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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

(TNS) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reimbursed Hawaii County more than $1.6 million in costs incurred while preparing for the lava threat from Kilauea Volcano, but county officials are still hoping for another $10 million — and counting.

Although the threat appears over, county officials believe their lava-related costs will tally at least $15 million, and they're hoping FEMA will continue to reimburse 75 percent of it.

Among the county's big-ticket items were three roads that were rebuilt at a total cost of $14.3 million to provide residents of the Lower Puna District with an escape route should lava cross Highway 130, the main road in and out.

FEMA already has paid $1.1 million of the county's $2.1 million cost to rebuild Railroad Avenue. The money went to the state, which will distribute it to the county.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Preparing-Lava-Threat-Costs-Hawaiis-Big-Island-15-Million.html

(TNS) — In the aftermath of last year’s lethal Oso landslide, the state Legislature has unanimously authorized an expanded state program to map slide-prone slopes and other geologic hazards. Equally important, the state would make that information more accessible to policymakers and the public.

But that laudable move won’t mean much unless lawmakers take the next step and pony up the money to pay for the program.

The funds would pay for increased risk identification and analysis using lidar, an aerial scanning technique that can reveal previously hidden geologic hazards. So far, it has been used to map less than a quarter of the state.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Technology-Funds-Prevent-Another-Oso-Wash-Landslide.html

Thursday, 16 April 2015 00:00

Too Few Aware of Opioid Risk

I.I.I. chief actuary Jim Lynch brings us some surprising numbers on America’s addiction to opioids:

Americans are grossly misinformed about the dangers of opioid drugs, according to a recent survey by the National Safety Council (NSC).

Opioids are commonly prescribed painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet. The drugs are meant to mimic the nervous system actions of heroin and morphine and all too often lead to similar levels of addiction and suffering. More than 170,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses this century, nearly triple the number of U.S. military deaths in Vietnam (see my earlier post).

I wrote about the epidemic in Contingencies magazine, focusing on the toll the drugs have taken in the workers compensation system.

...

http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=4027

Most companies have a plan for disaster recovery of IT, real estate, and data – but what happens when you must respond to allegations of a violation of customer trust or compliance?  Does your organization know:

  • What steps to take?
  • Who needs to be involved in the decisions?
  • When to notify the board?
  • Who will conduct the investigation?
  • How transparent you will be with shareholders? Employees? The media?

While the facts of the incident will vary, the need to respond quickly― and thoughtfully―is a given. To make that response effective, an organization must understand the key steps it needs to take after a serious compliance breach and the most important issues it must consider. Only then, can compliance officers and others charged with compliance responsibilities create an effective, executable plan for recovering from major ethics and compliance lapses, breaches, and disasters.

...

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/disaster-recovery-planning-compliance-style/

As we brace for another season of tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes and floods, all businesses should be asking, “Is our data protected should disaster strike?” Or more simply, “What happens if we lose our data?”

Sadly, despite the fact that significant portions of the country are at risk for severe weather and other natural disasters, not all businesses are thinking pragmatically about catastrophic data loss and downtime, which can lead to staggering financial losses and impact productivity, reputation, regulatory compliance, and ultimately the bottom line.

According to a global data protection study released in December, enterprises are losing as much as $1.7 trillion annually through data loss and unplanned downtime. Data loss is up 400% since 2012, and two-thirds of the 3,300 organizations surveyed had experienced data loss in the last 12 months. Researchers found that although a high percentage of organizations had disaster recovery plans in place, surprisingly few had implemented data protection practices and fewer than half employed remote, cloud-based data protection. Seventy-one percent of organizations were not fully confident in their ability to recover after a disruption.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/data-protection-in-the-cloud-planning-for-data-loss-and-downtime/

The hype cycle is such a common facet of IT technology that it’s become almost a sport to predict where on the satisfaction chart a particular development finds itself at any given moment.

The cloud has been riding the hype for nearly a decade now, and during that time numerous pundits have proclaimed various levels of enthusiasm and disillusionment within the enterprise community. Lately, however, the talk has shifted from the cloud itself to certain categories within the cloud, each of which seem to be following their own hype cycles.

NTT Communications’ recent Cloud Reality Check holds that IT executives are expressing deeper frustration with the public cloud, saying their deployments so far are failing to live up to the promises made when SLAs were signed. According to Len Padilla, VP of product strategy at NTT, a big part of the problem is the idea that the cloud provides a better way to support legacy applications and data rather than cloud-native functions. Once data executives realize that issues like compliance, security and availability are best handled through local infrastructure, disappointment sets in.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/expectations-vs.-reality-what-the-cloud-is-really-about.html

Structured data is still king, but that may be in part because many organizations simply aren’t even trying to manage unstructured data, a just-released report by Dell reveals.

Dell commissioned Unisphere Research to query those who manage data at North American companies. The survey’s 300 respondents were primarily DBAs, with more than 60 percent coming from large organizations. The results are covered in “The Real World of the Database Administrator,” which Dell made available as a free download today.

Despite the press over Hadoop and unstructured data, DBAs say structured data is still the focus for most DBAs. More than two-thirds reported that structured data represented at least 75 percent of the data being managed. When it came to unstructured data, which can include everything from text such as email and social media content to machine logs, less than 12 percent said they believe the data’s growth rate exceeds 50 percent annually.

But that may be in part because many organizations simply aren’t keeping tabs on unstructured data. One-third of those surveyed said their organizations do not actively manage unstructured data or know how fast unstructured data is growing within their organizations.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/dbas-more-concerned-with-cloud-virtualization-than-big-data.html

iPhone, Target, Home Depot; with each security breach we hear of, alarms are going off in the minds of business owners who have their data in the cloud or are considering working with an MSP. Cloud-based file sharing comes with a unique set of IT security challenges and it’s more important than ever for you to prepare a comprehensive strategy for protecting data and make sure your clients know you are addressing every issue.

Your clients are right to be concerned about their data security. The consequences of not employing an effective strategy for sensitive data management can be severe and may take businesses years to recover from. As their MSP, your job is to make sure business owners know if you acknowledge these issues while planning your cloud strategy, making the move to cloud sharing can greatly increase your data security.

...

http://mspmentor.net/infocenter-cloud-based-file-sharing/041515/critical-issues-msps-must-address-cloud-security-strategy

(TNS) — As Mark McBride stood with tears in his eyes amid the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School, he vowed to do anything he could to protect the state’s schoolchildren.

With emergency workers everywhere, McBride, a legislator from Moore, knew that children were trapped inside the remains of the school — living or dead — after a direct hit from the massive tornado on May 20, 2013.

Within a day, he and colleague Jon Echols, a representative from Oklahoma City, had launched the nonpartisan Shelter Oklahoma Schools. Their non-partisan, multimillion-dollar effort aimed to help schools throughout the state bear the enormous cost of building storm shelters or safe rooms.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/School-Shelter-Initiatives-Dwindle-Oklahoma.html

Build? Buy? Host? It’s not a new debate for managed service providers (MSPs) and IT service providers. MSPmentor research has found most providers have opted out of running their own data centers, with the exception of very large service providers. What’s more, many MSPs say if they were starting over today they’d start as a born-in-the-cloud company.

For another perspective on this question, MSPmentor recently caught up with executives from Venyu, a company known for its data centers, but also a provider of cloud computing, managed hosting, and other services. And guess what? They pretty much agree with what we’ve found. Here’s what they told us.

...

http://mspmentor.net/cloud-computing/041515/build-buy-another-perspective-data-center-ownership