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Volume 29, Issue 5

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

Thursday, 28 July 2016 00:00

Do You Know the Current Business Climate?

Understanding how the business climate is changing  will allow to you start looking at how you may need to change your recovery and resiliency strategies.

I was recently talking with my father who was in the convenience store and gasoline distribution business his entire career. We were talking about planning and how the business climate changes over time. He mentioned that when pay-at-the-pump devices first came to stations, his company resisted implementing them. Their convenience store model was to get customers to walk into the store to pay so they would purchase additional items. Their money was not made on gas sales, but on the sale of store items (beverages, candy, etc.). My father was an advocate of putting the new pumps in. He saw it as being more important than just having customers walk into the store, but instead making sure that customers were comfortable using the store for both gas purchases and quick stops for other items. If they got in the habit of using a different store to get gas because of pay-at-the-pump, they would likely stop at that store for drinks and other items as well. The result: a lost customer.

Do you know how your business climate may be evolving? Do your current processes or paradigms still meet customer needs and desires? In previous blogs and presentations, we have encouraged those in continuity planning to learn about their business processes. Understanding how the business climate is changing – and how business processes and functions may be changing along with that – will allow to you start looking at how you may need to change your recovery and resiliency strategies.

Consider the items below as you identify how your business may be changing.

...

http://www.mha-it.com/2016/07/current-business-climate/

We know that ransomware is a menace for just about everyone, but the health care industry has been hit unusually hard by this particular type of attack. In fact, according to Solutionary’s Security Engineering Research Team (SERT) Quarterly Threat Report for Q2 2016, the health care industry represented 88 percent of all ransomware detections during the second quarter.

Think about that number for a moment. Ransomware seems to be everywhere, yet, 88 percent of detections were in one industry. Education and finance were second and third, at 6 and 4 percent, respectively.

Now, it must be noted that we may not be getting the full picture, as Solutionary threat intelligence communication manager Jon-Louis Heimerl told SC Magazine, after pointing out that the analysis was based on actual ransomware activities:

 
...

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 May-June storms and flooding.

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

The deadline to submit the application for physical damage is Aug. 10. The deadline for businesses to submit a loan application for economic injury is March 11, 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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.

The SBA encourages Texans who suffered damage or loss from the May-June storms and flooding complete the SBA loan application they received. There is no obligation to take a loan if offered. If approved, and a survivor does not accept the loan, it may make one 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.

Download fema.gov/mobile-app to locate open shelters and disaster recovery centers, receive severe weather alerts, safety tips and much more.

Your organization probably already has more data than it knows what to do with. Yet, it's quite likely you're overlooking, disregarding, unaware of, or unable to access important information that could directly affect analyses and business outcomes.

It doesn't matter what your universe of data is -- enterprise data or a combination of internal and external data sources -- important nuggets of information may be missing.

"Companies are collecting more data, but often struggle with what to do with it," said Dave Hartman, president and founder of technology advisory firm Hartman Executive Advisors. "Data can be extremely overwhelming in its raw form."

...

http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/12-types-of-data-it-cant-afford-to-overlook/d/d-id/1326399

A 12 Month Look Back at Business Transformation Through True Software Defined Storage

MELVILLE, NY – FalconStor Software® Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC), a 16-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, has enjoyed an unprecedented response from enterprise customers, MSPs, and OEMs since first releasing its groundbreaking FreeStor® software platform one year ago. Globally, FreeStor now manages the data of more than 250 customers, representing a who's who of companies including Nintendo, Fujitsu, Volkswagen, and Hitachi, and numerous organizations through MSP and OEM partners.

"The industry is moving toward storage environments built on commodity hardware and will continue to be differentiated by software and services. Technologies like the FreeStor platform are crucial at not only simplifying data management and protection but freeing the organizations from vendor-specific solutions and constraints," said Lynda Stadtmueller, Vice President Cloud Computing Services at Frost & Sullivan. "Technology leadership that contributes to the ongoing adoption of software-defined storage is welcomed by the market, and in particular by MSPs, CSPs and storage suppliers who need greater flexibility in designing modern storage solutions."

FreeStor's horizontal, heterogeneous software-defined storage platform helps these organizations attain maximum flexibility, operational efficiency, and economic value out of existing storage environments, future storage investments, and seamlessly transition to new paradigms like public cloud, hybrid cloud, as well as heterogeneous flash and disk storage. Cloud and Managed Service Providers in FalconStor's ecosystem use FreeStor to deliver these benefits to their end users. FreeStor's predictive analytics provides real-time and historical analytics across heterogeneous storage systems to better manage capacity, performance, and availability. FreeStor's unified data services are also delivered across the entire storage infrastructure with always-on availability and continuity, enabling users to move, synchronize and protect data seamlessly across virtual and physical storage platforms.

Since its debut only one year ago, FreeStor's accomplishments include:

  • Added the industry's first intelligent predictive analytics across heterogeneous storage with real-time and over time insights from a single dashboard, regardless of storage vendor or location
  • Developed cloud-connected Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) offerings for more value to MSPs and Cloud Service Providers without cloud vendor lock-in or added hardware and complexity
  • Delivered integration with OpenStack, Oracle VM, and SAP HANA
  • Hypervisor agnostic support for VMWare, Hyper-V, Xen, and KVM
  • FalconStor's total number of FreeStor customers in the first half of 2016 is up over 50 percent compared to all of 2015.
  • FreeStor capacity sold in 1H16 is 1100% more than what was sold in all of 2015
  • One of the top global accounting firms is now using FreeStor to deliver data protection, recovery, business continuity and data migration
  • German utility service provider Saarbrücker Stadtwerke deployed FreeStor to build its state-of-the-art data centers and data services offerings
  • 15 worldwide MSPs now use FreeStor to deliver top-tier services for their clients
    IT Service Provider LG CNS is using FreeStor to deliver Korea's first enterprise-class DRaaS deployment with global follow-the-sun availability
  • Received nearly a dozen media and industry awards, including four Product of the Year awards

"FreeStor helps us to provide infrastructure services that support our business to provide the highest levels of availability and data security," said Sandor Orban, Technical Lead Infrastructure Services at Sunrise Communications Group AG, the largest private telecommunications provider in Switzerland. "While the future is always changing, we know that FreeStor will be able to help us further optimize our environment, continuing the trend to consolidate and reduce costs without compromising our customer values."

"Our customers in the three verticals we support, especially in finance, are looking for differentiators -- ways to separate out the various managed service providers and pick the one with the most critical technologies and varied support," said Gabriel Enzo Gagliardi, CEO of Imptech, one of Latin America's largest MSPs. "Our clients needed a solution that could promote better utilization, reducing overall storage costs and migrate data seamlessly when the need arises. We felt the FreeStor platform could provide our customers with an intelligent and flexible technology layer that enables common, efficient and cost-effective storage services, and centralized management of storage resources across an organization."

"In an era of hardware commoditization, it can be difficult for end users to distinguish one product from another, so integration and partnerships are critical for demonstrating innovation and value," said Yann Rolland, CEO of Synerway, a vendor of storage appliances based in France. "FalconStor has developed a truly groundbreaking portfolio that transforms data center operations and gives end users the unified and modernized approach to protection and recovery that enterprises want."

"This past year has been one of remarkable success in both our technology development and the embrace of some very distinct market segments -- enterprises, service providers, and hardware vendor partners -- each of which have different requirements, yet each find FreeStor to be the best solution for modernizing their storage environments," said Gary Quinn, FalconStor President and CEO. "The introduction of FreeStor also signified a remarkable new shift or pivot point for the company, and while any progress comes with unique growing pains, I have confidence in our team and our vision for making enterprise storage more efficient and available, without regard to growing data volumes or architectural complexity. FreeStor is setting these users free."

FreeStor is sold via subscription pricing to enable users to pay-as-they-grow, based on capacity, eliminating the unpredictability of capacity expansion and renewal costs often associated with traditional storage platforms. MSPs resell FreeStor as a branded service to their own clients or use FreeStor internally to manage client data across disparate systems and environments. OEMs integrate FreeStor, often private-labeled, to gain the competitive edge of a far more sophisticated and powerful storage management option than they could develop in-house. For more information visit https://falconstor.com/page/630/why-freestor.

About FalconStor

FalconStor Software® Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged data services software platform that is hardware agnostic. Our open, integrated flagship solution, FreeStor®, reduces vendor lock-in and gives enterprises the freedom to choose the applications and hardware components that make the best sense for their business. We empower organizations to modernize their data center with the right performance, in the right location, all while protecting existing investments. FalconStor's mission is to maximize data availability and system uptime to ensure nonstop business productivity while simplifying data management to reduce operational costs. Our award-winning solutions are available and supported worldwide by OEMs as well as leading service providers, system integrators, resellers and FalconStor. The Company is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. with offices throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit www.falconstor.com or call 1-866-NOW-FALC (866-669-3252).

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FalconStor, FalconStor Software, FreeStor, and Intelligent Abstraction are trademarks or registered trademarks of FalconStor Software, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other company and product names contained herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.