FINRA, the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, has filed a rule with the Securities and Exchange Commission to enable it to require firms to participate in FINRA’s business continuity and disaster recovery testing.
The requirement is contained in FINRA’s Rule 4380, which has been recently adopted in response to the demands of Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity). FINRA’s Regulation SCI business continuity and disaster recovery testing will be conducted once per year. Under Rule 4380, FINRA will designate member firms for mandatory participation.
Regulation SCI requires SCI entities, including FINRA, to test the operation of backup plans, at least once every 12 months and to coordinate the testing of backup plans on an industry- or sector-wide basis with other SCI entities. FINRA believes, based on preliminary discussions among SCI entities, that the yearly business continuity and disaster recovery testing will probably take the place of the current industry test facilitated by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) each October.
More details (PDF).
According to new research only 34 percent of UK businesses could recover in a few minutes if a disaster was to occur. With three quarters (75 percent) of UK IT professionals surveyed predicting threats to their business downtime will increase in 2016, it is worrying that two thirds (66 percent) of businesses are not able to recover more quickly, says Quorum, the company that conducted the research. Business downtime is costly and can also impact an organization’s reputation especially for customer facing organizations such as those in the retail and legal sector.
With respondents citing cyber attacks and human error as the two biggest threats to business as usual, it is clear that organizations are well aware of the risks. Yet over a third (37 percent) of all UK businesses do not test their disaster recovery plans.
Overall the research, which was conducted during October 2015 and had 117 respondents, highlighted that businesses are aware of the risks but they are still not prepared in the event of a disaster.
Two recently published ISO standards will help organizations responsible for public warning at the local, national or international level to put in place a structured emergency response informing a targeted risk population.
ISO 22322:2015, Societal security – Emergency management – Guidelines for public warning, provides guidelines for developing, managing and implementing public warning before, during and after incidents occur.
The purpose of an alert is to attract the attention of people in a developing emergency situation by stimulating the auditory, visual and tactile senses so that they will take appropriate safety actions and seek additional information.
The warning dissemination function should ensure that the alert gains maximum attention, taking into consideration the characteristics and conditions of the people at risk, including the requirements of vulnerable groups. ISO 22322 gives advice on aspects of public warnings, for example helping to select a warning channel such as TV, radio, telephone, newspapers or loudspeakers to disseminate the information.
ISO 22324:2015, Societal security – Emergency management – Guidelines for colour-coded alerts, provides guidelines for the use of colour codes to inform people at risk, as well as first-response personnel, about danger and to express the severity of a situation.
Colour-coded alerts are used to notify people of status changes on a safety or danger continuum and help them take appropriate actions. ISO 22324 will lead to a better understanding of colour-coded alerts by reducing confusion and prompting more appropriate responses in an emergency situation.
ISO 22324 describes various colours and how they should be used. For example:
- Red is associated with danger and should be used to notify people at risk to take appropriate safety actions immediately
- Yellow is associated with caution and should be used to notify people at risk to prepare to take appropriate safety actions
- Green is associated with a safe status and should be used to notify people at risk that no action is required.
In addition, black, purple, blue and grey may be used to provide additional messages, such as fatal danger, supplementary information, or when no information is available. For example, meteorological services use coloured maps as early warning systems when announcing a storm and apprizing the population of the level of danger.
The standards can be bought from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.
Battery charging is perhaps the most annoying fact of mobile life. Various approaches to wireless charging, which will somewhat alleviate the problem, are available. They haven’t exploded in popularity. Perhaps habits, even unpleasant ones, die hard.
Another area of research is speeding recharging. Huawei, according to InformationWeek, demonstrated technology at the Battery Symposium in Japan that can charge batteries 10 times faster than today’s approaches. The explanation is a bit complicated:
Specifically, Huawei claims it "bonded heteroatoms to the molecule of graphite in anode, which could be a catalyst for the capture and transmission of lithium through carbon bonds. The heteroatoms increase the charging speed of batteries without decreasing energy density or battery life."
Cybersecurity has been a challenge for the federal government. There have been serious breaches in multiple government agencies, and Congress has struggled to address cybersecurity on legal terms. Even what it has been able to pass has been wrought with criticism and contention.
But what about states? Are governors and state legislators doing any better about addressing cybersecurity?
According to a new study released by the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University, the answer is no. States lack strong cybersecurity, leaving them vulnerable to attacks and unable to address potential threats. The report explained:
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in cooperation with state, local, and tribal emergency managers and state broadcasters’ associations, will conduct a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 in six states at 1:20 p.m. PST.
FEMA will send the voluntary EAS test message signal through its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) from the exhibit floor of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Broadcasters are voluntarily participating in the test from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The EAS test is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
The message will be the same as typical EAS test messages, with the word “national” added to the message: “This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.” The test is designed to have limited impact on the public. There is no Federal Commissions Commission regulatory liability for stations that choose not to participate. The EAS test might also be seen and heard in bordering states participating in the test, including California, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan.
The test will assess the operational readiness of FEMA’s IPAWS infrastructure that will distribute a national-level EAS test message to radio, television and cable operations from origination to reception by the public. In 2007, FEMA began modernizing the nation’s public alert and warning system by integrating new technologies into existing alert systems. IPAWS connects public safety officials, such as emergency managers, police and fire departments to multiple communications channels to send alerts to the public when a disaster or other imminent danger occurs.
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.
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
Massachusetts is tackling a major campaign in civic tech. It’s what the state’s IT department, MassIT, calls GovNext — a program that opens the door for civic innovation projects, and institutionalizes entrepreneurial prototyping and experimentation. The initiative works to deliver high-quality, modern technology to the public.
Massachusetts Deputy CIO Karthik Viswanathan said GovNext was envisioned to be a proving ground for a number of apps and citizen-centric inventions in the coming months. The move is prompted by a realization that constituents require simple, quick and efficient public services.
GovNext will not only affect Massachusetts state agencies, but also municipalities and their citizens. To accomplish this ambitious feat, the program has structured itself into three types of projects:
When we think about shipping, it is normally big, rusty shipping containers, dockyards and stormy seas. It is not considered to be a high tech industry by most, but the reality is that much like many other industries at the moment, it is having a data revolution.
There are several ways that it is doing this, we have taken a look at the top 5.
Structural Integrity And Predictive Repairs
Cargo ships spend the majority of the year at sea and this means that they take a beating on a daily basis. Despite being huge industrial machines, they still require considerable maintenance.
(TNS) — The Paris attacks are proof of the need for strong law enforcement surveillance, said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and Rep. Peter King Sunday as New Yorkers of all stripes continued to grapple with the terrorist strikes.
At St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, the Rev. Monsignor Robert Ritchie mourned the "apocalyptic" attacks. At area sports venues, fans saw a stepped up law enforcement presence. And in Nassau and Suffolk counties, police said they have received no threats but will monitor events closely.
In separate television interviews Sunday morning, Bratton and King each said the Friday night attacks are a reminder of the importance of monitoring potential terror suspects.
The world is experiencing a digital transformation as everything – customers and technology alike – are becoming connected; which has made technology pervasive in all of our lives. The tools we use have been on a fast innovative pace which has made us all tech-savvy individuals. If you doubt this, just watch a 6 year-old with an iPad.
We have all become accustomed to a user experience that empowers us to receive information, products or services immediately. The problem is, once we enter the business world, the user experience changes dramatically.
Does business need to transform? Yes! It needs to change the pace at which it delivers services both within and externally as well as address customer expectations for a self-service order experience. From what I am hearing during customer conversations, the good news is that businesses are acknowledging that changes are required.