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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Erie County’s 911 system shut down for nearly four hours Wednesday morning – done in by a malfunctioning air conditioner.

And the failures didn’t stop there. The back-up system didn’t work either, and more than half an hour passed before anyone realized it. County dispatchers headed to a secondary location in Cheektowaga, only to discover that emergency calls that were supposed to be diverted there weren’t coming in.

Now lawmakers want answers about how this could occur after spending tens of millions of dollars in recent years on 911 equipment, maintenance, training and testing.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Erie-County-officials-seek-answers-after-911-failure.html

Friday, 01 April 2016 00:00

How Cybersecure is Your Company?

It should come as no surprise that security has moved from an afterthought at global organizations to a front-and-center consideration, often involving the CEO and board of directors. Headlines of the world’s largest companies involved in breaches are rampant, and will only increase as organizations accelerate their digital transformation plans and in doing so create lucrative opportunities for bad actors to steal valuable assets. Businesses are inherently interested in making money, and cybersecurity crimes have a significant impact on their bottom line. In fact, it is estimated that cybercrime will cost $2.1 trillion by 2019, according to Juniper Research.

For C-level execs and board members alike, their real understanding of cyber-exposure is too often binary: Are we on the front page of the Wall St. Journal or Not? While this may be an unfair over-generalization for tech-savvy board members, it is clear that cybersecurity is now included in their “fiduciary duties.” With increasing investments going to security software, consultants, and now cyber-insurance, executives and officers must know the risk profile of their digital systems and security service level agreements (SSLAs).

Organizations looking to maintain their competitive edge will take a new approach to security from the first line defenders in the IT department to the boardroom. The quickest and simplest step in moving the right direction must be to answer “How secure are we as an organization?”

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/how-cybersecure-is-your-company/

UK businesses not fully prepared for the Modern Slavery Act

From the 1st April this year, the Modern Slavery Act comes into force in the UK and businesses with a turnover of £36 million or more will be required to make an annual statement setting out the steps they have taken to stamp out slave and child labour from their supply chains.

This legislation is designed to have a cascading effect on SMEs that fall below the £36 million threshold, to encourage them to ensure that their supply chains are also slavery-free. As larger businesses prepare their statements under the new rule, it seems that UK SMEs are shockingly unaware of this knock-on impact on them, and are unprepared to deal with forced and slave labour issues. The research, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, found that 61% of UK SMEs are unaware of the reporting requirement, let alone its impact on them.

While more than eight in ten businesses with turnover under £36 million say that they have yet to discover slavery in their supply chain, this appears to be a result of ignorance over prudence with very few businesses actively looking for slavery in their supply chains. Just under a third of businesses (67%) surveyed, have never taken measures to keep their supply chains free of slavery, while 75% would not know what to do if they discovered slavery in their supply chain.

Despite this, only a very small percentage of small UK businesses are proactively taking steps to tackle the issue. One in ten of the SMEs surveyed have ensured all their UK workers are in receipt of the minimum wage and robust immigration checks are in place. Only 5% of businesses have ever mapped their supply chains in an attempt to uncover modern slavery, and just 4% have provided training to staff or suppliers on how to spot the signs of possible slavery amongst suppliers.

Supply chain disruptions are a serious concern for business continuity professionals, with the Business Continuity Institute's latest Horizon Scan Report identifying it as a top ten threat once again, featuring it in seventh place with 50% of respondents to a global survey expressing concern about this type of threat materialising. A disruption does not always need to be caused by a physical event and the the BCI's latest Supply Chain Resilience Report revealed that a business ethics incident was one of the top ten causes of supply chain disruptions.

David Noble, Group CEO at CIPS, commented: “Though the legal duty to tackle slavery in supply chains is on larger corporates with a revenue threshold of £36 million and over, smaller businesses still have a duty to ensure their supply chains are slavery-free, particularly if they supply to businesses that have to comply with the Act. Ultimately, modern slavery is not an issue confined to the supply chains of large multinational corporations. On the contrary, SMEs can often have long and complicated supply chains themselves. They are just as likely to find enslavement in their operations, right here in the UK.

Despite not having access to the same resources as larger companies, small businesses can take simple but effective steps to protect their businesses starting with:

  • Ensure all your UK workers are in receipt of the minimum wage and robust immigration checks are in place
  • Map your supply chains to understand where there is highest risk and exposure to modern slavery
  • Undertake site inspections
  • Provide training to employees and local suppliers on modern slavery risks and compliance
  • Review supplier contracts and include obligations to comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act
  • Publish a statement outlining the steps you are taking to tackle modern slavery

CIPS has put together a comprehensive toolkit for businesses and procurement professionals on tackling modern slavery and to help aid compliance. The toolkit is available here.

Z Turbo Drive Storage Enhanced to Be Better and Larger Than Ever

PALO ALTO, Calif. – HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) today upgraded its industry-leading HP Z Workstations, combining increased system expandability, higher-speed memory and multicore updates to power the most demanding workflows. It also announced the addition of the HP Z Turbo Drive G2 1 TB PCIe SSD, HP's fastest Z Turbo Drive solution to-date1.

The refreshed HP Z840, Z640 and Z440 desktop workstations feature next generation multi-core Intel® Xeon® processors,2, 3 the latest graphics options from NVIDIA® Quadro® and AMD FirePro™, as well as a choice of Microsoft® or Linux® operating systems. With the new Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v4 series processors, HP Z Workstations will support faster memory speeds than the previous generation processors, up to 2400MHz and can support up to 44 physical cores per-workstation4.

Designed to super charge workflow productivity and creativity, the new HP Z Turbo Drive with 1 TB PCIe SSD storage optimizes HP Workstation workflows, delivering up to four times the read performance of traditional SSDs at a cost that's remarkably similar. The second generation HP Z Turbo Drive attains ultra-fast I/O response to process large data sets. HP Z840, Z640 and Z440 desktop workstations can be easily expanded by integrating the high-performance HP Z Turbo Drive G2 1TB PCIe with high capacity SATA HDDs and SSDs5.

"The addition of our latest Z Workstations and Z Turbo Drive demonstrate HP Inc.'s unwavering commitment to professionals who consistently push the limits of technology to bring the world and the universe life changing innovations," said Jeff Wood, vice president, Worldwide Product Management, Workstations and Thin Clients, HP Inc. "As the requirement of big data intensifies, the HP Z portfolio will continue providing increased reliability, performance and innovation for customers working on everything from mission critical space endeavors to energy exploration and blockbuster films."

HP Z Workstations are built to address the constraints of compute-intensive industries, including media and entertainment, graphic design, CAD, architecture, photography, manufacturing, finance, healthcare, scientific imaging, and oil and gas exploration. Adding to the market share-leading HP Z Workstation portfolio, the new HP Z Desktop Workstations offer availability of tested workstation applications from Adobe®, Autodesk, Avid, Dassault, ESRI, SolidWorks, Siemens and many others.

"HP Z Workstations deliver the power and speed needed for modeling, simulations, big data analysis, computer-aided design, and visualization applications, all of which translate to real solutions for a better world," said Kristina Ropella, dean, Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University.

With continued focus on performance, innovation and reliability, the three new HP Z Workstations offer a tool-less chassis, integrated handles and visually cable-less design to deliver radical ease of service, system wide efficiency and superb expandability. The new workstations offer 12.5 percent faster DDR4 memory compared to the prior generation for improved application performance and BIOS enhancements to enable higher system performance.

"You might have to be an IT geek to appreciate it, but the HP Z Workstation is a thing of art," says Duane Powell, Chief Technology Officer and co-owner of Blur Studio. "It's so well-designed. The inside is like a sports car and the outside, beautifully, is a simple box with handles so you can rack it."

The enhanced line of HP Z Workstations embrace Thunderbolt™ 26 for amazingly fast throughput of large files, HP Z Turbo Drive to help eliminate storage bottlenecks, HP Performance Advisor7 for system monitoring and HP Remote Graphics Software8 for remote collaboration of graphics-rich applications.

Price and availability

  • The HP Z440, Z640 and Z840 Workstations are expected to be available worldwide beginning in April. Estimated U.S. pricing starts at $1,299, $1,759 and $2,399, respectively.
  • The HP Z Turbo Drive G2 1TB PCIe is expected to be available worldwide in April. Estimated U.S. pricing starts at $799.

About HP Inc.
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

Intel, Intel Core, Xeon and Thunderbolt are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. AMD and FirePro are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. NVIDIA and NVIDIA QUADRO are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

(1) Sequential performance compared to previous generations. 
(2) When ordering two processors, the second processor must be the same as the first. HP Z640 and Z840 processor kits include the processor and heat sink. Memory DIMMs must be purchased separately. 
(3) Multicore is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel's numbering is not a measurement of higher performance.
(4) Dual processor configurations. 
(5) Each sold separately. 
(6) Thunderbolt is an optional or add-on feature on HP desktop workstations. Thunderbolt cable and Thunderbolt device (sold separately) must be compatible with Windows. To determine whether a device is Thunderbolt Certified for Windows, see https://thunderbolttechnology.net/products
(7) HP Performance Advisor requires Windows and internet access. 
(8) HP RGS requires a Windows or Linux operating system and Internet access.

Forward-Looking Statements:
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements of expectation or belief and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility the company's business may not perform as expected; that the company may be unable to successfully implement separation strategies; and other risks that are described in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended October 31, 2014 and the company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for its fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2015 and July 31, 2015. The company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

© Copyright 2016 HP Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP Inc. products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP Inc. shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

WATERLOO, ONTARIO – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, announced today strong traction with Good® Secure EMM Suites, with more than one hundred customers worldwide - covering tens of thousands of users - adopting the EMM solution. These customers are seamlessly moving to the recently introduced EMM platform, enhancing their secure mobility management, workforce productivity, and communication and collaboration capabilities. The new Good Secure EMM Suites provide simple and flexible options for customers to deploy industry-leading security across devices, apps, content and data. These tailored mobility suites meet the current and future needs of businesses of any size through a single integrated offering of BES®12, Good Dynamics and WatchDox® by BlackBerry.

Customers are embracing this newest EMM platform from BlackBerry because of its multi-OS support from a single console with iOS, Android (including Android for Work and Samsung KNOX), BlackBerry, Windows and Mac OS - and for any ownership model (BYOD, COPE, COBO), even in mixed environments. Adoption also lets customers simplify infrastructure and commercial framework by consolidating licensing and architectures of their heritage environments from BlackBerry and Good. It also enables them to manage an increasingly complex set of custom and 3rd party applications through the Good Secure EMM Suites.

"We have chosen BlackBerry's Good Secure Enterprise and Collaboration Suites as it is an EMM platform that will help us mobilize our business in the future," said Gil Gouty, Chief Technical Officer, Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse.

"We are very excited about Good Work and Good Dynamics providing secure container and collaboration apps. The new Good Secure Collaboration EMM Suite, including the BES12 multi-OS EMM platform, is very promising and we expect it to be a long-term solution for our organization to build out our mobile app program and drive productivity anytime, anywhere while maintaining the security of our data and network," said Stephan Schleibinger, Head of Front Office, MBDA Deutschland GmbH.

"Customers are commending BlackBerry for building a comprehensive set of capabilities that helps them achieve business outcomes immediately, regardless of where they are on the mobile maturity curve," said Carl Wiese, President Global Sales at BlackBerry. "The Good Suites provide customers with a unique solution in the marketplace - access to thousands of secure productivity applications, custom apps, secure document management, Identity and Access Management solutions delivered on any device through a single vendor."

BlackBerry manages the mobile infrastructure of tens of thousands of customers worldwide. In the most recent quarter over 3,600 customer wins have been added, including competitive wins.

Find out more on Good Secure EMM Suites at www.blackberry.com/enterprise.

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry is securing a connected world, delivering innovative solutions across the entire mobile ecosystem and beyond. We secure the world's most sensitive data across all end points - from cars to smartphones - making the mobile-first enterprise vision a reality. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "should", "intend", "believe", and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by BlackBerry Limited in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that BlackBerry believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause BlackBerry's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the "Risk Factors" section of BlackBerry's Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BlackBerry's forward-looking statements. BlackBerry has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

 

NEW YORK – Swiss Re Corporate Solutions completes its acquisition of IHC Risk Solutions, LLC from Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC). With this acquisition, previously announced on 5 January 2016, IHC Risk Solutions will immediately adopt the Swiss Re Corporate Solutions brand. IHC Risk Solutions' former president, Mike Kemp, will lead the North America Accident & Health Business Unit of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

About Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers innovative, high-quality insurance capacity to mid-sized and large multinational corporations across the globe. Our offerings range from standard risk transfer covers and multi-line programmes, to highly customised solutions tailored to the needs of our clients. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions serves customers from over 50 offices worldwide and is backed by the financial strength of the Swiss Re Group. For more information about Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, please visit www.swissre.com/corporatesolutions or follow us on Twitter @SwissRe_CS.

Yarnall Records Management in Sarasota provides a new market opportunity
LIVERMORE, Calif. – Rob Alston, CEO of Access, recently announced two Florida acquisitions, one broadening the company’s existing Orlando market presence and the other adding Sarasota to the list of markets served. These transactions bring the total number of Access acquisitions to 99 since its founding in 2004.

 
By acquiring Yarnall Records Management, a division of Yarnall Moving and Storage, Access now operates a full-service record center in Sarasota with the capabilities to provide clients its comprehensive suite of solutions for physical and digital information assets that ensure compliance and mitigation of risk.
 
Gina Vandroff, Yarnall’s owner, explained her company’s choice to join forces with Access, “Over the years we have been approached by other companies to purchase our record storage division. We felt that Access was the only one that would continue our promise to our customers to perform with the highest degree of customer service and would highly regard our employees and their work at every level. We are confident that Access will continue the excellent service provided by Yarnall in the past.​”
 
As the largest privately held records and information management provider in the United States, Access now serves 46 major markets across the nation, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.
 
About Access (InformationProtected.com)
Access is the largest privately held records and information management (RIM) services provider in the United States. A trusted partner to clients spanning multiple industries and markets throughout the country, Access’ complete suite of services includes records storage and document management in both hardcopy and digital formats, data protection (electronic computer media), secure destruction, digital document conversion and breach reporting services. The valuable business services Access provides allow clients to focus on their core businesses while reducing the costs and risks associated with document retention, management, convenient access, and final disposition. Access is backed by growth equity investor Berkshire Partners.

For additional information, visit www.InformationProtected.com.

Interstate-Restoration-Hawaii-Make-A-DifferenceInterstate Restoration Hawaii, the Honolulu Police Department and the Federal Fire Department teamed up with Hickam Communities at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 18 for the annual Keiki Safety Fair in Honolulu, providing safety lessons and demonstrations for children, including national database registration, games and ice cream. Children were instructed on how to call for help during emergencies, how to report on suspicious people or situations, and how to cross streets safely, all important topics during the summer months when children are out of school.

From left are, Assistant Community Manager for Hickam Communities Mlia Meyers, Sparky the Fire Dog, Operations Manager for Hickam Communities Charles Gooden, Resident Service Coordinator for Hickam Communities Kalei Wong, and Reconstruction Manager for Interstate Restoration Hawaii Kenny Gregorio.

 

After a boisterous 2015, 2016 looks gloomy for the cybersecurity industry as the market correction and uncertain macro economic environment set in. Last year, investors on Sand Hill Road poured $3.8 billion into security startups, many of which will not make it to the end of this year.

The uncertainty stems well beyond valuations. Entrepreneurs and their investors assumed the chief information security officers (CISO) would clamor for new budget to embrace all of the latest security technology in a bout of paranoia. From our vantage point as an enterprise IT investor in New York, the sentiment in the buyer market is far more rooted in practicality. “I don’t want more budget, I just want a solution that works,” said the CISO of a multinational pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer in the trenches of evaluating new security technologies fit for cloud environments.

Why are many new security products ill-fit for the enterprise? Smart entrepreneurs with expertise in big data and other technology domains are entering the industry expecting a gold rush. Few, however, have the security expertise to build a product tuned to customer requirements. For example, this year the RSA Conference was swarming with Silicon Valley machine learning experts touting preventative security analytics. Without domain expertise and proof beyond theory, it’s all just “snake oil,” as a Global 2000 security director recently commented to me. Despite this skepticism, Forrester Research pegs 2015 spend on cloud security solutions at half a billion dollars.

...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/frontline/2016/03/31/a-new-cloud-security-unicorn-will-rise-from-the-cybersecurity-ashes/

According to the latest Swiss Re sigma study, global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2015 were USD 37 billion, well-below the USD 62 billion average of the previous 10 years. There were 353 disaster events last year. Of those, 198 were natural catastrophes, which is the highest number in one year, according to sigma records.
Total economic losses from all disasters, including both natural and man-made events, were USD 92 billion in 2015 (vs USD 113 billion in 2014). Around USD 80 billion of the losses were due to natural catastrophes, with the earthquake in Nepal causing the most damage. Global economic losses were well below the previous 10-year annual average of USD 192 billion. Of the USD 37 billion global insured losses, USD 28 billion were attributed to natural catastrophes, about the same as in 2014. The biggest insured loss of the year – an estimated property loss of between USD 2.5 billion and USD 3.5 billion – was caused by two large explosions at the Port of Tianjin in China in August.

Asia suffers most losses in 2015

Economic losses from all events in Asia were close to USD 38 billion. The earthquake in Nepal was the biggest disaster of the year globally, killing close to 9000 people, the largest loss of life in a single event.
Total losses from the Nepal quake are estimated at USD 6 billion, which includes damage reported in India, China and Bangladesh. Other events causing high losses in Asia included Typhoon Goni in Japan, flooding in southern India and the explosions in Tianjin.

From cold to hot

Globally the level of losses was low compared with the previous 10-year annual average. This was largely due to another benign hurricane season in the US. Last year was the 10th year in succession that no major hurricane made US landfall. In North America, the biggest loss came from a mid-February winter storm that caused damage in 17 states, with Massachusetts hit hardest. The combined insured losses were USD 2 billion, mainly from burst frozen water pipes and ice weight or water damage to property.

Despite the harsh winter in the US, 2015 overall was the hottest year on record. Heatwaves claimed a number of lives all over the world, while long stretches of high temperatures and lack of rainfall caused drought and wildfires in many regions. The US had its worst year for wildfires since 1960 because of the hot, dry conditions. Other countries impacted by wildfires include Indonesia and Australia. In contrast, regions such as India and the UK experienced extreme precipitation events. In India, the city of Chennai was paralysed by flooding after accumulated rainfall of more than 500 mm in November alone. This was followed by large swathes of the central and northern UK being under water in December due to multiple rainstorms. Preliminary estimates put the insured losses from the UK floods at around USD 2 billion. Heavy rains and flooding also struck in several states in the US.

Global weather patterns deviated from climate norms in 2015, with El Niño being a contributing factor. For instance, tropical storm activity in the North Atlantic was suppressed, while it was a very active season in the Pacific.

Tianjin: a complex puzzle of risk accumulation

This sigma report includes a special chapter on Tianjin, which has put a spotlight on accumulation risk in large transportation hubs such as ports. The imposition of an exclusion zone at the site due to the risk of follow-up explosions and clean-up operations made it very difficult for insurers to assess the losses arising from the many damaged or destroyed assets, such as the many cars in transit at the port. The severity of the blasts and large asset exposures at the time mean that Tianjin, in addition to being the largest insured loss event of 2015, is the biggest man-made insurance loss event ever recorded in Asia, and also one of the biggest man-made insurance loss events worldwide, ever.

www.swissre.com/sigma