Daily Market Update

Terror plan ends in gunfire in Belgium
Following the horrific attacks in France last week there has been another stark reminder of the threat facing western nations from terrorists. Police and security forces in Belgium have thwarted two massive terror attacks in the country in a raid that ended with the death of two suspects. European intelligence agencies say that there could be further attacks in the region with Germany and the Netherlands possibly being targeted. This is of course not just a problem for Europe but here too, however with the current threats having been identified in Europe, business travelers are advised to be aware of the risk and remain vigilant.

Geopolitical unrest is top economic risk
A new report by the World Economic Forum positions geopolitical unrest as the number one risk facing economies. With an escalation of disruption over the last year, including the Ukraine crisis and Islamic State, the report suggests that the risk of major conflict between states is at its highest since the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. The way those conflicts play out may be different though to the days of the Cold War. Our reliance on technology leaves us open to cyber attack and some of the ‘states’ launching attacks are not states at all but groups of terrorists operating across borders. The WEF report shows how things have changed in a short time; in the last five years geopolitical rest was not a major feature of the organization’s report.

Secret US report says encryption is ‘vital’
There is a difficult balance that needs to be weighed up by governments and security agencies concerning data encryption. British Prime Minister David Cameron is meeting with President Obama to discuss issues including cyber security but while the PM has stated that terrorists and criminals should not be able to hide behind encrypted data a leaked US government report contradicts that. The secret document written 5 years ago for the US National Intelligence Council clearly stated that encryption was the best way for governments and businesses to be protected. Google and Apple along with many mobile applications use encryption by default but where both parties in an online process are encrypted it poses an almost insurmountable challenge for intelligence agencies in terms of intercepting potentially crucial information.

Law firm slams insurance company surveillance
An international law firm has criticized some insurance companies for their use of private investigators for surveillance of police officers making claims for injury or mental health issues. John Cox of Slater and Gordon says that some of the tactics use are aggressive and potentially illegal and make the officers’ health issues worse. While not suggesting that insurance companies should refrain from investigating claims the lawyer says that some of the methods deserve ethical and legal consideration.

by Insurance Business | Jan 16, 2015

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