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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

have never let my schooling interfere with my education – Mark Twain (unverified).

Everything has its limit–iron ore cannot be educated into gold. – Mark Twain (verified)

Board members believe they know what they need to know. That is why they were asked to serve on the board. Unfortunately, like many issues today, confidence does not mean competency.

Corporate boards are increasing their focus on compliance issues. Unless a board member has prior experience in the field, the board has to be trained on compliance and has to “learn” how to oversee and monitor compliance issues. As I use the term “board,” the focus is on the specific board committee responsible for oversight of the compliance function.

The Chief Compliance Officer has an important role in this process. The CCO has to recognize the importance of the “teaching” moment. Every piece of compliance information has to be subject to a test – “what is the importance of this information” to oversight and monitoring of a company’s compliance program.

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http://blog.volkovlaw.com/2016/05/teaching-board-oversee-monitor-compliance-function/

State Offers Ideal Environment for Data Centers

Texas continues to be one of the best states in the country for business. With the lowest per capita tax rates in the nation, cutting-edge infrastructure, excellent schools, and a skilled workforce, many corporations are relocating to Texas. Importantly, the unemployment rate in Texas was 4.4 percent for February 2016 and has been at or below the national rate for 110 consecutive months.

Texas’ transportation infrastructure enables easy movement of commercial goods. The state hosts 26 commercial airports, 46 freight railroads, 11 interstate highways, and 624 miles of coastline with 16 ports of call.

...

http://www.cyrusone.com/blog/everything-bigger-texas-including-enterprise-data-center-solutions/

Late last year, Gemalto released a report that found that the health care industry leads the way in data breaches. As Healthcare IT News reported then:

The key finding is perhaps that the healthcare industry had 34 percent of its total records breached, amounting to 84 million data records compromised, the highest rate of any industry. Government accounted for the second highest rate of breaches at 77.2 million records lost, or 31.4 percent.

I bring up last year’s numbers because a new report from Ponemon Institute shows the seriousness of cybersecurity failures in the health care industry. According to the study, an overwhelming number of health care organizations  – 89 percent – admit they were the victim of a data breach, and half of those attacks are caused by cybercriminals, an increase of 5 percent from last year’s report. The other half are from the usual suspects – employee mistakes, stolen or lost devices, and third-party issues.

Also, we’re seeing that the health care organizations continue to struggle with security issues even after they’ve been breached: Seventy-nine percent of organizations claim they have been breached twice and nearly half said there have been multiple breaches.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/healthcare-security-already-bad-and-getting-worse.html

Data center design and construction has been pushing through a number of barriers lately, a product of virtualized infrastructure and the prevalence of high-speed connectivity to remote areas of the globe.

But as increased reliance on cloud computing leads to greater deployment of hyperscale infrastructure, it is hard to see how some of the more far-out designs will make a significant impact on the broader data ecosystem going forward.

Microsoft made a big “splash” (sorry) earlier this year when it deployed a submersible data center at Cal Poly Pier in the San Luis Obispo (California) Bay. The 10x7 foot capsule weighed about 38,000 pounds, according to the local Tribune newspaper, and had relatively modest computing capabilities, roughly equivalent to 300 desktops.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/pushing-the-envelope-in-data-center-design.html

We now live in a data-driven world, where everything we do creates data or is based on decisions informed by data.

From the way we use the heating in our homes, through to the information pilots flying planes across the world can receive, it is omnipresent in almost everything we do. Despite this, the changes have been minimal for many in terms of their daily lives.

In the business world though, the use of data has had a huge impact, revolutionizing several industries and changing the face of many others. Below, we look at three of those that have had been impacted the most.

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https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/3-industries-turned-on-their-heads-by-data

To remain competitive in an increasingly competitive world, it is important to continually seek opportunities to boost operational efficiency, reduce expenses and improve the bottom line. Within every corner of business, improving efficiency is a never-ending journey.

As a significant capital investment, data centers are often under the microscope when it comes to improving performance. Within the industry, there is little doubt that data centers need to run as efficiently as possible to avoid tying up valuable (and often, unnecessary) company resources. In our business, we talk to data center managers every day and hear from them about their successes and frustrations when it comes to improving data center efficiency. It is evident from these conversations that there are five key areas where improvements can be made. Most importantly, these areas don’t require a lot of internal bandwidth but if done right, will go a long way towards an optimized data center.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/05/16/five-basic-rules-for-improving-data-center-efficiency/

RIDGELAND, Miss. — Disaster survivors in Mississippi who apply for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration are advised to submit an SBA loan application to ensure that the disaster recovery process continues.

If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be considered for FEMA’s other needs assistance program, which provides grants for disaster-related medical and dental care, funeral costs and vehicle repairs. Survivors may also be eligible for assistance from other organizations.

There is no requirement to take out a loan if one is offered from SBA.

Next to insurance, SBA is the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and replacing lost contents following a disaster. Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may be eligible for low-interest loans up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding.

May 24, 2016, is the last day survivors can register with FEMA and apply for SBA disaster loans for physical damage.

Loan applications may be submitted online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center

14925 Kingsport Rd.

Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

For additional information, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visit sba.gov/disaster.

Survivors with questions regarding the FEMA application or appeal process, or who need to register for assistance, can go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or relay service). (TTY users should call 800-462-7585.) The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to

10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

For more information on Mississippi disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4268 and www.msema.org.

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video relay service). TTY users can call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money to help business of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters rebuild and recover after a disaster. SBA low interest disaster loans repair and replace property losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

US data center REITs reported record leasing for the year’s first quarter, attributing their success primarily to a digital land grab by public cloud giants, who are racing to expand capacity.

The biggest data center providers are now operating in uncharted waters. The rising tide of public cloud deployments, combined with the paradigm shift in enterprise IT toward hybrid architectures, which combine cloud services with colocation, has created a perfect storm of demand for providers.

According to Equinix CEO Steve Smith on his Q1 earnings call, “Interconnection-oriented architectures represent a fundamental shift away from centralized, legacy enterprise IT models to distributed and dynamic models.”

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/05/16/long-will-cloud-data-center-land-grab-last/

Netwrix Auditor empowers Miles & Stockbridge P.C. with ongoing IT systems performance and system availability, contributing to business success

IRVINE, Calif. – Netwrix Corporation, a provider of IT auditingsoftware that delivers complete visibility into IT infrastructure changes and data access, announced today that Miles & Stockbridge P.C., a leading law firm with seven offices in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region, has chosen Netwrix Auditor to ensure continuous system availability and increase productivity for its IT operations.

As a busy law firm, Miles & Stockbridge needed to ensure overall system security and compliance. But, at the same time it needed to enable system availability and continuous access to applications and data so that employees could remain productive as they provided legal services to clients. The main challenge for the firm was to establish user behavior monitoring over internal users and remote helpdesk activities. Since the company has a distributed IT infrastructure, which includes Active Directory, Exchange, and VMware, the Miles & Stockbridge IT team wanted a unified platform that would gather data from its various IT systems and present it in a single console for further analysis and troubleshooting, if necessary. After evaluation of several auditing solutions, the firm opted for Netwrix Auditor.

Netwrix Auditor is a visibility and governance platform that enables control over changes, configurations and access in hybrid cloud IT environments to protect data at rest regardless of its location. The platform provides security analytics to detect anomalies in user behavior and investigate threat patterns before a data breach occurs.

Netwrix Auditor allowed Miles & Stockbridge to achieve the following results:

  • Complete visibility into IT environment. With hundreds of users and helpdesk personnel accessing business-critical systems in its offices and remotely, the firm is now in control of all activities happening in any part of the IT environment. The software provides visibility on enterprise, system, and user levels decreasing the risk of insider misuse and escalation of privileges.

  • Maximize system uptime. The firm’s IT team daily reviews reports on user activity to track everything that can cause service disruption. In case of any issues the IT team can effortlessly revert unwanted changes or troubleshoot incidents. Broad context available for each user activity allows quick identification of the sequence of events to find the root cause.

  • Improve user satisfaction. Because systems are continuously available, users can access them anytime. Thanks to that, employees are able to service the firm’s customers in an efficient and professional manner, without interuption.

  • Increase IT team efficiency. Automated features, such as reporting, notifications, IT change roll back, inactive account tracking etc., allow the IT team to perform everyday tasks faster and speed report delivery to management.

Netwrix Auditor provides a single point of access and actionable information on the IT changes. Thanks to it, we have become proactive and more efficient in our everyday work, we have enabled continuous user access to the IT systems and with that have been able to provide better user experience,said Maria Fleischmann, Technology Coordinator at Miles & Stockbridge.

The legal industry is among those that need to provide continuous access to their IT systems to loads of on-sight and off-sight employees,” said Michael Fimin, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix. “As a majority of routine IT tasks are critical for business continuity, inefficiently established IT processes can seriously affect system uptime. IT teams have to act quickly, detect and foresee possible performance issues to prevent outages and enable users to address clients’ needs without impact. By enabling business continuity, IT teams are able to contribute to their organization’s success and ensure company growth and development.

To download the complete case study, please visit: www.netwrix.com/go/milesandstockbridge

About Netwrix Corporation

Netwrix Corporation provides IT auditing software that delivers complete visibility into IT infrastructure changes and data access, including who changed what, when and where each change was made, and who has access to what. Over 150,000 IT departments worldwide rely on Netwrix to audit IT infrastructure changes and data access, prepare reports required for passing compliance audits, and increase the efficiency of IT operations. Founded in 2006, Netwrix has earned more than 70 industry awards and was named to both the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. For more information, visit www.netwrix.com.

Unique Resource Helps Businesses Navigate Global Regulatory Landscape

JOHNSTON, R.I. — FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers, today released a new edition of the world’s most comprehensive guide to national building codes. The 2016 FM Global Country Building Codes Index helps companies assess construction requirements, safety environments and overall resilience in the geographies where they may do business.

A reflection of the insurer’s 180-year commitment to property loss prevention, the Index is a PDF document that links directly to the known building codes of nearly 130 countries. It also helps companies determine whether or not a code exists in a particular nation. The 2016 FM Global Country Building Codes Index is a companion to the newly released 2016 FM Global Resilience Index, which ranks the same countries by their business resilience to supply chain disruption.

“Building codes and their enforcement are important because substandard construction often leads to injury, death, property loss, business disruption, financial harm and economic turmoil,” said Brion Callori, senior vice president of engineering and research at FM Global. “Strong codes can help communities and businesses be more resilient to fire, flood, earthquake and windstorms. While some countries are making progress, we are actively encouraging more countries to adopt better codes and standards in order to improve their standard of living.”

The 2016 FM Global Country Building Codes Index is produced in cooperation with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and is publicly available for no charge.

High cost of poor codes

Fragility of construction methods has been blamed for making buildings “weapons of mass destruction” if they collapse in a fire or weather event. For example, recent deadly earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador “are a reminder of how important it is that we apply the highest standards possible when building in earthquake zones,” Robert Glasser, United Nations special representative for disaster risk reduction, said recently.

Providing worldwide leadership for the improvement of building codes and standards, FM Global employs an international codes and standards group with experts in Brazil, China, India, Paris and the United Kingdom (UK).

In 2011, the group helped form the nonprofit Brazilian Sprinkler Institute (ISB), which aims to strengthen building codes related to fire, the costliest commercial property risk. The codes and standards group that same year helped form the Mexican Sprinkler Association.

In 2010 in the UK, FM Global helped establish the Business Sprinkler Alliance with fire chiefs and other sprinkler advocates. Later, it helped ensure that a 30-story student building at the University of Portsmouth, UK, was built with automatic sprinklers.

Quality makes a difference

Shifting global business trends spotlight the need for an understanding of codes throughout the world. For example, foreign direct investment to India increased by 29 percent from October 2014 through December 2015. The country is currently ranked 110th in risk quality, according to the 2016 FM Global Resilience Index.

Meanwhile, strong building codes have been credited with softening the impact of events as devastating as the Fukushima, Japan, earthquake and tsunami. In fact, every dollar spent on natural hazard mitigation saves society US$4, according to a National Institute of Building Sciences Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council study.

FM Global’s clients have demonstrated the value of the company’s own strong building standards. Properties that are poorly protected experience losses seven times as often and 30 times larger than well-protected properties, according to the company’s internal data.

“The 2016 FM Global Country Building Codes Index, a reflection of FM Global’s commitment to construction quality, is the easiest way to find national building codes in one place,” said Donald P. Bliss, NFPA vice president of field operations. “Using and enforcing the latest building codes are essential. The index makes it simple for others to access this critical information.”

About FM Global
Established nearly two centuries ago, FM Global is a mutual insurance company whose capital, scientific research capability and engineering expertise are solely dedicated to property risk management and the resilience of its client-owners. These owners, who share the belief that the majority of property loss is preventable, represent many of the world’s largest organizations, including one of every three Fortune 1000 companies. They work with FM Global to better understand the hazards that can impact their business continuity in order to make cost-effective risk management decisions, combining property loss prevention with insurance protection.