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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

In a blog earlier this year, I sounded an alarm about the dangers of investing in companies with no internal audit functions. Ultimately, the goal was to raise awareness of the risks that accompany the absence of internal audit in publicly traded companies.

That effort took an important step forward in September when The Institute of Internal Auditors formally recommended to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that all publicly traded companies be required to have an internal audit function.

There have been a number of high-profile financial and corporate governance scandals of late that should hammer home the absolutely necessity of good corporate governance, and it should go without saying that internal audit adds value to that process by providing effective oversight of the control environment.



Is resilience really the next big step forward for the business continuity profession? Betty A. Kildow, FBCI, CBCP, attempts to separate the hype from the reality when it comes to this controversial subject.

There are great time demands on business continuity professionals who are developing and managing programs, often to the extent that we seldom have time to stop and consider the bigger picture of where our profession stands, where we are going, and the relevancy of new developments and trends.  A case in point is the increasing interest in resilience and its relationship to business continuity management programs. 

This article is a combination of facts, opinions, and musings on the condition of BCM and also resilience, written from one person's perspective with the hope that it will initiate thought, reflection, and discussion of these two related topics. 

Things change, and generally speaking, that is a good thing. Quoting Bertrand Russell, "In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."  W. Edwards Deming made an even stronger call for change, "It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory."  Over the thirty-year history of business continuity (previously business recovery) we have seen significant changes and improvements as our profession has evolved, as we have risen to the challenges of increased requirements and a growing list of risks and threats.



Additional data, animation features added to popular coastal product


NOAA's nowCOAST web portal, shown here with a prediction of surface water currents, has 60 layers of data the user can click on or turn off. (Credit: NOAA).

NOAA's nowCOAST web portal, shown here with a prediction of surface water currents, has 60 layers of data the user can click on or turn off. (Credit: NOAA).

NOAA has upgraded nowCOAST, a GIS-based online map service providing more frequently updated ocean observations along with coastal and marine weather forecasts. The new version, which went live on September 21, also offers a visual point-and-click access to 60 NOAA data products and services. Users can reach the site at nowcoast.noaa.gov.

“NOAA’s nowCOAST gives the public a one-stop-shop look at coastal conditions — real-time and forecast — before they do or plan anything on the water,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “Are you sailing? Look at the winds and currents. Are you a commercial shipper? Get your high seas marine weather forecast, on the same animated map where you can check the tides before you approach your port.”

The original version of nowCOAST, available since 2003, has provided the public with information on the latest observed and predicted coastal weather, marine weather, and oceanographic and river conditions. The updated map viewer allows users to animate observations for the past four hours and forecasts for the next seven days.

The new version also adds significant data from NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Weather Service, including watches, warnings and advisories for hazardous marine weather conditions, even far offshore. It also provides near-real-time lightning strike density data for land and over water, and hydrologic conditions and predictions from ocean forecast models.

“The new time-enabled map services go beyond traditional navigation uses,” said Luis Cano, director of the NWS dissemination office. “For instance, during coastal storms, emergency managers are now able to overlay National Weather Service watches, warnings, and forecast products on top of critical infrastructure and evacuation maps, for better response.”

NowCOAST is an ArcGIS-based web mapping application developed by the Office of Coast Survey’s Coast Survey Development Laboratory, with technical assistance and IT support from National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.



(MCT) - York County Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday unveiled a new way to contact them in an emergency and new software to make their response better prepared.

The Text-to-911 system first detailed in August 2014 and the Smart911 emergency profile database signed onto by the county in August 2015 will both come online Wednesday.


In an emergency, residents will now be able to text 911 to reach a dispatcher, though the office stresses that voice calls are still preferred.



(MCT) - Recent heavy rains and floods across South Carolina that broke multiple dams and destroyed hundreds — if not thousands — of homes have turned a spotlight on the state’s dam safety program.

South Carolina has for years had one of the nation’s weakest dam safety programs, consistently ranking near the bottom of rankings in federal and state government reports.

In 2013, the state spent less than $200,000 on its dam safety program, employing a handful of people devoted specifically to inspecting and regulating the structures. That’s roughly the same amount the state spent on the program in 2010, when a national report rated South Carolina 45th nationally in financial resources committed to dam safety.

Lori Spragens, executive director of the national Association of State Dam Safety Officials, said resources for inspecting the state’s dams remain low in South Carolina. All told, South Carolina has 2,300 dams, most of them privately owned and made of earth.



(MCT) - Lucy Jones, Southern California’s “earthquake lady” and a driving force behind Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s ambitious seismic safety plan, was awarded the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in Citizen Services, officials announced Wednesday.

Often referred to as the "Oscars" of government service, the “Sammies” recognize federal workers who have made a notable impact in the United States and around the world. Judges considered nearly 500 nominations and selected eight winners out of 30 finalists.

Jones, who joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1983, is recognized across Southern California for her research and ability to explain earthquakes to the general public.



9yahds' Cloud Solution to Enhance Compliance and Provide Support for Ongoing Business Resilience Initiatives


NEWBURYPORT, Mass. - Sept. 30, 2015 - PRLog -- ThinkOn, a leading hosted service provider, has selected 9yahds to provide a comprehensive solution for managing all their Disaster Recovery planning and testing requirements. The solution will enable the company to consolidate, maintain, test, and continually improve the organization’

s extensive library of recovery and availability plans.

As part of its complex cloud solutions, the company has extensive resilience and operational plans that require significant resources to manage, test, and improve. These plans are vital to providing the highest levels of service and quality to ThinkOn’s rapidly growing customer base. 9yahds provides a simplified, centralized, cloud-based repository offering around-the-clock access to these critical organizational procedures for all personnel.

In adopting 9yahds, ThinkOn will be able to easily design, store, and share their complex, role-based processes, as well as automate them for testing or everyday use. The notification capabilities will further enable the company to quickly delegate required activities in-event with all completed actions being captured and measured in real-time. This provides detailed tracking for audit and procedure improvement.

“Our mission is to be the premier Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider for Canada, North America, and eventually worldwide. Providing seamless availability of the applications, infrastructure, and data upon which our clients depend to run their businesses is critical to fulfilling our mission,” said Craig McLellan, CEO of ThinkOn. “9yahds offers everything we were looking for to support our high standards of service and responsiveness to client needs in a single solution. We’re so impressed, we intend to provide this solution to all of our customers for use in their own environments.”

“We’re excited to be working with ThinkOn as both a customer and a partner. Their expertise as a DRaaS provider, and their complete dedication to providing continuously available services to their customers, makes this collaboration ideal,” said Paul McIsaac of 9yahds. “I’m looking forward to working together to help organizations achieve true resilience in their operations.”

In the coming weeks, ThinkOn and 9yahds will be providing further details about the availability of their combined solutions to customers.

About ThinkOn

ThinkOn is a wholesale Canadian provider of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) working exclusively through the channel. ThinkOn helps companies protect their critical data assets and optimize their application infrastructure costs while avoiding the legal and performance issues associated with US-based cloud companies. ThinkOn customers can build virtual data centres to fit their needs using any combination of compute, network, and storage resources within an easy to use user interface supported by world-class operational support. ThinkOn partners include Hitachi, VMware, HP, Veeam, Microsoft, Redhat and CommVault.

Visit www.thinkon.com for more information.

About 9yahds

9yahds Inc. provides cloud-based process automation solutions for companies to build, use and track critical human workflow to maintain business operations. With a focus on Business Resilience and knowledge transfer, 9yahds helps organizations worldwide quickly and easily collaborate to address their most important business requirements. The company’s solution was nominated by the Business Continuity Institute as an industry innovator in 2015.

For more information, visit www.9yahds.com.

Oracle DIVArchive and Oracle's StorageTek Storage Support Fast Access to Daily Programming and Game Footage From Every Angle


REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) -- Over the course of a single year, MLB Network, the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, collects and stores more than 120,000 hours of content from its daily TV programming, game telecasts and replays. It all resides in an active archive built on Oracle DIVArchive and Oracle's StorageTek SL8500 modular library system, that's easily searched and mined to allow the network to create differentiated content every day.

Initially, MLB Network built its digital asset management system to log live games and take advantage of its vast historical library. Dubbed the DIAMOND System, it includes a custom set of metadata tools to search, retrieve, and create collections and lists of elements from its video footage. Using Oracle DIVArchive as part of its solution, MLB Network can manage and access every baseball game played each season, with as many as seven different video feeds per game, catalog over 600 hours of live video content daily and archive over 7 petabytes of information annually. 

"Baseball fans are some of the most fervent and dedicated on Earth, and today's game is rooted in the ability and opportunity to catalog every play in every game that takes place during each season," said Tab Butler, director, post production and media management, MLB Network. "With Oracle DIVArchive and Oracle's StorageTek SL8500 modular library system, we have been able to cater to baseball fans' needs by meticulously housing every highlight and being able to bring every angle into our daily programming. As a result, we've been able to not only chronicle baseball history as it's happening, but also grow our programming schedule significantly and drive our business forward by providing our fans with the content they truly desire on a daily basis."

Oracle DIVArchive helps the network select only the footage it wants to use from any given game and perform a partial file restore within a few minutes, providing more streamlined and efficient use of the archive storage. MLB Network can request content from the library and procure it within two to three minutes for on-site content editing and within an hour for the retrieval of content from the deepest off-site archives -- a process that would have previously taken hours or days -- to ultimately deliver richer content and programming to viewers.

Oracle DIVArchive not only helps manage content today, but also helps MLB Network plan and budget for future expansion. DIVAProtect, an Oracle DIVArchive option, collects quality and performance data in real-time and provides the tools to mine the data for peak performance metrics that help MLB Network quantify the archive's needs and evaluate the impact of new programming being added to the network's lineup. In addition, Oracle DIVArchive supports the Archive Exchange Format (AXF) which is an open standard recently been published by The Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®). AXF helps ensure long-term availability of MLB Network content no matter how storage or file system technology evolves.

MLB Network's archive resides on Oracle's StorageTek SL8500 modular library system with 3,000 slots, which takes in about 50 TB of content and swaps out 400-500 cartridges daily. To support continued growth over the next seven years, MLB Network is also evaluating expanding to a second StorageTek SL8500 modular library system and migrating to Oracle's StorageTek T10000D enterprise drives which would give the network a 10:1 cartridge space reduction and overall higher throughput over its current environment.

Supporting Resources

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

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

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Embarcadero Technologies, a leading provider of software solutions for application and database development, today announced that its recently launched Embarcadero® RAD Studio™ 10 Seattle rapid application development platform now supports iOS 9, Apple's latest mobile operating system. Using RAD Studio 10 Seattle, developers can build Delphi and C++ iOS applications that will run on iOS 9 32-bit and 64-bit devices, with debugging support for both.

RAD Studio is the award-winning software development platform that enables developers to easily build data-rich, hyper connected, visually engaging applications for Windows 10, and cost effectively extend these solutions to OS X, Mobile, and IoT. The RAD Studio 10 Seattle IDE and PAServer are compatible with the new Xcode 7 release, enabling developers to build iOS apps using the new FireMonkey and platform features included with the 10 Seattle release announced at the end of August. This includes:

  • Support for existing iPhone 3.5", 4.0", 4.7" (iPhone 6) and 5.5" (iPhone 6 Plus) form factors, as well as iPad form factors
  • App development support for the new iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro devices
  • Development of apps for iOS 7, iOS 8, and iOS 9
  • The ability to build, deploy, and debug applications on 32-bit and 64-bit iOS 9 devices
  • App creation for Ad-Hoc or App Store distribution
  • iOS 9 Native UI styles
  • Support for the new iOS 9 system font
  • iOS 9 platform rendering support for TCalendar, TEdit, TListView, TMemo, TSwitch, TPresentedScrollBox, TPresentedVertScrollBox, TPresentedHorzScrollBox, TPresentedFramedScrollBox and TPresentedFramedVertScrollBox

RAD Studio 10 Seattle, Delphi 10, and C++Builder 10 are available immediately from Embarcadero and its partners. For product information and pricing, visit the Embarcadero online store To download a trial of RAD Studio 10 Seattle, please visit http://www.embarcadero.com/downloads.

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Build, deploy, and debug your existing RAD Studio 10 Seattle iOS projects to iOS 9 devices and the App Store http://embt.co/RADiOS9

About Embarcadero Technologies
Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of award-winning tools for application developers and database professionals so they can design systems right, build them faster and run them better, regardless of their platform or programming language. Ninety of the Fortune 100 and an active community of more than three million users worldwide rely on Embarcadero products to increase productivity, reduce costs, simplify change management and compliance, and accelerate innovation. Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices located around the world. To learn more, please visit www.embarcadero.com.

Unlike Other NoSQL Databases Available Today, Clusterpoint 4 Supports ACID-Compliant Multi-Document Transactions and a JavaScript-Based Computational Model, Ensuring Strong Consistency and Providing Massive Parallelism


RIGA, LATVIA – Clusterpoint, a database vendor providing Database-As-A-Service (DBAAS), today announced the availability of Clusterpoint 4, an evolution of its database software now becoming a computing engine. This unique platform combines an instantly scalable document-oriented database and computing so businesses can process and analyze large amounts of data in real-time at a reasonable cost.

Because datasets are much bigger today than what can be stored in the memory of a single server, businesses are looking beyond traditional relational databases, which no longer provide the right computational platform for today's "big data" computing needs. Moreover, businesses today want to do more than access information in a static format; they want to analyze and transform their data to gain valuable insights about their business quickly and cost effectively.

Clusterpoint 4 solves these data challenge by unifying computational power and data. Clusterpoint has built a distributed cloud computer that can share data among multiple computational nodes and execute code on those nodes next to the data. Furthermore, because Clusterpoint 4 was designed as a complete relational database replacement for businesses today, they built a new data manipulation and querying language in JS/SQL. JavaScript, a universal non-proprietary language, now can be utilized for data retrieval and data transformation in a familiar SQL structure. This truly makes Clusterpoint a computing engine that can not only store data, but process data and run arbitrary computations.

The Clusterpoint 4 Computing Engine was built on top of Clusterpoint 3, creating a distributed document-oriented database that supports persisting data structures while building efficient numeric, full-text and geospatial indices.

To be considered a real replacement for relational databases, Clusterpoint 4 supports ACID-compliant multi-document transactions and a rich computational model based on JavaScript -- two features often ignored by other NoSQL databases in the market today. For many use cases it's imperative to work on multiple data objects within one transaction to guarantee immediate consistency. Another important aspect of the database is its computational capabilities. The Clusterpoint 4 API is based on the concept that a database needs to allow arbitrary computation to be done on the data inside of the database. This allows various stages of retrieval to use arbitrary JavaScript code to transform the data. Additionally, JavaScript code accesses indices instead of raw objects, providing greater efficiency. 

"With Clusterpoint 4, we want to reduce complexity and costs of existing IT infrastructure and enable real-time processing of data on a massive scale. We want our users, like developers, to import their raw data and then leverage the power of our computing engine to transform that data into something that has business benefits, exactly when and how they want it," said Zigmars Raascevskis, CEO of Clusterpoint.

Utilizing the Clusterpoint Cloud, users can scale instantly and get on-demand computational resources at a millisecond granularity. In addition, businesses benefit from a unique pricing model -- a true pay-per-use model that is disrupting the tiered pricing model of today's traditional Database-As-A-Service (DBAAS) offerings -- which no other DBAAS company provides.

For more detailed information about Clusterpoint 4, please visit their blog.

About Clusterpoint
Clusterpoint is a database vendor providing Database-As-A-Service (DBAAS) for developers and small to medium size businesses worldwide that want instant scalability and massive distributed computing power for their growing database needs but without the hefty price tag. Founded in 2006, Clusterpoint has served business customers as an enterprise-oriented NoSQL database. Today the Clusterpoint database is used across different industries to drive 24/7 mission-critical web and mobile application solutions. For more information about our cloud-based service, visit www.clusterpoint.com.