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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

Business resilience is your organization’s ability to adapt and adequately respond to events—no matter how critical the situation—that affect your business internally or externally with little impact to your operations, people, and structure. Your business’s ability to be resilient and prepared relies on careful, corresponding planning related to both business continuity and disaster recovery, and at the forefront of prevention and strong response is access to monitoring your business and your people.

Maintaining a resilient business with regular operations before, during, and after an unexpected event requires emergency notification software that, like business resilience and disaster recovery planning, takes a holistic approach. In order to build a resilient business, you must be able to rely on your emergency notification software to monitor everything around you—potential threats, your people, your business, your communications. You need the full picture of what is exactly going on at all times.

AlertMedia keeps the pulse of your business – monitoring what your organization cares about most.



There are some very important risks in your construction fleet that you may be overlooking. Independent contractors can introduce risks and your employees using their personal vehicles could pose other hidden exposure to your business. These are two top issues to be aware of, and here are some suggestions for mitigating them.

Independent Contractors

If you hire independent contractors, you could be sued for their actions in relation to a vehicle accident that they cause while working for you.

To reduce this exposure, ensure that each of your independent contractors has a valid auto liability insurance policy. Make sure the policy is in force throughout the duration of their contract with you. Additionally, be sure that their insurance carrier is financially stable. You can verify the insurance carrier’s financial strength at www.ambest.com.



AUSTIN, Texas – Two important deadlines are ahead for Texans who are considering a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration for recovery from the April storms and flooding.

Most survivors who registered with FEMA for disaster assistance were contacted by the SBA with information on the agency’s loan-interest disaster loans, as well as instructions on how to complete the loan application.

The deadline to submit the application for physical damage is June 24, 2016.  The deadline for businesses to submit a loan application for economic injury is Jan. 25, 2017.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property, offering low-interest disaster assistance loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

Survivors may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s customer service center by calling 800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call 800-877-8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit sba.gov/disaster.

Completed applications should be mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd.
Fort Worth, TX  76155

SBA loan applications should be submitted even as disaster survivors await an insurance settlement. The loan balance is reduced by the settlement. SBA loans may also be available for losses not covered by insurance.

Both FEMA and the SBA encourage Texans who suffered damage or loss from the April storms and were provided a loan application to complete the application.  There is no obligation to take a loan if offered. If approved, and a survivor does not accept the loan, it may make them ineligible for additional federal assistance.

  • Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence.

  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.

  • Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury. SBA offers low-interest working capital loans—called Economic Injury Disaster Loans—to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

# # #

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.

If you are heading up an application develop team or are running an IT organization and you are looking at your developers initial steps to developing cloud native applications, I want to share some experienced insights gained from PaaS customers.  For me it is a view of the path many of you may be heading down applying some best practices that can optimize Dev and Ops together.

Apprenda, one of our ACI ecosystem partners, and Cisco recently hosted a series of presentations, we called PaaS Days, about the Application-Centric Enterprise to share how private PaaS and policy driven automation together can address real-world problems such as application time-to-market, datacenter security and corporate compliance.   I want to share some insights I gained there about different application strategies for cloud. Depending on the company’s cloud maturity level and whether the management is centralized or not, the application strategy can take on a project oriented or an organization level scope.



(TNS) - A good 40 inches of rain has pelted Montgomery County this year - well ahead of the typical pace and too much at times for the usually tranquil streams in this rapidly growing area.

So regional leaders are embarking on a nearly $1 million study to improve and expand the early flood warning capabilities for the county.

Under the plan, the San Jacinto River Authority also would analyze water flows and explore ways to reduce the likelihood of flooding, such as scooping out parts of streams that can cause bottlenecks.

The authority, which manages surface water in the river basin, is teaming with Montgomery County and the city of Conroe. The entities are asking the Texas Water Development Board to cover half the costs.



At a time when some venture capitalists are holding back, one firm is moving forward. There is a very real need for new technologies in cybersecurity. For example, the attack on Office of Personnel Management last year– which affected at least 21.5 million Americans — had apparently been going on for some time, undetected. The new model is to identify the intruder in the network in real time, observe them, and then suppress that intruder’s activities. This requires active intelligence and a whole new way of thinking about cybersecurity.

“From an architectural perspective we are investing in cybersecurity technologies that are synergistic in one simple goal which is intrusion suppression,” said Tom Kellerman, CEO of Strategic Cybersecurity Ventures (SCV). “We are not investing in capabilities that are perimeter based that are focused on keeping the adversary out at all time. We are focused on capabilities that can force the adversary to be resource constrained, decrease the amount of time they are on a network, and inhibit their ability to exfiltrate your intellectual property or financial data out,” he said.

Kellerman, formerly with Trend Micro, and his two partners — Ann Barron-DiCamillo (CTO), formerly the director of US-CERT, and Hank Thomas (COO), formerly with the NSA and Booz Allen’s cyber intelligence and indigence response practice – each know what they want. Collectively they have fifty years of active experience in cybersecurity.



Why is nearly half an organization’s data loss due to insiders? A Fasoo and Ponemon Institute study found that it could be because the vast majority of IT security professionals (72 percent) aren’t confident in their ability to manage or control employee access to sensitive files. Even more worrisome is that these same professionals don’t know where those sensitive files are and have no visibility into what employees are accessing or sharing without authorization. Bill Blake, president of Fasoo, addressed this discovery:

What should be concerning to C-level executives and corporate boards is that most organizations have no idea where mission-critical information is located on the corporate network, who has access and what they are doing with that information. Organizations must be vigilant in applying and enforcing security policies as well as knowing where the organization's most valuable information is located at all times.


Netwrix’s leading visibility and governance platform empowers Microsoft Azure users with complete visibility in the cloud

IRVINE, Calif. – Netwrix Corporation, the first to introduce a visibility and governance platform that supports both on-premises and hybrid cloud IT environments, announced today that Netwrix Auditor is now available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace. This enables customers to move to the cloud with confidence and gain rigorous control over the entire cloud environment to maintain security and meet compliance requirements. Netwrix has already offered a solution for Office 365 and AWS services to ensure visibility into cloud-based environments.

As both private and public organizations strive for the better scalability, reliability and efficiency of IT operations, more and more of them consider various cloud options. However concerns regarding data integrity still hinder cloud adoption, says Netwrix 2015 Cloud Security Survey. Facing nearly the same risks, around 30% of organizations name advanced facilities for security and data privacy the key factor that would change their opinion and encourage cloud migration.

Netwrix Auditor offers the following benefits for Microsoft Azure customers:

  • Complete visibility in the cloud. Advanced analytics capabilities provide organizations with a complete overview of what is going on in their hybrid and cloud environment, while powerful security analytics enables them to conduct comprehensive root cause analysis and accelerate threat detection. This ensures rigorous control over companies’ most critical assets, simplifies compliance efforts and increases efficiency of IT operations.

  • Fast and simple deployment. Netwrix Auditor works out-of-the-box and provides all prerequisites, e.g. Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL Server Express, .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and GPMC preinstalled to ensure fast deployment and decrease time to value.

  • Flexible licensing. Netwrixoffers two licensing models forNetwrix Auditor on Azure: BYOL (bring your own license) or an hourly subscription license based on the number of users.

  • Comprehensive customer service. Customers with Netwrix Auditor deployments on Microsoft Azure get high-speed technical support for business-critical issues over the phone or email in24/7 mode.

  • Availability. The Netwrix Auditor platform on Azure sets no limits on customers’ geographical location and can be deployed from any region in the world.

Netwrix Auditoris a visibility and governance platform that enables control over changes, configurations and access in hybrid-cloud IT environments in order to protect sensitive data regardless of its location. It supports a wide range of systems and is empowered with RESTful API to deliver visibility and control across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure in a unified way. The platform provides cross-system security analytics to detect anomalies in user behavior and investigate threat patterns before a data breach occurs.

Security of hybrid IT environments becomes one of the most pressing issues for organizations,” said Alex Vovk, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix. “Despite the rapid development of cloud technology, lack of visibility and access control remain the main issues that prevent organizations from fearlessly moving their assets to the cloud. Netwrix extends visibility to Microsoft Azure and provides its customers with continuous control over data stored on-premises and in the cloud. This will help companies across the globe increase the effectiveness of their security programs, avoid unnecessary hardware expenses and quickly respond to ever-changing business needs.”

Learn more about Netwrix Auditor on Microsoft Azure Marketplace: http://www.netwrix.com/netwrix_auditor_on_microsoft_azure.html

About Netwrix Corporation

Netwrix Corporation was the first to introduce a visibility and governance platform that supports both on-premises and hybrid cloud IT environments. More than 150,000 IT departments worldwide rely on Netwrix to detect insider threats on premises and in the cloud, pass compliance audits with less expense and increase productivity of IT security and operations teams. Founded in 2006, Netwrix has earned more than 90 industry awards and been named to both the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. For more information, visit www.netwrix.com.

Oracle's Expanded Portfolio of Database Appliances Are Now Available for Enterprise and Midmarket Organizations, and Provide Customers With a Pathway to the Cloud

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Today, Oracle announced two new models of its Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) bringing all of the performance and reliability of Oracle's Engineered Systems to small and mid-sized businesses for the first time.

In addition, as organizations seek opportunities to transition to the cloud, Oracle's new database appliances provide a bridge between on-premise systems and the cloud. In the future, organizations that plan to connect their ODAs to the Oracle Cloud can seamlessly back up their data automatically.

"Bringing in Oracle Database Appliances definitely reduced the complexity of our environment and allowed us to support our 25X data growth over the past few years," said Jacqueline Hufford-Jenson, Senior Manager, Database Administration, LifeLock, a fast-growing, mid-market company. "Today, using the Oracle Database Appliance straight out of the box, we get significantly reduced latency, which has played a role in helping us grow as a company."

Oracle's portfolio of database appliances, like all Oracle Engineered Systems, enables organizations to simplify their journey to the cloud. Customers can backup or archive their critical data, and easily move their workloads to the Oracle Cloud whenever needed. Central to these new versions of the ODA is support for the Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 and Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.

"We're excited to bring the power, simplicity and capabilities of Oracle's Engineered Systems in at a price point that allows every organization to save time and money," said Jim Gargan, senior vice president of Oracle Converged Infrastructure. "With the family of database appliances, Oracle offers built-in expertise for single-instance database and high-availability deployments, while providing a bridge between on-premise systems and the cloud, enabling all of our customers to capitalize on their investment."

The Oracle Database Appliance is designed to run single-instance databases, database consolidation of multiple databases, and high-availability designs.

Added features include:

  • Starting price of $18,000 for new, entry-level database appliance for single or small database instances;
  • Reducing time to value, customers can deploy in as little as 30 minutes;
  • NVMe Flash drives for ultimate performance and reliability;
  • Integration to Oracle Cloud, allowing businesses to backup and archive their critical data as well as migrate workloads to the cloud when ready.

"Since Oracle owns the entire stack, its systems are fully hardware-software integrated, pre-tested, and optimized from silicon to applications. They are quickly deployed, extend smoothly to Oracle's cloud, and the various systems seem to work well together. The latest family members, Oracle Database Appliance X6-2S and X6-2M, should help small and medium-sized businesses put a fully operational entry-level Oracle database in place -- apparently no screwdrivers required," said Peter Rutten, Analyst, IDC Computing Platforms Group.

Additional Information

About Oracle
Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle, visit oracle.com.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


NFV and SDN Technologies Prove Beneficial, but Growing Skills Gap Poses Challenges

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, today released survey results from over 2,700 IT and business decision-makers (ITDMs and BDMs), revealing that companies are not prepared for the inevitable impact of digital disruption.

The new global report from Wakefield Research and Juniper Networks:

  • Highlights the ongoing disconnect between IT and the C-Suite;
  • Draws attention to the reality of how prepared -- or unprepared -- companies are for the digital disruption that has already hit some industries; and
  • Reinforces the benefits of automation investments to increase business agility and stay ahead of the disruption curve.

"For over 20 years, Juniper has partnered with customers to embrace business growth by investing in network innovation," said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. "True innovation requires an understanding of the value that technology delivers. Now more than ever, savvy technology investments are vital to maintaining a business advantage. The C-Suite doesn't need to code, but leading a company strategy for growth requires a strong relationship between those who set the strategy and those who execute."

Arm your current and future IT leaders for the disruption ahead

More than half of the respondents (55 percent of ITDMs and 51 percent of BDMs) expect a new disruptive technology, product or service to be introduced to their industry within the next two years. However, IT departments aren't feeling prepared for the changes ahead. Almost half (45 percent) of ITDMs surveyed believe a quarter or more of their IT workforce will not have the skills they need to succeed five years from now.

To address the skills gap currently hindering organizations from fully capitalizing on opportunities stemming from the expected digital disruption, Juniper Networks today announced an expansion of the company's OpenLab program to seven locations worldwide. OpenLab provides customers, partners, academics and other industry leaders with hands-on access to network automation workshops, educational programs and dedicated lab resources.

In addition, Juniper is working with innovative educational provider, General Assembly, to develop a curriculum to help the business and technology community gain highly sought-after and practical skills in order to remain relevant in today's rapidly changing technology employment landscape.

School your C-Suite and brace for rapid change

Nearly nine in 10 respondents (84 percent of ITDMs and 84 percent of BDMs) admit their organization would perform better if their current C-Suite were more tech-savvy.

A lack of investment in IT creates a barrier to innovation, preventing business from keeping up with the pace of change and staying competitive. Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent of ITDMs and 50 percent of BDMs) expect it would take one or more years for their company to develop and support an improved product or service if challenged by a competitor. That's time they may not have given the speed at which disruption can hit.

What's worse, legacy infrastructure is slowing business growth. More than half of respondents indicated their company's IT infrastructure would be very or somewhat likely to create an obstacle in accelerating a new product or service.

To remain relevant today, organizations need to address impending industry disruption by rethinking their IT approach to ensure they are investing in ongoing innovation. Market advantage is more likely to last when leadership stays at the forefront of technology innovation.

"Even access to the best tech doesn't ensure digital success in today's competitive environment. Companies must have the right mix of talent to lead and execute successful technology transformation. And they must continually ensure that their talent is 'digitally ready,' by both recruiting and training with an eye for the skills that will help them meet demand and scale in an agile, shifting technology landscape," said Fiona Vickers, Senior Client Partner and Managing Director, Digital at Korn Ferry, the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, that recently published a report entitled Leaders for a Digital Transformation.

Invest in automation

To stay ahead of the disruption curve, organizations should prioritize network automation investments. Study results show that both ITDMs and BDMs see IT and network automation as essential for their company's future competitiveness.

Nearly three in four respondents (70 percent of ITDMs and 72 percent of BDMs) say they're excited by the opportunities network and IT automation create for their company. Of the ITDMs already using software-defined networking (SDN) or network functions virtualization (NFV), nearly all (93 percent) say it's given them a significant edge over their competitors.

ITDMs at companies that have adopted SDN report greater benefits and capabilities than they originally expected; respondents were most likely to report cloud interconnect, virtual data center and security automation as the business benefits of SDN adoption. ITDMs at companies that have adopted NFV reported greater benefits and capabilities than they originally expected; respondents were most likely to report that NFV adoption enables virtual security, virtual routing and WAN optimization.

The study, commissioned by Juniper Networks, was conducted by Wakefield Research via an online survey of 2,704 respondents in the U.S., China, Australia, Japan, India, U.K., Germany and France. Click here for more information or to download the full report.

Supporting Quotes:

"General Assembly is focused on providing training that empowers professionals through practical and engaging programs that companies need to stay competitive in today's digital age. The findings in Juniper's study are another indication for companies around the world to invest in their talent and confront a very real skills gap."

- Charlie Schilling, General Assembly, GM, Enterprise

"Service providers need to offer customers turnkey services on scale to drive business growth. This requires creative network management capabilities to orchestrate and automate the delivery of innovative services. Being able to harness the power of network functions virtualization coupled with advancing workforce skills sets are now imperative elements for companies to compete and stay ahead of digital disruption."

- Conleth McCallan, managing director at Datanet

"As a cloud engineering and consulting company, we've seen first-hand the benefits of adopting SDN as we help our customers keep up with their rapidly growing businesses. We've been at the forefront of realizing the cost-saving and operational benefits of a software-defined approach and our software defined infrastructure, A.C.R.E. (Advanced Cloud Resource Elements), has allowed our customers to deliver new data center and IT infrastructure that can scale as their customers' needs change and grow. SDN is a game-changer in our industry and has implications not only for our customers, but our customers' customers as well. We are committed to acting as advisors and bridging the skills gap to allow our customers to realize the benefits of software-defined IT services based on highly scalable, flexible and automated platforms."

- Kevin Fibich, founder and managing director at CloudSeeds

Additional Resources

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. Our team co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure networks with agility, performance and value. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on Twitter and Facebook.

Juniper Networks and Junos are registered trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Juniper Networks and Junos logos are trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.