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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Using Twitter and Google search trend data in the wake of the very limited US Ebola outbreak of October 2014, a team of researchers from Arizona State University, Purdue University and Oregon State University have found that news media is extraordinarily effective in creating public panic.

Because only five people were ultimately infected yet Ebola dominated the US media in the weeks after the first imported case, the researchers set out to determine mass media's impact on people's behavior on social media.

"Social media data have been suggested as a way to track the spread of a disease in a population, but there is a problem that in an emerging outbreak people also use social media to express concern about the situation," explains study team leader Sherry Towers of ASU's Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center. "It is hard to separate the two effects in a real outbreak situation."



For many people, IT security is about keeping the bad guys out of the data centre by using firewalls to control external access and anti-malware programs to prevent hackers from infecting servers. That is only half the picture however. The threat that has also been growing comes from people already within the security perimeter of the data centre. They have legitimate access to servers, but are misusing that access either unintentionally or deliberately to take data out. The challenge in resolving this kind of insider threat is that it is typically not a malware attack, but a personal ‘manual’ attack.



The Office of Personnel Management has some explaining to do.

Cyberthieves have pilfered the personal information of millions of federal employees – notably including the private data of those with security clearances – and the story seems to grow worse by the day.

While investigating a cyberattack on the information of about 4 million feds, officials discovered “a separate intrusion into OPM systems that may have compromised information related to the background investigations of current, former, and prospective Federal government employees, and other individuals for whom a federal background investigation was conducted,” Samuel Schumach, OPM’s press secretary, said Sunday.



WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) call center pilot program to serve and support policyholders with the servicing of their claims.

Flood insurance claims can be complicated, and policyholders may have questions in the days and weeks following a disaster.

The NFIP call center is reachable at 1-800-621-3362, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CDT) Monday through Friday. Specialists will be available to assist policyholders with the servicing of their claims, provide general information regarding their policies, and/or offer technical assistance to aid in recovery.

For those who prefer to put their concerns in writing, a “Request for Support” form is posted at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, which can be filled out and emailed to FEMA-NFIP-Support@fema.dhs.gov or faxed to 540-504-2360.

Call center staff will be able to answer questions, such as “How do I file a flood insurance claim? What type of documentation is needed? Can I still obtain disaster assistance even though I have a flood policy?” as well as more complicated insurance questions about the extent of coverage, policy ratings, and more.  The call center will also be open to disaster survivors who have general questions about the NFIP.

“Flood insurance provides residents with the ability to protect themselves financially against the most common disaster we see in America,” said Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration. “We’re providing this new resource to ensure that the people we serve have another way get information they may need to understand how flood insurance works and how to navigate the claims process.  This hotline also provides us with a direct connection to policyholders themselves should they have concerns to report about how their claims are being handled and enabling us to take prompt action to ensure that they receive every dollar they are owed under their policies.”

Flood insurance plays a critical role in assisting survivors on their road to recovery. Like other types of insurance, it does not cover all losses, but it is the first line of defense against a flood. While the policy payouts won’t make the insured whole, our top priority is to ensure policyholders get what they are due under their coverage. This initiative is part of FEMA’s ongoing commitment to effective, long-term improvements to the NFIP.


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 FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 00:00

Selecting the Right Kind of Cloud

Saying that the cloud is becoming more specialized is like saying the days are getting longer now that summer is here: It is such a natural phenomenon that it barely needs to be stated.

But I’m going to state it anyway, because this facet of cloud computing alone will probably do more to capture critical enterprise loads and break down the psychological barriers to cloud adoption than any mere technological development.

Across a number of fronts, organizations are gaining the ability to deploy not just the cloud, but a highly specialized data ecosystem tailored to specific functions, industry verticals and even individuals. In a way, this follows that same pattern of software development in general, except that now the application software is backed by a cloud component that caters to its every whim.



Tuesday, 16 June 2015 00:00

Mastering IT Risk Assessment

The foundation of your organization’s defense against cyber theft is a mastery of IT risk assessment. It is an essential part of any information security program, and in fact, is mandated by regulatory frameworks such as SSAE 16, SOC 2, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, HIPAA and FISMA.

Compliance with those frameworks means that your organization not only has to complete an IT risk assessment but it must also assess and address the risks by implementing security controls.

In the event of a breach, an effective IT risk management plan—which details exactly what your IT department is going to do and how they’re going to do it—and implementation of the critical security controls that have the potential to save your organization millions of dollars in direct response costs, legal fees, regulatory fines, and costs associated with rebuilding a damaged corporate reputation.



Thanks to a new report from Trustwave, it is easy to see why cybercrime has become so prevalent. It pays very well.

The 2015 Trustwave Global Security Report (free download with registration) looked at all sorts of issues on the cybersecurity front, from spam to passwords to where compromises are actually happening. Though the report presented a fascinating and all-encompassing look at the state of cybersecurity today, unfortunately, it isn’t pretty.

The bit of information that appears to have caught the most attention is how lucrative cybercrime is for hackers. The report stated that hackers receive an estimated 1,425 percent return on investment for exploit kit and ransomware schemes, or nearly $6000 for a single ransomware campaign. That’s a stunning amount of money. TechWeek Europe explained why cybercrime is so lucrative:



Datto DNA Router, Datto Backupify for Office 365 and other new capabilities announced

NEW ORLEANS Datto, the innovative provider of comprehensive data backup, recovery and business continuity solutions, today announced new products and enhancements designed to protect data no matter where it lives – across on-premise physical or virtual servers or in the cloud via SaaS applications. During the keynote presentation at Datto’s annual partner conference, Datto founder and CEO Austin McChord unveiled five key innovations.


The new solutions, announced before an audience of more than 500 MSPs, are designed to add value for Datto partners looking to protect their customers better while growing their own businesses. The new products and features are part of Datto’s Total Data Protection platform, which includes physical and virtual appliances, software and Datto’s more than 140-petabyte private cloud. Today’s news includes:

      Datto Networking Appliance (DNA) Router: The Datto DNA Router is the first “born in the cloud” router, offering remote configuration and 4G failover designed to meet the specific needs of MSPs and to protect data in transit. While traditional routers are susceptible to downtime and can be challenging to manage remotely, the Datto DNA router can be easily configured from the cloud – reducing the need for manual onsite visits, decreasing downtime and providing a better experience for end users. General availability is expected this fall.

      Datto Backupify for Office 365: Following Datto’s December 2014 acquisition of Backupify (the creator of cloud-to-cloud backup), the new Datto Backupify for Office 365 solution brings automated, secure backup for data stored in O365. Datto partners supporting Microsoft Office 365 will now be able to offer superior cloud-to-cloud backup protection for their users, ensuring that customers experience zero data loss from human errors, malicious deletions, hackers or viruses. The new product, available now, joins Backupify products for Google Apps, Salesforce and other SaaS applications.

      File sync and share through new partnership with ownCloud: Datto recently partnered with ownCloud, the company behind the world’s most popular open-source enterprise file sync and share software, to offer secure file sync and share capabilities on all new and existing Datto SIRIS 1 and Datto SIRIS 2 devices. Datto partners can now offer their customers a seamless way to collaborate and share documents from anywhere; all while storing data on their SIRIS device in their local infrastructure with a backup copy in the Datto Cloud.

      Datto Linux Agent: With Datto’s new Linux Agent, the company delivers business continuity to Linux-based environments in addition to Windows. Unlike competing solutions, the Datto Linux Agent features persistent incremental backups, integrated storage, cloud replication, individual file restores and instant local virtualization. MSPs working with Datto can use their existing Datto devices to extend protection to Linux. This new feature is available now.

      Updated Partner Portal: The Datto Partner Portal gives MSPs a single place to manage their entire fleet of Datto devices and services. With the upcoming addition of a Datto Activity Feed and other enhancements, MSPs can more easily see important notifications and updates, allowing for faster problem resolution and more efficient management. The updated portal is expected to be available this fall. 

“We’re making the technology investments today to help our partners deliver end-to-end data protection that makes them even more successful tomorrow,” said Austin McChord, Datto founder and CEO. “The DNA Router, Datto Backupify for Office 365 and other new product features and functionality provide more value than ever before for our partners, so they can guarantee protection for their customers’ data whether it is on-premise, in a SaaS application or in the cloud.”

"We've been a Datto partner for three years, and this is by far the most impressive list of product announcements we've ever seen come from Datto, especially at one time," said Jim Turner, CEO of Hilltop Consultants. "I'm confident that the innovations Datto announced here today will have an impact on the growth of my business. The Datto Partner Conference is always worth the trip."

“Datto’s innovations in cloud-to-cloud backup solutions are helping Office 365 users be more productive wherever they are, and are great examples of how being a member of the Microsoft Partner Network benefits our mutual customers,” said Pat Schlight, Senior Director, US Partner Group at Microsoft.

About Datto

Datto is an innovative provider of comprehensive backup, recovery and business continuity solutions used by thousands of managed service providers worldwide. Datto’s 140+ PB private cloud and family of software and hardware devices provide Total Data Protection everywhere business data lives. Whether your data is on-prem in a physical or virtual server, or in the cloud via SaaS applications, only Datto offers end-to-end recoverability and single-vendor accountability. Founded in 2007 by Austin McChord, Datto is privately held and profitable. In 2013, General Catalyst Partners invested $25M in growth capital, and in 2015 McChord was named to the Forbes “30 under 30” ranking of top young entrepreneurs. To learn more, visit www.datto.com.

WASHINGTON, DC – A crisis plan sitting on a bookshelf does no good if you’re away from the office.  Now there’s an app for that.

CommCore Consulting Group has partnered with RockDove Solutions to deliver, In Case of Crisis, an award-winning Smartphone app, to offer CommCore’s clients a faster and more efficient way to respond to a crisis. In Case of Crisis enables organizations to share “their unique” crisis plans, emergency procedures, and safety guidelines with their people, on their Smartphones.

CommCore partners to provide crisis consulting services and simulations.  “In today’s 24/7 news cycle, critical information must be at your finger tips – anywhere on the plant.  RockDove’s solution is intuitive, fast and has the most user friendly icons I have seen.” said Andrew Gilman, CEO of CommCore.  “RockDove’s APP solution is a terrific complement to CommCore’s practice.”

“In Case of Crisis has been adopted by hundreds of organizations and over a quarter of a million users to deliver essential guidance and communication” said Christopher Britton, COO of RockDove Solutions.  “This partnership offers clients the benefit of an experienced crisis consulting practice combined with a powerful Smartphone app for delivery.”

As leaders in Crisis communications, CommCore offered guidance for the app creators.  “When it comes to crisis, it’s not if, but when.  This app is an effective tool for organizations to try and stay one step ahead”  added Gilman.


About RockDove

RockDove Solutions is focused on serving the fast growing enterprise mobile marketplace for crisis management, business continuity and emergency preparedness solutions. Our flagship product, In Case of Crisis, is an award-winning Smartphone app used by organizations public and private, large and small. RockDove Solutions’ core mission is to help people navigate a crisis, with the same reliability as a rock dove (aka, “carrier pigeon”), has serving humankind for thousands of years conveying important information, particularly during a crisis.  www.rockdovesolutions.com

About CommCore

CommCore Consulting Group is a privately held specialty communications firm serving businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world since 1985. The company specializes in strategic and tactical communications development and implementation across all industry sectors, organizational crisis planning and response, executive media and presentation training, message development, C Suite leadership and staff internal communications skills development. CommCore is led by its president and CEO, Andrew D. Gilman – a lawyer, award-winning journalist, and co-author of the best-selling book Get To The Point. CommCore is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, & Dallas.

For more information about the partnership or services of CommCore Consulting please visit www.commcoreconsulting.com or call 202-659-4177

Industry First Combines User Data Across Laptops, Mobile Devices and Cloud for Unprecedented Data Availability and Governance

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Druva, the leader in converged data protection, today announced integration with Microsoft Office 365, delivering expanded data backup and collection capabilities for the rapidly growing cloud application to ensure enterprise availability and governance. The industry's first solution to combine user data across laptops, mobile and cloud applications enables enterprises to non-intrusively follow users' data wherever it resides, rather than be tied to a solitary device.  Today's increasingly mobile enterprise has resulted in a loss of data control. Data on laptops and smart phones as well as within multiple cloud applications translates to increased risk of company data loss and the inability to track, hold or monitor data for regulatory compliance and legal obligations. Druva, with its new Microsoft Office 365 integration, offers a centralized conduit for managing this dispersed data that allows enterprises to adhere to their data availability and corporate governance policies.

"Druva is committed to bringing data-center class availability and governance to the mobile workforce. While the rapid adoption of mobile and cloud technologies has boosted company productivity, it has also made it more difficult for organizations to adhere to corporate data policies, industry data regulations, and legal obligations," said Jaspreet Singh, CEO, Druva. "IT must now juggle administrative tasks among multiple disparate, disconnected systems, making companies extremely vulnerable if data is lost, a data breach occurs or litigation-related information is requested."

"We are delighted that Druva is building on Office 365, to combine transaction information from the cloud with on-premises and device data," said Nagesh Pabbisetty, Partner Group Program Manager in Microsoft's Office 365 division. "This will provide compliance and security personnel a comprehensive view of how information is being managed and used in the enterprise."

Druva, starting with its Office 365 integration, is opening its data collection capabilities to a wider set of cloud data sources. By extending its top-rated and proven endpoint model to the cloud, enterprises achieve centralized management and control over their users' data, ensuring both end-user productivity and corporate governance needs are met wherever the data is located. Combining these new data sources with Druva's established capabilities for data availability -- backup, restore, archival and share -- and governance -- compliance, search and audit and legal holds/eDiscovery -- within a single platform streamlines IT management processes while reducing overall corporate data risks. For example, an organization with a litigation matter can place a legal hold on multiple sources of end-user data and manage the process centrally. Druva's unique approach gives organizations the ability to follow users' data rather than the device on which it resides, allowing a holistic way to ensure data availability and governance.

"Today's IT organizations are struggling with the administrative and governance challenges created by the spread of data across a range of repositories, like endpoints, cloud services, and remote office servers. The reliance on device-centric tools leaves corporate data siloed, forcing IT to track it throughout the organization via resource-intensive audit processes," said Dave Simpson, Senior Analyst, 451 Group. "By implementing a user-focused approach to data protection, IT is able to work across the data siloes and more effectively manage data through its entire lifecycle regardless of where it is held, gaining insight needed for compliance and legal purposes."

Druva inSync's integration with Microsoft Office 365 gives organizations a single access point for viewing and managing end-user data without having to manually access separate data sources. Druva's integration with Office 365 includes the following capabilities:

  • Merges data sources and activity feeds to provide a holistic view of end-user data and audit trails across devices and Office 365
  • Allows companies to place legal holds on a broad range of data, reducing the amount of time that IT personnel spend manually collecting and managing data
  • Provides federated search across endpoint and Office 365 data, identifying files, users, devices, and storage locations of any file for compliance and legal needs, such as legal holds
  • Delivers a consolidated view of both endpoint and cloud-based data to help with regulations (HIPAA, SOX) and company policies

Druva inSync for Cloud Applications is currently in limited availability and will be generally available in 30 days at additional charge. To learn more about Druva inSync for Cloud Applications, join data protection expert Jason Buffington, Sr. Analyst at ESG Research, and Druva for a live webinar entitled: "Office 365 and Cloud Data Sprawl: Get Ahead of the Risks to Protect & Govern User Data" on July 9 at 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT.

Tweet This: Druva extends data protection capabilities beyond endpoints to cloud data with $MSFT Office 365 integration. Details: www.druva.com/O365PR

About Druva
Druva is the leader in converged data protection, bringing data-center class availability and governance to the mobile workforce. With a single dashboard for backup, availability and governance, Druva's award-winning solutions minimize network impact and are transparent to users. As the industry's fastest growing data protection provider, Druva is trusted by over 3,000 global organizations on over 3 million devices. Learn more at www.druva.com and join the conversation at twitter.com/druvainc.