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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

‘Show Me the Money,’ IT Pros Say

You can have a terrific corporate culture, focus on challenging projects, and provide the means for your employees to work with great technology. But if you’re not paying IT pros what they can find elsewhere, don’t expect job candidates to accept your offer, and don’t expect the talent you do have to stick around long.

That’s the conclusion that is drawn from the results of the 2016 Talent Acquisition & Retention Survey for the Information Technology Sector recently released by Harris Allied, an executive search firm in New York. The survey of 151 IT executives found that while offering an excellent compensation and benefits package topped the list of strategies companies use to attract IT talent, having a corporate culture that provides an attractive work/life balance edged out competitive compensation to top the list of strategies companies use to retain IT talent.

The former strategy is apparently on track: The survey found that better compensation offered elsewhere was far and away the top reason candidates cited for declining a job offer. But the latter strategy apparently needs to be tweaked: The respondents said the No. 1 reason people leave is that they’re not being paid enough.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/from-under-the-rug/show-me-the-money-it-pros-say.html

For over a decade now, IBM has been promoting the adoption of Linux on mainframes. Most recently, it extended that effort by developing versions of mainframes that come loaded only with Linux. Now IBM is looking to expand the developer ecosystem surrounding those mainframe platforms.

In addition to updating the systems that make up the IBM LinuxONE portfolio, IBM has announced that it is optimizing both its StrongLoop framework for creating application programming interfaces and the Cloudant NoSQL database that it provides as a managed service to run on IBM Linux. It also announced that it is collaborating with SUSE to leverage OpenStack to manage instances of the Linux on a mainframe and that the Go programming language developed by Google is now available on IBM Linux mainframes.

Also, Kathryn Guarini, vice president of System z Growth Initiatives, says that the Ubuntu distribution of Linux from Canonical will soon be available on the IBM LinuxONE platform.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/ibm-aims-to-expand-open-source-community-surrounding-mainframes.html

We are only a month into 2016 and it’s already shaping up to be a big year for data breaches. Of the many organizations facing increasing threats this coming year, the presidential candidates are also likely to be attractive targets for attacks. Recent cyberattacks targeting information from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are an indicator of how the threat landscape is changing with hacktivism making a comeback.

Beyond the candidates, companies also face hacktivism and several other new data breach threats in the coming year. While traditional threats will continue to make headlines, there are several emerging issues that need to be addressed in data breach preparedness plans. To help risk managers prepare for what lies ahead, outlined below are our top trends anticipated in 2016.

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http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/2016-data-breach-predictions-hackers-more-active-than-ever/

Up to 96% of customer contact data is partially inaccurate, according to the Sales and Marketing Institute and D&B. This is a shocking statistic. If you run a business, this figure alone should have you leaping from your seat in panic.

Can your data really be in that bad a state?

The short answer is yes. Over time, data decays at 2%, per month. So your database is never static; it is constantly degrading. Your customers are constantly changing job roles, phone numbers and email addresses. Your business is occasionally adding duplicates, spelling things wrong, and introducing bad data to the database. This situation is costing you money and time, and it’s a needless waste of resources.

It sounds obvious enough when written in black and white, but it’s alarming how many businesses are sitting back and doing nothing about it.

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https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/your-data-gets-better-by-change-not-by-chane

If it seems like businesses are fighting a losing battle against malware and other security threats, it could be because they are.

A new study conducted by ThreatTrack Security found that security professionals are losing ground in the battle against cybercriminals and other adversaries compared with a similar study conducted two years ago:

The study found organizations still struggle mightily with how to combat cybercrime, despite lessons learned from spectacular cyberattacks on Target, Sony and the U.S. government in the last couple of years. There seems to be a growing sense of realism regarding the difficulties of fighting cybercrime, and it’s clear that analyzing advanced malware still takes too long. For most companies, it takes anywhere from one to 24 hours, despite the availability of tools that enable them to analyze code and malicious behavior in minutes.

According to the study, only 20 percent of respondents to the study said they feel their security defenses have improved since the last study (that’s compared to nearly 40 percent who saw improvement two years ago).

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/why-it-seems-like-cybersecurity-is-a-losing-battle.html

Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

The strategic value of resilience

When I started this series of blog posts about the future of resilience, I wanted to address its potential to add value by bridging the divide between risk management and performance improvement. My first resilience blog post introduced the topic and defined organizational resilience. This is the forth and final blog post in this series, which focuses on its strategic value.
 
If organizational resilience is to earn its place on the board’s agenda, it must demonstrate value in terms that the board understands and recognises as strategically important. Otherwise, Resilience Managers will find themselves, like Harry Potter and the Business Continuity Managers I described in my People Resilience post, consigned to the cupboard under the stairs only to be summoned in case of emergency. Resilience becomes strategically important when it demonstrably enables and facilitates achievement of the organization’s Strategic Objectives. Referring to the diagram above, the first step to operationalise resilience in The Organization Today and then embed resilience into the organization’s strategic Transformative Programmes that will deliver The Desired Future State. 
 
So how does this work in practice?
 
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Sickweather, a disease surveillance company based in Baltimore, has made its illness data available to developers so they can create apps that present disease forecasts and outbreak maps. The company's Sickweather mobile app is already available for iTunes and Android users, touting itself as a Doppler radar for sickness.

In a phone interview, CEO Graham Dodge suggested that disease forecasts could become common conversational fodder alongside weather forecasts, thanks to social media, the source of the company's illness data. Already, AccuWeather has incorporated disease forecasts into its StoryTeller content platform. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson and thermometer-maker Swaive are using the company's data in their respective mobile apps.

Through Sickweather's API, developers can fetch JSON-formatted data about illness reports at specific map coordinates, disease forecasts for a given area, and contagion threat level scores for leading sources of illness. The API can also receive illness reports from developers' apps.

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http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-applications/flu-forecasting-app-helps-your-boss-marketers-plan-ahead/d/d-id/1324115

By now you’ve surely heard that moving forward, every company will be a software company, and that shift is happening now as companies large and small scramble to transform into digitally-driven organizations.

Wherever you turn, businesses are facing tremendous disruptive pressure. What’s interesting is that the theory about how firms should be dealing with this massive change is itself in flux, transforming if you will, as organizations come to grips with the idea that the most basic ways they do business are being called into question.

Just over a year ago when I researched this topic, I found that the general method for dealing with disruption was developing pockets of innovation inside a company using labs or incubators to prime the innovation pump. Today, when I explore the same issues, I’m finding that companies are taking a much more comprehensive approach that has to do with reviewing every department and business process in the organization.

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http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/31/digital-transformation-requires-total-organizational-commitment/

There are one million cybersecurity job openings in 2016. Where are all of those jobs? This week we take a look at the cybersecurity job boom in the U.S. government sector.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suffered the largest cyber attack over the past year, resulting in the theft of contact records on more than twenty million people including those who applied for government security clearances and went through background checks, and nearly two million spouses and domestic partners of those applicants. As the OPM hack news unraveled, it got worse — revealing that hackers stole the digital fingerprints of more than five million people employed by the U.S. federal government… the same fingerprints that are sometimes used for access to so-called locked down buildings and computers.

OPM recently announced it is hiring 1,000 new cybersecurity professionals, which have been approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Federal News Radio recently listed the duties the new cyber hires will carry out – which includes cyber risk and strategic analysis, incident handling and malware/vulnerability analysis, program management, distributed control systems security, cyber incident response, cyber exercise facilitation and management, cyber vulnerability detection and assessment, network and systems engineering, enterprise architecture, intelligence analysis, investigation, investigative analysis and cyber-related infrastructure interdependency analysis.

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www.forbes.com/sites/stevemorgan/2016/01/31/help-wanted-1000-cybersecurity-jobs-at-opm-post-hack-hiring-approved-by-dhs/

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri homeowners, renters and business owners are eligible and encouraged to purchase National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies even if their home or business isn’t located in a flood plain or high-risk zone.

The NFIP aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable flood insurance and encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.

NFIP insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. But in order to purchase a policy the residence or business must in a community that participates in the NFIP. Missouri communities in the program are listed here — http://www.fema.gov/cis/MO.html. Other communities can request to be added if they meet certain criteria.

More than 70 private insurance agents or agencies in Missouri are certified to sell and service NFIP policies, including all of those listed on this link — http://www.fema.gov/wyo_company

Residents can also contact their own insurance agent or company to find out more about federal flood insurance or find an agent serving their area by filling out the One-Step Flood Risk Profile on the FloodSmart.gov home page (www.floodsmart.gov).

Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what is covered and the property's level of flood risk. Those in moderate- to low-risk areas can purchase a special Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) that provides building and contents coverage for one low-price. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.

Why is an NFIP policy necessary if federal aid is available after a flood? Federal disaster assistance typically comes in the form of small grants or low-interest loans to help cover flood damage, not to fully compensate for losses. Even then, those grants and loans are only available if the president formally declares a disaster. NFIP policies are not dependent on a federal disaster declaration.

Flooding occurs in moderate- to low-risk areas as well as in high-risk areas due to factors like poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, snowmelt, and broken water mains. In addition to floods, NFIP policies also cover damage from mudflows. In fact, over 20-percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas outside of mapped high-risk flood zones.

NFIP policyholders who have questions about their flood insurance policy or the claims process, as well as disaster survivors who have general questions about the program, can contact the support hotline by calling toll-free 800-621-3362. For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability using 711 or VRS, please call 866-337-4262. For individuals using a TTY, please call 800-462-7585.

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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-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and 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.

For real-time disaster updates, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion7 and turn on mobile notifications.

 
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