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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

By Nathaniel Forbes, MBCI, CBCP

Late in 2013 the head of BCM for one of Asia’s largest banks voluntarily transferred within his bank to a job entirely unrelated to BCM. He is the most-experienced, knowledgeable and highest-paid non-expatriate BCM professional I know in Asia.

I wondered why anyone with eleven years of full-time BCM experience and a compensation package the envy of his peers would make such a move. He agreed to answer my questions on-the-record if I didn’t use his name or identify his employer.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1161.html

By Paul Kirvan, FBCI

In March 2014 the business continuity profession lost one of its founding fathers, Ron Ginn, (Hon) FBCI. Although Ron was in his 80s he lived a vigorous life and never lost his passion for the profession he helped create. For a fitting tribute to Ron’s memory, I have compiled thoughts and remembrances from several of Ron’s friends and colleagues, including myself.

As one of the few ‘foreigners’ in the early days of the business continuity profession in the UK and Europe, I became involved in an organization many of you will remember, called Survive! This was instrumental in the growth of the profession in Europe and North America and also in the founding of the Business Continuity Institute. During my many trips to the UK I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Ginn on several occasions. Ron was one of my early mentors and inspirations for my continued involvement in the profession. His enthusiasm was infectious; he really understood the direction that the profession needed to go and was a constant source of encouragement and challenge for all of us who were there in the ‘early days’. I last spoke to Ron during the 2012 BCI World Conference in London, and even in his 80s, Ron was still challenging me to do more in the profession. He was a true inspiration to me, and will be greatly missed.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1163.html

Teon Rosandic, VP EMEA, xMatters, gives a vendor’s view of the developments which are improving the capabilities of emergency notification systems and why traditional one-way mass notification is on the way out.

Many of the mass notification systems that businesses utilise today haven’t changed or evolved since they were originally designed many years ago. It’s the same old thing – put your message in the message box and broadcast it out to everyone in your database. This type of archaic communication system just doesn’t cut it today with more and more incidents and crises that require immediate attention and the need for two way communication at every step of the way.

However, there is new technology available, and there are things that the business continuity and risk manager should consider when looking for a mass notification approach.

This article delves into the ins and outs of what effective mass communication technology can deliver and what the old systems lack.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1160.html

US statesman Benjamin Franklin was famous for many things and for one in particular: his proclamation that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Well, Benjamin, it seems like modern technology and inflation have conspired to add a couple more items: server crashes and data security breaches. In other words, it’s not a matter of if these events will occur. It’s a matter of when. It’s true that robust quality IT products can push out the when so far that it seems to disappear in the distant future. However, smart organisations make the assumption that both things will happen and take appropriate precautions.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/server-crashes-and-data-security-breaches-just-like-death-and-taxes/

When Spiceworks surveyed IT professionals recently about their attitudes toward certifications, one of the most interesting data points was that about half of the respondents will be paying for their continuing IT education themselves this year. Only 56 percent said that their employers would pay for training in 2014. But half of the IT pros said they think that certifications are very valuable or extremely valuable to their careers. And 80 percent of them said they plan to complete some training or certification this year. Since having to pay for continuing education yourself often really means you’ll need to find some free or lower-cost training, let’s take a look at a range of vendor-specific, higher education, online and free online training resources. We’ll begin with one of the hottest IT skill sets for 2014:Big Data, aka analytics and/or business intelligence.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/charting-your-it-career/list-of-big-data-certifications-growing-quickly.html

Even as rescue teams search for more bodies in the aftermath of the March 22 mud slide in Washington, records show that while the area is prone to these disasters, homes were allowed to be built there anyway.

The slide, triggered by excessive rain, has claimed 24 lives so far and 176 are still unaccounted for, the Associated Press reports.

Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said during a news conference on March 24 that the slide was “completely unforeseen” and that it “came out of nowhere.”

In a 1999 report filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, however, geomorph­ologist Daniel J. Miller and his wife, Lynne Rodgers Miller, warned of “the potential for a large catastrophic failure” in the area, according to the Seattle Times.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/mudslide-was-forewarned-experts-assert/

Catalyst, Avalution’s award winning business continuity software, now offers an innovative business continuity and IT disaster recovery program dashboard and reporting capability – Catalyst Insights. A 30-day free trial is available via bccatalyst.com to further explore this feature.


Cleveland, OH –
 Avalution Consulting – a leading provider of business continuity consulting and software solutions – announced today the release of a new feature for the Catalyst business continuity software suite, Catalyst Insights.

 

Catalyst Insights provides automatic business continuity metrics that enable business continuity and IT disaster recovery program managers to quickly identify and address preparedness gaps and report on their organization's true level of preparedness like never before. 

 

Forget simply reporting on the number of BIAs completed or how many plans were updated! With Catalyst Insights, business continuity and disaster recovery program managers can:

  • View granular business continuity dashboards, ratings, relationships, and dependencies for each element of the planning lifecycle by department, location, application, IT infrastructure, products and services, or the program as a whole;
  • Examine individual elements of the organization to understand upstream and downstream dependencies, identify and address gaps, and report on their current level of preparedness;
  • Visually map directional relationship dependencies for individual departments, locations, applications, IT infrastructure, products and services, or across the entire organization;
  • And, so much more!

“We’re excited to launch Catalyst Insights because it provides automatic business continuity metrics that will revolutionize the way a business continuity program manager views and reports on the resiliency of their organization,” explains Robert Giffin, Director, Avalution Consulting. “No additional work is required from the program manager to gain value from this feature. Insights utilizes the information entered into Catalyst during the business impact analysis, plan development process, and so on, to develop and display granular dashboards and preparedness rankings for individual elements of the program and the program as a whole.”

 

Catalyst – available in Basic, Pro, and Enterprise versions – makes business continuity and IT disaster recovery planning easy and repeatable for every organization, regardless of size, industry, or geography. In addition to the new feature discussed above, Catalyst addresses policy and procedure development, business impact analysis, risk assessment, plan development (business and IT), exercising, live incident management, emergency notification (Bullhorn), and general program management.

Catalyst is an all-in-one business continuity software suite that is powerful, affordable, and, most importantly, will produce results.

 

Explore Catalyst Insights
Explore Catalyst Insights by registering for a 30-day free trial of Catalyst, requesting a demonstration, or scheduling a discussion with our team. 

 

About Avalution Consulting
Avalution is the premier provider of business continuity and IT disaster recovery consulting and software solutions in the U.S. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Avalution is an ISO 22301-certified firm and maintains a contract on GSA Schedule 70. 

Avalution also offers two unique, web-based business continuity software solutions. Catalyst – available in Basic, Pro, or Enterprise versions – combines a simple user interface and on-screen guides with Avalution’s consulting methodology to make continuity planning easy and repeatable for every organization. No long-term contracts are required, and a 30-day free trial is available via bccatalyst.com. The Planning Portal, built on Microsoft SharePoint, delivers highly customizable tools and processes to assist organizations in managing and executing their business continuity and IT disaster recovery programs. Demonstrations are available upon request. 

Burlington, Wash.  Legend Brands is working with two key restoration and project management software companies to transform Dri-Plan into the ultimate high-efficiency mobile app for restorers. Dri-Plan, Legend Brand’s iOS-based field documentation tool, was released earlier this year.

Integration with Xactware, the leading provider of claims-estimating and management technology for the property insurance and restoration industries, will allow Dri-Plan users to import and export project data directly into Xactware’s solutions. Once completed, users of Dri-Plan will be able to populate scope data, upload photos and documents, and review claim information while eliminating time-consuming and error-prone duplicate data entry.

“The Xactware integration will dramatically reduce the time needed to enter project data, simplifying the overall claims process,” said Brandon Burton, Technical Director for Legend Brands. “The Dri-Plan field app and admin tools are designed with the restorer in mind, allowing rapid production of critical job performance and scope data. Once this integration is complete, the restoration industry will finally have a fully electronic solution that technicians will love to use.”

Dri-Plan is also being integrated with ClientRunner, a web-based restoration job management, relationship marketing, customer relations and analytic reporting service. The ClientRunner integration will give Dri-Plan users complete access to this full suite of job management systems.

“This integration is a perfect synergy, as both ClientRunner and Dri-Plan were created for the restoration industry expressly” said Burton. “Both companies believe in complete but simple approaches to documentation, providing for practical software products. Once this integration is complete, users will be able to synchronize information seamlessly and automatically, allowing for rapid, accurate data recording, analysis and reporting – all critical elements for the disaster restoration industry.”

With the Xactware and ClientRunner integrations, Dri-Plan will become the most comprehensive mobile documentation and job management system available.

Both integration projects are expected to be completed later this year. For more information, visit www.dri-plan.com.

About Legend Brands
Legend Brands combines over 185 years of experience in providing equipment, accessories and chemicals for professional cleaning, facility maintenance, portable environmental control, and water and fire damage restoration and remediation. Legend Brands continually develops new solutions for the restoration and maintenance of healthier indoor environments.

About Xactware

Xactware specializes in technologies for the property insurance, remodeling, restoration, and mortgage and lending industries. Xactware’s tools provide claims estimating, contents replacement, claims management, and property maintenance solutions for desktop, mobile, and online platforms. Xactware’s services include repair cost research and reports, aerial imagery, and real-time business intelligence. Xactware has been providing cloud services for customers since 1995. Xactware is a member of the Verisk Insurance Solutions group at Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK). For more information about Xactware’s solutions, contact Xactware at 1-800-424-9228 or Xactware.com.

Twitter: Xactware

About ClientRunner 
ClientRunner Software Inc is a leading restoration management software company that specializes in providing cloud based workflow management and CRM solutions.ClientRunner's technology and training solutions offer powerfully simple job management tools for contractors servicing property insurance restoration, emergency contractor response for fire, water mitigation and wind, disaster repair companies and remodeling contractors. For more information or a free demo contact ClientRunner at clientrunner.com or at 801-224-4900.

Kroll Ontrack survey shows simply having a backup solution in place isn’t enough to prevent data loss 

MINNEAPOLIS – Having an external hard drive isn’t enough. That’s the main message behind updated data released today from Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery. Results from a second-annual surveyof customers who lost valuable computer data shows the majority of consumers and businesses are taking steps to back up their data, but a range of minor oversights rendered those steps ineffective.


Sixty-five percent of survey respondents had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss, up from 60 percent in 2013. Of those respondents, 59 percent used an external hard drive, 15 percent had cloud backup and 10 percent used a tape backup system. Additionally, 55 percent said they diligently backed up their data on a daily basis.

So why did they still lose their data? Regardless of the solution or backup frequency, data loss may have occurred as a result of one of the following oversights and/or failures:

  • The external drive was only connected on an occasional basis; backup not automated and instead performed on demand
  • The computer was not on during a scheduled backup and not configured to perform at a different time
  • The backup software failed
  • The backup ran out of destination space
  • The backup profile did not cover all of the device requiring backup
  • A file was lost before a scheduled backup occurred

“As the year-over-year survey results demonstrate, conducting backups is just step one in a complete backup strategy,” said Abhik Mitra, data recovery product manager, Kroll Ontrack. “Regularly ensuring your backup solution works effectively and the data is accessible is also paramount.”

Among the findings of the survey of 642 recent Ontrack Data Recovery customers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific: 64 percent claimed losing business data (compared to 67 percent in 2013) and 36 percent experienced a personal data loss (compared to 33 percent in 2013). Of the 35 percent (compared to 40 percent in 2013) that did not have a backup solution at the time of loss, 53 percent said they are extremely likely to seek a backup solution, followed by 36 percent that are somewhat likely. When asked about the primary barriers that kept them from seeking a backup solution, time to research and administer a backup solution was once again the most common reason, cited by 49 percent in 2014 compared to 55 percent in 2013. Expense of backup solution, cited by 27 percent of respondents, was the next most common barrier to leveraging a backup solution.

“With backup technology getting better in quality and price, it is no surprise we saw an uptick in the percentage of people implementing a backup solution,” Mitra said. “What is interesting is that that those that spend time, effort and money to implement the solution still experienced data loss, proving that one needs to be extremely diligent to ensure their chosen backup method is successful. If all else fails, the final line of defense should include enlisting the assistance of a reputable and experienced data recovery provider.”

In preparation for World Backup Day on March 31, 2014, Kroll Ontrack advises that individuals and businesses alike should diligently monitor and verify their chosen method of backup to ensure it is successfully operating and capturing a current, accurate snapshot. The company recommends assessing your personal data loss risk using the Kroll Ontrack Data Calculatorand then taking the necessary steps to implement a backup system keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Take the time to invest in a backup solution and set up a backup schedule
  • Ensure backups are running regularly in accordance with the determined schedule
  • Check backup reports for error indications or failure
  • Test backups on a regular basis to ensure data has been accurately captured and files are intact

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyze and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www.krollontrack.com or follow @KrollOntrack on Twitter.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Skyera Inc. premiered a new video that provides broad lessons in flash memory technology fundamentals, details the transformational impact that flash memory has made on the data storage industry and addresses issues facing the flash storage industry today.

The video stars Skyera Chief Operating Officer Frankie Roohparvar, a flash industry legend who holds almost 500 patents related to non-volatile memory, including ones covering NAND flash device physics and cell structure to system level software and flash management. In what effectively amounts to a master class in flash memory, Roohparvar traces the history of the technology, covers the distinction between NOR and NAND flash, and shares how NAND flash almost died in the late 1990s when the industry couldn’t find an application for the technology.

Other highlights of the 20-minute video include:
•        An overview of the basic operation of NAND flash memory

•        Understanding the limitations of flash memory that storage system builders need to recognize and how to compensate for those issues at the system level

•        Why array vendors that lack in-depth technical understanding and engineering expertise who can’t optimize flash characteristics are forced to pay more for enterprise MLC flash, raising prices for end-user customers even though they are using the same commodity MLC

•        How to resolve the quandary of leveraging the cost and density benefits of the latest generation of sub-20nm flash geometries while overcoming the corresponding reductions in performance and durability

•        How the massive density of flash-based arrays can put the brakes on data center sprawl and power consumption

“They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so to ensure that those in the flash industry have a full understanding of where the technology has been, Skyera is offering up this in-depth overview of the technology,” said Roohparvar.  “It is my hope that this video will serve as a way for technologists to not feel the need to so much re-invent the wheel but re-purpose it instead.  

“We’ve done just that..  By taking the same commodity MLC flash that is used in laptop computers, tablets and smart phones and then optimizing the physics of the flash chips to build a complete system stack to transform the performance, retention and durability characteristics for enterprise use cases, we’re providing a truly disruptive storage technology that not only transforms existing applications and destroys conventions about enterprise storage but opens up new application segments that were never before possible given the cost and performance restrictions on deploying petabytes of high IOPS storage for use cases such as big data analytics.”

Those interested in learning more about the history and future of this transformative technology can watch the free flash memory fundamentals video on the Skyera website at http://www.skyera.com/resources/videos/


Follow Skyera
http://www.twitter.com/skyerainc  http://www.facebook.com/skyerainc  http://www.youtube.com/skyerainc

About Skyera
Skyera Inc. is a disruptive provider of enterprise solid-state storage systems designed to enable a large class of applications with extraordinarily high performance, exceptionally lower power consumption and cost effectiveness relative to existing enterprise storage systems. Founded by the executives who previously developed the world’s most-advanced flash memory controller, Skyera is backed by key technology and financial partnerships designed to position it at the forefront of the hyper growth in the solid-state storage sector. The company was chosen by Flash Memory Summit as a Best of Show award winner for 2012 in the category of Most Innovative Flash Memory Enterprise Business Application. For more information about the company, visit skyera.com.