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Volume 29, Issue 5

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

U.S. hotel group Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and U.K. mobile operator O2 both recently acknowledged potential data breaches. In Kimpton's case, the attack appears to be similar to other recent point-of-sale breaches at hotel chains including Hyatt, Omni, Starwood and Hilton, while in O2's case an undisclosed number of customer accounts were exposed by password reuse.

Kimpton Hotels yesterday announced that it was "recently made aware of a report of unauthorized charges occurring on cards that were previously used legitimately at Kimpton properties."

"As soon as we learned of this, we immediately an investigation and engaged a leading security firm to provide us with support," the company stated. "We are committed to swiftly resolving this matter. In the meantime, and in line with best practice, we recommend that individuals closely monitor their payment card account statements."



(TNS) - With the recent, long-awaited arrival of the Elizabethtown Fire Department’s new custom-built engine, the focus of the department will now be shifting from the “pound of cure” to the “ounce of prevention,” in the form of a community risk reduction program.

“You’ve heard the saying ‘if it’s predictable, it’s preventable’,” said Fire Chief Nick West. “We can predict the potential for fires, so now we’re looking at ways to prevent them.”

The community risk reduction program is comprised of three components:



Today’s networking layer has become one of the most advanced infrastructure components in the data center. We are far beyond simple network route tables and ensuring data traffic patterns. Now, we’re creating contextual policies around information, users, applications, and entire cloud infrastructure components. We’ve created automation at the networking layer; and have even completely abstracted the data and control plane via next-generation SDN.

Administrators today are tasked with creating a much smarter networking layer. One that is capable of keeping up with some of the most advanced business and IT demands. In a recent Worldwide Enterprise Networking Report, IDC pointed out that virtualization continues to have a sizable impact on the enterprise network. IDC expects that these factors will place unprecedented demands on the scalability, programmability, agility, analytics capabilities, and management capabilities of enterprise networks. They predict that in 2016, overall enterprise network revenue will grow 3.5 percent to reach $41.1 billion.

It’s really no surprise that these new types of technologies will have major impacts around the entire enterprise networking layer. Most of all – these systems will change the way business create go-to-market strategies and where next-generation networking technologies can make an impact.



A group of experts from the University of Utah is proposing a new framework for emergency messaging that they believe will support the most effective warning systems.

Right now, “the potential for errors is high” when officials decide when to issue emergency warnings, who to send them to, and what safety measures to urge the public to take, says Thomas Cova, a professor in the University of Utah geography department. That's because "researchers tend to focus on one or two of those questions," Cova says. "But it's a challenge to think about all three," which is necessary to avoid such errors as deciding the right time and right action but wrong target group; or the right group and right time but wrong protective action.

Emergency managers must contend with uncertainty about how the three components interact, and have to consider how likely and how costly it might be to make ‘false positive’ decisions to issue a warning when hazards don't occur or ‘false negative’ decisions to continue normally when hazards do occur.

The suggested new framework is included in a paper called ‘Warning triggers in environmental hazards: Who should be warned to do what and when?’ that proposes a way forward in improving emergency warning by thinking constructively and critically about all three issues. The paper, published in the online version of Risk Analysis, a publication of the Society for Risk Analysis, was co-authored by Cova with colleagues Philip E. Dennison, Dapeng Li, and Frank Drews, also of University of Utah, as well as Laura K. Siebeneck of University of North Texas and Michael K. Lindell of University of Washington.

The research paper is available here.

A new survey-based report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims that organizational resilience uptake is linked to the growth of cloud. The report, sponsored by Sungard Availability Services, explores the role of resilience in a world with a growing cloud presence.

Organizational resilience, as defined by the EIU study, means that managers are no longer reactive but instead proactively anticipate and prepare for both sudden and gradual strategic shifts. How companies build resilience must be linked to an organization's overall business strategy and requires broad mobilisation of corporate capabilities across an organization and strong corporate leadership. The report shows that 72 percent of French, UK and USA based executives surveyed believe that organizational resilience will grow as an organizational priority over the next three years; and 71 percent of respondents say that their organization has clearly defined roles and responsibilities to ensure organizational resilience.

The report makes a link between organizational resilience and the cloud. “The cloud brings many benefits including collaboration and cost savings,” says Carolyn Whelan, the report's editor. “But because of its fragmented nature the cloud also brings risks. Our survey shows that organizational resilience will grow in importance along with the cloud, to capture value from and respond to its challenges.” The report states that ‘organizational resilience is emerging as a critical lever of a successful cloud expansion’.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of executives say that more than half of their organizations' systems are already cloud-based and 78 percent say that their use of cloud computing will increase in the next three years. The most commonly cited cloud risks were security breaches and leaks of confidential information (53 percent), disruptions caused by cyber-attacks (52 percent) and potential failure to deliver product or services (46 percent).

Read the report