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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Think Target and the hit it took when hackers stole the private information of millions, requiring many to update credit cards and the like. It’s a disaster that most executives believe will happen to them–not if, but when. So, that makes it even more amazing to find out that most executives think, according a study published in the Economist, that two thirds of CEOs think a good response to such an attack will enhance their reputation.

PRNewser from mediabistro reporting on the Economist story notes that while 66% think they will come out of such an event smelling like a rose, only 17% surveyed say they are “fully prepared.”

Hootsuite, perhaps the best social media management and monitoring tool that I know of, today experienced a hack attack in the form of a Denial of Service attack. One client emailed me Ryan Holmes’ response. The CEO of Hootsuite was fast, empathetic, transparent and almost completely on target. (Only thing missed in my mind was an apology, but perhaps he felt there was nothing to apologize for and he may be right).

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http://ww2.crisisblogger.com/2014/03/can-cyberattacks-improve-your-reputation/

I’ve seen some hefty price tags associated with poor data quality, but I have to say, last year’s figure from the Ministry of Defence may take the prize. The UK agency was told “it was at risk of squandering a £1 billion in investments in IT because of dire data quality” last year, according to Martin Doyle, the Data Quality Improvement Evangelist for DQ Global.

This year, another UK agency, the National Health Service (NHS), is under scrutiny for sharing data without consent. Names and addresses may have been taken from the database and sold for studies, which meant it was uploaded to third-party cloud storage services, according to Doyle.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the NHS is also working on a project called Care.data, which is a centralized hub for patient care records. The NHS has “problems recalling exactly who has all of this patient information already, suggesting it has bigger problems to solve,” he writes. This issue has triggered a backlog in patient care.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/bad-data-quality-more-problems-for-the-uk.html

The cloud is the latest juggernaut to sweep the enterprise IT industry, and if you ask most experts, the expectation is that the entire data universe will one day reside on distributed virtual architecture.

At the moment, however, the vision has not been completely sold to the people who build and maintain enterprise corporate environments.

According to new data from 451 Research at the behest of Microsoft, more than 45 percent of IT executives consider their organizations to be beyond the pilot phase of cloud computing, with at least half of that group saying they are “heavy” cloud users. However, only 6 percent have labeled the cloud as the default platform for new applications, while only 18 percent turn to the cloud regularly for new projects. All of this suggests that while the enterprise has embraced the cloud with open arms, the vast majority are using it for low-value or non-critical functions – hardly the new data paradigm that has been touted so far.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/the-long-and-the-short-of-the-enterprise-cloud.html

In a white paper entitled ‘Are public agencies better prepared to deal with crises in 2014?’ Noggin IT has released findings from a survey of US organizations.

The survey, conducted in late 2013, reveals an increasingly complex environment for those in crisis management due to greater regulatory compliance, Internet-connected stakeholders, more unpredictable weather events and political and financial volatility, where technology is key to improving organizational resilience and business continuity.

James Boddam-Whetham, managing director Noggin IT says “We are seeing a situation where public agencies are being required to do more with less. Some of the interesting pain points that came out of this survey were that actual crisis management team activation was still a struggle for many organizations; as was the broader issue of employee communications during a crisis. Both point to a perhaps overlooked consideration for a crisis management software solution: can it actually assist you manage your internal people affairs during a crisis. Much of the emphasis for crisis management systems has been on informing the public, or alerts and notifications, rather than necessarily getting the internal ship in order. An ability to organise internal stakeholders would therefore seem to be a logical consideration for any crisis management solution.”

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07141.html

Monday, 24 March 2014 15:49

BCI launches new senior membership grade

The Business Continuity Institute has announced the creation of a new ‘Associate Fellow’ (AFBCI) senior membership grade for those people who have reached a senior level in the business continuity profession but have concentrated more on developing their practical working experience rather than specifically contributing to the development of the Institute or the discipline.

The AFBCI grade sits between MBCI and FBCI. Applicants must fit into either of the following criteria:

  • A current MBCI held for a minimum of 3 years;
  • A current MBCP credential held for at least 3 years with the DRII.

The applicant must also:

  • Be currently working in business continuity management;
  • Have a minimum of seven years working experience within the discipline and knowledge across all six BCI Professional Practices;
  • Have three years of CPD completed using the BCI’s CPD system or CPEs through the DRII system if using MBCP to apply (These must be the three years previous to year application);
  • Complete a full scored assessment application process.

If you would like more information or would like to request an application form, please contact membership@thebci.org

PC World — Each time there's a high-profile data breach, security experts exhort the same best practices: Create unique logins for every service you use, use complex passwords, vigilantly comb your credit card statements for anomalies. The advice is sound. Unfortunately, it obscures the fact that the safety of your personal information is ultimately in the hands of companies you share it with.

Identity theft is changing. Customer databases are a treasure trove of personal information and much more efficient for hackers to target than individuals. In this new landscape, the guidelines security experts--and journalists like me--espouse are really just damage-control measures that minimize the impact of a successful attack after the fact, but do absolutely nothing to protect your personal data or financial information from the attack itself.

Look back on some of the major data breach incidents of 2013. Adobe was hacked, and attackers gained access to customer account information for nearly 150 million users, as well as credit-card information from nearly three million customers. Target was hacked, and the credit- or debit-card details for 40 million customers were exposed. In those cases, there was little any individual consumer could have done to prevent being affected by those data breaches.

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http://www.cio.com/article/750139/In_the_Big_Data_Breach_Era_the_Safety_of_Your_Personal_Data_is_Ultimately_Out_of_Your_Hands

Computerworld UK — Big data analytics tools will be crucial to enterprise security as criminals deploy faster and more sophisticated methods to steal valuable data, according to security firm RSA.

"We are really at the beginning of intelligence-driven security: it is just the tip of the iceberg. Looking forward we are going to have to be smarter [to deal with threats], and we are going to be looking at better data science," said RSA's head of knowledge delivery and business development, Daniel Cohen.

"It's not 'if' we are going to be breached, but 'when' we are going to be breached, so there is a need to focus more on detection. We saw with the Target breach it was the human factor that slipped there, so we have to be able to bring in more automation."

The number of successful attacks against high-profile businesses have clearly increased in recent years, with the compromise of Target's point of sale systems just one example of the variety of methods that cyber criminals are using to steal data on a large scale.

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http://www.cio.com/article/750126/Big_Data_Analytics_the_Future_of_IT_Security_

IBM moved today to take a bigger bite out of fraud by combining various pieces of software and services into a common framework that is simpler to deploy.

Rick Hoene, worldwide fraud solutions leader for IBM Global Services, says that while IBM has been delivering technologies to fight fraud for over 20 years, the scope of criminal fraud activity now requires a more integrated approach. To that end, IBM is launching a Smarter Counter Fraud initiative, which isbased on IBM Counter Fraud Management Software and existing assets. This combination creates a single offering that is simpler to both acquire and install.

Based on IBM’s Big Data analytics technologies, the IBM software is designed to aggregate data from external and internal sources and apply analytics in ways to prevent, identify and investigate suspicious activity. It includes analytics that identify non-obvious relationships between entities, visualization technology that identifies patterns of fraud, and machine-learning software to help prevent future occurrences of fraud based on previous discoveries.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/ibm-launches-smarter-counter-fraud-initiative.html

While Hadoop may make Big Data more accessible, the setting up of a Hadoop cluster on commodity servers is not particularly simple.

To help IT organizations automate that process, Continuuity today announces it is contributing Loom, cluster management software that automates the process of provisioning a Hadoop cluster, to the open source community.

Continuuity CEO Jonathan Gray says it is a byproduct of the company’s effort to provide an application development environment for Hadoop that can be deployed on a private or public cloud. As customers began to build applications on the Continuuity platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment, it became apparent they needed help with the DevOps elements of Hadoop.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/continuuity-contributes-hadoop-provisioning-tool-to-open-source.html

Monday, 24 March 2014 15:44

Big Data Funding Spree Continues

Network World — Venture capital firms continue to funnel big sums of money to big data startups.

Most recently, Cloudera raised $160 million in new financing from investors including T. Rowe Price and Google Ventures. The latest round for Cloudera (which offers its own distribution of Hadoop plus integrated tools) brings its total funding to $300 million.

On the same day Cloudera announced its venture capital windfall, analytics startup Platfora announced funding of its own. Platfora, based in San Mateo, closed a $38 million round from investors including Tenaya Capital, Citi Ventures, Cisco and Allegis Capital. The latest round brings Platfora's total financing to $65 million.

Platfora's analytics and visualization software is designed to run on top of Hadoop; existing customers include DirecTV, Disney, and The Washington Post.

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http://www.cio.com/article/750106/Big_Data_Funding_Spree_Continues