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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Housing associations are braced for reform. Legislation, from housing benefit direct to tenants to the bedroom tax, is being driven through but scant consideration has been given to data security. Changing how and where data is held, accessed and transmitted can have profound implications and could see some housing associations breach regulations.

Securing personal data on the wide range of tenants which housing associations provide for is vitally important to protect their identities and to protect them from harm. Current data management is often out of date and incoming legislation threatens to disrupt processes further.



Wealth management firms process, consume, and produce massive amounts of digital data on a daily basis. Many types of wealth management firms are looking at Big Data solutions, including banks, full service and self-directed brokers, and RIAs. Celent believes banks and full service brokers are more likely to use Big Data solutions in the near term as they work to establish better consolidated or 360° views of their customers.

Celent defines Big Data on three dimensions (volume, velocity, and variety), and the process includes capturing and gathering data, analytics, and visualization. This has caught the attention of financial service firms because Big Data can help firms capture and combine diverse sets of internal and external data to improve their analytics. New Big Data analytics help firms process analyst queries and experiments faster, which improves analyst productivity and provides a competitive advantage. Improved visualization tools help in the exploration and presentation of data and analytics.



"Community resilience" is one of those things that we all agree is important but can't agree on just what it means, a situation not uncommon in emergency management. In very broad terms it is the ability of a community to survive and recovery from a significant event. But how do we measure resilience?

Jorn Birkmann's book Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards: Towards Disaster Resilient Societies offers a number of perspectives on the difficulty in such measurements and the complexity involved. It also demonstrates that much of the data needed by current assessment models are either hard to obtain or non-existent, requiring the use of proxy data. This makes many of these research tools of limited utility to the emergency manager.



The storm that destroyed large swaths of Oklahoma was unfathomably destructive. It’s vast size was frightening, its energy enormous, its tragedy permanently unforgettable. Even with all the tornadoes to ravage the U.S. landscape in recent years, this one is uniquely disturbing. The images of flattened neighborhoods full of shattered-toothpick homes and mangled cars look make believe.

With at least 24 dead and more than 200 injured, the human toll has been massive.

In this video, Moore, Oklahoma, Mayor Glenn Lewis discusses the devastation.



The pricing of a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) offering can make or break the solution's profitability for managed services providers (MSP). To avoid beginner mistakes with BDR pricing, we did a little research and discovered five pricing tips that can help MSPs keep their head above water. Take a look at what we uncovered in this MSPmentor exclusive.

BlackPoint IT Services Managed Services Vice President Chris Butler told MSPmentor that his pricing practices have worked well for his company. His pricing strategy has been "developed over the past three years by listening to client feedback and what would be their ideal backup as a service solution."



The growing threat of cyber attacks has moved disaster recovery planning up the agenda for many law firms determined to protect their client’s data. But why pay every year for something you are never likely to use?

Secure data
Every business should have an IT disaster recovery plan, with step-by-step procedures for recovering disrupted systems. The plan identifies critical IT systems and networks, assess the required recovery time, whilst establishing the steps to restarting, reconfiguring and recovering them.
Certain businesses are required by law or regulation to have such plans in place, with some required to keep all data secure and retrievable regardless of what happens to the business.
Instead of outsourcing the entire responsibility for disaster recovery to external service providers, it’s possible for smaller firms to plan for the worst, protect their business and only pay if disaster strikes.



Making sure that people have access to the Internet in the wake of disasters has become crucially important since it gives disaster victims the ability to communicate and learn important information that could help save lives. But what happens if an ISP’s basic infrastructure in a given area gets completely wiped out by a hurricane without any hope of being rebuilt for months? In AT&T’s case, that’s when it’s time to start rolling out its fleet of network equipment trailers that are capable of replicating the functions of a 10-story office building in the space of a small parking lot.

BGR travelled to Hartford, Connecticut last week to get a first-hand look at how AT&T prepares its Network Disaster Recovery trailer fleet for situations where the carrier’s entire central infrastructure has been completely demolished. What makes the entire exercise so impressive is the fact that AT&T goes into an area assuming it will have no ability to connect to the Internet. At first the company will often roll in a satellite truck that will give its makeshift trailer park access to the Internet, albeit with limited bandwidth. From there, the carrier’s team of engineers works to replicate a fiber core capable of ideally providing service to an affected area within a day or two of arriving.



Forrester research has always identified security as a major impediment to broad scale implementation for cloud, regardless of the model, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, the adoption rate has been slowed by security concerns. Cloud providers recognize this is an impediment to selling cloud services and in response are strengthening their security controls. In Forrester’s Forrsights® research program we interview over 2000 security decision makers on a variety of security issues and topics. Cloud security tops the list of concerns regarding cloud deployments.

The appetite on the buy-side is very real for secure IT cloud infrastructures. Our research shows a lot of very strong interest in the deployment of private cloud platforms because of the elasticity, reduced cost and cycle times required to deploy solutions in these environments.

This week Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that AWS GovCloud (U.S.) and all U.S. AWS Regions have received an Agency Authority to Operate (ATO) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) requirements.



Albert Ashwood, Oklahoma’s director of emergency management, was surveying last weekend’s tornado damage with Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday morning, when he told her they had to leave immediately. The weather, he said, was getting worse, and the two of them needed to get to the command center.

Two hours later, a tornado with winds reaching 190 mph cut a 17-mile swath through the metropolitan Oklahoma City area, leveling hundreds of homes and leaving dozens dead.



By Carol Laufer, ACE Excess Casualty, and Lori Brassell-Cicchini, ESIS Catastrophe Services

Business continuity is not just about protecting the supply chain. When a disaster strikes, how a company responds, and how the public perceives that response, can have a significant and lasting impact on its business. A poorly handled response can seriously damage a company’s reputation, lead to lost customers and sales and even spur new regulations. An effective response will help mitigate those very real threats to revenue and reputation. Planning makes all the difference.

A company that develops and tests a robust catastrophe management plan ahead of time can focus on executing the plan, helping the public and its customers through the crisis, while managing the media and government scrutiny. A disaster poses a serious challenge for any business while it is taking place, but an effective response can enhance the company’s reputation for the long term.