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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

“Show me an IT professional who can predict the exact timing, size, method, and location for their next data center and I will show you someone with a defective crystal ball. That’s the nature of this industry,” says Data Center World speaker Jack Pouchet, the VP of marketing development and energy initiatives for Emerson Network Power.

Change has always been the cornerstone of technology, and that has never been more apparent than today. The sheer amount of data being generated by Internet users is reason alone that the data center of today must change. Pouchet will address other key emerging trends he expects to substantially impact future data centers are built and designed at Data Center World, Sept. 12-15 in New Orleans. Here’s a sneak peek.

 

The Cloud of Many Drops

More and more companies are looking beyond virtualization and to the cloud to address underutilization of computing resources, and for good reason. A 2015 study by Stanford’s Jonathan Koomey, found that enterprise data center servers still only deliver, on average, between 5 and 15 percent of their maximum computing output over the course of a year. A surprising 30 percent of physical servers had been comatose for six months or more. Enter the shared services cloud arena. The fact that companies can now offload space-consuming applications and non-critical workloads to shared space means fewer data center builds and a little breathing room. “That allows for more intelligent decisions on the core building they already have,” said Pouchet.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/07/18/five-key-emerging-trends-impacting-data-centers-2016/

Xcentric chooses Netwrix Auditor to gain visibility into Active Directory and Group Policy changes and comply with industry regulations

IRVINE, Calif. — Netwrix Corporation, the first to introduce a visibility and governance platform that supports both on-premises and hybrid cloud IT environments, today announced that Xcentric has chosen Netwrix Auditor to meet SOC 2 assessment requirements and secure customer data.

Based in Alpharetta, GA, Xcentric is a provider of hosted and managed technology platforms for the accounting industry. Xcentric provides network technology consulting, сloud services, help desk support, and local network implementation services for accounting companies across the United States. Xcentric helps 550+ customers plan, implement, and manage their networks on an ongoing basis to ensure continuous, compliance-ready service.

SOC 2 is the Report on Controls at a Service Organization Relevant to Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality or Privacy, formed under the AICPA Trust Services Principles and Criteria. 

Being in the middle of preparing for the first SOC 2 audit, Xcentric’s IT team needed to confirm that every change in their Active Directory and Group Policy is performed according to the internal security policy. Managing large infrastructure with 4500 users in Active Directory that should have access to more than 1000 hosted applications; the IT team had certain criteria to selecting an IT auditing solution. It would not only provide comprehensive compliance reporting and simplify the process of gathering audit data, but would be reasonable in terms of pricing and would have a monthly billing plan.

Netwrix Auditor had all necessary features to meet the criteria. It allowed Xcentric to get a detailed insight into what is happening across Active Directory and Group Policy, and save time on determining and troubleshooting issues. In addition, the deal breaker for Xcentric has been the MSP pricing model offered by Netwrix, which even more distinguished the product among its competitors.

Netwrix Auditor is a visibility and governance platform that enables control over changes, configurations and access in hybrid cloud IT environments to protect data at rest regardless of its location. The platform provides security analytics to detect anomalies in user behavior and investigate threat patterns before a data breach occurs.

Sam Hollis, Lead Infrastructure Engineer at Xcentric, commented, “The major benefit I see is that, with Netwrix Auditor, we gain a deep insight into our IT infrastructure that we didn’t have before. While it’s easy to change Active Directory objects and make a mistake, the product adds a layer of security and accountability within the company. It is priceless for our customers who rely on Xcentric to guarantee integrity of sensitive data.”

Companies that entrust their systems to the MSPs expect the providers to be honest about their state of security and be proactive in introducing enhanced sets of security services,” Alex Vovk, CEO and Co-Founder of Netwrix. “Being certified according to industry standards, MSPs can prove their hands-on approach for holding the security processes to the highest levels. Today, this also means switching from commoditized services to having complete visibility into any activity across all IT networks and the ability to detect and timely remediate the anomalies.”]

To read the complete case study of Xcentric’s use of Netwrix Auditor, please visit:www.netwrix.com/go/xcentric.

About Netwrix Corporation

Netwrix Corporation was first to introduce visibility and governance platform for on-premises, hybrid and 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.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 00:00

BCI: The heat is on!

The Business Continuity Institute - Jul 19, 2016 16:12 BST

Flooding, blizzards, storms. These are perhaps the type of events that first spring to mind when we think of adverse weather, but conditions on the other end of the scale can also have a major impact. So as the UK experiences its hottest day of the year so far, we need to consider what effect this could have on our organizations.

Of course there will be many businesses that love this weather – beer gardens will be thriving, as will ice cream sellers, supermarkets will experience a spike in the sales of barbecue equipment, and garden centres will be enjoying a roaring trade. But for many organizations, a heatwave can be extremely disruptive.

study by the Charles Darwin University in Australia last year estimated that the impact caused by heat stress in the workplace was costing the Australian economy AUS$6.9 billion each year. And it's not just those working outside that are affected by the heat, the study found that indoor workers were impacted as much as outdoor workers. In total, 70% of respondents to their survey stated that heat stress reduced their productivity at work.

So how could your organization prepare for a heatwave?

First of all you need to think about the health aspects, especially when you consider that the 2003 heatwave cost the lives of almost 70,000 across Europe, and put an enormous strain on healthcare services. While your staff may be fit and healthy, and therefore not considered 'at risk', high temperatures can still take their toll. Ensure your staff have a comfortable working environment with cooling measures in place such as air conditioning or fans, and encourage staff to keep hydrated. Make sure there is a plentiful supply of drinking water.

Transport infrastructure can also become disrupted as rail tracks buckle, flights are unable to take off and roads begin to melt etc, so it may be worth considering whether staff need to travel, or could more flexible arrangements be put in place that allow them to work elsewhere.

As the office heats up, so could the IT infrastructure. Make sure that you have effective arrangements in place to keep all your IT equipment below the temperature that could stop it working. Ideally your servers should be kept in a temperature controlled environment. Turn off any equipment that could generate heat if it is not needed.

The UK has experienced 14 of the 15 hottest years on record since 2000, so this isn’t a problem that is going to go away any time soon. Organizations need to prepare themselves for the likelihood of a heatwave, and more importantly prepare themselves for the consequence of such an event.

Andrew Scott is the Senior Communications Manager at the Business Continuity Institute who joined after a brief stint working as the Press Officer for a national health charity. Prior to that he had over ten years at the Ministry of Defence working in a number of roles including communications and business continuity. During this time he also completed a Masters in Public Relations at the University of Stirling. Andrew took his CBCI exam in November 2014 and passed with merit.

The Achilles Heel of incident response has always been communication, and one area where simple and quick team communication is really lacking is at the outset of an incident to assess the situation and initiate the plan. Strategic BCP recognized the problem as an opportunity to improve their product so they embedded ZipBridge within ResilienceONE, their award-winning Business Continuity Risk Management software.

 

By connecting to the ZipBridge platform, Strategic BCP allows clients to launch an instant outbound conference call for any group or response team in ResilienceONE. One click and everyone on the team receives a call and are conferenced together to debrief and plan the next steps. According to Strategic BCP’s CEO Frank Perlmutter, “It was simple, we added a button to the application to conference the team, we post the phone numbers to the ZipBridge API and they take care of the rest. The response from our clients has been fantastic.”

 

Strategic BCP has just renewed with ZipBridge for its 4th year because of the value its clients derive from the service. They are already maintaining groups and contact information within ResilienceONE, connecting to ZipBridge enables the next logical step to enable an instant emergency conference call with those groups at the outset or during an incident.

 

About ZipBridge

ZipBridge is a communication platform that enables instant team communications by calling out to participants and bridging them on an unscheduled or emergency conference call as they answer. No need for phone chains, text messages, emails and PIN’s to get the team on a call, just launch from the ZipBridge App or by calling a custom phone number and the team will recognize the call and be talking in seconds. More information can be found at http://www.ZipBridge.net.

 

About Strategic BCP

Since 2004, Strategic BCP has leveraged its deep experience in all aspects of business continuity management planning and disaster recovery. ZipBridge is featured in ResilienceONE®, Strategic BCP’s flagship software that enables real-time resiliency and recovery with advanced dependency mapping processes, plan workflow visualization, and integrated mobile solutions - across all industries. ResilienceONE is offered in the Cloud, On-Premise, or part of a Hybrid solution. Positioned as a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning Software 3 years in a row, cited for outstanding customer experience, innovation, out of the box capabilities, and pricing model. More information can be found at http://www.strategicbcp.com.

The Business Continuity Institute - Jul 19, 2016 14:19 BST

Despite failing, last Friday's attempted coup d’état in Turkey proved revolutionary. It did so not politically, but in the way that news was shown. The days when the only source of information during an emergency consisted in a few reporters risking their lives among shots fired and crowds marching are over.

Yes, there were indeed brave correspondents in Ankara and Istanbul that provided regular updates with great passion, but they were only a fraction of the information channels available through the night. Thus, while many news agencies kept showing images of a closed bridge, it was possible to read the reactions of those on the grounds on Twitter, with people uploading videos of the crowd pushing back against the army on Periscope. An English native speaker filming from the centre of the protest even went as far as to ask online users to translate the crowd's chants in real time, which Turkish online users did. All of this went on while the Turkish President – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – was giving a speech from an unknown location via Facetime.

Of course not all of the news reported on these websites was accurate. At one point for example, President Erdogan was in Greece, Germany, Italy and the UK at the same time, four different users told. However, using common sense, one could disregard the bad pieces of information and get a rather accurate picture of the state of things on the ground.

This is obviously not the first time that online platforms play a part in providing news during a crisis. The Boston Police Department used Twitter during the 2012 bombing to give directions to people, the first video from the Brussels attacks was uploaded on social media, and it is well known how these websites played a part in the Arab Spring. Yet, this is the first time that I switched off the television to follow the news exclusively on my smartphone, reported by regular people, who had become ad-hoc correspondents.

I do not have the presumption to say that traditional media is not useful anymore, very far from that, but the news landscape has changed dramatically in the last few years, becoming more complex and confusing perhaps, but definitely more exciting.

Gianluca Riglietti is currently a Research Assistant at the Business Continuity Institute, where he provides support in managing publications and global thought leadership initiatives. He graduated at King’s College London in 2015, completing a Master’s in Geopolitics, Territory and Security.