Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Tectrade joins Catalogic’s reseller program to deliver advanced software-only copy data management to its enterprise customers

 

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJCatalogic Software, a leading provider of in-place copy data management, today announced that Tectrade has joined the Catalogic partner program to bring Catalogic’s ECX copy data management platform to its customers in the United Kingdom. Tectrade is a leading MSP providing data protection, storage solutions, big data and cloud managed services.

 

Catalogic’s ECX platform delivers “in-place” copy data management, allowing the IT team to make optimal use of its existing infrastructure and data in a manner that is efficient, automated, scalable and easy to use.

Catalogic enables IT to deliver the data access required for its internal and external customers to meet mission critical operations including data protection, disaster recovery, test and development and others. With automation, orchestration and self-service functionality, ECX allows the IT team to modernize their operations using existing storage and virtualization infrastructure without disruption.

 

The Catalogic solution is a natural fit for Tectrade. With over 25 years of experience at the cutting edge of data management, Tectrade delivers proven, enterprise-class solutions, and has a customer list that spans industries and continents. The company’s expertise and experience ensure its data solutions are supported by proven, enterprise-class technologies, including IBM Tivoli StorageManager, IBM Enterprise Storage, IBM Optim, IBM Guardium, IBM Enterprise Storage, IBM PureData and IBM Pureflex. As an IBM Premier Business Partner, Tectrade was recognized with two 2015 Centre for Technical Excellence (CoTE) awards.

 

“As we speak with clients, we see the increased importance in the role of data management in support of their most important IT functions,” said Alex Fagioli, CEO of Tectrade. “As we analyzed solutions, we recognized that Catalogic is the ideal platform to augment how we assist existing and prospective clients who are looking to improve operations without significant disruption or taking on extensive new capital costs. Tectrade is excited to join Catalogic’s partner program and bring Catalogic’s copy data management solution, ECX, to our customers.”

 

“We are excited to welcome Tectrade to the Catalogic family of partners,” said Ed Walsh, CEO of Catalogic Software. “They are an ideal business partner to bring copy data management to the UK market, as their deep experience in storage and data management gives them a solid understanding of both the client challenges, and the requirements for a comprehensive solution. Their selection of Catalogic is a real endorsement of our in-place copy data management approach.”

 

About Catalogic Software

Catalogic Software is the market’s leading software provider of intelligent Copy Data solutions. Founded in 1996 and with thousands of customers worldwide, Catalogic’s mission is to enable IT organizations to leverage their copy data, delivering significant reductions to CAPEX and OPEX while providing superior services to the business. With its software products, Catalogic helps clients Manage, Orchestrate and Analyze their Copy Data across their enterprise and cloud in support of mission critical IT functions including disaster recovery, test/dev, DevOps, next generation data protection, and business analytics. Catalogic has a state-of-the-art Partner Program, and its products are sold exclusively through its global network of distributors and value-added resellers. Visit the Catalogic Partner page at catalogicsoftware.com/partners and download a free trial version to see the impact of ECX firsthand at: catalogicsoftware.com/products/trial

 

About Tectrade

Tectrade are a leading global data management services and solutions provider. We work in partnership with our clients to better control, protect and optimise this business-critical resource, reducing cost and risk along the way. For organisations who create, consume, move and analyse large volumes of data, Tectrade provides a comprehensive range of data management services, helping them Control and manage the explosion of enterprise data, reduce the direct and associated costs of managing data and make better business decisions using trusted, real-time data. This means our clients can focus on their core business – i.e. what they’re experts in. To find out more about us please visit www.tectrade.com

ROCKY POINT, N.Y. – Based on information from the National Flood Insurance Program ALL flood insurance POLICIES are subject to new assessments and surcharges. Premiums are expected to increase 9% on average. New York, Nassau & Suffolk homeowners can expect flood insurance rates to continue to rise year over year, with the highest increase of 25% for homes that were substantially damaged by hurricane Sandy. Do you know how your policy or coverage will be affected?

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160518/369198

"Understanding the complexity of recent flood insurance rate changes while considering the policyholders specific needs is where choosing Coastal insurance becomes the natural choice," says David W. Clausen, CEO of Coastal Insurance Solutions on Long Island, NY. "With a rising rate environment it is imperative that policyholders seek the expertise of a flood insurance professional. The BEST insurance agents offer mitigation advice to their clients before their premiums become unaffordable. Many agents can write flood policies," continues Clausen, "but not all are EXPERTS on the product."

Knowledge is Power and choosing an agent that continually updates their education in the industry keeps Coastal insurance ahead of the wave.

Coastal Insurance Solutions specializes in homeowner and flood insurances on Long Island and in New York State. They represent numerous A+ A.M. BEST rated insurance carriers in NY, NJ, CT & FL.

Let them review your insurance policy for free advice.

We live in a world where the rate of change is accelerating at speeds never seen before. Our climate is in a state of flux, there is political instability and consumers seem to change their minds at a whim, not to mention technology that is advancing at exponential rates. So how can organizations keep up? Resilience is the key, and a new standard in development aimed at strengthening resilience has just reached a crucial stage.

Organizational resilience is the ability for an organization to respond and adapt to change, anticipate future threats and opportunities and understand its vulnerabilities. It includes effective planning and decision making to build adaptive capacity in complex and rapidly changing circumstances and the agility to manage a broad range of risks unique to its operation.

A new International Standard is being developed that will provide the principles, attributes and activities that can strengthen an organization’s resilience, and it has just reached the final commenting and voting stage before publication.

ISO 22316, Security and resilience – Guidelines for organizational resilience,currently being developed in technical committee ISO/TC 292, which is led by SIS, ISO’s member for Sweden, features a framework to help organizations future-proof their business by building and sustaining their adaptive capacity to transform and renew themselves in the light of complex change. James Crask, the Convenor of ISO/TC 292 working group 2, the group of experts working directly on this project, said a shared vision and purpose and a diversity of skills, leadership and knowledge are just some of the many attributes of a resilient organization.

“Enhancing resilience should really be at the heart of any organization’s purpose,” he said. “Being aware of potential vulnerabilities, adapting to change and the ability to turn threats into opportunities are means to ensure a business not only survives, but thrives. This standard will provide the principles to create a resilience culture, make effective use of an organization’s knowledge, encourage effective and empowered leaders and enable an organization to deliver on its commitments in the face of change.”

Interested parties are invited to comment on the draft standard and can do so by contacting their national ISO member.

The draft version of ISO 22316 is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store, and the final version is due to be published in 2017.

The Business Continuity Institute - May 18, 2016 17:04 BST

The figures are well rehearsed:

  • 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close within 18 months
  • 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut within 2 years

And yet it’s somehow unsurprising to find that few SMEs consider business continuity a priority.

Why do businesses avoid crucial planning?

The reasons aren’t hard to find. Apart from total disaster junkies no one particularly likes to think about crises and for most SMEs just surviving is a daily struggle. Keeping all the plates spinning in the air requires 100% attention, who is going to slice out even 1% just to consider a bunch of scary ‘what if’ scenarios?

But perhaps someone senior in your organisation feels the extra effort should be made – perhaps that person is you. What then? Well if potential crisis scenarios are scary then so is the prospect of dealing with business impact analyses, risk assessments and the whole task of writing a business continuity plan. Even the jargon is intimidating particularly for someone with little or no business continuity experience or training.

Large companies employ business continuity specialists, many have a whole dedicated department or can afford to employ outside contractors to help with writing and testing plans. Not an option for most SMEs.

In addition, resilience implies at least some form of contingency - for example a recovery site - and how many businesses can afford duplication when the boss is always trying to find ways to cut costs, not increase them.

The financial case for business continuity

The tried, tested and not always successful counter argument goes like this. If it seems like a lot of time, effort and expenditure to adopt business continuity practices, the cost of these will be as nothing compared to the cost of enduring a catastrophe and its aftermath without a plan.

It can be a persuasive argument, but so can: “Yes I agree, but right now we don’t have time for that, because just in case you haven’t noticed we’ve got 300 orders to get out, Acme Suppliers have just told me they can’t deliver until Thursday, and the wage bill needs to be met at the end of the month.” That can be a pretty persuasive argument too with the result that resilience gets kicked into the long grass.

But here’s the cruel paradox. Big businesses can often withstand a crisis; they have the money, the expertise and plans in place to deal with disruption. SMEs are far more vulnerable and business disruption, even for just a few days, can be terminal given their limited resources and manpower.

Business continuity and business as usual

So what can SMEs do to become more resilient? If the money and effort to produce and test a business continuity plan is either too much to ask or more realistically just not going to happen then what about building business continuity into business as usual? It might also lead to a more efficient workplace.

Instead of writing a BC plan, what about documenting workplace procedures, suppliers, inventories, equipment maintenance along with contact details for staff and external stakeholders? And talking of external stakeholders what about developing key stakeholder templates? Why is this person/company important to us, what services do they provide or what services do we provide them? Add contact details and names and you have a useful document that can be beneficial anytime, not just in an emergency.

Moving things forward

Inventories should include all the equipment your firm needs to get the job done and that even applies to very small businesses that operate from peoples’ homes. If you make a list of all your personal items for insurance purposes, you will likely do the same for computers and other business equipment. Have this list available so if the equipment is lost (perhaps your office is flooded) you know exactly what you need to get back up and running. Keeping that list current will also mean your list of insured items is easily updated.

Personnel changes can cause problems for small firms where far fewer people are available to fill gaps or be promoted. Staff training time will likely be limited so why not document office procedures and job descriptions including roles and responsibilities? Then if crisis strikes and key employees are not available – perhaps they are ill or on holiday – you at least have a clear indication as to what their jobs entail should other staff have to fill the vacancy or new staff are hired on a temporary or permanent basis. Once again you are streamlining office efficiency and will have information in place that will help during an emergency.

What about office security? A couple of years ago UK civil servants seemed to leave laptops on trains and in restaurants with bewildering regularity. That trend seems to have diminished but often a very light touch is displayed when it comes to information security. Once again your office document should include all the encryption and protection protocols your staff are expected to follow.

The same goes for IT back up, particularly now when even smart phones carry huge amounts of sensitive work related content. In many cases procedures for protection and storage have not kept pace with available technology. Make sure yours are up to date and documented.

Small steps with big impact

Writing a document setting out work procedures and job descriptions should not be intimidating for those involved in business. There need be no scary and little understood jargon and will not cost a fortune to produce – just the time taken by those tasked with it’s implementation. The one caveat is that this is a live document and will need constant updating - so someone will have to grasp that nettle and make sure it is reviewed on a monthly basis. If it’s well written in the first place that shouldn’t take too long.

Resilience can seem like a giant step for many small businesses, but good office management should be achievable by any dynamic and well-intentioned SME. Document it and you may not have a full blown BC plan but you’ll have the next best thing, which may well help your business run more efficiently in normal times and might just save your bacon in a crisis – now that’s what I call a return on time invested.

jim.preen@crisis-solutions.com" style="color:#3d9bbc">Jim Preen is a Senior Consultant at Crisis Solutions

IT Infrastructure company Peak 10 shares results of its 2nd National IT Trends in Healthcare study on the topics of compliance, IT outsourcing and cloud security

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – National IT infrastructure and cloud services provider Peak 10 revealed today in its 2nd National IT Trends in Healthcare study, that healthcare CIOs are under pressure to keep up with rapid advancements in interoperability, big data and security challenges.  Peak 10, which published its inaugural National IT Trends in Healthcare study last year, surveyed another 157 C-level executives and information technology professionals across the U.S. again this year.  The study delivers unique insights based on data that illustrate industry challenges and provides a window into the future of the healthcare industry.  Among these, the study shows that hospital groups are moving to outsource IT functions; adopt SaaS and cloud-based solutions; implement telemedicine portals; and rely on analytics and big data to accommodate the rapidly growing analyst-based workforce.

“Technology is changing at a rapid rate and while it is making patient’s lives easier, it is also increasing the amount of information that is at risk of falling into the wrong hands,” says David Kidd, VP of governance, risk and compliance at Peak 10. “Although healthcare organizations have been cautious about moving to the cloud, they are now recognizing the benefits and security in the cloud. This allows for more time to be spent on patients and the organization’s core mission.”

Additional findings from the study include:

·         Now more than ever hospitals are seeing the benefits and efficiencies of moving towards outsourcing and trusting the cloud, cited by up to 50 percent increase in cloud services (IaaS)

·         Data privacy and security are still primary concerns due to recent ransomware attacks on hospitals according to 59 percent of respondents

·         IT budgets are expected to increase in the next 12 months according to 67 percent of healthcare IT leaders

·         Some of the top initiatives that CIOs and IT leaders at healthcare organizations are concerned with, include hardware and software upgrades, EHR systems, analytics and big data initiatives, patient portals and leveraging IT to manage their population health initiatives

·         The main challenges they face are system interoperability issues, meeting security and compliance, and balancing their human capital resources to meet regulatory and business requirements

As the role of information technology in healthcare rapidly evolves, sound technology infrastructures allow organizations to become more efficient but also recognize the barriers they face in protecting patient data and meeting government regulations. In addition to other healthcare IT content and resources from Peak 10, the complete, complimentary research findings from The Peak 10 2nd National IT Trends in Healthcare study can be downloaded exclusively here: http://bit.ly/1V6FAD7.  

“It’s important to Peak 10 to stay ahead of the trends in the Healthcare IT industry and be able to support where needed,” says Christina Kyriazi, product marketing and analytics manager at Peak 10. “By researching and completing studies, such as the National IT Trends in Healthcare study, we are gaining insights to provide the best service for our customers and their staff.”

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Peak 10 is one of the largest healthcare cloud providers in the U.S. based on the number of signed business associate agreements (BAAs). It operates 27 data centers and serves a diverse range of customers in the U.S. and abroad.  To learn more, visit www.peak10.com.

About The Peak 10 National IT Trends in Healthcare study

Peak 10 conducted The Peak 10 National IT Trends in Healthcare study in March 2016 by interviewing 157 IT decision makers across the U.S. A follow-up series of in-depth, one-on-one qualitative phone interviews was conducted with a subset of respondents. The results reflect current market conditions and healthcare IT market trends for the next two years as evidenced by statistics on data privacy and security breaches from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services(HHS).

About Peak 10

Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are flexible and designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus internal IT resources on their core competencies. Peak 10 undergoes annual examinations by third party auditors and helps companies meet the compliance requirements of various regulatory and industry standards such as SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, HIPAA, PCI DSS, FISMA, ISO 27001 and ITAR. For more information, visit www.peak10.com or the Peak 10 Newsroom for the latest news.

During Business Continuity Awareness Week 2016, RockDove Solutions Offers Tips for Streamlining Accessibility to Business Continuity Plans, Including its Recent Work with Fluidmaster

HERNDON, Va. – Just in time for Business Continuity Awareness Week 2016, May 16-20, RockDove Solutions announced that Fluidmaster, the industry leader in toilet valve technology and repair products, is using its crisis management solution, In Case of Crisis, to mobilize Fluidmaster’s business continuity and emergency response plans and turn them into digital playbooks.

Fluidmaster has two plans available via the In Case of Crisis app: a business continuity plan for its incident management team who were previously using flash drives and binders, and a general emergency response plan for every worker in its headquarters. By making these plans more accessible and actionable, the In Case of Crisis app is helping to strengthen Fluidmaster’s resiliency during any crisis.

“Our incident management team has embraced In Case of Crisis due to its quick ability to view organizational recovery plans on any mobile device and even when Wi-Fi is not available,” said Deborah Wright, senior program coordinator of Fluidmaster. “Employees might not be able to get a signal on their phones – a real concern in earthquake-prone California – but with the mobile app they won’t need one since business continuity plans will already be at their fingertips.”

During Business Continuity Awareness Week 2016, RockDove Solutions is offering organizations the following business continuity best practices:

  1. Increase accessibility to plans -- Organizations should use mobile technology so business continuity plans are available to all important internal and external stakeholders and employees on their smartphones or tablets at all times. This empowers them to perform their emergency response tactics sooner, which leads to a faster recovery.
  2. Update your plans frequently – Sharing the most up-to-date recovery plans and procedures is crucial for achieving optimal business resilience. With new threats emerging every day, from weather emergencies to cyber attacks, a mobile app can help you quickly distribute updated plans to make sure everyone is prepared to respond to a crisis and get back to normal business as soon as possible. 
  3. Communicate in real-time – Digitizing business continuity plans allows organizations to push real-time updates and alerts to relevant stakeholders and employees even if they are out of the office, which can help to prevent dangerous delays in your business’ recovery.
  4. Practice your plans – Recovery begins when a crisis starts, so it is important to be confident in your business continuity plans. Take time to run through drills with all stakeholders to make sure they can react quickly and decisively and to ensure there are no potential gaps or vulnerabilities within plans.

 For more, visit www.rockdovesolutions.com.

About RockDove Solutions

RockDove Solutions, developer of the adaptable mobile crisis management solution In Case of Crisis, helps organizations turns their crisis management, business continuity, emergency preparedness, and workplace safety plans into accessible and actionable digital playbooks. Serving hundreds of public and private institutions, in the rapidly growing enterprise mobile marketplace, the company’s award-winning, customizable crisis app prepares companies to quickly and effectively respond to crises. For more information, visit www.rockdovesolutions.com.

(TNS) - In a training exercise, the Frederick County Health Department practiced distributing medication to the public last week in a scenario in which thousands may have been exposed to aerosolized anthrax.

According to Barbara Rosvold, director of public health preparedness at the county health department, the drill went smoothly.

The practice scenario involved a widespread release of anthrax through the air, though the department did not specify a pretend source for the release.

In the scenario, the anthrax was detected by a sensor in Washington, D.C., necessitating an emergency action plan in the surrounding areas, Rosvold said.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/County-distributes-sample-medication-in-anthrax-release-drill.html

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 00:00

HDD vs SSD – which lasts longer?

Many comparisons can be made between a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a Solid State Drive (SSD); cost, speed, data storage capacity – there’s no end of areas to consider. However in this post, we’ll be looking specifically at the durability of HDDs and SSDs to assess if there is any difference in life expectancy between the two data storage types.

Physical failures

It’s important to firstly note that any life expectancy figures for HDDs and SSDs alike cannot be 100% guaranteed. These estimates assume manufacturer’s recommended environmental conditions and do not take into consideration extremes of temperature, humidity and physical mishandling. In fact, out of almost 2000 devices surveyed between January and March 2016, at least 30% had sustained some form of physical damage to cause the media to stop working and/or cause data loss.

...

http://blog.krollontrack.co.uk/making-data-simple/hdd-vs-ssd-which-lasts-longer/

Moving security operations away from your security team? This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s something that we see happening more and more. Nimmy Reichenberg explains why this is happening and highlights the advantages of the approach.

Escalating security requirements, the growing risks of breaches and outages, and the shortage of skilled and experienced security staff is forcing businesses to find new ways to make more efficient use of their security specialists. As a result, organizations are directing their security teams to focus on protecting the network from external and internal threats, and increasingly handing over operational tasks to other areas of IT.

I see this as a positive development. However, for this transition to be successful, there are certain processes and conditions that need to be in place first.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/technology/1114-why-you-should-move-security-away-from-security

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 00:00

Plan the Test, Test the Plan

If your organization has an Emergency Notification Service (ENS) in place, it’s already taken an important step toward communicating faster and more effectively in critical situations. But, if the solution is not routinely “touched,” or better yet, tested, you could still be at risk in an actual emergency. Consider the following recommendations from Send Word Now to create a full and repeatable test cycle, ensuring your alerting readiness.

Set a regular testing schedule and stick with it – It’s important to test your ENS on a regular basis. Test your system frequently with a small group of administrators or other participants. Conduct widespread exercises at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure recipient familiarity with notifications and procedures. As a BC professional, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing your solution is working and your people know what to do.

...

http://blog.sendwordnow.com/plan-the-test-test-the-plan