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Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Thursday, 22 May 2014 18:23

Risk: A Game of Thrones

HBO, the producer of ”made for TV” award-winning shows, is renowned for its high-quality programming, documentaries and event TV.  One of HBO’s hit shows, A Game of Thrones, is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fictional novels by George R.R. Martin, the first installment of which was published in 1996.  The title of the show comes from a proverb that the Queen Cersei quotes in the novel: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.  There is no middle ground.”

The series has more plot twists than a murder mystery and captures the imagination.  There is no shortage of drama, intrigue and, of course, obligatory gratuitous sex.  But what does this have to do with risk management?

A Game of Thrones is a great metaphor for how human behavior can radically change the course of events, including the downfall of empires (oops, I meant to say corporations).  Fiction is a reflection of real human behavior.  In fact, “conduct risk” may be the hardest risk to manage simply because it permeates every aspect of business life.  Conduct risk is the manifestation of every decision an employee of a firm makes to either act ethically or take advantage of opportunities for self-indulgence.  Given the temptations of wealth, power and access to resources only available to senior executives, it should not be surprising that fraud occurs.  Yet each time it happens, we sit back in awe and judgment, condemning bad behavior.  Seldom is this behavior condemned, though, before it causes catastrophic failure.



Money alone can’t buy happiness, and technology by itself can’t buy disaster recovery – but they can both help significantly! IT disaster recovery management needs thought, planning and training of personnel; being aware of what technology has to offer is an important part of this. Check our handy ten-point list below to see if you’re making the most of what’s available.

Archiving systems. Use these to store data no longer needed on a daily basis, but which must still be kept. Archiving is complementary to backup, but not the same....


Like most companies, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are on the lookout to save money and simplify complexities of day-to-day tasks. Many SMBs already have a small (or non-existent) IT staff, so creating efficiencies in workflows and access to information for employees is often not top of mind. However, the increasing role of desktop virtualization in the enterprise is spreading to include those smaller businesses and can help with efforts toward increased efficiency.

Today, client virtualization company NComputing announced that it will provide a new desktop as a service (DaaS) solution to select service providers around the U.S. and other countries. In fact, the first provider to offer the DaaS solution to SMBs is So-net Corporation, a member of the Sony group, which is located in Japan.



Thursday, 22 May 2014 18:19

Warning: Big Data Road Bump Ahead

My friend and I have a running joke. We’ve decided we liked 35 so much, we’re going to stick with it for a decade or so.

Okay, it’s not particularly clever, but to us, it was worth a quick laugh. It probably wouldn’t be so funny if I handled data quality at Paytronix, a company that manages customer loyalty programs for restaurant chains.

When Paytronix analyzed its data quality, it found that approximately 10 percent of customers lie about their age. Another 18 percent leave it blank. Couple that with about 25 percent of restaurants that don’t even ask, and you’ve got a real problem with a significant demographic identifier.



Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:17

Turning Big Data into Big Knowledge

Big Data is not just the latest fad to hit the enterprise, it’s an obsession. On the one hand is the fear of constructing the infrastructure capable of handling massive volumes, and on the other is the anticipation of all the advantages to be gained by mining and analyzing that data.

New research from QuinStreet Enterprise reveals that more than three quarters of all organizations consider Big Data a top priority in the coming year, citing the need to foster speed and accuracy in the decision-making process as a key driver. Interestingly, it seems that Big Data is not just the province of the Big Enterprise either. More than 70 percent of mid-sized companies are also planning Big Data initiatives.



Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:16

Piracy Incidents Down

Steps taken by the international maritime community have paid off, reducing the threat of piracy in the Arabian Sea’s Gulf of Aden, according to the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Safety and Shipping Review 2014. The number of ships seized and hostages taken was down significantly in 2013. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), piracy at sea is at the lowest level in six years—264 attacks were recorded worldwide in 2013, a 40%drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011. There were 15 incidents reported off Somalia in 2013, including Gulf of Aden and Red Sea incidents—down from 75 in 2012, and 237 in 2011 (including attacks attributed to Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and Oman).

But while the number of incidents in this region has gone down, piracy attacks in other areas have increased in frequency, notably Indonesia and off the west coast of Africa. While most of these Indonesian attacks remain local, low level opportunistic thefts carried out by small bands of individuals, a third of the incidents in these waters were reported in the last quarter of 2013, meaning there is potential for such attacks to escalate into a more organized piracy model unless they are controlled.



Following the occurrence of a disruptive incident to your organization, what is your perception of how prepared your organization is to properly respond to that event and to provide a repeatable approach to minimize downtime resulting from that event? Do you believe that disaster preparedness is present in the planning capability or culture of your organization?
Unfortunately, observed results of organizations reactions to disasters in many organizations, indicate that a “business continuity management” “BCMS) awareness is often not given enough attention.

Once your organization is able to address this component as one it’s growing requirements in maintaining a “keeping the doors open” approach to running its business, then, hopefully “planning” will begin to be recognized as a necessary discipline to implement into its own corporate culture.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 14:38

CoreLogic Launches Flash Flood Risk Score

Unique Data Analytics Tool Will Help Insurers Identify and Mitigate Flash Flood Risk

IRVINE, Calif. — CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today announced the launch of the CoreLogic Flash Flood Risk Score, a new and unique data analytics tool designed to inform insurers of the overall projection of flash flood risk beyond established Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplains.

CoreLogic Flash Flood Risk Score uses a combination of hydrology, meteorological and environmental datasets to provide both a numeric risk score (1-100) and a categorical risk rating (ranging from Very Low to Extreme) that enables underwriters to set guidelines for flash flood risk and evaluate portfolio risk exposure. Proprietary data layers are used to identify risk associated with intense rainfall, soil types, ground elevation and flow accumulations.

Flash flooding is a short-term event occurring within six hours of a causative event such as heavy rain, dam break, levee failure or rapid snowmelt and often occurs within two hours of the start of high-intensity rainfall. Flash flooding accounts for 33 percent of inland flood property damages in the United States, totaling $7.9 billion between 2005-2012, according to the National Weather Service and the National Climatic Data Center.

“Identifying flash flood risk is a huge issue for our clients, and understanding this risk can be particularly daunting, especially because a significant amount of the country is not covered when it comes to flood risk assessment,” said Dr. Howard Botts, vice president and director of database development for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions. “In fact, roughly 40 percent of the U.S. is not included in FEMA flood maps, and because a flash flood can happen so fast, there is often little time to prepare or mitigate against this type of event, resulting in extensive property damage. The Flash Flood Risk Score from CoreLogic will allow insurers to be able to identify and mitigate flash flood risk in areas that are not mapped for flood risk of any type.”

The availability of a highly predictive flash flood analytic solution provides the property and casualty and commercial insurance industries with comprehensive, real-time, property-specific flash flood risk data and cuts down on the degree of interpretation required by underwriters and agents.

“Insurers may not even realize that they are covering losses that could be better understood with the right model,” said Botts. “Now they have access to new insight to help them better understand flash flood risk for a single property or an entire portfolio.”

CoreLogic Flash Flood Risk Score offers precise granularity, up to a 10-meter grid, a level of specificity which can be critical for land and building developers who need to minimize flash flood risk. It also enables insurance brokers to clearly understand flash flood risk so they are able to offer the most appropriate pricing policies.

The Flash Flood Risk Score is the latest addition to the company’s comprehensive suite of flood risk tools, which includes Digital FEMA flood maps, Coastal Storm Surge that projects salt water intrusion from Hurricanes, Flood Risk Score that projects risk from riverine and coastal flooding, and Combined Sewer Area, which maps areas with combined storm and sanitary sewers.

About CoreLogic
CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 3.3 billion records spanning more than 40 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.

LINCROFT, N.J. -- The New York and New Jersey Sandy Recovery field offices are supporting a national initiative to maximize resilience and minimize risk. FEMA is encouraging those rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy to join the agency in its recognition of the 34th annual Building Safety Month (BSM) to promote the importance of high building standards, protecting the environment and saving energy.

BSM is a public awareness campaign established by the International Code Council (ICC). The global campaign focuses on public outreach and education to increase the overall safety and sustainability of buildings through the adoption of model building codes and promotion of code enforcement—elements for New York and New Jersey to consider as the area rebuilds after the storm.

Those in the affected states—and nationwide—can avail themselves of FEMA’s Building Science Department online and print information about various natural and man-made disasters and how they affect building safety. The agency introduces basic concepts used to design new or retrofitted buildings. Also offered are measures to increase resilience against future disasters while retaining or elevating efficiency—a two-pronged approach in dealing with climate change.

For the fourth consecutive year, President Obama has proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month to underscore the role that safe building codes and standards play in decreasing the effects of disasters and making the nation resilient. Building codes protect citizens from disasters like fires, flooding and weather-related events like Hurricane Sandy and structural collapse.

The overarching theme of BSM is Building Safety: Maximizing resilience, minimizing risks with sub-themes for each of its respective four weeks: fire, weather, yard and outdoor safety, and for the final week of the campaign, Building a brighter, more efficient tomorrow.   

For more information, on FEMA’s Building Science Branch, visit www.fema.gov/building-science. More information on Building Safety Month is at: www.buildingsafetymonth.org and www.iccsafe.org.

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.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 14:35

BCI India Awards


The 2014 BCI India Awards took place on Monday 19th May at a Gala Dinner to coincide with the second Business and IT Resilience Summit in Mumbai. The BCI India Awards are held each year to recognise the outstanding contribution of business continuity professionals and organizations living in or operating in India.

The Winners of the Awards were:

Business Continuity Manager of the Year
Dhirendra Kumar MBCI 

Business Continuity Consultant of the Year
Saurabh Agarwal 

Business Continuity Team of the Year
Reliance Life Insurance

Business Continuity Innovation of the Year

Business Continuity Provider of the Year (Service)
Sungard Availability Services

Business Continuity Provider of the Year (Product)
Sungard Availability Services

Industry Personality of the Year
Chittarajan Kajwadkar MBCI

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all those who were nominated. As always the standard of entries was high and the judges had some difficult decisions to make.

All winners from the BCI India Awards 2014 will be automatically entered into the BCI Global Awards 2014 which take place in November during the BCI World Conference and Exhibition 2014.