Magazine article Business Credit

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Magazine article Business Credit

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Financial Institutions See More External Security Attacks Than Internal

There are now more internal attacks on information technology systems at the world's largest financial institutions than external ones, according to the 2005 Global security Survey conducted by financial services industry practices of the member firms of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they'd experienced attacks from inside their organization within the last 12 months while only 26 percent said they'd experienced attacks from external sources, up from 14 percent and 23 percent from a year ago, respectively. The survey revealed that increased use of virus solutions, Virtual Private Networks, and content filtering and monitoring explain the shift from external threats to internal ones over the past year.

Source: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

U.S. Pension System Overhaul In The Works

United Airlines has dumped nearly $10 billion in pension obligations on the U.S. government; the largest corporate pension default in U.S. history. Current pension funding rules allowed United to make its retirement plans look as though they were in much better shape, and didn't require the airline to make any cash contributions in recent years despite its pension plan's declining health. Defined benefit plans, which promise retirees a

monthly check and often health coverage, were underfunded by $354 billion through April of 2005: their liabilities outweighed their assets-a 27 percent increase in the shortfall compared with a year ago, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Now, there's a push in Washington to overhaul the pension system. Among the biggest changes under consideration is to create more stringent funding requirements for calculating how much money companies must contribute to their plans and the schedule to make payments, as well as proposals requiring companies to use the fair market value to measure pension assets, rather than an actuarial estimate that may not be tied to reality, and to tie funding requirements to a company's financial health, based on its credit rating.

Surety Credit Survey

According to Grant Thornton's "2005 Surety Credit Survey for Construction Contractors: The Bond Producer's Perspective," surety bond producers see some definite trends in who gets surety bonding and why. On the availability of credit, the survey found that "49 percent of surety bond producers say it is difficult for their construction clients to obtain surety credit, compared with 14 percent who said it was difficult in 1996. …

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