BASINGSTOKE – Thales has been awarded a 10-year contract to support computerised control system services at all but two of EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. The Long Term Support contract, worth over £30m, was awarded by EDF Energy as part of their continuing commitment to securing the UK’s future energy generation requirements.
The extended safe operation of the nuclear generation fleet is an essential part of securing the UK’s energy future until the next generation of nuclear power stations comes on line.
The power stations’ Data Processing and Control Systems are high capital value assets that are technologically complex and critical to operations. Thales was selected by EDF Energy in part because of its 30 years’ experience of developing, managing and delivering data process and control systems into the nuclear industry. Thales is well known in the nuclear industry for its integration of holistic security systems and for its industrial cyber-security expertise.
Nigel Houlton, Head of Lifetime Programmes at EDF Energy, said: “EDF Energy's strategy is to extend the life of our existing nuclear powers stations where it is safe and economically viable to do so. The existing nuclear stations supply nearly 9GW of safe, reliable and low carbon electricity to the national grid and therefore have a vital role to play in maintaining the security of our electricity supply.”
Phil Naybour, Vice President, Secure Communications and Information Systems, Thales UK, said: “This long-term support contract will help to secure the immediate future of the UK’s energy requirements, by allowing EDF Energy to deliver on its plans to extend the safe operation of its nuclear power stations. This positive development is a result of a strong long-term partnership between Thales and EDF Energy. Together with the recent award of a separate contract to deliver new Deployable Communications and Information Systems, this demonstrates the confidence that EDF Energy has in Thales as a leading provider of support, communications and security services to the UK’s nuclear industry.”
Change and configuration auditing is essential for organisations that need PCI DSS says Netwrix
With recent PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance incidents costing companies millions of pounds in fines and losses and inflicting damage to valuable brand reputations, Netwrix is urging organisations processing payment cards to follow six best practices to safeguard against a security incident.
Netwrix points to the recent eBay breach that forced the company to advise 145 million active users to change their passwords to avoid financial information loss, while the breach at US retailer Target resulted in 40 million stolen credit card numbers and compromised the personal information of more than 70 million customers.
To help organisations avoid such data breaches and their consequences, Netwrix recommends six essential rules around change and configuration auditing:
1) Separate Environments - Minimise your risks by reducing PCI scope within your systems and enforce separation of environments by continuously auditing access and changes to the systems where cardholder data is stored.
2) Audit Access Control - Ensure that permissions are adequate and access to sensitive data is limited only to people who need it. Change and configuration auditing can help by giving you precise information about the state of access rights and all changes to it, alerting you to critical issues and helping with investigation in the event of unauthorised access.
3) Audit Provisioning and De-Provisioning of Users - Organisations should establish control over user creations and removals. A comprehensive change and configuration auditing solution will provide daily and on-demand reports as well as real-time alerts on these critical modifications.
4) Audit of Privileged Users' Activities - A particular emphasis should be placed on changes made by administrative accounts: changes to user access rights, elevation of privileges, mistakenly changed permissions and other security related events. Daily and on-demand reports and real-time alerts provided by change auditing solutions will help organisations to stay secure.
5) Document Everything - You never know what part of your system activities or during what period you will be required to demonstrate to the auditor, so keep it all. In addition to a complete audit trail, some of the more advanced change and configuration auditing solutions allow you to record video of user activities on critical systems, along with metadata, and provide search and replay capabilities. A regular review of audit trails may also assist in preventing breaches before they occur.
6) Monitor and Test - Change and configuration auditing solutions will provide a complete audit trail with detailed information on access and changes with ‘who, what, where, and when' details, including after and before values for each event. This will simplify root-cause analysis and allow proactive prevention of malicious activities.
"Recent examples show that it is not enough to align your processes and policies with PCI DSS guidance," said Alex Vovk, President of Netwrix. "You must also establish mechanisms to verify these processes actually work and be able to prove that to all stakeholders: IT management, executives, and auditors. Essentially, change auditing is what makes your compliance efforts provable."
About Netwrix Corporation
Netwrix Corporation, the #1 provider of change and configuration auditing solutions, delivers complete visibility into who did what, when and where across the entire IT infrastructure. This streamlines compliance, strengthens security and simplifies root cause analysis. Founded in 2006, Netwrix is ranked in the Top 100 US software companies in the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500. Netwrix software is used by 160,000 users worldwide. For more information, visit www.netwrix.com.
Etherios taps into the power of salesforce.com’s social, mobile and connected cloud technologies to help accelerate business transformation for companies using Service Cloud
Etherios, a division of Digi International and a Platinum Cloud Alliance Partner of salesforce.com, announced it is an inaugural member of the Salesforce Fullforce Masters Program which recognises partners with proven expertise delivering industry and cloud-specific services and solutions for customers.
Etherios was selected to join this elite program based on its proven expertise with Salesforce1 Service Cloud and history of delivering overwhelming success to its Salesforce customers coupled with its differentiated and comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solution offering. This combined offering enables organisations of all sizes to realise tangible business value by connecting their products, people and processes with the Salesforce1 Platform. The Fullforce Master Program recognises partners who have demonstrated the strongest capabilities so as to jointly provide customers with unparalleled success.
Comments on the News
- “Becoming part of the Fullforce Master Program is a testament to our consultants’ knowledge and relentless focus on driving customer success,” said Mike Dannenfeldt, senior vice president of Etherios Solutions.
- “Etherios is a leading partner in the Salesforce Cloud Alliance Program and I am very pleased to recognise it as holding a Fullforce Masters in Service Cloud,” said Dan Streetman, SVP of worldwide alliances and channels, salesforce.com.
- “Etherios didn’t just help us deploy Service Cloud, it helped us transform our business,” said David Espindola, CIO Flexera Software.
- Learn more about Salesforce Fullforce: http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2014/02/salesforce-fullforce-program.html
- Become a fan of Etherios :
- Follow Etherios on Twitter:
- Follow us on LinkedIn:
Using the Internet of Things to Deliver Effortless Customer Service with Service Cloud
Today’s customers are social, mobile and connected. The result is an unprecedented opportunity to engage customers 24/7 in a personalised way on every channel and on every device. And in today’s world, customers expect every service experience with a company to be one thing: effortless.
Enter the Internet of Things (IoT), a connected world, where companies are connecting their products with the people, processes and technology within their organisations. It’s about proactively identifying issues, resolving issues remotely when possible, and optimising field service technician deployments. By turning device and machine data into actionable intelligence in the Service Cloud you are able to deliver effortless service for customers.
Etherios is a division of Digi International (DGII), a publicly traded company with over 600 employees in locations across North America, Europe and Asia serving a global customer base. Etherios is leading the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution by helping organisations connect products, people and processes. We are uniquely positioned as the only company providing a comprehensive connected solution encompassing advisory, wireless design and CRM services combined with Device Cloud, our award-winning platform-as-a-service. Our employees deliver unmatched business results and value as evidenced by a 9.9/10 customer satisfaction rating. Etherios is a strategic partner with some of the most recognised firms in the world and is a Platinum Cloud Alliance Partner of salesforce.com
For more information about Etherios, visit: www.etherios.com.
Another American aid worker has become infected with the Ebola Virus in Liberia. The patient has been identified as Nancy Writebol, a worker with the Christian aid group Serving in Mission (SIM) which runs a hospital on the outskirts of the Liberian capital Monrovia. Writebol had been working as a hygienist responsible for decontaminating those coming and going from the hospital’s Ebola care center.
The diagnosis follows that of Dr. Ken Brantley, a doctor who was working in the same care center for the allied aid group Samaritan’s Purse. Both Americans are said to be in stable but serious condition. Ken Isaacs, a vice president at Samaritan’s Purse, told the AP of the team’s declining morale: “It’s been a shock to everyone on our team to have two of our players get pounded with the disease… Our team is frankly getting tired.”
The two cases fall in the midst of an historically devastating outbreak which has killed 129 people in Liberia, and more than 670 throughout West Africa. The highly contagious disease has no cure or vaccine, meaning aid workers must prevent the spread of the disease altogether. Thus, aid workers and the WHO have to heavily rely on public education and social mobilization to prevent activities that pose a high risk of transmission. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids and organs, so these activities include close contact with infected people and inefficient burial of the dead.
(MCT) — Saying California’s emergency responders need more training to handle major calamities, state and local leaders are pitching plans to build a world-class $56 million training facility in eastern Sacramento County that would pit fire crews against a variety of realistic, pressure-packed simulated disasters.
Emergency crews would be required to douse a real 727 jet as it lies in pieces across a field after a simulated crash at the training site; or make split-second decisions on how to approach a derailed train leaking crude oil; or figure out how to quickly pull survivors out of a partially demolished and unstable building after a terrorist bombing or earthquake.
Initial construction on the Emergency Response Training Center has begun on 53 acres east of Mather Field in Rancho Cordova. The facility, billed as one of the most varied, modern and sophisticated training sites in the country, would be “a total disaster city,” said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Chief Kurt Henke, one of the officials behind the push.
Organizations invest hundreds of thousands of dollars of redundant hardware and software into their data centers to ensure high availability (the five 9s, again) and resiliency. These same companies hire IT professionals with very specialized experience and certifications to ensure their capital investments maintain high availability and data security on a day-to-day basis.
High availability within the organization shouldn’t just be identified with a Server failure or outage. Serious impacts to your business can be caused by natural disasters (like hurricanes or floods), strikes, major highway closures, terrorist events, all without a single server ever going down! Loss of sales, regulatory fines, contract penalties, getting employees to your business, loss of suppliers, branding, reputation, can all easily be affected, and for very long periods of time, without directly touching the five 9s.
Yet these very same companies often overlook the fact that these same IT professionals sometimes aren’t trained or experienced in recovering from a disaster and ensuring business continuity. Business continuity planning requires a high-level view of IT, but more importantly, a rock-solid understanding of business processes and the potential consequences of natural disasters, strikes, highway closures, terrorist events (and so on) on the business. FEMA has some very valuable information on Business Impact Analysis (BIA) as well as operational and financial impacts. Ironically, IT doesn’t even make the list!
With the referendum on independence for Scotland not far away, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has published a paper to help organisations on both sides of the border consider what the impact of independence could be for them and provide links and resources that will help organisations further understand the debate.
Whether it is a new government being elected or an international treaty signed, political change happens all the time and this will invariably have an impact on organisations. Priorities, budgets and regulations all change, resulting in organisations having to rethink their strategies. If disruption can occur when something relatively routine happens, what could happen when there is an entire change of sovereignty?
The BCI remains neutral in this debate but highlights that, whatever the outcome, there will be change in Scotland that will require organisations to reconsider their business continuity plans and strategies. Some of the key findings of the paper include:
- The decision could significantly influence the conduct of business across the Anglo-Scottish border and organisations may have to adapt to a possible independence settlement.
- Policy divergence in key areas such as taxation, business regulation and labour laws is likely to significantly affect highly regulated professions such as the finance and banking industries. For other sectors, policy divergence may result in an increase in operational and logistics costs.
- A monetary union with rUK that allows an independent Scotland to use the pound sterling will keep transaction and borrowing costs to a minimum. However, this may come at the expense of setting independent Scottish monetary policy that may have effects on some businesses. Meanwhile, adopting a different currency for an independent Scotland carries costs so organisations need to have financial safeguards in either case.
- Both sides of the border enjoy interconnected infrastructure and this is not likely to change following independence. However, two sets of policies for critical infrastructure are likely to emerge due to inherent strategic differences of both countries and this may influence the operational terrain for businesses operating on both sides of the border.
- Differences in energy production/consumption may influence sourcing arrangements and cause variations in fuel and energy costs for sectors such as manufacturing, logistics and retail.
- An independent Scotland’s admittance to the EU is uncertain and the indefinite timescale of the accession process may introduce short-term uncertainty over the continued access to benefits provided by EU membership.
A change in the Anglo-Scottish relationship will carry far-reaching consequences to organisations and the way they operate across the border. Independence in itself carries potential opportunities and both Scotland and the rUK remain excellent markets with the highly interlinked trade between these countries not likely to change following independence. However, the change in their relationship will inevitably influence changes in business operations albeit to differing degrees. This is something that organisations must understand as they wait for the results of the independence referendum, and must plan for either way.
Lyndon Bird, Technical Director at the BCI, commented: “This is a big decision for the people of Scotland that could have far reaching consequences for organisations on both sides of the border and further beyond. Like with any major event however, looking ahead, establishing what the impact could be and making sure plans are in place to deal with these should allow any organisation to operate as normal during abnormal circumstances.”
Whilst the outcome of the vote remains uncertain, maintaining continuity amidst political change is a constant. The Scottish independence referendum is a unique event that may influence the conduct of business on both sides of the border. It is essential that organisations know what is at stake as their capacity to adapt will determine their viability regardless of independence or continued union.
To read the full report, click here.
Based in Caversham, United Kingdom, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) was established in 1994 to promote the art and science of business continuity worldwide and to assist organizations in preparing for and surviving minor and large-scale man-made and natural disasters. The Institute enables members to obtain guidance and support from their fellow practitioners and offers professional training and certification programmes to disseminate and validate the highest standards of competence and ethics. It has circa 8,000 members in more than 100 countries, who are active in an estimated 3,000 organizations in private, public and third sectors.
For more information go to: www.thebci.org
HEREFORD – Xytron Ltd, a leading data recovery services company, reports today that many consumers and businesses are attempting DIY retrieval of their data to failed media and physically opening the disk enclosure in non clean room conditions, thus compounding any potential recovery. Further to this it has been noted that the PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) are also being replaced in an attempt to gain access to data.
All magnetic storage media are manufactured in clean room conditions and to exacting tolerances, often less than 1 Micron tolerances. Opening the disk in standard room conditions will introduce airborne particulate into the drive. If the HDD is powered back up following the non clean room opening it will cause the heads to crash, that is scrape or damage the drive surface (platter(s)) and head stack assembly, which in extreme cases could render the data unrecoverable.
The PCB holds very specific information relating to the disk it is controlling, and so swapping or exchanging this will not help; in fact in some instances this could destroy any chances of data recovery completely, as the NV_RAM and or adaptive data could be written to the hard drive.
Why risk it?
The internet is a huge resource and a wonderful place for information and knowledge, however there has to be a caveat applied here, where or how can you qualify, what information is correct and from a trustworthy source? Anecdotal evidence should not be applied, here are just a few dangerous suggestions found online that should NOT be applied;
- Open hard disk up
- Replace PCB
- Bang or knock drive
- Format or system restore
- Place in freezer
- Download software from the internet
- Let friends or colleagues investigate
With 10 years and thousands of procedures carried out, Xytron has the skills and the engineers to attempt the very complex work of data retrieval which includes physical work inside the clean room, electronic failure, firmware failure and logical failure; in all instances the firm has the equipment and knowledge to tackle data failures professionally.
“The process at Xytron is; diagnosis, this establishes whether the media has logical, firmware, physical and or electronic failure”, comments Richard Cuthbertson head technician at Xytron, “from here the device is moved to the relevant department for the next stage, such as the clean room if the HSA (head stack assembly) has failed and the disk has physical issues, the hot air station for electronic work, and a recovery station for firmware and logical issues, following this work a write blocking full bit by bit clone is made of the device, it is this image that the engineers work with to retrieve the data”.
The final part of the process is to email the client our IntegriCheck software which is a folder and file listing of recovered data; this allows the client to check all information has been retrieved.
Here are a few key points from Xytron services;
1. 10 years successful trading
2. Tens of thousands of cases handled
3. In house clean room
4. No outsourcing of any cases
5. Free to join partner programme
6. Huge inventory of parts stock
7. Satisfied testimonial database
8. Have seen your issue and dealt with it successfully
9. Data held securely and promptly erased securely following the case
About Xytron Ltd.
Xytron data recovery is a provider of professional IT services, servicing consumers, organizations, SOHO and corporate retrieving inaccessible data from a variety of media such as disks, drives, USB pen, SSD and all backup devices, established in 2004 with an in house clean room facility, further information can be found here: http://www.xytron.co.uk
Given the high profile of Big Data, mobile and data analytics, marketing should be a huge fan of data integration. “More data, more profit,” should be marketing’s motto.
However, if you happen to be working with the most backward marketing division in the world, you might want to send them this recent post, “How Data Integration Tools can Turbocharge Your Marketing.”
The post, by a freelance writer who boasts some programming experience, makes an excellent case for the value of data integration. The post casts a wide net, touting data integration’s ability to:
- “Reduce friction” in sales cycles.
- Develop a “customer-centric approach to data.”
- Improve relationships with customers by maximizing demographic information.
- Combine basic demographic data with sentiment data to help create calls-to-action.
- Break down data silos, so you know more about life-long customers.
BURLINGTON, Wash. – RSA has now completed The Complete Guide to Cleaning and Restoration, a comprehensive textbook for its restoration, cleaning and remediation classroom courses.
A successor to the New Guide to Restorative Drying published in 2006, the new 600-page full-color book covers all courses offered by RSA. This includes courses in trauma scene cleanup, water restoration and applied structural drying, upholstery cleaning, fire and smoke restoration, odor control, microbial remediation, and carpet cleaning.
Extensively peer-reviewed by industry experts before publication, the book will be provided to all paid class participants, a valuable bonus. Participants in the July 31 Trauma Class will be the first to use it, then it will be rolled out to all other RSA classroom courses over the next couple of months.
“The Complete Guide is a summary of everything we’ve learned in the past 40 years about cleaning, restoring and remediation,” notes Kevin Fisher, Legend Brands Technical Education Manager. “We decided to make the entire book available to every class to show our commitment to the professionalism and growth of our industry.”
The original restorative drying book, first published by Dri-Eaz in the 1980s, was written by Dri-Eaz Founder Claude Blackburn and Dri-Eaz education staff. In 2006 the book was updated and expanded quickly became the standard reference for the restorative drying industry. In 2009, Purdue University selected the New Guide to Restorative Drying to be one of the textbooks for its newly established disaster restoration and reconstruction program.
“The Complete Guide is the definitive collection of RSA expertise,” says John Ormsby, president of Dri-Eaz Products. “It stands alone as the premier guide for today’s restoration, remediation and cleaning challenges.”
For more information about The Complete Guide and RSA’s course offerings, visit www.restorationsciencesacademy.com.
Restoration Sciences Academy provides real-world restoration training in dynamic and engaging learning environments taught by industry experts. RSA offers both classroom-based training courses and online courses. RSA courses teach proven techniques that help restorers work more efficiently and grow their businesses.