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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

I was leafing through a pile of old BCI documents when I stumbled across a paper detailing a presentation, entitled “Resilience isn’t the future of business continuity” given by Charlotte Newnham at the BCM World Conference and Exhibition in November 2012.

In the presentation a number of facts and figures were provided which explain a great deal about “actual” resilience capabilities. The figures provided, included the facts that, of the existing resilience departments approximately 50% were in the public sector and that 76% of organisations extend their remit to incident/emergency management. Whilst, these figures seem positive for the resilience function, only 30% oversaw security or risk management and just 7% had any involvement in IT continuity.



AUSTIN, Texas – Recovery specialists have some sound advice for Texans whose homes and property took on floodwaters: Protect your family’s health and your own by treating or discarding mold- and mildew-infected items.

Health experts urge those who find mold to act fast. Cleaning mold quickly and properly is essential for a healthy home, especially for people who suffer from allergies and asthma, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Mold and mildew can start growing within 24 hours after a flood, and can lurk throughout a home, from the attic to the basement and crawl spaces. The best defense is to clean, dry or, as a last resort, discard moldy items.

Although it can be hard to get rid of a favorite chair, a child’s doll or any other precious treasure to safeguard the well-being of your loved ones, a top-to-bottom home cleanup is your best defense, according to the experts.

Many materials are prone to developing mold if they remain damp or wet for too long. Start a post-flood cleanup by sorting all items exposed to floodwaters:

  • Wood and upholstered furniture, and other porous materials can trap mold and may need to be discarded.
  • Carpeting presents a problem because drying it does not remove mold spores. Carpets with mold and mildew should be removed.
  • However, glass, plastic and metal objects and other items made of hardened or nonporous materials can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.

All flood-dampened surfaces should be cleaned, disinfected and dried as soon as possible. Follow these tips to ensure a safe and effective cleanup:

  • Open windows for ventilation and wear rubber gloves and eye protection when cleaning. Consider using a mask rated N-95 or higher if heavy concentrations of mold are present.
  • Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent to clean all areas and washable items that came in contact with floodwaters.
  • Mix 1-1/2 cups of household bleach in one gallon of water and thoroughly rinse and disinfect the area. Never mix bleach with ammonia as the fumes are toxic.
  • Cleaned areas can take several days to dry thoroughly. The use of heat, fans and dehumidifiers can speed up the drying process.
  • Check out all odors. It’s possible for mold to hide in the walls or behind wall coverings. Find all mold sources and clean them properly.
  • Remove and discard all materials that can’t be cleaned, such as wallboard, fiberglass and cellulose areas. Then clean the wall studs where wallboard has been removed, and allow the area to dry thoroughly before replacing the wallboard.

 For other tips about post-flooding cleanup, visit www.fema.gov, www.epa.gov, or www.cdc.gov.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

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.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

In communicating with the business and the board about the consequences of data breaches, IT is always going to be asked to place dollar figures, which can be difficult to do, even with increasing access to predictive analytics and historical data from any previous breaches in the organization. One of the most extensive benchmark studies that IT can use to help with this is the Ponemon Institute’s annual “Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis.” In its 10th year, and sponsored by IBM, the recently released 2015 edition covers 11 countries, 350 companies, and detailed data about direct and indirect costs of data breaches.

Three major reasons are contributing to a rapid increase in the average cost of a data breach and the average cost per breached record – this last varying by industry – according to Chairman and Founder Dr. Larry Ponemon:

“First, cyber attacks are increasing both in frequency and the cost it requires to resolve these security incidents. Second, the financial consequences of losing customers in the aftermath of a breach are having a greater impact on the cost. Third, more companies are incurring higher costs in their forensic and investigative activities, assessments and crisis team management."



The adoption rates have been slower than that of other industries, but financial institutions are finally starting to leverage the cloud in greater numbers. But the real story isn’t that they’re adopting it—it’s what they are adopting it for. As we discussed in a recent post, financial firms are more concerned about the security risks of cloud-based file sharing than most MSPs would like to hear.

CRM, application development, email and back-end services—these are the functions that most financial firms are prioritizing. Why is file-sharing noticeably absent? In an interview with eWeek, Luciano Santos, vice president of research and member services at the Cloud Security Alliance alluded to the reason:  

"Primarily the top security concerns were more focused around data protection. Data confidentiality, data governance and data breach were the top-ranked security concerns identified by the financial institutions that participated."



(TNS) — Florida has more homes at risk from the devastating damage of hurricane-powered storm surges than any other state, according to a new study by CoreLogic, a California-based real estate information firm.

While the designation will come as no surprise to anyone living smack in the path of hurricane alley, the numbers reported by CoreLogic are sobering. More than 2.5 million homes in the state are at risk for some kind of damage from storm surge, according to the study. Rebuilding costs statewide from an extreme worst-case surge could amount to $491 billion — more than the gross domestic products of Austria, Chile, Venezuela or a dozen other countries.

In the tri-county area between Miami and West Palm Beach, CoreLogic found more than a half million homes are at risk. The company estimated rebuilding costs for a worst-case flooding from storm surge at $105 billion.



(TNS) — The Hawaii National Guard is holding the largest disaster preparedness exercise in its history with more than 2,200 participants from multiple states responding to a simulated hurricane and other events across Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui and Kauai.

Some Chinook and Black Hawk helicopter activity will be seen, Waimanalo will request assistance — possibly for debris clearance — a mass-casualty exercise will take place at the Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu, and harbor chemical spills will be dealt with in Honolulu and on Hawaii island, officials said.

“It combines the civilian government and military organizations, and that’s important because we need to get the organizations working together — understanding each other’s capabilities — before we get to a natural disaster, a real natural disaster event,” said Brig Gen. Bruce Oliveira, the head of the Hawaii Army National Guard.



Version Management Pioneer and IP Management Leader Partner to Support Rapid, High-Volume IP Management


WOKINGHAM, UK – Perforce Software and Methodics, Inc. today announced the integration of the Perforce Helix source code management (SCM) and collaboration platform with Methodics’ ProjectIC IP Lifecycle Management software. The partnership helps companies scale their systems to handle high levels of automation and ensures that teams using Methodics are working with the latest version of any asset.


Methodics offers advanced Intellectual Property (IP) qualification, distribution, cataloging and workspace optimisation and management for companies creating analog and digital systems-on-chips (SoCs). It allows designers full visibility into enterprise IP resources and the corresponding data available to them, regardless of where they are located. Helix Versioning Engine is the industry’s most secure and scalable versioning system. It supports globally dispersed teams with their choice of distributed (DVCS) or centralised workflows. It features unparalleled security and IP protection for any type of SoC-related asset—from CAD/EDA designs to databases and documents.


“The semiconductor/IP industry has seen a huge increase in not only the size of files but the average number of files in a project as well. On top of that, the design and development processes themselves generate gigabytes of data each day,” said Jerry Brocklehurst, vice president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Methodics. “All of these factors put additional stress on data management systems and increase complexity. We’ve partnered with Perforce so we can offer our customers a highly scalable integrated solution that addresses these demands.”


Helix is infinitely scalable and ensures that regardless of the type or size of a file, users can access the latest version, its entire change history and the relationships to other files. Helix Threat Detection is the last line of defense for IP with powerful behavioural analytics and rich interactive forensics.


“Large multinationals and small specialised IP design companies alike are dealing with the same complexity challenges while striving to reduce costs and improve efficiency,” said Dave Robertson, vice president of Channels at Perforce. “Methodics’ ProjectIC combined with Helix provides a sophisticated asset management solution that does just that while protecting a company’s most valuable IP.”


Methodics joins an expanding community of Perforce resellers and integration partners across the globe.


About Perforce Software

Perforce Software helps companies build complex products more collaboratively and securely. Its highly scalable source code management (SCM) and collaboration platform, Perforce Helix, enables global teams to collaborate on any type or size of file. It supports both centralised and distributed (DVCS) workflows while safeguarding intellectual property with advanced behavioural analytics. Perforce is trusted by the world’s most innovative brands including adidas, Samsung, NVIDIA, Intuit, Pixar, Salesforce, EA, Ubisoft and VMware. The company is headquartered in Alameda, California, with offices in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, and sales partners around the globe. For more information, please visit www.perforce.com


About Methodics

Methodics delivers state-of-the-art semiconductor data management (DM) and IP management solutions for analog, digital, software development, and SoC design teams. The integration of its products with industry-standard DM solutions, such as Perforce and Subversion, makes designs more efficient, predictable and with higher quality. Advanced IP qualification, distribution, cataloging, and workspace optimisation and management ensure that no matter where designers are located, they have full visibility into the IP available to them and can easily access the corresponding data. Methodics’ clients for analog and digital designers integrate natively to make DM seamless to users. Its highly scalable and industry-proven solutions are ideal for large multinational, multisite design teams as well as small specialised IP design teams. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has offices and representatives in the U.S., Europe, Israel, Taiwan, and Korea. For more information, visit www.methodics.com

LONDON – Today, Brand Embassy, an award winning digital customer service technology firm, announced the launch of their new customer service platform. Brand Embassy’s cloud-based SaaS brings digital customer service channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, live chat and discussion forums into one interface and then uses a variety of parameters like post influence and topic to intelligently route requests to the most relevant customer service agent. Brand Embassy also announces it has already signed up Vodafone, T-Mobile and GE Money for its platform.


As the global market leader in telco social customer service software, Brand Embassy has seen a shift in the way some of the world's largest brands like Vodafone approach customer service. When demand is low, social media management tools that capture a live stream of brand mentions are suitable for social customer service. Marketing managers can act as the liaison between requests made on social and contact center agents. But with even the slightest increase in demand the whole thing falls apart.


A 2014 study by McKinsey found, e-mail and telephonic voice have fallen from over 80% to about 60% of the telecoms communications portfolio over the past five years, while time spent on social networks has doubled. When consumers do use their phones, only about 20% of the time is for talking - down from over 60% just five years ago.


“We’ve seen a major change in the way our customers want to communicate with us,” says Phil Wilson, Social Media Communication Manager at Vodafone UK. “They demand more than just marketing on social media, they want customer service. We believe it’s our job to deliver that exceptional service. That’s why we’ve invested in customer service technology from Brand Embassy, and together we’re well on our way to achieving our goals.”


“Customers already have cutting edge technology in their pockets - it’s businesses who need to catch up,” says Vit Horky, co-founder and CEO of Brand Embassy. “Customers aren’t willing to wait on hold anymore to get customer service. They want to communicate with brands the same way they communicate with friends - on social media. It’s just easier.”


The many-to-many nature of social media creates a conversation that can get very complex, very quickly. Brand Embassy understands the complexity of a social thread and intelligently creates, prioritizes and routes requests to the most relevant person - everything from an email-turned-angry-Facebook post to a simple ‘thanks’ on Twitter is captured and appropriately assigned.

  • Integrated CRM gives agents real time customer data to provide a more personal and relevant customer experience
  • Intelligent Workflow identifies and sorts requests based on post influence, topics mentioned, language and source of origin, a critical feature for operations at scale
  • To Bee Done List automatically creates tickets from complicated social threads so agents don’t have to worry about missing an individual issue or question within a single post
  • Knowledge base allows agents to share information and save time with easily customizable predefined answers

“Our technology isn’t just a glorified Google alert for social media - it’s much smarter than that.” adds Horky.


About Brand Embassy

Brand Embassy is a digital customer service technology company that makes it easy for brands to be loved by today’s impatient social and mobile customers. Launched in 2011, Brand Embassy’s SaaS is now trusted by over 100 enterprise clients like Vodafone, T-Mobile, Samsung and GE Money. By unifying all digital customer service channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, live chat, forums and self service into one Social Customer Ecosystem customer service becomes efficient, personal and scalable.

CHICAGO – Regardless of a company's size or industry, adequate controls are needed to minimize the risks to sensitive data exposure. CNA today released Everyone Is a Potential Target for a Cyber Attack: 5 Critical Steps to Protecting Sensitive Data, a blog post by CNA's David Hallstrom, director of Information Risk Insurance.

"For every cyber security breach reported in the news, there are scores of incidents that are not covered in the media," Hallstrom said. "Cyber crime is a problem that is not confined to technology and large companies and there are actions every company can take to manage this risk."

In the blog, Hallstrom identifies five key steps for businesses to strengthen their cyber risk management strategy:

STEP 1: Perform a risk assessment to identify system vulnerabilities, and understand how your data is managed and secured.
STEP 2: Educate your team by implementing a sound communication and training strategy for everyone who is accountable for managing cyber risks.
STEP 3: Know your vendors and make sure you implement reasonable measures to ensure they have the capacity to protect your sensitive information.
STEP 4: Address portable devices and ensure they are encrypted in the event they are lost or stolen.
STEP 5: Make sure you have proper insurance coverage to address potential security breaches.

"Developing an effective plan to identify possible exposures and measures to minimize risk is vital to the success of any business. The potential consequences of a single data breach can range from sizable monetary penalties, negative publicity, interruption of daily operations and loss of public trust," Hallstrom added.

CNA entered the cyber liability insurance market in 2001 and is now the sixth largest writer of cyber security insurance worldwide. Whether it's protecting a company from phishing, becoming exposed to malware or protecting against identity theft, CNA Risk Control professionals have the tools, services and solutions needed to address today's cyber-related challenges. CNA is one of the first carriers to offer the expertise of insurance professionals who have received the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) credential from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Additional information on resources to manage and reduce cyber risk can be found on www.cna.com.

Serving businesses and professionals since 1897, CNA is the country's eighth largest commercial insurance writer and the 13th largest property and casualty company.  CNA's insurance products include standard commercial lines, specialty lines, surety, marine and other property and casualty coverages. CNA's services include risk management, information services, underwriting, risk control and claims administration.   Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit CNA at www.cna.com. "CNA" is a service mark registered by CNA Financial Corporation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Certain CNA Financial Corporation subsidiaries use the "CNA" service mark in connection with insurance underwriting and claims activities.

Follow CNA (NYSE: CNA) on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Celebrating Europe's finest in the business continuity industry

At an awards ceremony at the La Maison du Cygne, a prestigious 17C building on the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium and once home to the city's butchers' guild, the  Business Continuity Institute recognised the talent that exists in the business continuity industry across the continent as they held their annual European Awards.

The BCI Awards consist of nine categories – eight of which are decided by a panel of judges with the winner of the final category (Industry Personality of the Year) being voted upon by BCI members from across the region.

The winners were:

Continuity and Resilience Consultant of the Year 2015
Chris Needham-Bennett MBCI of Needhams 1834

Continuity and Resilience Professional of the Year 2015 (Private Sector)
Michael Crooymans CBCI of SOGETI

Continuity and Resilience Newcomer of the Year 2015
Jacqueline Howard CBCI of Marks and Spencer

Continuity and Resilience Team of the Year 2015
Ulster Bank Business Resilience Team

Continuity and Resilience Provider (Service/Product) of the Year 2015
Sungard Availability Services

Continuity and Resilience Innovation of the Year 2015
PinBellCom Ltd

Most Effective Recovery of the Year 2015

Industry Personality of the Year 2015
David Window MBCI of Continuity Shop

The BCI European Awards are one of seven regional held by the BCI and which culminate in the annual  Global Awards held in November during the Institute’s annual conference in London, England. All winners in the BCI European Awards are automatically entered into the Global Awards.