Whether talking cyber security or Social Security, we help protect your future.

Published April 12, 2017
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At first glance, the two seminars might appear to have little in common — last month's on the role of federal benefits in retirement planning, next month's on the evolving risks businesses face through cyber activity.

But the two events share a couple of common themes: preparedness and security.

When former Social Security Administration official Kurt Czarnowski spoke to guests at Sylvia Group on March 28, he talked about the importance of preparing to have federal benefits be just one component of a retirement portfolio that provides financial security. When nationally recognized expert Chas Bellingrath of ARC Excess and Surplus, LLC, addresses attendees at our May 23 seminar, he'll be speaking about how understanding exposures and preparing for breaches can protect the future of a business.

See for yourself:


Just as too many people think Social Security alone will provide sufficient funds in retirement, too many owners of small- and medium-size businesses think cyber risk is limited to corporate giants such as Sony and Target (along with government agencies and politicians). Actually, though, most cyber attacks target small- and medium-size businesses, which typically have less security and fewer means to recover from a breach.

Sony, Target, Anthem, Home Depot — they all had the resources to continue operations and recover financically from attacks that affected from 10s of millions to a billion customers. Smaller businesses whose operations are shut down for a prolonged period and who are faced with costs totaling more than $200 per breached record may never recover. 

In fact, as reported by the Denver Post, 60 percent of small companies that suffer a cyber attack are out of business within six months:

The U.S’ National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyber attack. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and, for middle market companies, it’s over $1 million.

That's why what Chas Bellingrath has to say is so important. And so valuable.

During the cyber-risk seminar, he'll: 

  • define and explain cyber exposures.
  • give examples of breaches.
  • provide claim scenarios.
  • detail how the introduction of laws and regulations regarding cyber issues have affected insurance needs.

In addition, you'll learn policies and procedures for dealing with a cyber security breach and find out how much various forms of hacking can cost your business. We'll also provide information on protecting your business with cyber insurance.

Security. Preparedness. Two goals we have for all of our clients — businesses and individuals. The Sylvia Group Education Series, including these two seminars, is one of the ways we help achieve those goals ... all part of protecting your future.

About Maureen Sylvia Armstrong and Sylvia Group

For more than three decades, Maureen Sylvia Armstrong has served her clients and her community, Maureen_2009_cropped.jpgdistinguishing herself as a recognized business and civic leader on Massachusetts' SouthCoast. From the time Maureen entered the agency founded by her grandfather in 1950, Sylvia Group has grown from a staff of 10 employees to a team of almost 50 highly trained professionals providing insurance, employee benefits and financial planning solutions to businesses and individuals throughout the SouthCoast and beyond. A graduate of Boston College’s Carrol School of Management with degrees in finance and marketing, Maureen has been honored by the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Person of the Year, by SouthCoast Media Group as Woman of the Year and by Bristol Community College as a Benevolent Entrepreneur.

Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, employee benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.

Upcoming Events

Veterans Financial Workshop
Thursday, November 9
5 p.m.
Landmark Senior Living Communities
400 Columbia Street
Fall River, MA

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Sylvia Group Blood Drive
Friday, November 10
9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sylvia Group
500 Faunce Corner Road
Building 100, Suite 120
Dartmouth, MA

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Long-term Care Insurance Seminar
Thursday, November 16
5:30-7 p.m.
Sylvia Group
500 Faunce Corner Road
Building 100, Suite 120
Dartmouth, MA

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Team Noah Gala:
The Mad Hatter's Ball
Saturday, November 18
6 p.m.
Light Hall
Fall River

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  • “When I needed assistance with my business insurance program, Jill White immediately responded – and, even more important, she listened. She understood the challenges I had with my former agent, and she and the Sylvia Group team designed a program specific to my restaurant’s needs. I’m confident that with Jill’s expertise and personal attention, Fay’s is in good hands. That gives me the peace of mind to focus on what my family and I do best: serve delicious food and provide great customer service while running a successful business.”

    – Evelyn Bettencourt, Owner, Fay's Restaurant and Knotty Pine Fine New England Catering

  • “Thanks to John Beauregard and the professionals at Sylvia Group, our MassMEDIC membership has paid immediate dividends. Through the BIO Business Solutions® program, Primo Medical received a significant premium reduction on our Professional Liability policy. In addition, utilizing Chubb as our insurance provider and Sylvia Group as our broker, we’re confident that we have business partners who truly understand our insurance needs, provide outstanding loss control services and continue to work with us to lower our total cost of risk.”

    – Christopher LaPlante, Chief Financial Officer, Primo Medical Group

  • “I just wanted to take the time to recognize what a remarkable job Danielle Andre is doing. I cannot thank her enough for her time, her kindness and her willingness to make sure I’m comfortable with all the necessary changes that occurred from an insurance standpoint. As a whole, every Sylvia Group staff member has been friendly and knowledgeable, but Danielle has certainly gone above and beyond for me.”

    – Shannon S., Personal Insurance client

  • “I love your staff. In the first three or four weeks after we moved over to Sylvia Group for our insurance, I have had more communication and attention from them than I had in the seven or eight years we were with our former agency! You have a great team.”

    – Pat Cassan, Ocean Explorium

  • “I want to thank you for this incredible resource, ThinkHR. We will be accessing it frequently and appreciate Sylvia Group making this available to Advanced Eye Centers.”

    - Paul C. Abrantes, Executive Director, Advanced Eye Centers

  • “I so appreciate Julie Jennings' help with Medicare planning. It is a relief to be able to consult with a knowledgeable professional on insurance issues. I have no idea how people do this without such help.”

    – Chris Black, Personal Insurance client

  • “Working with Sylvia Group over recent years has taken our insurance issues from 'groans and moans' to 'no problem.' Rose Lopes, our Account Manager, is one of the most responsive people I have ever worked with. She responds immediately to questions or special requests. It is such a pleasure to work with Rose, who does whatever it takes to find a solution to our needs. We are very pleased… She always has our interests in mind.”

    – Lynne Foley, Director of Human Resources, Five Star Companies, Inc.

  • "Sylvia Group is by far the best insurance agency I have ever dealt with, both personally and in my business. They provide customer support that is not found in other agencies. For example, they take a personal interest in their clients, calls are always taken or returned immediately, and during reviews suggestions are made to offer the most cost effective and comprehensive coverage. When claims occur, they have always been there to facilitate the process. It has truly been a pleasure to have them represent me in my insurance needs."

    - William N. Whelan, Chairman, Whelan Associates LLC