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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

School database storage to be handled by London-based company

 

 

LONDON BackupVault, one of the premier providers of data backup solutions in the UK, has recently released a valuable new service which will provide backup to the Schools Information Management System (SIMS) databases of schools across the country. The Capita SIMS system is used by over 90% of schools in the UK, and BackupVault will be assisting in the process of backing up this hugely valuable and sensitive raft of information.

 

Schools are required by law to store backups of data off-site and in a secure manner. BackupVault’s encrypted service utilises ISO27001 and 9001 certified datacenters, in order to help schools comply with the latest legislation and guidelines.

 

BackupVault will be utilising its proprietary Backup for Schools system in this process. The Backup for Schools system, powered by Attix5 software, is the only backup system approved by Capita, and therefore makes it the ideal choice for this prestigious undertaking. The Attix5 software enables files to be restored in as little as four mouse clicks, and files are also compressed allowing lightning fast restorations of multiple file versions from storage servers.

 

Considering the sensitivity of the data involved, BackupVault will be exercising extreme caution and care with protecting this important information. All databases and files involved in this process will be deeply encrypted before being sent off-site to two secure UK-based datacenters. The cloud backup service provided by BackupVault is fully automated, and enables school, colleges and universities to safely protect their most important assets - their data.

 

Under the auspices of this system, backups will be taken several times every day, and secured using BackupVault’s powerful 256bit AES encryption method. All encrypted files from the SIMS systems will be immediately replicated to a secondary UK datacenter for redundancy and to ensure maximum security.

Speaking about the SIMS schools project, Rob Stevenson of BackupVault had the following to say: “We are delighted at BackupVault to have secured this critical and valuable project, and are really enthusiastic about playing a small part in the futures of many young people across the country. As one of the few data specialists in Britain that utilises only UK-based datacenters - as well as 24/7 support staff and offices - we are uniquely placed to offer a secure and state-of-the-art service to British schools. We look forward to a long, equitable and profitable partnership.”

 

BackupVault is the trading name of Blueraq Networks Ltd - a profitable IT company, based at 70 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8BD.

Founded in 2004, BackupVault is a privately owned backup solutions provider.

BackupVault has grown from strength-to-strength in the SME market by providing reliable methods of protecting data. All BackupVault data protection solutions ensure enterprise-grade reliability at a fraction of the cost of traditional backup.

BackupVault technology partners include Dell, Cisco, Attix5, Level3, Cogent and Virgin Media.

FLEET, Hants, UK – Dimension Data announced today that it has achieved Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Authorised Technology Provider (ATP) designation from Cisco. The designation recognises Dimension Data as having fulfilled the training requirements and programme prerequisites to sell, deploy and support Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure products and solutions.

 

Participation in the Cisco ACI ATP Programme allows Dimension Data to offer its customers a new data centre architecture designed to simplify operations and greatly reduce provision time through automation for their applications.

 

“This latest accreditation means Dimension Data is ideally placed to help organisations simplify and scale their data centre operations both in the UK and across Europe. Indeed, we are now certified to deploy and support Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure in five European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and the UK,” said Wayne Sanderson, Head of Networking Business Unit, Dimension Data, UK. “Our participation is this programme is part of our ongoing commitment to provide our clients with advice on, and access to, technology innovations that will make them more agile, scalable and better placed to grow.”

 

To earn the ACI ATP designation, Dimension Data fulfilled Cisco application centric infrastructure training and exam requirements. Dimension Data also met the personnel and post sales support requirements set forth by Cisco.

 

The Cisco Authorised Technology Provider Programme is part of the Cisco go-to-market strategy for emerging technologies. The programme helps Cisco to define the knowledge, skills and services that channel partners need to successfully sell, deploy and support an emerging technology practice.

 

About Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) in the data centre is a holistic architecture with centralised automation and policy-driven application profiles. ACI delivers innovative software flexibility with the scalability of hardware performance. An ACI network is deployed, monitored, and managed in a fashion that supports DevOps and rapid application change. ACI does so through the reduction of complexity and a common policy framework that can automate provisioning and managing of resources.

 

About Dimension Data

Founded in 1983, Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability, and entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients. Dimension Data is a member of the NTT Group. www.dimensiondata.com

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. and Clyde Analytics have formed a strategic partnership to bring clients cutting-edge predictive analytics software and solutions used for advanced predictive modeling.

Clyde Analytics provides a full-service predictive analytics software platform. This platform combines an easy to use interface with technical flexibility to help customers achieve their corporate needs and objectives. The software solution includes generalized linear model (GLM), non-parametric machine learning, and optimization techniques that can be used for important business questions, including loss cost modeling, retention and conversion analyses, rating factor optimization, and claims analytics.

Pinnacle specializes in actuarial consulting and the application of predictive analytics techniques to the insurance industry. Pinnacle will work with Clyde to assist clients in effectively applying the software to pricing and other analytics problems.

"Our partnership with Clyde expands our analytics software toolkit and gives us a new dynamic predictive analytics software solution to offer our clients," says Roosevelt C. Mosley, Pinnacle Principal and Consulting Actuary. "Pinnacle is committed to knowledge sharing and information transfer. With Clyde, our clients will have another option to perform future analyses internally or to continue to work with Pinnacle's predictive analytics experts."

"The Clyde platform utilizes modern technologies and advanced functionality to support the industry to create more sophisticated offerings and make insightful business decisions," says Marlowe Leibensperger, Clyde Analytics, Managing Director. "With Pinnacle as a partner, we benefit from both their technical expertise and applied business and actuarial experience working on the most salient client challenges."

About Pinnacle Actuarial Resources
Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. is an independent, full-service actuarial and consulting firm focused on the property and casualty insurance industry. Headquartered in Bloomington, Ill., the firm also has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Des Moines, Indianapolis and San Francisco. Pinnacle ranks among the largest property/casualty actuarial firms in the United States. To learn more, visit pinnacleactuaries.com or call 309-807-2300.

About Clyde Analytics
Clyde Analytics is a leading insurance software provider focused on providing technical users the ability to more efficiently perform their predictive modeling activities and help companies realize the business benefits from such initiatives. Clyde aims to reset the bar as relates to user experience, engagement, software support, and applied advice. To learn more, visit clyde-analytics.com or email info@clyde-analytics.com.

Ridesharing service Uber reported last week that some of its current and former drivers' names and license numbers were compromised.

And as a result, Uber lands atop this week's list of IT security newsmakers to watch, followed by Natural Grocers, Target (TGT) and TalkTalk.

What can managed service providers (MSPs) and their customers learn from these IT security newsmakers? Check out this week's list of IT security stories to watch to find out:

...

http://mspmentor.net/managed-security-services/030315/it-security-stories-watch-was-uber-breached

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 00:00

Survey looks at solid state disk uptime

Whilst SSD usage is up, the technology is still a cause of downtime: one third of respondents to a Kroll Ontrack survey confirm they have experienced some sort of SSD technology malfunction.

According to a recent solid state disk (SSD) technology use survey by Kroll Ontrack, while nearly 90 percent of respondents leverage the performance and reliability benefits of SSD technology within their organisation, one-third confirmed they experienced some sort of SSD technology malfunction. Of those who did, 61 percent lost data and fewer than 20 percent were successful in recovering their data, highlighting the known complexity of SSD data recovery.

In the UK, 27 per cent of respondents had experienced a failure of their SSD technology and of these 56 per cent experienced data loss as a result. A slightly higher number than the global figure (26 per cent) were able to recover their data following a failure.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07546.html

Risk management and risk transfer must work together to make organizations more resilient, as firms become more exposed to major disasters and subsequent business interruptions as a result of their increasingly complex global networks. Traditional property damage/business interruption policies were never designed to meet the risks faced by organizations today, and the business interruption insurance market has not kept pace with these rapid changes, according to Marsh.

In a new Marsh Risk Management Research report, the firm highlights how the limitations of existing business interruption insurance, including gaps in cover and inaccurate valuations, are resulting in less than optimal coverage for clients and makes the case for insurance modernisation.

Based on concerns raised by colleagues, clients, loss adjusters, lawyers and insurers, the report focuses on five core areas where Marsh believes improvement is required: insured values; indemnity periods; wide area damage scenarios; supply chain; and claims.

Caroline Woolley, Global Leader of Marsh’s Business Interruption Center of Excellence, commented: “A property damage event remains one of the major exposures any company can face, and business interruption is one of the main insurances purchased. Business interruption policies, however, have done little to evolve since the middle of the last century.

“The insurance industry needs to acknowledge the shortcomings of existing business interruption cover and build a better solution for buyers. This report is Marsh’s contribution to the debate as we seek to improve existing solutions and reshape the industry to address insurance buyers’ evolving needs.”

The report ‘Business Interruption Insurance Efficacy: Five Key Issues’ can be found after registration here.

Disaster recovery planning for your IT installations may use automated procedures for a number of situations. Virtual machines can often be switched or re-started in case of server failure, and network communications can be rerouted without human intervention. For other requirements, people will be involved in getting IT systems up and running properly after an incident. But people do not switch into auto-run modes like a machine. They can be affected by the surprise factor of an IT disaster and by the pressure to bring things back to normal. Five aspects of usability may need to be designed into your DR planning if you want the best chances of a satisfactory recovery.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/five-aspects-of-usability-to-integrate-into-your-disaster-recovery-planning/

For many of our readers and the organizations where they work, any kind of supply chain disruption could easily qualify as a serious incident and one that would easily have been discussed and included in their disaster preparedness planning process.

With that thought in mind, our staff recommends reading and potentially adding a recent EventWatch™ 2014 Supply Chain Disruption report to your organization’s business continuity and disaster preparedness team’s reading resource library.

This report  This report was funded and supported by Resilinc’s database of over 40,000 suppliers and over 400,000 parts which are tracked in its cloud supplier intelligence repository, and, analyzed incidents by risk type, industry, geography, severity, and seasonality and compared 2014 data in these categories with 2013.

 

Two of my favorite bloggers, Tony Jaques in Australia and Jonathan and Erik Bernstein from California, had excellent posts and two of the most important topics: rumor management and apologies.

Tony tells the story of a hepatitis A scare in Australia that got linked to a frozen berry product.  The company out of an abundance of caution as they like to say, voluntarily recalled their product without verification their product was the cause. From there as you will see the media did their thing and the company apparently did not do enough to correct the misreporting.

The lesson is clear: a lie (or error) repeated often enough becomes the truth. The only way I know to deal with this is to loudly, clearly over and over and over tell the truth and correct the misinformation.

...

http://ww2.crisisblogger.com/2015/03/great-lessons-on-rumor-management-and-how-to-apologize/

Cybersecurity is a priority for enterprise executives and their boards, but a serious disconnect also exists in the C-suite on what the risk priorities should be and why, according to recent research. Some of the gap can be attributed to the day-to-day focus of different executive functions, but much of it goes far deeper into problems with culture and communication.

When consulting firm Protiviti and the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative at the North Carolina University Poole College of Management recently conducted the third annual survey of business executives for “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2015,” and examined the ranking of 27 risks by job function, they found that CFOs and chief audit executives (CAEs) perceived a riskier business environment than CEOs and the board. And CEOs and board members each had their own focus on the types of risks they perceived as most important.

Protiviti examined the relationship between the job functions of the executives it surveyed and whether they ranked macroeconomic, strategic or operational risks as of highest concern, and a pattern emerged. Board of directors members collectively named four strategic risks among their top five concerns, along with one macroeconomic issue; CEOs collectively named four macroeconomic risks among their top five, along with one strategic risk. And other executives named more operational risks to their top five lists.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/articles/whats-behind-the-c-suite-disconnect-on-risk.html