This week I want to examine in more detail the good news coming out of the 2014 Annual Report on the State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council . Based on hundreds of responses from organizations worldwide, the Annual Report provides several insights into the best practices of companies that are better prepared to recover from outages or disasters.
You can download the report for free at http://drbenchmark.org/
I want to examine why some companies appear to be doing much better at preparing for outages by implementing more detailed DR plans.
TUCSON, Ariz. – On his 50th birthday, John Halamaka, the CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, was surrounded by his senior staff having cake. Then his second-in-command came in with "some" news.
A physician had gone to the Apple store and returned with a MacBook, downloaded email, and then left the office. When he returned, the new MacBook was gone. On it was a spreadsheet embedded in a PowerPoint with information on 3,900 patients, data for which the hospital was responsible.
The hospital issued a news release, in which Halamka pointed out how the incident was being treated, "extremely seriously," but also being used to bring about change. In this case, accelerating implementation of a program to assist employees with protecting devices they purchase personally.
Network World — Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a revolutionary re-thinking of how to provision and manage data center networks. While the early version we looked at has some rough edges, and Cisco still has some hard problems to solve, ACI has the potential to completely change the way that large, highly virtualized data center networks are configured and built.
Just so there's no confusion, ACI is not Cisco's version of Software Defined Networking (SDN). While SDN, for many network managers, is a solution in search of a problem, ACI is something entirely different. It's Cisco's attempt to solve the most significant and important problems facing data center managers: how to more closely link the provisioning of data center networks with the applications running over those networks.
The goal is to reduce human error, shorten application deployment times, and minimize the confusion that can occur when application managers and network managers speak very different vocabularies.
Don Thomas Jacob provides BYOD risk management advice.
BYOD adoption in the enterprise has increased significantly over the last couple of years and the trend is here to stay. While BYOD has been incorporated into some enterprises’ organizational strategy, there are numerous organizations where BYOD has been initiated by the employees themselves and many network administrators are still working out how best to manage the trend.
It is only with practical experience that network administrators can fully understand the problems associated with BYOD and the best methods to solve them. Many organizations are looking for immediate answers and most IT and network admins do not have the time to experiment with various technologies and solutions or research for the right tool to use in the network for BYOD monitoring or management.
Enterprises often begin implementing BYOD strategies by having additional authentication mechanisms, a separate VLAN and a wireless network for handhelds. While this may seem to be the quickest method to adopt BYOD, it also brings with it numerous problems. In addition to the everyday upkeep and maintenance of the enterprise network, IT admins have to take care of mobile device management, bandwidth issues and most importantly keep an eye on possible security issues. In fact, BYOD leaves the network open to a plethora of security issues.
Poor disaster recovery practices have led to losses of up to $5M
Hundreds of thousands of religious extremists are set to march on Jerusalem. Whether or not "hundreds of thousands" will descend on the Israeli capital is to be seen. My guess is that the turnout will be less than expected, but still there will be a sea of black hats.
In preparation for this event, Israel has ordered streets closed, trains to stop running, and buses to stay at the bus station.
Whether or not the risk of the mass demonstration occurs - in any volume - the risk already is impacting the capital.
The impact is that people won't be able to
* Go to work
* Go to school
* Go shopping for essentials (bread, milk, etc.)
* Get to a hospital or clinic if necessary
Essentially they are trapped in their neighborhoods, if not their homes.
IDG News Service — Sears Holdings said a review of its systems does not show evidence yet of a data breach as retailers continue to stay on guard in the light of payment card terminal hacking at Target and Neiman Marcus.
The department store chain, with 2,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada, is the latest company to say it is investigating a possible breach, following the hotel management company White Lodging Services and the arts and crafts chain Michaels.
"There have been rumors and reports throughout the retail industry of security incidents at various retailers, and we are actively reviewing our systems to determine if we have been a victim of a breach," wrote Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications at Sears Holdings, in an email.
With data from 15,000 customers and over 100 insurance executives, consulting firmCapgemini and Efma found that enhancing customer experiences directly impacted insurers’ profitability. “Given the increasing demand of internet and mobile channels in insurance, digital transformation is an effective approach to create positive experiences, secure customer loyalty, and ultimately improve insurers’ profitability,” the report states.
While many insurers say they are working to improve the user experience, ratings have only increased by about 2% worldwide, with only 32% saying they had positive experiences with their provider. Further, nearly 70% of customers reported that they are considering switching carriers. Digital presence is increasingly important in making customers happy, according to the study. For example, while internet-mobile is the least likely channel to offer a good experience, it has the greatest impact when successful. Overall, as Capgemini and the MIT Center for Digital Business found in 2012, firms with a strong digital presence and customer focus are 26% more profitable.
In addition to the new report, Capgemini released the following infographic with their findings:
The last time you were in a pharmacy did you notice advertisements for the flu vaccine? Signs like these will become more common as pharmacists take on an important role in administering vaccines to the general public. Have you also noticed how pharmacies seem to be everywhere? The ubiquity of pharmacies plus their extended hours of operation and streamlined access to preventative treatments makes them perfect for helping respond to emergencies, by distributing vaccines, medications, or protective masks. It’s encouraging to know that pharmacists in all 50 states can now administer vaccines and many are involved in emergency response training.
Research Supports the Role of Pharmacists
The Immunization Systems Project of the Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (PERCC) conducts research to determine how immunization systems could combat public health emergencies such as vaccine shortages or pandemic flu. Some of our recent findings highlight the importance of incorporating pharmacies into emergency planning as a valuable resource for reaching the public with important health measures.
During our research we explored differences in providers’ experiences administering vaccines during the H1N1 pandemic. We surveyed vaccine providers (e.g., pediatricians, obstetricians, hospital providers, pharmacists) in Washington State to examine topics such as vaccine administration, participation in preparedness activities and communication with public health agencies.
Based on our results, pharmacists:
- Saw more patients on a daily basis than any other vaccine provider group
- Reported lower coverage rates of their staff receiving seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines
Compared with other providers, pharmacists were:
- Less likely to rely on local health departments for information about emergencies
- Less likely to have participated in emergency training or response activities in the past
- More inclined to rely on federal sources, corporate headquarters and professional organizations for information about public health emergencies
- Willing to work with health departments in future vaccine-related public health emergencies
Our research suggests that, given the broad reach of pharmacists and their high patient volume, pharmacists could become key first responders to improve the capability and reach of emergency response in the future. Encouraging pharmacists’ participation in emergency preparedness training as well as building connections between health departments and public health agencies are ways that can strengthen emergency response. Public health entities are actively taking steps to add pharmacies into the pool of emergency responders. Doing so leverages the extensive community reach of pharmacists and the high level of trust people feel towards them.
Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers are funded by CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. To find more information about PERRC programs across the U.S. visit http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/science/erp_PERRCs.htm.