Workplace suicides increase
Suicide claims 36,000 a year in the US and a new report highlights the increasing incidence of suicides in the workplace especially in certain occupations. Data analyzed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that from 2003 to 2010 there were 1,719 suicides at work in the US. There were fluctuations in the figures with 1.5 suicides per million workers in 2003, dropping to 1.2 per million in 2007 before rising sharply in 2010 to 1.8 per million. Men, especially those in the 65-74 age group, are most likely to take their own lives according to the research.
The occupations where occurrence of suicide is higher include; law enforcement, security and fire-fighting; farming, fishing and forestry (perhaps due to financial concerns); car repairers (possibly due to influence of long-term exposure to chemicals that could affect mental state). Doctors are also at higher risk of suicide.
The conclusion is that more research is needed into workplace suicides but also that businesses should be aware of the risk and ensure support for workers who may be under increased pressure. Read the full story.
Cyber threats continue to evolve
The risk from cyber attacks are multiple and varied and are also constantly evolving. This morning there are stories involving the possible involvement of the Chinese military in a breach of Register.com potentially affecting millions of websites; and there’s a warning of the increase threat of ‘role-playing’ where social media accounts steal data and images from legitimate individuals or businesses and pass them off as their own.
The annual report from the non-profit Information Security Forum highlights a number of risks that businesses should be aware of to minimize the threat and impact of an attack. New technology itself brings risk says the report as disruptive technology allows both good and bad players to scale new heights; the ‘connected’ world is another big risk, opening up multiple potential vulnerabilities; criminal groups often have bigger budgets and more sophisticated tools and expertise than businesses, increasing the need for collaboration to tackle threats; and stretching the life of systems is another risk with many businesses still using Windows XP for example, even though it is no longer supported by Microsoft. Read the full report.
Target aims to settle class action law suit over data breach
The potential cost of a data breach is painfully clear to retailer Target, which was the victim of a cyber attack in 2013 with at least 40 million customers’ accounts compromised. The firm has announced a settlement plan which involves a fund of $10 million being set aside for those whose data was breached. Claimants who can prove that they have suffered actual harm from the breach will be eligible to up to $10,000. The settlement will go before a Minnesota judge today.