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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

What do Edward Snowden, the U.S. PRISM scandal and the corporate data hack on Sony Corp. have in common? All involved breaches in data security and sovereignty. While the cloud offers many benefits--such as cost savings, scalability and flexibility--there are also added risks. Data security always tops that list of risks.

To combat these risks, it’s crucial for service providers to have a fundamental understanding of data security and data sovereignty. Use these 10 facts as your foundation to ensure you’re offering customers the best security, reliability and performance in the market.

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http://mspmentor.net/blog/10-things-know-about-data-security-and-sovereignty-cloud

When a disruptive incident impacts critical national or regional infrastructure, or when public safety is at stake, multiple emergency agencies are often involved in the response.

Those responders could be from federal or state agencies as well as local teams of EMT’s, police, firefighters and other volunteers.  Emergency response organizations specialize in a certain aspect of response based on their skill sets.  From coastguards, firefighters, bomb-disposable squads and EMT’s animal control and hazmat clean-up or cyber expert, those teams’ skills and actions are generally unique, well defined and perfected through regular practice.

In the event of multi-disciplinary emergency response, command, control and communication (between the responders) are critical for an effective – and efficient – response.  Protocols for collaboration among responders are defined by NIMS (the National Information Management System) of which the Incident Command System (ICS) is a critical component.

...

http://www.ebrp.net/automating-nims-ics-for-efficient-incident-response/

Taking the whole concept of data security to its most logical conclusion, Secure Islands has come up with a method that automates the application of security to any piece of data, depending on how it’s classified, as that data is being generated.

Secure Islands CEO Aki Eldar says version 5.0 of the IQProtector Suite (IQP) adds what the company describes as a Data Immunization process. IQProtector automatically assigns security controls to data at the point that data is actually created, regardless of location. Those controls then attach themselves to that data wherever it is consumed.

Based on rights management technology developed by Microsoft, Secure Islands has different renditions of IQProtector for endpoints, servers, clouds and applications to make sure that wherever data is created, a security policy gets enforced.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/secure-islands-applies-security-controls-at-point-of-data-creation.html

There’s been plenty of attention paid over the past few years to what appears to be a growing IT skills gap.  Managed service providers (MSPs) can help alleviate the pain of this this gap for customers by providing services that customers would normally handle inhouse. For instance, they can offer and manage cloud-based file sharing and other IT services.

In her recent article for FierceCIO.com, Sarah Lahav weighs in on the IT talent shortage.

“Whether the IT talent shortage is myth or reality, I believe IT leaders can agree on at least one thing: some roles are harder to fill than others,” says Lahav.  “The needs of IT and the business have shifted faster than educators and professionals adapt.”

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http://mspmentor.net/infocenter-cloud-based-file-sharing/051415/msps-fill-it-roles-your-clients-can-t

Thursday, 14 May 2015 00:00

High Availability IT Services

Reliability and Availability

This book starts with the basic premise that a service is comprised of the 3Ps—products, processes, and people. Moreover, these entities and their sub-entities interlink to support the services that end users require to run and support a business. This widens the scope of any availability design far beyond hardware and software. It also increases the potential for service failure for reasons beyond just hardware and software; the concept of logical outages.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/itdownloads/infrastructure-management/high-availability-it-services.html

With so many of today's businesses dependent on SAP as the core technology platform for some of their most critical business functions, it would follow that IT organizations would dedicate significant effort in securing SAP systems. But the truth is that SAP and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) software remain largely forgotten by even the most security-conscious organizations today. And the attackers have found this gap.

For years now, security researchers have warned of hefty security vulnerabilities in SAP that make it possible to create ghost accounts, change records in some of the most sensitive financial tracking applications and use the platform to break into other connected systems. And while security researchers and consultants confirm that attackers are already exploiting these vulnerabilities for malicious purposes, these attacks have largely gone unreported to the public. That all changed this week.

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http://mspmentor.net/managed-security-services/sap-vulnerability-showcases-need-managed-security

Thursday, 14 May 2015 00:00

How Would You Hire an Emergency Manager?

Let’s suppose you want to fill a position in your organisation by hiring an emergency manager. The role of this person is to coordinate the actions of different services responding to a sizable disaster, to translate strategy into tactics, and to keep senior officials or management informed of the situation and progress towards resolution. So far, so good – except this kind of person, or experience, doesn’t grow on trees. However, it is a role that is needed in many public sector areas, including utilities, health, education, airports and port authorities. You could place an ad asking for candidates, but what do you then need to know to evaluate applications?

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http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/how-would-you-hire-an-emergency-manager/

DENTON, Texas – People who live in Texas are urged to get ready now for the possibility of flooding, following days of rain and with more potential rain in the forecast.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region 6 office continues to monitor the flooding threat across parts of the state and stands ready to support state and local partners as needed and requested in any affected areas.

Know Your Risk Before a Flood:

•    Do your homework. Be aware of the potential flooding risks for the particular area where you live.
•    Familiarize yourself with the terms used to identify a flooding hazard. Some of the more common terms used are:

  •  A Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible.  Be prepared to move to higher ground; monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • A Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Take Action Before and During a Flood:

•    Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
•    Listen to local officials and monitor your local radio or television for information.
•    Do not drive into flooded areas. Turn Around; Don’t Drown. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.
•    Do not walk through flowing water.  Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off your feet.
•    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are now being sent directly to many cell phones on participating wireless carriers' networks.  WEAs sent by public safety officials such as the National Weather Service are designed to get your attention and to provide brief, critical instructions to warn about imminent threats like severe weather.  Take the alert seriously and follow instructions.  More information is available on WEA at www.fema.gov/wireless-emergency-alerts.


Visit www.ready.gov or www.nws.noaa.gov for more information on preparing for floods or other disasters.

 

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. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/femaregion6 , and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov

It’s clear that our relationship to data is changing, both in terms of how we work with data and our relationship on individual levels. That, in turn, is triggering changes in the underlying technologies.

Integration technology in particular is in the spotlight these days. After all, you can use the data only as fast as you can integrate, wrangle or blend the data. That’s leading to a lot of talk from vendors about “modern integration” that’s less concerned with on-premise, batch integration and more concerned with real-time access for business users.

At Informatica’s recent customer conference, CEO Sohaib Abbasi identified four disruptive technology trends changing data. His opinion is more significant than most because he heads one of the industry’s leading integration vendors, and despite a thriving data integration market, that company was recently acquired.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/why-cloud-infrastructure-changes-your-data-integration.html

The data center has been the foundation of enterprise IT operations since the dawn of the computer age, so it is understandable that there is a lot of uncertainty now that it is undergoing the most monumental change in its history.

Indeed, many executives are still trying to wrap their heads around the idea of having no data center at all, or at best a rack or two of modular boxes devoted to maintaining access to external applications and resources.

But those who have been to the mountaintop say that the other side is indeed a lush, green valley in which advanced services and capabilities can be had at low cost and with little effort, and that the flexibility that comes from shedding fixed hardware assets more than makes up for the loss of direct control over infrastructure. The key, though, is to first realize that the new data environment does not serve the same purpose as the old, and then to learn how to leverage that app-centric, service-based environment for your business model.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/peas-in-a-pod-a-new-data-center-and-a-new-business-model.html