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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

  • ViaWest delivers flexibility and scalability to high growth company in the financial services sector
  • Ability to scale and deploy quickly are critical for the company’s growth
  • New partnership enables LPL Financial faster time to market and greater operational efficiencies

DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America, announces that LPL Financial, LLC has chosen ViaWest for colocation services at its Richardson, Texas data center. LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA), is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, an RIA custodian and an independent consultant to retirement plans.

With an eye toward innovation and simplicity, LPL Financial sought to implement a data center strategy to support its growth and business efficiency objectives. The LPL team selected ViaWest’s Synergy Park data center due to its geographic location, high availability and secure infrastructure.  LPL will now benefit from increased simplicity and efficiency through self-provisioning and faster deployments.

“ViaWest proved to be an organization that truly understood our business priorities,” explains LPL Financial Managing Director and Chief Information Office Victor Fetter. “Partnering with their team will enable us to innovate within the next generation of infrastructure, allowing us to deploy integrated mobile and digital solutions faster through our private cloud, with greater flexibility and at reduced cost. In turn, we will be in position to better serve and support our 13,500 advisors and 700 financial institutions with more advanced clearing services, advisory platform, and technology solutions.”

“LPL Financial is a great example of an organization that recognizes how game-changing technology infrastructure can be for its business,” states Christopher Rajiah, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ViaWest. “The scalability and flexibility we deliver to their enterprise position their team for greater innovation and improved speed to market. We are thrilled to partner with a growing leader in the financial services sector and look forward to supporting LPL Financial in the years ahead.”

ViaWest’s 85,000 square foot facility offers high density power configurations, high capacity network access, disaster recovery office space, and the latest in efficient cooling technologies. The company’s 24x7 service and support are backed by a 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA) for power, bandwidth and network services availability. ViaWest also offers a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

For more information on ViaWest, please visit www.viawest.com.

 

About ViaWest

ViaWest is the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America. We enable businesses to leverage both their existing IT infrastructure and emerging cloud resources to deliver the right balance of cost, scalability and security. Our data center services include a comprehensive suite of fully compliant environments, premium wholesale and retail colocation, private and public clouds and managed services. For additional information on ViaWest, please visit www.viawest.com or call 1-877-448-9378. Follow ViaWest on LinkedInTwitter or visit their YouTube channel.

About LPL Financial

LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer (based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2013), an RIA custodian, and an independent consultant to retirement plans. LPL Financial offers proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 13,500 financial advisors and approximately 700 financial institutions. In addition, LPL Financial supports more than 4,500 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have approximately 3,000 employees with primary offices in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.

Companies that create a culture of resilience throughout their organization are likely to be more successful in the long term, according to research by Cranfield School of Management and Airmic.

In the ‘Roads to Resilience’ report, published last week, the Cranfield authors urge boards and business leaders to challenge prevailing attitudes towards risk management and recognize that it should be a strategic priority and not just an operational or compliance issue.

Keith Goffin, Professor of Innovation at Cranfield School of Management who co-authored the report commented: “All industries are now facing unprecedented levels of risk that have real potential for harming their reputations and balance sheets. By bringing together the insights and experiences of those who have succeeded, this report challenges businesses to take the necessary actions to achieve resilience.”

Roads to Resilience examines eight leading organizations that have had to deal with significant uncertainty. Cranfield researchers interviewed senior staff with risk management responsibilities, including CEOs, at AIG; Drax Power; InterContinental Hotels Group; Jaguar Land Rover; Olympic Delivery Authority; The Technology Partnership; Virgin Atlantic and Zurich Insurance.

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07087.html

SIFMA has issued the following statement from Randy Snook, executive vice president, business policies and practices, in response to the Summary of Key Findings of the 2013 Pandemic Accord tabletop exercise that was held November 18-21, 2013, and sponsored by FEMA Region II, DHHS Region II, Federal Executive Board New York City, Federal Executive Board Northern New Jersey, Clearing House Association and SIFMA:

"Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is essential for ensuring a resilient financial sector that can effectively respond to any disaster or significant emergency situation. A pandemic scenario, such as a widespread influenza outbreak, is one of the most serious threats to the financial industry as it would impact the industry's most important resource - the employees that keep the financial system running smoothly. The Pandemic Tabletop exercise is an important component of resiliency planning as it enables industry and government participants to collaboratively examine how they would respond to a widespread influenza outbreak and identify best practices that will enhance pandemic response planning across the sector. Further, the findings identified by this tabletop will support the development of a full-scale pandemic exercise to take place in late 2014.”

The Pandemic Accord 2013: Continuity of Operations Pandemic Tabletop Exercise - Summary of Findings report summarizes the key findings and observations from the exercise and highlights the major themes that emerged across the four days of exercises, with a focus on business continuity planning.

Read the report.

TwinStrata has published the results of its ‘Industry Trends: Data Backup in 2014’ survey. Conducted between December 2013 and January 2014, the report analyzes responses from 209 IT personnel.

The results indicate an urgent need for organizations to make significant improvements to their backup strategies with one in five organizations experiencing back-up failures at least monthly and one in 10 weekly. As a result, 53 percent of organizations plan to make changes to their backup strategy this year. Incorporating cloud storage was the remedy most often cited by these respondents.

Disaster recovery was the area where backup strategies were most under stress:

  • Just 12 percent of respondents predict that they can recover from a site disaster within a couple hours. Cloud storage users were twice as likely to recover in that timeframe (20 percent) as non-cloud storage users (9 percent).
  • 63 percent of organizations measure site recovery time in days, with 29 percent requiring four days or more.
  • More than half of organizations experience backup failure multiple times a year due to a host of issues from connectivity failure (25 percent), equipment failure (21 percent) or file corruption (18 percent).

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07086.html

The data breach at the Target Corp, the US supermarket chain, was a shock for many. The personal information of at least 70 million customers was stolen by hackers who intercepted the information as buyers used credit and debit cards at the company’s points of sale. The reputational damage seems to have quickly spilled over into an impact on the bottom line: Target cut its profit forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2013 by about 20 percent. However, this high profile case (third biggest US retailer) may just be a taste of the problems in line for other enterprises using the same kind of point of sale (PoS) systems.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/point-of-sale-hacking-a-growing-threat-to-business-continuity/

Contrary to popular belief, meetings can be a positive experience in the workplace. Although many reasons come to mind when you consider how meetings can be ineffectual, proper planning can keep meetings on track, on time and on point.

According to the Garbuz blog, one reason many people don’t like attending meetings is because they feel there is not a clear expected objective. Attendees are most frustrated when it seems like a meeting is wasting their valuable work time.

To host an effective meeting, an event or meeting leader should do a lot of upfront planning. The IT Download “Effective Meeting Checklist” provides an extensive list of meeting essentials. It starts with a list of preparatory items, continues with a meeting execution list, and finishes with a follow-up list of items to check off after the meeting concludes.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-tools/dont-meet-for-meetings-sake-plan-an-effective-meeting.html

Criminals love credit cards. As a new white paper from Symantec pointed out, credit card-related theft is one of the earliest types of cybercrime, and as we’ve seen by the recent retail breaches, credit and debit cards remain a prime target. The white paper added that Point of Sale (POS), the point at which the retailer first gathers credit card data, has become a favorite way for the bad guys to steal the data. The reason they like it so much is simple: Security hasn’t kept up with technology. These gaps make it easier than ever for thieves to take aim at retail credit card data by using POS malware.

In a Symantec blog post, Orla Cox explained:

POS malware exploits a gap in the security of how card data is handled. While card data is encrypted as it’s sent for payment authorization, it’s not encrypted while the payment is actually being processed, i.e. the moment when you swipe the card at the POS to pay for your goods. . . . Most POS systems are Windows-based, making it relatively easy to create malware to run on them.<

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/time-to-rethink-how-we-secure-credit-card-technology.html

CIO — When a company gets a bad customer review on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, emotions can run high, because real damage to its reputation and sales can result.

The business owner usually has a knee-jerk reaction and responds in kind by attacking the offending customer with an emotionally charged online response.

Some businesses might take the opposite approach and choose the other extreme -- no response at all. By simply ignoring the bad review, a company hopes it will dissipate into the Internet ether, whereas a response might ignite a social media storm and cripple the company publicly.

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http://www.cio.com/article/747641/4_Mistakes_to_Avoid_When_Your_Business_Gets_Bashed_Online

How weird will the enterprise become in the cloud? Pretty weird, by the sound of some of the discussions taking place today.

We all know that the cloud will be extremely disruptive for existing data infrastructure. Concepts like the all-virtual, all-cloud data center were considered distant possibilities just a few short years ago, but now seem to be looming on the horizon as organizations seek to cut costs and increase data agility.

But even these notions of an ethereal data environment floating around the cybersphere are starting to look quaint compared to the ideas that some forward thinkers are coming up with now.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/it-in-the-cloud-weird-and-getting-weirder.html

London-based Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), just released its annual Terrorism and Political Violence Map. to help organizations assess terrorism and political violence risk levels across the globe. The map is produced in collaboration with global risk management consultancy, the Risk Advisory Group plc,.

The good news:

  • 80 countries with terrorism perils indicated in 2014, 12% fewer than 2013
  • Europe sees notable improvement with 11 countries having civil commotion perils removed

NOTE: Canada, Mexico, and the United States were not mentioned in the report, and the map

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http://johnglennmbci.blogspot.com/2014/02/erm-bc-coop-good-bad-news-about.html