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Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

One of the UK’s few VISA-approved Managed Services Hosting Provider removes guidance grey areas with ‘ready to roll’ PCI cloud environments

 

Sandwich, Kent – Ultra Secure Cloud service provider, The Bunker has today launched its new PCI Cloud solution. Available as a multi-tenancy or single environment, The Bunker’s PCI Cloud solution has been designed to meet all 12 PCI DSS requirements, making it one of just four UK Managed Services Hosting Providers on the VISA Merchant Agent List capable of delivering full compliance with the new PCI DSS standards v3.0.

 

Having come into force on January 1 2015, the new PCI DSS standards v3.0 put the responsibility of compliance for all 12 key areas of PCI DSS on the business itself – regardless of whether it is working with a third-party specialist. Many Service Providers currently only have ‘Hosting Provider’ VISA status, which makes them compliant with as little as two of the 12 requirements and leaves the customer to manage the rest. This makes the enterprise more liable to regulatory fines.

 

“Businesses need to ascertain whether the MSP really understands that their own requirements are in sync with PCI DSS requirements and whether they have the expertise to manage and maintain environments,” warns Peregrine Newton, CEO of The Bunker. “Under the new standards, if an outsourced compliance partner does not offer all 12 of the PCI requirements, the business will be answering direct to auditors and liable to regulatory fines, which can have a grave impact on the bottom line.”

 

To mitigate this risk, The Bunker has wrapped its Ultra Secure Colocation and Hosting Cloud Services around IBM and Egenera software technologies to ensure customers receive a fully compliant solution and not just a PCI DSS aligned environment. Working with a VISA-approved ‘Managed Services Hosting Provider’ not only addresses all 12 PCI requirements but, by achieving compliancy, acts as a source of business advantage by introducing efficiency and streamlining many operational IT processes.

 

“PCI DSS is a now a business issue rather than an IT problem, with decisions around compliance being escalated from IT directly to the boardroom,” continues Newton. “With a plethora of service providers now marketing themselves as ‘fully compliant’, it puts businesses at a greater risk under the new standards because the buck stops with them should they fail to apply due diligence where MSPs are concerned. A Hosting Partner is a world away from a Managed Services Hosting Provider and not investigating the difference between the two could land businesses in hot water when it comes to PCI 3.0.”

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In the past we have often heard that people got involved with business continuity through another career, perhaps drifitng in to it from facilities management or IT security. Now we are finding that more and more people are starting off in a business continuity role; the industry has developed into a career opportunity in its own right and people are joining it straight from school, college or university. In order to develop the industry further and take it forward, we need to inspire and encourage the right people to become business continuity professionals, and where better to do this than in schools.

To meet this aim, the Business Continuity Institute has formed a new partnership with Inspiring the Future, a free service where volunteers pledge one hour a year to go into state schools and colleges and talk about their job, career, and the education route they took. Already to date, over 7,500 teachers from 4,400 schools and colleges and over 18,500 volunteers have signed up.

Everyone from Apprentices to CEOs can volunteer for Inspiring the Future. Recent graduates, school leavers, apprentices, and people in the early stages of their career can be inspirational to teenagers - being close in age they are easy to relate to; while senior staff have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. Your insights will help to inspire and equip students for the next steps they need to take.

Inspiring the Future is currently running a campaign called Inspiring Women with the aim to get 15,000 inspirational women from Apprentices to CEOs signed up to Inspiring the Future, to go into state schools and colleges to talk to girls about the range of jobs available, and break down any barriers or stereotypes.  For further information click here

Why volunteer in a local school or college?

  • Going into state schools and colleges can help dispel myths about jobs and professions, and importantly, ensure that young people have a realistic view of the world of work and the routes into it.
  • Getting young people interested in your job, profession or sector can help develop the talent pool and ensure a skilled workforce in the future.

To sign up to Inspiring the Future as a BCI member, simply click here and follow the steps. In the ‘My Personal Details’ section, under the heading ‘My memberships of Professional Association …’ please write Business Continuity Institute and it will appear for you to select.

By signing up, you make it easy for local schools and colleges to get in touch to see if you can help them help their pupils make better decisions about the future.  You might be asked if you could take part in a careers’ fair, in career networking (speed dating about jobs) or do a lunchtime talk to sixth formers about your job and how you got it. 

Volunteering for Inspiring the Future is free, easy, effective and fun. Volunteers and education providers are connected securely online, and volunteering can take place near home or work as employees specify the geographic locations that suit them. Criminal Records Bureau checks are not needed for career insights talks, as a teacher is always present.

Inspiring the Future is a UK initiative but if you know of a similar scheme in another country then get in touch and let us know. Our aim is to inspire people to become business continuity professionals all across the world.

 

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/inspiring-the-future-with-the-business-continuity-institute-104522

 

By Leon Adato

In the corporate environment, end users and, more worryingly, the occasional IT pro, are the first to point the finger of blame at the network when an application is sluggish, data transfer is too slow or a crucial Voice over IP (VoIP) call drops, all of which can have a wider impact on the bottom line.

Issues arise when the IT department looks to blame the network as a whole, rather than work to identify problems that are caused by an individual application running on the network. Poor design, large content and memory leaks can all cause an application to fail, yet IT departments can be slow to realise this.

Many companies are reliant on applications to drive business-critical processes. At the same time, applications are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to support, which puts additional pressure on the network. So, the question remains, when there’s an issue with application performance, is it the network or is it the application? How do you short-circuit the ‘blame game’ and determine the root-cause of an issue so it can be solved quickly and efficiently?

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1279.html

Enterprises are scrambling to come up with ways to scale their infrastructure to meet the demands of Big Data and other high-volume initiatives. Many are turning to the cloud for support, which ultimately puts cloud providers under the gun to enable the hyperscale infrastructure that will be needed by multiple Big Data clients.

Increasingly, organizations are turning to in-memory solutions as a means to provide both the scale and flexibility of emerging database platforms like Hadoop. Heavy data loads have already seen a significant performance boost with the introduction of Flash in the storage farm and in the server itself, and the ability to harness non-volatile RAM and other forms of memory into scalable fabrics is quickly moving off the drawing board, according to Evaluator Group’s John Webster. In essence, the same cost/benefit ratio that solid state is bringing to the storage farm is working its way into the broader data infrastructure. And with platforms like SAP HANA hitting the channel, it is becoming quite a simple matter to host entire databases within memory in order to gain real-time performance and other benefits while still maintaining persistent states within traditional storage.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/in-memory-solutions-confronting-the-big-data-challenge.html

DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America, announces that New Belgium Brewing Company has chosen ViaWest to outsource its business critical IT operations. By leveraging ViaWest’s enterprise-class KINECTed cloud computing platform, New Belgium gains increased network availability and seamlessly connects its brewing facilities across the United States.

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., New Belgium Brewing Company is an employee-owned craft brewery, brewing year round favorites including Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA and 1554. The company is also known for its seasonal beers and wood-aged, light to full bodied sour beers. In 2014, the company expanded its operations with a new $140 million brewery located in Asheville, North Carolina, and plans full production in the Asheville facility by the end of 2015. 

New Belgium had traditionally maintained its IT environment in-house. However, it chose to partner with ViaWest in order to ensure maximum uptime to support its brewing facilities across the U.S., while leveraging the power of the cloud within its infrastructure. Outsourcing to ViaWest also frees up the brewery’s internal team to improve and innovate processes.

“In order to accommodate our growth nationwide and craft beer distribution coast to coast for the first time in our history, New Belgium required an expert partner in which to house our mission critical IT environments,” states Travis Morrison, Director of IT for New Belgium Brewing Company. “We found such a partner in ViaWest. Now, with our ViaWest cloud solution, we can communicate with our brewing facilities seamlessly, improving our scalability and reliability.”

“We designed our cloud platform so customers can experience greater uptime and performance than with in-house solutions,” comments Margie Sims, Division Vice President, Central Region for ViaWest. “It’s often too costly for companies to create and manage highly resilient, highly available IT environments.  We are proud to work with New Belgium Brewing in creating an elastic IT foundation, which provides them more optionality to support their changing needs in the years to come.”

ViaWest offers a full spectrum of infrastructure-as-a-service offerings including managed services, multiple cloud computing options, data storage and back up, as well as network security.  Its KINECTED cloud portfolio allows clients to tailor each part of their IT environments depending on requirements and workloads.

To learn more about ViaWest’s full suite of infrastructure services and to customize a configuration for your business, please call 1-877-448-9378.

Attix5 set to launch markets fastest backup client at this year's Cloud Expo Europe event in London

 

 

LONDON  Attix5, expert developer of world-class data protection software, announced that it will be launching its brand new Pro V8 Peregrine software at next month's Cloud Expo Europe event in London. V8 Peregrine has been proven to be the fastest backup client available on the market and is set to change Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans as we know it.

 

Attix5 will break the speed barrier with the release of V8 at Cloud Expo Europe, backing up 30 million files in just an hour. The Pro Peregrine V8, encompasses a new file indexing technology that eradicates the use of clunky methods such as outdated DB technology and increases backup speeds to up to 5 times faster than competitive products.

 

Initial backup of millions of files can now be completed in just minutes and incremental backups will only take a fraction of this time. Tests conducted by Stage2Data show Attix5 producing speeds of between 3.6-6.4 times faster than their nearest competitors for an initial backup of the 40 GB workload and between 3- 5.6 times faster than their nearest competitors for a second incremental backup.

 

Jacques Swanepoel, CTO of Stage2Data was one of the beta testers of the new software. "In our own tests V8 easily backed up 30 million files in an hour. When we compare that to 1 million files an hour we know that this is not a minor improvement, this is monumental. V8 Peregrine is a game changer."  

 

All of this latest innovation, research and development are a result of Attix5's Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) vision. Michael Law, CEO at Attix5 is confident that these speed improvements combined with recently announced Dynamic Restore technology will disrupt the BC and DR market.

"You need fast backups for reduced Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and almost instant recovery for low Recovery Time Objective (RTO), V8 will have these components plus the flexibility and security of an agile, hardware agnostic backup product." commented Michael.

 

With V8 having a significantly reduced RPO this results in faster, more frequent backups as well as data loss reduction technology which reduces risk even further. V8 uses the latest and fastest encryption technology, 256-bit AES GCM Encryption, which ensures data security with backups and guarantees effective restores.

Some businesses never recover from a disaster - especially those with either no or a poor DR plan. An effective DR plan will minimise business downtime.

 

Michael Law comments that, "Until now many organisations didn't consider implementing proper DR plans for reasons like high cost, additional resources and changes to infrastructure. Attix5 has addressed all the above hurdles with its patent pending LiveRestore technology". It gives any business the ability to recover lost data and servers in minutes from an onsite or cloud backup location.

 

Attix5 will be demonstrating Pro Peregrine V8 live at Cloud Expo Europe from 11-12 March at the ExCel London, visitors will get to see the fastest back up client on the market in action as well as some real life high flyers from a local Falconry display. Visit Attix5 on stand 221, for further information on Attix5 and the new Pro Peregrine V8 software, please get in touch with Beth Dyson at beth.dyson@proactive-pr.com.

Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

TOSHIBA ANNOUNCES Encrypted USB Flash Drive

Provide Military Grade Protection For Sensitive Data with Innovative Hardware Security Device, Up to 32 GB

 

IRVINE, Calif. — Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive, a device that utilizes a hardware based encryption process to deliver a robust, secure (military grade AES 256-bit encryption)[i], easy to use and affordable solution to safely make sensitive data portable. Ideal for enterprise companies, government agencies and concerned consumers, the Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive offers a higher assurance of security.

Available in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB[ii] capacities, the Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive uses a built-in mini-keyboard to authenticate access, incorporating a rechargeable battery so the user can enter a secure code before plugging into a USB port. Users simply enter their secure PIN and plug the drive into any USB 2.0 port on a compatible device. Once access is granted, the drive “unlocks” the media, permitting clearance to all of the content stored on the drive. When the drive is removed from a USB port, the drive automatically re-locks and encrypts the stored media.

“There is a heightened sense of awareness that confidential content is at risk,” said Maciek Brzeski, Vice President of Branded Storage Products, Toshiba Digital Products Division. “Toshiba developed the Encrypted USB Flash Drive as a new way to provide portable data security with one of the highest encryption standards available on the market.”

Should the Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive become lost or stolen, it is equipped with a Brute Force Hack Defense Mechanism that will render all stored information irrecoverable after 10 consecutive unsuccessful attempts to enter the secure PIN. The Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive also carries a FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) Publication 140-2 Level 3 certification, issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a certification often required by government agencies and other data security sensitive industries, such as healthcare and finance. The Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive incorporates DataLock® Technology by ClevX, LLC.

 

Pricing and Availability2,4

Beginning today, the Encrypted USB Flash Drive is available for purchase at select retailers and on http://www.toshiba.com/us/flash-drives for $95.00MSRP for the 4GB model, $112.00 MSRP for the 8GB model, $140.00 MSRP for the 16GB and $200.00 MSRP for the 32GB model. A 3 Year Standard Limited Warranty[iii] is included with all models.

 

Image Gallery: http://bit.ly/ToshibaEncryptedUSB

Connect with Toshiba on Facebook at facebook.com/ToshibaUSA, on Twitter at twitter.com/ToshibaUSA and on YouTube at youtube.com/ToshibaUS.

 

About Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (TAIS)

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., TAIS is comprised of four business units: Business Solutions Division, Digital Products Division, Imaging Systems Division, and Telecommunication Systems Division. Together, these divisions provide digital products, services and solutions, including industry-leading notebook computers, tablets and All-in-One computers, televisions, TV/DVD Combination products, Blu-ray Disc™, DVD players and media boxes, as well as cloud services; imaging products for the security, medical and manufacturing markets; storage products for computers; and IP business telephone systems with unified communications, collaboration and mobility applications. TAIS provides sales, marketing and services for its wide range of products in the United States and Latin America. TAIS is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation. For more information on TAIS visit us.toshiba.com.

 

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems into five strategic business domains: Energy & Infrastructure, Community Solutions, Healthcare Systems & Services, Electronic Devices & Components, and Lifestyles Products & Services. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations towards securing “Growth Through Creativity and Innovation”, and is contributing to the achievement of a world in which people everywhere live in safe, secure and comfortable society.

Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of over 590 consolidated companies employing over 200,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 6.5 trillion yen (US$63 billion). To find out more about Toshiba, visit www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm

NEWARK, Calif. – Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for databases, virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, today announced its IntelliCare™ Flash 5 Guarantee, a multi-point program that gives customers additional confidence in their Tegile storage purchase for the effective service life of their array.

Focused on the top five principles of most enterprise technology purchases, the Flash 5 Guarantee puts in writing minimum levels customers can expect from Tegile arrays in areas of performance, cost, data reduction, endurance and availability.  If during the 5-year guarantee window, any purchased or leased Tegile array fails to meet one or more of these promised criteria, Tegile will remedy the situation by deploying Pro-Serve Engineers to directly engage with customers in order to correct the outlying issue, including providing additional or replacement gear at no cost, if deemed necessary.

Guaranteed minimum levels of each and every Tegile array include:
1.	Performance levels from a latency standpoint that are 5 times faster than legacy storage
2.	Pricing no higher than $5/RAW GB 
3.	Data reduction rates of 5:1 leveraging Tegile’s deduplication and compression technologies
4.	5 years of heavy-write SSD endurance and free controller upgrades after five years’ of service life 
5.	“5 Nines” availability (99.999 percent, equal to 4 minutes/year) with active-active controllers

"The Tegile IntelliCare Flash 5 Guarantee is a differentiator in the marketplace, intended to help customers feel confident that we will ensure they achieve the optimal levels of performance, cost, data reduction, endurance and availability that we promise them," said Rob Commins, vice president of marketing at Tegile.  "While there are others in the industry that may make similar promises, not all of them offer as comprehensive a guarantee, for as long as we offer it, or as a written agreement.  It is also important to remember that these are minimum promises for our entire portfolio of Intelligent Flash Arrays.  Truth be told, our customers should expect to receive better than promised results on nearly every point with their Tegile purchase, with much better results depending on the application they deploy their Tegile array to support."

The Tegile IntelliCare Flash 5 Guarantee is provided on all of the company’s hybrid and all-flash arrays, which are sold exclusively through the company’s reseller channel to provide customers with best-in-class products and services to meet their IT infrastructure needs.  Customers have the option to purchase units outright, lease them or go with a capacity-utilization model through Tegile’s Agility Pricing Program.  Additional information for organizations looking to find out how the Flash 5 Guarantee can benefit them is available at http://www.tegile.com/flash5

About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of intelligent flash arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtual desktop and database applications. With Tegile’s line of all-flash and hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that accelerate business critical enterprise applications and allow customers to significantly consolidate mixed workloads in virtualized environments.
Tegile’s patented IntelliFlash™ technology accelerates performance and enables inline deduplication and compression of data so each array has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile’s award-winning solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than any other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in snapshot, remote-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and VM-aware features. Additional information is available at www.tegile.com. Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 00:00

DDoS attacks proving costly for businesses

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According to a study conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a company’s online resources might cause considerable losses – with average figures ranging from $52,000 to $444,000 depending on the size of the company. For many organizations these expenses have a serious impact on the balance sheet as well as harming the company’s reputation due to loss of access to online resources for partners and customers.

According to the study, 61% of DDoS victims temporarily lost access to critical business information; 38% of companies were unable to carry out their core business; 33% of respondents reported the loss of business opportunities and contracts. In addition, in 29% of DDoS incidents a successful attack had a negative impact on the company’s credit rating while in 26% of cases it prompted an increase in insurance premiums.

DDoS attacks are not just costly, they are also becoming more frequent and more complex. In a different study, one carried out by Arbor Networks, it was revealed that 38% of respondents to a survey experienced more than 21 attacks per month compared to just over 25% in 2013. It was also noted that we are now experiencing much larger attacks, sometimes over 100Gbps and even up to 400Gbps. Ten years ago the largest attack was 8Gbps.

With this as a backdrop, it is perhaps no surprise that cyber attacks have consistently been one of the top three threats for business continuity professionals according to the Business Continuity Institute’s annual Horizon Scan report.

“A successful DDoS attack can damage business-critical services, leading to serious consequences for the company. For example, the recent attacks on Scandinavian banks (in particular, on the Finnish OP Pohjola Group) caused a few days of disruption to online services and also interrupted the processing of bank card transactions, a frequent problem in cases like this. That’s why companies today must consider DDoS protection as an integral part of their overall IT security policy. It’s just as important as protecting against malware, targeted attacks, data leak and the like,” said Eugene Vigovsky, Head of Kaspersky DDoS Protection, Kaspersky Lab.

 

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/ddos-attacks-proving-costly-for-businesses-104662

Many CEOs tend to see business continuity management purely within the context of complying with governance codes. But, says Leigh-Anne van As, business development manager at ContinuitySA, CEOs also need to see how business continuity management can help them answer three key strategic questions.

Van As argues that CEOs need to be able to answer ‘yes' to three key questions:

  • Do you know which products and services offered by your company are vital to ensuring its strategic objectives can be met?
  • Is your organizational structure aligned to the company's strategic objectives?
  • Do you know exactly which resources (including human resources) are required for the company to achieve its strategic objectives?

"Companies typically offer a multiplicity of products and services, but CEOs and their immediate teams need to understand which ones are absolutely vital to the company's ability to meet its strategic targets. They also need to understand exactly which resources are essential to delivering those products and services," she explains. "Once they have the answers, CEOs and their teams can allocate investment and attention appropriately, and optimise the company's operations."

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1277.html