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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

(TNS)Using some of its strongest language to date, the Oklahoma Geological Survey said Tuesday the state's ongoing earthquake swarm is "very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process."

The state survey said the suspected source of triggered earthquakes is the use of wastewater disposal wells that dump large amounts of water produced along with oil production.

"The observed seismicity of greatest concentration, namely in central and north-central Oklahoma, can be observed to follow the oil and gas plays characterized by large amounts of produced water," the report stated. "Seismicity rates are observed to increase after a time-delay as injection volumes increase within these plays. In north central and north-central Oklahoma, this time-delay can be weeks to a year or more."



If you are familiar with IT security testing for organisations, you have probably heard of the concept of a kill chain. This is a route by which an attacker can achieve a given goal (steal data or sabotage an IT installation, for instance). Kill chains as their name suggests are composed of several links or stages through which an attacker moves to home in on the target result. As efficiency as well as effectiveness is part of business continuity, why reinvent the wheel? The kill chain could provide insights here as well.



Thursday, 23 April 2015 00:00

Drones Should Be On Everybody’s Radar

One of the questions that underlie much of what is discussed in the telecommunications and IT world is whether the end game is a world of unemployed people. When will IBM Watson and other cognitive computing platforms evolve to the point that they make analysts unnecessary? When will robots become so sophisticated that all the nurses and home health care givers will be out of work? When will drones replace the neighborhood ice cream truck?

These are important questions, but ones that are not strictly limited to the IT/telecom realm. After all, engineers make the weapons. Politicians, legislators and administrators decide how to use them.



An ‘alternate workspace’ (either at your own locations, or contracted through a 3rd party provider) can be a vital component of a viable Business Continuity strategy; but only if the strategy works as intended.

An earlier article discussed Alternate Site Logistics – transportation, access and accommodations.  But you’ll also need to make sure to build technical access into every BCP which may rely on an alternate site strategy.

Let’s assume in that hypothetical Alternate Workspace strategy the designated employees arrive safely and are granted access to their alternate workspace.



It ought to go without saying that a volunteer firefighter isn’t going to perpetrate a sex crime or rob a house when he’s supposed to be dousing the flames. Apparently it isn’t that obvious.

Last year New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law requiring background checks to ensure volunteer firefighters weren’t carrying sex offense convictions. It’s up to individual fire companies to decide whether a prospective volunteer is fit to serve, in spite of a past sex offense, but everyone gets screened.

In Rush County, Ind., volunteers for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) must submit to an even broader check, one that encompasses all past criminal history.



(TNS) — If a hurricane is closing in on your neighborhood, the National Weather Service wants you to know what you will likely face.

So it is creating an interactive map on its homepage to tell you how your home in any particular storm could be affected by strong winds, torrential rains, storm surge or flooding.

"It communicates the local threat of each hurricane hazard," Pablo Santos, meteorologist in charge of the weather service's Miami office, said Tuesday. "It's meant to be realistic in terms of what to prepare for."

While the goal is to have it up and running by the June 1 start of hurricane season, Santos said it is still "under construction" and may not be available until the heart of the season in mid-August, or possibly even next year.



Enterprise Risk Visualization software integrated with Enterprise Incident Feed gives early alerts to risks


LANSING, Mich. – IDV Solutions, LLC, the leader in enterprise risk visualization and NC4, the leader in enterprise risk data, today announced the companies have formed a technical partnership.

Through the partnership, NC4’s Enterprise Incident Feed can be integrated into IDV Solutions’ Visual Command Center® Enterprise Risk Visualization (ERV) software. The new integration will bring NC4’s real-time global incident information and intelligence to Visual Command Center’s comprehensive platform for risk awareness and response. 

The NC4 Enterprise Incident Feed is designed to provide a highly flexible mechanism for integrating the timely, comprehensive and reliable all-hazards incidents from the market-leading NC4 Risk Center™ service into enterprise applications for corporate security, business continuity, supply chain and risk management.  Having access to this information and receiving timely alerts of incidents around subscriber locations can dramatically increase the ability to respond to risks that threaten employees, supply chain and operations both locally and globally. 

Visual Command Center helps organizations take command of risk by providing a real-time, common operating picture of their assets, personnel and operations in relation to potential threats to those assets. It unites and visualizes information on global sources of risk, such as the NC4 Enterprise Incident Feed, weather, and natural disasters, as well as data from internal sources, like real estate datasets, human resource systems, video management, incident management, and mass notification, on an interactive map and timeline. It also provides tools to assess and act to minimize the impact of risks.

“IDV’s Visual Command Center enables users to see relevant data from different sources in one common operating picture. Adding the detailed, all-hazards, incident information from NC4 Risk Center provides an even greater level of situational awareness for users,” says Jim Montagnino, CEO and President of NC4. 

“We are excited to partner with NC4 to offer a Visual Command Center data connection to the Enterprise Incident Feed data,” said Mark Morrison, CEO and co-founder, IDV Solutions. “NC4’s analysts track thousands of global information sources 24x7. Combining that information with Visual Command Center’s Alert, Assess and Act capabilities will help mutual customers learn about risk events early and act quickly to minimize their impact.”


About IDV Solutions, LLC

IDV Solutions, LLC is the global leader in delivering Enterprise Risk Visualization capabilities through software and services that enable organizations to protect their assets, ensure continuity of operations and optimize performance. Its Visual Command Center software is used in functions such as security, field services, supply chain, and operations. By repeatedly solving key problems for customers in the Global 2000 and government, IDV and its products have earned a reputation for delivering immediate value and building risk resilient organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.idvsolutions.com.


About NC4

NC4 delivers safety and security solutions for both business and government organizations. We revolutionize how organizations and communities collect, manage, share and disseminate information to reduce cyber threats, fight crime, mitigate risks, and manage incidents. NC4 also provides secure communication and collaborating solutions for public and private sector communities.

NC4 solutions are used by private sector companies involved in financial services, high-tech, insurance, manufacturing, aerospace and defense, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, as well as several other industries.  In the public sector, NC4 solutions are used by federal, state and local agencies in homeland security, emergency management and law enforcement disciplines. NC4 takes a comprehensive and integrated approach to safety and security by providing: global security and travel intelligence, analysis, traveler tracking, and relevant real-time threat alerting to mitigate enterprise risks; cyber threat exchanges that drive the development of a sharing culture and circles of trust;  and a common operating picture for fighting crime and managing emergencies. For information about NC4, visit http://www.NC4.com or call toll-free, 1-877-624-4999.

WASHINGTON — Since “big data” is changing so many aspects of the business world, how is it affecting the way health and retirement benefits are provided to private-sector workers?

At a recent policy forum sponsored by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), several national experts described how employers and researchers are making a major commitment to capturing and analyzing the vast amount of health and retirement data in their benefits plans.

While the health sector is considerably farther down the road than the retirement sector in using data analytics in benefits plan design and management, both fields are in the very early stages of using big data. For both health and retirement benefits, the goal is to use of massive amounts of data and computer-driven data analytics to determine how people behave when it comes to health and retirement plans, which programs work or do not, and how to get better results at lower cost.

As several of the speakers at the EBRI forum described, many workers are already seeing the results of this trend, such as the rapidly growing use of electronic medical records and their ability to access their own health records online. And they predicted that the science of applied mathematics seems destined to dominate the art of employee benefits.

“With data being used more heavily in the evaluation of both the health and retirement side of employers’ benefit programs, what is that doing to help control costs, increase quality, and facilitating—or not—retirement and health security?” asked EBRI President and CEO Dallas Salisbury. “Ultimately, employers believe these investments can improve their bottom line as well the bottom lines of individuals and their clients, or the quality of health and retirement outcomes at a lower cost.”

EBRI’s 75th biannual policy forum last December delved into both the status and promise of this trend before an audience of about a hundred benefits professionals and policymakers. Two panels of experts—one focusing on health and the other on retirement—provided an overview of what employers, researchers, and data analysts are currently doing, what they hope to be doing, and what seems to be working so far. Speakers included employers, research and analytic experts, heath and retirement plan executives, and consultants.

The full report, “Measured Matters: The Use of ‘Big Data’ in Employee Benefits,” is published in the April 2015 EBRI Notes, online at www.ebri.org

The Employee Benefit Research Institute is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, DC, that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic security issues. EBRI does not lobby and does not take policy positions. The work of EBRI is made possible by funding from its members and sponsors, which include a broad range of public, private, for-profit and nonprofit organizations. For more information go to www.ebri.org or www.asec.org

Leading cloud CTRM vendor Aspect launched the most powerful version yet of its AspectCTRM trade and risk management platform incorporating key new functionality for metals and concentrates. The new functionality complements AspectCTRM’s base metals and steel capabilities and features specific to the London Metals Exchange.


New concentrates functionality in version 15.1 of the AspectCTRM solution includes:

  • Support for moisture content and tracking of wet and dry quantities.
  • Ability to capture and track multiple payable metals contained in the concentrate, allowing each metal to be valued and marked to market using separate price curves and quote periods.
  • Support for anticipated and real assays.
  • Ability to record and track treatment charges and value them against their own forward curve, including price participation functionality
  • Management of complex pricing and penalties.
  • Mark to market for treatment charges, refining charges, penalties and more.
  • Drill down into P&L reports to identify changes in P&L.

In addition to concentrates functionality the new release includes a total of 72 major improvements and enhancements including refinery nominations, new agricultural and grains functionality, simplified price curve reporting and field level access control for custom fields.


Other significant elements of the upgrade are support for iron ore and related moisture levels as well as an enhanced logistics module, improved reporting and mapping capabilities, an ability to track P&L and logistics costs through the supply chain, a new Russian language user interface, and a fully customizable menu structure for ease of use.


Many of the usability improvements are the result of Aspect’s AESthetics program which creates a streamlined, multi-commodity, scalable trading and risk platform that can be configured and deployed without highly specialist industry knowledge. Unique to Aspect, AESthetics is in contrast to other solutions which require implementation either by the vendor’s own team, or by large and expensive consultancy firms.

The new version 15.1 comes as Aspect enters its 15th year. The company pioneered ETRM in the cloud in year 2000, initially in the energy sector. It has since moved into metals, softs, biofuels and agriculturals, gone on to gain some 500 customer organizations in 90 countries and has won a cluster of industry awards for its technology. In 2014 it celebrated its strongest ever financial year, taking more business than any other vendor in the trade and risk space.


About Aspect

Aspect is a leading global provider of multi-commodity trade, risk and operations management applications delivered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the cloud. With almost 500 customers in 90 countries, it's one of the fastest growing providers with rapid deployment, affordable subscriptions, and immediate ROI for all size companies. Solutions include AspectCTRM®, a full-featured commodity trading and risk management enterprise suite for front, middle and back office. It’s available in three editions: Lite, Standard and Enterprise, expanding in functionality according to the needs and budgets of clients. Aspect is the only ETRM/CTRM solutions provider with market data and analytics tools delivered with its trade and risk functions on the same platform. This provides users with a seamless packaged solution beginning with pre-trade pricing analysis and market assessments via AspectDSC. Aspect's solutions are available on desktop, tablets and mobile devices and through its new Aspect Partner Program (APP).

KEMP, Texas – Larson Electronics has added to its extensive range of industrial grade lighting equipment with the release of an 800 watt quadpod mounted work light. Built to provide a high power lighting solution that requires minimal setup time, the WAL-QP-2X400LTL-LED-100 provides operators with an ideal lighting solution that features a quadpod with solid wheels for portability and two 400 watt LED light heads.

The WAL-QP-2X400LTL-LED-100 from Larson Electronics is a quadpod mounted work area light that provides approximately 50,000 square feet of work area coverage with 104,000 lumens of light. The light fixtures are IP67 rated waterproof and offers increased durability, longer lamp life, and low power consumption. This portable light tower has a removable light head assembly mounted on top of a four legged aluminum quadpod equipped with wheels for easy positioning from one work space to another. This adjustable and collapsible quadpod can be extended to twelve feet and collapsed to seven feet. The light assembly on this unit can be removed by releasing the hand knob and sliding the light and mounting bracket off of the center support while the legs can be collapsed, aiding in deployment, storage and transportation. This quadpod mounted work light is a heavy duty unit designed for use in inclement conditions and for overall longevity in difficult construction environments with heavy duty aluminum construction and stainless steel hardware for maximum durability. Included with this LED quadpod mounted light is one hundred feet of SOOW cord, which combined with the adjustability offered by the LED light head, provides ample length for tower placement and optimal coverage of the workspace. Larson Electronics’ work lights are designed for industrial, emergency response and military applications, where operators are working in harsh, destructive environments that require durable, dependable lighting.

“This new quadpod mounted work light is one of our most powerful, compact work lights,” Rob Bresnahan with Larsonelectronics.com said. “This light assembly produces a wide flood pattern that makes it ideal for illuminating large work spaces and job sites.”

Larson Electronics carries an extensive line of explosion proof lights, hazardous location lights, intrinsically safe lights, oil rig lights and explosion proof tank lights. You can view Larson Electronics’ entire line of explosion proof lighting at Larsonelectronics.com. Larson Electronics can be reached directly by calling 1-800-369-6671 or 1-214-616-6180 for international inquiries.