing-vs-face-to-face-independent-advice http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/online-diy-investing-vs-face-to-face-independent-advice With a number of cheap DIY online investment solutions now available do you need to for financial advice or are you better off saving on fees and managing your own investments?

 

With stock markets in the US and UK close to all-time highs just five years on from the dark days of 2009 it is easy to become complacent and think that you can do it yourself, after all it would have been more difficult to lose money than make money over this time. The problem is that’s the past and as the well-known warning says past performance is not a guide to future performance.

 

DIY investors have a habit of picking last year’s best asset and are reluctant to buy something that has fallen in value. A professional advisor should be looking for next year’s best asset.

 

Some DIY investors find it difficult to move past simply looking at what grew most over the past year but when they do they often focus on a couple of other measures such as dividend yield or price to earnings ratio and buy investments that are above or below a trigger point. Without fully understanding why an investment has a particular yield or ratio using that as a buy or a sell signal can be very dangerous. For example a historic dividend yield can be very high because a company is about to go into liquidation and will never pay a dividend again!

 

Like a compulsive gambler DIY investors can be very good at recalling their wins but spectacularly bad at remembering their losses. They remember the technology unit trust they bought and trebled their money on and got out of just in time during the dotcom boom but forget what happened to their portfolio of supposedly “safe” bank shares during the credit crisis.

 

It is important to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths and like most IFAs we accept that advising on individual share, bond or property selection is not what we do. We leave that to specialist fund managers to handle this part of the process, typically through a unit trust or OEIC. In the investment process, through our research and expertise, we add value around the asset and regional allocation and then the individual fund selection.

 

Again, when it comes to investing money through collective investments DIY investors often pick a couple of last year’s best performers or if they know about a couple of performance measures such as Alpha or Information Ratio pick funds that score highest on this basis. These measures definitely have a place but without understanding why the funds have these scores using them in isolation can be dangerous. As we manage the money of hundreds of clients we have access to the fund management groups in ways that the ordinary retail investor does not. We are able to meet the actual fund managers in the flesh and ask them about the decisions they have made within their fund and why.

 

We also analyse how the funds blend with each other. A DIY investor picking the top two funds from the UK all companies sector may think they have diversification but in fact the funds could be invested in the same shares meaning they are actually adding to their risk. At the other extreme if you diversify too much you simply end up with an expensive tracker fund.

 

Investment selection and performance aside, financial advice is tailored to the individual and takes into account their needs. Advisers ask questions relating to your future plans and tailor your investments accordingly. For example, are you expecting to pay towards a wedding or university fees in the future? Will you need to have any major work done to your home? What would the impact be of a 20% fall in the value of your investment on your lifestyle? These are things an IFA considers when giving you advice and investing your money for you, we think of things that need to be taken into account that may seem irrelevant to the client until the adviser mentions it.

 

We also help protect investors from themselves! Inevitably there will be times when investments fall in vale. Some DIY investors have a habit of running for the hills at this stage and crystallising their losses. We’re able to remind them of the long term nature of their investments why they invested in the first place and encourage them to ride out the storm.

 

Tax planning is often overlooked by DIY investor as well. They know to use their ISA allowance each but very few actively make use of their CGT allowance to rebase the cost of their portfolio and save 18-28% tax on £10,000 + of gains each year.

 

Having your own IFA gives the client continuity, a point of contact who knows them and their individual circumstances eliminating the need for frustrating call centres or generic email responses.

 

There is also the opportunity for an IFA to spot flaws in other areas of your finances. As a result of examining other areas of peoples finances we have discovered several miss-sold policies (PPI anyone?) resulting in our clients receiving pay outs between £8,000 and £90,000!

 

Sometimes what the client is looking for is simply reconfirmation that what they think they need is correct and for the IFA to take the strain out of making the investment for them, the only part of form filling our clients have to do is in the signature box.

 

In recent years, when things have been tough our clients have benefited from the hand holding that we provide and the work we put into managing and monitoring their investments. Bryce Sanders, president of US financial services consultancy Perceptive Business Solutions words an IFAs role in tricky times brilliantly- ‘if a client is standing in the road and a speeding lorry is heading towards him, the adviser is the person who picks him up just in time and puts him back on the curb- that has value’.

 

In conclusion whilst we don’t dispute that there is a place in the market for DIY investing we do believe that it is a niche market and that if you have the knowledge, time to research, access to the correct technology, and confidence to invest via an online provider then that is probably the right option for you. However the majority of people do better by seeking out tailored advice from an independent financial adviser.

 

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Financial Services Blog Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:19:45 +0000
1.3 Million Euro Wind Turbine Crowdfunded In Only 13 Hours http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/1-3-million-euro-wind-turbine-crowdfunded-in-only-13-hours http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/1-3-million-euro-wind-turbine-crowdfunded-in-only-13-hours This is a really intresting article by John Johnston, 7000 people have become shareholders in a wind turbine- in just 13 hours!  

 

 

http://www.the9billion.com/2013/09/26/wind-turbine-crowdfunded-in-13-hrs/

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Renewable Energy Blog Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:40:37 +0000
Heartbleed Bug - Don't Let It Bleed Your Business Dry! http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/heartbleed-bug-don-t-let-it-bleed-your-business-dry http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/heartbleed-bug-don-t-let-it-bleed-your-business-dry Many of you will have heard about the Heartbleed Bug in the news.  Whilst this won’t affect every business (those that don’t use SSL servers – these are the ones that leave a padlock in the address bar of your web browser) it will affect many of the sites that you and your staff may visit on a daily basis.

 

In simple terms it is a vulnerability in the certificate used to ensure that a website that says it is secure actually is.  This in turn allows a potential spammer/scammer/attacker to “listen in” to your communications with a secure site and get your username and password at the very least. 

The idea is then that they create a spoof site and when you next visit they can get all your details, or use the stolen details to log into your accounts.

One very high profile site that has experienced an attack is Mumsnet, a forum and self-help site for mums.  In a statement to the BBC the site’s founder, Justine Roberts, said that it became apparent something was wrong when her own username and password were used to post a message on the site.

The hackers informed mumsnet that they had accessed security records and had username and passwords from all of it’s users.  Mumsnet have since updated the software and are forcing users to change their passwords.

Symantec, who are a very trusted security service, suggested the following:

  • Be aware their data could have been seen by a third party if they used a vulnerable service provider
  • Monitor any notices from the vendors you use. Once a vulnerable vendor has communicated to customers that they should change their passwords, users should do so

One VERY IMPORTANT thing to note:

 

Avoid potential phishing emails from attackers asking you to update your password – to avoid going to an impersonated website, stick with the official site domain. 

Also importantly is not to rush off and change all your passwords just yet.  Most websites will be patched over the next few days to week so wait until the weekend for big websites and next week for smaller ones.  Sites that WEREN’T affected include Amazon, Hotmail and Outlook, eBay, PayPal and Apple, Lloyds, HSBC, RBS, Natwest, Santander and the Co-Op.  Sites that WERE include gmail, YouTube, Yahoo – including Tumblr and Flickr, and Facebook.

I hope you have found this to be of interest,  but should you  require any further information visit https://knowledge.verisign.com/support/ssl-certificates-support/index?page=content&id=AD831 or www.heartbleed.com which will give you a much more technical view on what’s happened.  This link also gives a good, non-techie, insight into what’s happened http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/heartbleed-bug-should-i-change-my-passwords-9251143.html

As a technology insurance broker we are able to provide the broadest of insurance covers to cover your worldwide exposures such as this and provide one stop underwriting, this along with the expertise of the insurers we use makes the protection your business and its exposures that much easier and provides you with peace of mind.

For further information please visit our website www.nsuretechnology.co.uk or contact Geoff Stanbridge on 01903-608106 or email @ geoff.stanbridge@nsure.co.uk

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:38:35 +0000
Happy New (Tax) Year http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/happy-new-tax-year http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/happy-new-tax-year For some reason unbeknown to me people don’t celebrate the new tax year in the same way they do the new calendar year. Much to my disappointment there are no parties, fireworks or singing of Auld Lang Syne and my lobbying for even a single bank holiday for the new tax year’s day (let alone the two the Scottish get for the calendar new year) seem to be falling on deaf ears! The other thing that I think should happen is New Tax Year’s resolutions. Here are my suggestions to start with:

Start saving for your retirement – the longer you put this off the more it is going to cost you in the long run. Unless you’re going to be able to survive on £7,000 a year from the government and a small amount extra through your auto-enrolment pension, you’re going to have to take responsibility for yourself and get saving.

Stop wasting money on out of date insurance policies – this could mean “rebroking” mortgage protection policies where the sum assured has decreased but the premium has not or cancelling extended policies that cover things you no longer own.

Start your tax return early – over 1 million parents now need to do a tax return because of the removal of child benefit for those with a “high” earner, many of whom have never needed to do one before. Submitting the return earlier gives you plenty of time to deal with any queries as well the chance to budget for any tax that is due.

Stop smoking – as well as being bad for your health it’s expensive, not just in terms of the cost of a packet of cigarettes but also in terms of the extra it costs you in life and health insurance premiums. With most insurers once you have not smoked or used nicotine replacement products for a year you are a non-smoker so if this applies to you - review your policies.

Start using your allowances – there are a number of “use it or lose it allowances”, everyone knows about the cash ISA allowance but don’t forget to at least investigate using your investment ISA allowance and your capital gains tax allowance.

With resolutions out the way I’m off to find a suitable song to sing at midnight on 6th April next year, feel free to send me your suggestions.

Happy New (Tax) Year

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Financial Services Blog Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:29:50 +0000
School Loses £1m In Phishing Scam http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/school-loses-1m-in-phishing-scam http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/school-loses-1m-in-phishing-scam A Dorset school with academy status has fallen victim to an online scam, reportedly losing more than £1m. St Aldhelm's Academy in Poole was contacted by people pretending to be bank workers and requesting details of the school's bank account. Staff subsequently passed them on and the criminals withdrew the money, part of a multimillion-pound government loan for rebuilding. The fraud happened last summer but has just come to light. The theft is believed to be linked to organised crime in eastern Europe. The matter was immediately referred to the police and Action Fraud by the academy trust and to the EFA. The matter continues to be investigated by the police.

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:43:41 +0000
Tidal Power Bridge http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/tidal-power-bridge http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/tidal-power-bridge Aquaterra, an innovative company who are passionate about renewable energy, are in the process of designing a multi- million pound renewable energy project. They are planning on building a bridge between Yell and Unst which would either incorporate a tidal generator or have the tidal generator accessible from the new bridge.

 

For more information visit-

 

www.aquaterraenergy.com

 

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2014/04/01/firm-investigates-tidal-power-bridge/

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Renewable Energy Blog Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:37:28 +0000
You are in safer hands with a Broker http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/you-are-in-safer-hands-with-a-broker http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/you-are-in-safer-hands-with-a-broker Insurance Brokers have many qualities, but self-promotion is not one of them and over the years we have not been particularly great at publicising the benefits of using our services.

But following the recent widespread flooding, it is perhaps an appropriate time for a little blow of the brokers trumpet and an insight as to some of the work done, much of it unseen.

Insurers generally respond well to large scale disasters when they are in the media spotlight, although they are a bit like politicians and can respond differently once the media lose interest. Inevitably not all claims are going as smoothly or quickly as policyholders had hoped and some insurers are now receiving media attention for the wrong reasons, although insurers can't magic water away and properties have to dry out.

It is at the time of claims that brokers can truly prove their worth, providing vital initial advice, along with guidance through the claims process, so you know what to expect and where relevant, the options available. The majority of claims are generally straight forward and may, to the client, go smoothly, but behind the scenes the broker may well have been chasing and liaising with insurers and loss adjustors to negotiate a fair settlement. A few years ago research by the British Insurance Brokers Association showed that brokers generally negotiated fairer claim settlements than those dealing direct and if there are complications involving cover, under insurance or betterment, do you really want to be on your own?

And it is not just claims where you need a broker, nowadays there are many ways of arranging insurance and the personal lines insurance market in particular has been revolutionised, firstly by Direct Line and more latterly the price comparison websites. Most car and home insurance products have now become commoditised, seemingly all providing similar covers, but when the detail is examined the differences in policies can be marked and not necessarily suitable for an individual’s needs.

The trend to commoditisation has also started with business insurance (generally small business products at the moment) and if you buy online it will be a ‘non-advised’ sale, where you are given details of the insurance contract and you decide if it is suitable for your circumstances. The information will include a summary of cover that is supposed to include all significant exclusions (they don’t) and most then get you to ‘tick the box’ to say that you have read and understood the full policy wording, knowing that the vast majority of customers do not!

By contrast, the service offered by brokers is far more than transactional, with most providing professional advice by reviewing the risks you face, explaining terminology such as material facts, exclusions and warranties before recommending suitable covers to best protect your business. Getting the choice of cover and insurer right in the first place avoids problems with claims and it shouldn't stop there. As important is the on-going advice. Businesses change and adapt over time, so do the risks that they face and it is vital that insurance coverage is kept up to date.

As mentioned earlier, insurance brokers have not been great at PR and failure to publicise the benefits of the services they provide made it easier for the direct insurers to enter the market. The opening up of new distribution channels has made the UK market extremely competitive, but the concern is that there has been a 'dumbing down' of products with cost being the overriding factor at the expense of cover and the Chartered Insurance Institute are now trying to change the public perception of insurance by promoting professionalism in the industry with 'Chartered' awarded to both insurers and brokers who meet certain standards.

As technology continues to advance and customer expectations increase, insurance brokers, like all service providers, face the challenge to show that they continue to provide a valued service at competitive pricing. As with all products, it may be cheaper elsewhere, but the phrase “you pays your money and you takes your choice” come to mind.

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Business Matters Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:23:39 +0000
Financial Services Vacancies http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/financial-services-vacancies http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/financial-services-vacancies  Nsure Financial Services Ltd

Independent Financial Advisers based in Central Worthing

 

We are a local, family run firm of Chartered Financial Planners and we take pride in offering all our clients excellent advice and service. Our clients are individuals and businesses based predominantly locally but also some further afield. We specialise in retirement planning, investment solutions, tax planning and also advise on life assurance and mortgage needs.

 

Due to the ongoing expansion of our business we are looking for three people to join our existing team to support our busy Financial Advisers. You will be working in our Rowlands Road office. The available roles are as follows:

 

Full time Paraplanner

 

An experienced Paraplanner holding the Diploma in Financial Planning or actively working towards this qualification, to join our two existing Paraplanners. You will be working closely with our Financial Advisers conducting research and writing client reports and must therefore be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of pensions, investments and life assurance, including an understanding of the tax treatments and associated risks in each area of advice.

 

Full time Administrator

 

An experienced Administrator to join our support existing team. You will be dealing with the processing of new business applications, client requests and general ongoing maintenance of our client portfolios. You will deal with all areas of business including pensions, investments and life assurance for our individual and corporate clients.

 

Part time Administrator

 

To cover a very specific role within our organisation. Instead of dealing with general administration for our clients, you will be responsible for the work required to conduct monthly investment reviews for our existing clients. This includes updating client portfolios and producing valuations as well as executing specific transactions within their portfolios as a result of the investment review recommendations.

 

To be successful in the above roles you must have a consistently excellent attention to detail, a methodical and organised approach to work with the ability to work on your own initiative. Excellent standards of English and Maths are also a must.

 

Hours for the full time positions are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. Hours for the part time position are flexible but we would require a minimum of 23 hours per week.

 

For further details of any of these positions, including salary ranges, please email Sarah Gray at sarah.gray@nsure.co.uk with an up to date CV.

 

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Financial Services Blog Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:41:50 +0000
Will Electric Cars take over our Capital? http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/will-electric-cars-take-over-our-capital http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/will-electric-cars-take-over-our-capital A French billionaire has announced plans to introduce 3,000 electric hire cars in London, in a scheme similar to the 'Boris bikes' introduced in 2010.

Vincent Bollore confirmed the proposals after a subsidiary of his Bollore Group, IER, was selected by Transport for London to take over the management of the existing Source London scheme from June this year.

Under that agreement, Bollore said he would quadruple the number of electric car charging points in Britain to 6,000 in a £100m investment aimed at cutting pollution and congestion.

 The separate electric car hire project would be based on Autolib in Paris, which was launched in 2011 and currently has more than 45,000 active subscribers making between 9,000 and 13,000 car journeys each day.

 A lack of charging points in London is being addressed

"We'll have Blue Cars in London within the next 12 months," Bollore said at a news conference.

He aims to have 100 cars available by the year's end, with the total hitting 3,000 by 2016.

Drivers would have to pay £10 per hour via a smartphone app to hire a vehicle.

The Autolib business model has also been rolled out to the French cities of Lyon and Bordeaux and will soon go into operation in the US city of Indianapolis.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "We're going to see more charging points popping up across London, which will drive the take-up of these cleaner, greener machines and help to reduce air pollution too."

The earlier bike hire scheme he introduced in London was initially sponsored by Barclays bank but soon acquired the nickname "Boris Bikes" after the mayor.

Mr Bollore argued the cars should prove just as popular.

He pointed to the planned growth in charging points to help counter the arguments of electric car critics on limited battery distances.

 

 

Source:   http://news.sky.com/story/1225219/electric-car-hire-scheme-for-london-agreed

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Renewable Energy Blog Mon, 17 Mar 2014 14:23:14 +0000
Firms unite to fight cyber crime http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/firms-unite-to-fight-cyber-crime http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/firms-unite-to-fight-cyber-crime Several IT firms in the West Midlands are leading the fight against hackers with the help of a computer game.

Serious Games in Coventry have teamed up with a cyber security specialist and a team of organisational psychologists from Aston University in Birmingham, to create software they hope will be used alongside business training.

Cyber crime is estimated to cost UK businesses thousands of pounds a day and is now ranked as one of the top four threats to national security, higher than a nuclear attack.

Tim Luft, managing director of Serious Games, and Michael Loginov, director at Information Systems Security Association, said using a game made the subject more interactive and helped people to understand the dangers of cyber crime.

Individuals can also be an easy target for hackers, but IT expert Dale Pearson, founder of Subliminal Hacking, created a virtual computer and recorded what the hackers did to his system before putting it on the internet as a warning to others.

Meanwhile the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, a group of more than 45 small companies, has one common aim - to stop the cyber criminals.

To find out how you can insure the online aspects of your business should you fall victim to cyber crime, contact Geoff Stanbridge on 01903 520200 or at Geoff.stanbridge@nsure.co.uk.

http://www.nsuretechnology.co.uk/

 

 

Adapted from article on BBC news website 29th December 2013

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:17:38 +0000
Happy 5th Anniversary http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/happy-5th-anniversary http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/happy-5th-anniversary This month marks an anniversary that will be celebrated by some and cursed by others – five years of the Bank of England’s official base rate being 0.5%. Three months into the year the consensus seems to be that rates will remain unchanged for the rest of 2014, with the rate possibly rising in early 2015.

 

For savers this has meant five years of below inflation returns where they have seen the spending power of their money eroded considerably. Accounts paying interest above the rate of inflation are almost non-existent, certainly without tying your money up for many years.

 

In most cases borrowers “have never had it so good”. Those on long term tracker mortgages have benefited hugely and even those who are on the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) have usually done quite well, whilst those with enough equity in their property can get fixed rates for less than 4%. Unsecured borrowing like personal loans, which has traditionally been far more expensive, can be obtained with a rate of less than 6% if you’ve got a reasonable credit history. Add to this the fact that inflation erodes the real value of debt as well as savings means borrowers have done very well out of the situation.

 

The majority of investors have also had a good time with the FTSE 100 up around 80% over the same period and the less volatile average ‘mixed’ fund up over 45%.

 

The problem with such a long periods of “stability” is that people get into the habit of thinking it will continue forever. Many borrowers have got used to low interest payments, increased their spending and may now struggle if rates were to rise even a little. After a long period of positive returns investors often forget that “investment can fall as well as rise”. All this can lead to complacency setting in and investors, savers, borrowers and even in some instances their advisers, taking their eyes of the ball. Even if the official interest rate hasn’t changed the financial world is a very different place to what it was five years ago and the need for continual reviews remains.

 

http://www.nsurefinancial.co.uk/richardcohen/

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Financial Services Blog Wed, 05 Mar 2014 10:30:12 +0000
Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Event http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/rampion-offshore-wind-farm-event http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/rampion-offshore-wind-farm-event The proposed Rampion Wind Farm is without doubt a massive and exciting project and of particular interest to all Nsure staff as the vast array of offshore wind turbines will be quite visible from the windows of the Nsure office in Worthing, should it be built.

 

So, on Wednesday 26th February David Elliot-Rose and Dave Cole attended a Rampion Offshore Wind Farm 'Meet the Buyer' event at the Amex Stadium, Brighton, hosted by the developers, E.ON. The main aim of this event was to inform local businesses of potential opportunities that could arise from the construction and operation of the wind farm project, assuming it receives consent later in 2014. The grand setting of Brighton’s football club stadium hosted some 250 – 300 persons with a conference style programme in the morning, followed by interactive breakout focus group sessions in the afternoon.The first morning session provided a project update and supply chain support, introduced by Chris Tomlinson, Rampion Development Manager.

 

This session then included an introduction to the supply chain steering group and associated studies, a Rampion project update, with a report on the way forward to construction and operation, followed by comments on supporting supply chain development. The presentation continued with an item relating to business growth grants and then a specific item for grants and loans for East Sussex businesses.


After a break, the morning continued with overviews of supply chain contract packages, then offshore work packages, then followed by an absorbing presentation and video from Vestas (turbine manufacturer) regarding their history and worldwide operations. The morning concluded with an overview of onshore work packages and operations and maintenance needs for when the project is completed.

 

A  networking lunch and exhibition had been prepared with the opportunity to meet other local businesses, and project and procurement staff from E.ON's Rampion Project Team.

 

This was a fascinating and rewarding presentation which included speakers from E.ON, Vestas, Marine South East, Grant Thornton, Coast2Capital and Locate East Sussex.

 

http://www.nsurerenewables.co.uk/wind-turbine-energy-insurance/

 

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Renewable Energy Blog Wed, 05 Mar 2014 10:17:50 +0000
More companies consider cyber insurance as a mandatory purchase rather than a discretionary one http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/more-companies-consider-cyber-insurance-as-a-mandatory-purchase-rather-than-a-discretionary-one http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/more-companies-consider-cyber-insurance-as-a-mandatory-purchase-rather-than-a-discretionary-one In the early 2000s, just around the time of the Dot Com Boom, some insurers stood up, took notice and began to develop a product designed to address the financial loss that might arise out of data breaches. This was at a time where most companies were just beginning to realise the economic potential of the Internet. At this time insurers were looking  to target the big dotcom companies such as Amazon, Yahoo, eBay and Google.  

 

Early cyber policies included Liability & Property Modules. The liability cover addressed claim expenses and liability arising out of a security breach of the insured’s computer systems,  although some early policies only covered technical security breaches. The property-related modules covered business interruption and data asset loss or damage arising out of a data breach  with additional first party covers including such things cyber-extortion coverage. Unfortunately for the insurers it was not easy to get people to understand the need for this coverage and this still remains a challenge today, but it is now certainly a lesser challenge with all of the security and privacy news that’s constantly streaming.

 

One  change that has  occurred over time and has had a significant impact concerning the frequency and magnitude of data breaches is organised crime. In the early 2000s hacking was more of an exercise in annoyance or used for bragging purposes. Hackers at that time wanted their exploits talked about and known as well as the notoriety for hacking into or bringing down  sophisticated businesses.

 

The real criminals, of course, are less interested in such notoriety. In fact, when trying to steal millions of records to commit identity theft or credit card fraud it is much better for them not to be detected. Recognising that this type of crime is low risk with high reward. Nowadays the sophistication of the cyber criminals has effectively resulted in a relentless crime machine constantly attacking and looking for new ways to attack, and always seeming to be one step ahead of those seeking to stop them. That is why we here about security and privacy breaches practically every day in the newspaper and in the media.

 

Today Cyber Insurance is a much more established market with more carriers now looking to provide the appropriate cover for businesses of all sizes who are now beginning to see Cyber Insurance more as a mandatory purchase rather than discretionary. As the world continues to change at an alarming rate cyber risks increase with the advent of such things as hacktivism and the monstrous amount of people using social media, the need for Cyber Insurance is also growing. With competition pushing cyber insurance prices down, and significant security and privacy risk being retained by organizations, risk transfer is becoming even more attractive.

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:43:20 +0000
Auto-enrolment - get prepared. http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/auto-enrolment-get-prepared http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/auto-enrolment-get-prepared Business and Development Manager for Scottish Life Jamie Clark, has today been quoted in Money Marketing as saying " It is looking like the industry is going to be able to meet the auto-enrolment capacity crunch but for it to be a success it is vital that employers are convinced of the need to start preparing early." His focus on employers being under prepared for auto-enrolment and not fully understanding the implications for them is something we agree with. 

 

Preparation for any business entering the auto-enrolment pension scheme is essential. Like Jamie Clark we agree that businesses, particularly those without an existing qualifying scheme, need to start planning for auto-enrolement at least a year before their staging date. 

 

For further advice call Nsure on 01903 821010 or email sarah.gray@nsure.co.uk or tweet us with your questions to @Nsurefs.

 

To read Jamie's article in full click herehttp://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/2006390.article?cmpid=pmalert_139727  

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Financial Services Blog Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:47:52 +0000
Nsure and Qualifications http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/nsure-and-qualifications http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/nsure-and-qualifications This month’s Centre for Cities report ranked Worthing as having the most well educated residents.


At Nsure we feel we contribute to these statistics by making sure that following on from school or college education, all of our staff are appropriately qualified or helped by us to qualify for their job. We do this via our successful trainee/ graduate programs within the Financial Services division of the company. This year so far, three members of the general insurance team have passed exams and gained further industry relevant certificates. Despite only being a part of the general insurance team for a matter of months Laura McCarthy has already passed her first exam towards the Certificate in Insurance. Two of the financial service team have also passed qualifications this year. It is our dedication to training our staff that has resulted in each part of the Nsure Group of companies being accredited with the Investors In People award (IIP) every year for nearly a decade.


We also volunteer our time at Worthing High School teaching financial literacy twice a week. Our lessons cover budgeting, savings, debt, investment, insurance and financing property purchases/ rent alongside the cost of living. These lessons are well received by pupils and often prove to be a real eye opener to them. We have been teaching pupils twice a week for the past five years. We have also had various pupils come to us for work experience in year ten getting a taste of how the financial services business works.


Our staff come from various educational backgrounds, from school leavers to university graduates and industry experts including Fellows of their profession. Regardless of background all forty of our staff share the same goal that it appears 95.6% of Worthing do- to be the best that you can possibly be.

 

http://www.nsurebusiness.co.uk/lauramacarthy/

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Uncategorized Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:49:13 +0000
Cyber Thieves Target Tesco Clubcard Vouchers http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/cyber-thieves-target-tesco-clubcard-vouchers http://blogs.nsure.co.uk/index.php/entry/cyber-thieves-target-tesco-clubcard-vouchers Supermarket chain Tesco has suspended more than 2,000 online accounts after cyber thieves targeted log-in credentials and Clubcard points. The deactivation comes after thousands of usernames and passwords - taken from non-Tesco websites - appeared on a text-sharing portal. It is believed that cyber thieves then used that data to crack accounts at Tesco.com, relying on the habit of some people using the same usernames and passwords for various websites. A Tesco spokesperson told Sky News: "We take the security of our customers' data extremely seriously and are urgently investigating these claims. "We are contacting all customers who may have been affected and are committed to ensuring that none of them miss out as a result of this." The speculative attack on Tesco was also used to steal Clubcard points from some customers - believed to number fewer than 10.

 

The company, Britain's biggest supermarket group, said it would reimburse those hit in the breach. The spokesperson added: "We will issue replacement vouchers to the very small number who are affected." In early 2013 a number of Clubcard holders had their vouchers stolen by cyber criminals after Tesco spotted "irregular activity". Log-in credentials of customers were allegedly harvested by hackers using phishing emails.

 

Adapted by Luan Walsh from Sky News website article 14th February 2014

 

http://www.nsurebusiness.co.uk/luanwalsh/ 

 

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emma.wells@nsure.co.uk (EmmaWells) Nsure Technology Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:58:11 +0000