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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

If the average food safety crisis or product recall forces companies to weather a storm, Chipotle has spent the past year trying to weather a category 4 hurricane. Now months into their recovery effort, it seems they are still seeing significant storm surges.
Last week, a group of Chipotle shareholders filed a federal lawsuit accusing executives of “failing to establish quality-control and emergency-response measures to prevent and then stop food-borne illnesses that sickened customers across the country and proved costly to the company,” the Denver Post reported. The suit accuses executives, the board of directors, and managers of unjust enrichment and seeks compensation from Chipotle’s co-CEOs, while also asking for corporate-governance reforms and changes to internal procedures to comply with laws and protect shareholders.

Sales remain significantly impacted by the series of six foodborne illness outbreaks last year. The company reported in July that same-store sales fell another 23.6% in Q2, marking the third straight quarter of declines for performance even lower than analysts had predicted. The company’s stock remains drastically impacted, currently trading at about $394 compared to a high of $749 before the outbreaks came to light a year ago.



Friday, 19 August 2016 00:00

What It Means To Be A Data Scientist

Good data scientists have been called "unicorns" because it is so rare to find professionals who possess all the required skill sets. When a company seeks to hire a data scientist, it's typically seeking someone with skills in advanced programming and statistical analysis, along with expertise in a particular industry segment, such as healthcare, finance, or marketing.

The proliferation of data, and the potential for organizations to turn data into something valuable that didn't exist before -- think Uber and Netflix -- has increased demand for such professionals.

Linda Burtch, an executive recruiter who has specialized in quantitative professionals for 30 years, told InformationWeek the demand for data scientists is at the highest level she has ever seen.



Friday, 19 August 2016 00:00

South Bend Floodwaters Pose Health Risks

(TNS) - Local health officials warn residents to be wary of floodwaters — in their basement, in the street and even in the rivers — for possible contamination with bacteria and water-borne illnesses.

This is especially true for people with sensitive immune systems and the elderly.

Case in point: Diane DeCleene, who couldn’t afford to get sick — again — from floodwaters. There must have been something in the black, silty wastewater that backed up into her basement during a storm in June that had triggered vomiting and diarrhea. Even her dog got sick. Maybe they mucked around in it too much.



(TNS) - The deadly flood that has swamped south Louisiana this week will likely mean more mosquitoes this summer as the floodwaters start to recede.

State health leaders say that also could mean an increase in West Nile cases and even potentially a bigger threat of Zika virus.

"We're going to have standing water all over south Louisiana," Gov. John Bel Edwards said this week, warning about the additional pitfalls that lie ahead as the flood-affected areas transition to recovery mode. "We're going to have more than our share of mosquitoes."

The historic flooding, which is the result of what experts are calling a one-in-1,000-year rain, has prompted federal disaster declarations in 20 parishes. Edwards has said he expects that declaration will grow to cover even more as the flood waters shift southward and local officials tally up the damage their areas have sustained.



Friday, 19 August 2016 00:00

Cyber Security's New World Order

Researchers this week revealed the discovery of computer malware so sophisticated that it managed to hide undetected within enterprise and government computers for five years.

Named after an omnipotent Lord of the Rings character, Project Sauron is an unusually well crafted piece of software. Once installed, it lives entirely in computer memory, leaving no predictable trail of server domain names or IP addresses. It can even infect “air gapped” computers not granted access to the network. Then it simply lies dormant, a sleeper cell of sorts, awaiting further instruction.

Sauron has been siphoning information from some of the world’s most fortified networks in Russia, China, Belgium, Iran and Sweden since 2011. And that makes researchers very nervous they can’t keep any digital data safe from determined actors.



Although workplace health and safety is already a focus at many organizations, there is always plenty of room for improvement. Consider the number of workplace injuries that occur every year: In 2014, there were nearly 3 million nonfatal injuries and an additional 4,679 fatal injuries in workplaces, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These numbers are staggering. However, they do not necessarily mean that workplace injuries are inevitable. In fact, there are several important steps that your own organization can take to mitigate its workplace health and safety risks:



Willie Sutton, an infamous bank robber from the 1920s through the 1950s, denied ever saying that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." Nonetheless, this apocryphal declaration of the obvious could equally well apply to hackers and data centers.

After providing computing infrastructure and the power to run it, data centers have to prioritize security. Without security, a data center is a data breach, and that's not an enduring enterprise.

Information technology professionals know this well. Anyone who has visited data center of any size can attest to the evident security measures. These are not places you can just walk into for a tour of the server racks.

But not all data centers handle their responsibilities to clients with equal diligence.



(TNS) - The federal government on Wednesday warned the nation's railroads, including Chicago's Metra, not to wait until the last minute to install a new high-tech safety system that can prevent crashes and save lives.

The Federal Railroad Administration also urged Congress to provide more funding to help commuter railroads implement the program, known as Positive Train Control. The technology uses GPS, radios, computers and antennas to slow or stop speeding trains, prevent collisions and override human errors.

"Positive Train Control should be installed as quickly as possible," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, in a statement provided by the FRA. "This is lifesaving technology available now, and railroads should continue to aggressively work to beat the deadlines Congress has put in place."


For the 2nd Time, Abacus Data Systems Appears on the Inc. 5000 list, Ranking No. 880 Overall and No. 81 in IT Services With Special Recognition as the #18 Top San Diego company

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Abacus Data Systems, Inc. (Abacus), a global provider of compliance ready virtual Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings, which serve legal, financial, and healthcare organizations, announced today it has been named to Inc. Magazine's prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies for a second consecutive year. Abacus earned the #880 spot overall and ranked #81 in IT Services on Inc.'s 35th annual list, and received the honors of #18 on the ranking of Top San Diego companies.

"To be a part of the Inc. 5000 list is an honor, but to be recognized two years in a row is truly a landmark accomplishment for us," exclaimed Alessandra Lezama, CEO of Abacus Data Systems. "Abacus is innovating across new verticals and bringing private cloud solutions to market that solve pressing issues revolving around ethics, compliance, and regulatory changes in today's highly digitalized world."

Under Lezama's leadership, Abacus pioneered the legal industry's first private cloud service offering two years ago with 'Abacus Private Cloud', and has since furthered its mission to provide secure, virtual Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings to other compliance-sensitive industries. This year alone, Abacus has moved into new headquarters to accommodate rapid team expansion, welcomed growth into their integrated family with the addition of Amicus Attorney, and announced a third U.S. data center to house their Cloud customers.

"As industries continue to globalize, it is imperative that organizations have a technology partner that is on the leading edge of innovation and best practices," said Lezama. "Our growth is a clear indication of the importance of reliable cloud and IT services and support. We prioritize our efforts to ensure our customers can focus on their business, while we maintain enterprise-class technology systems to support their business goals. It is quite an honor to be among leading U.S. enterprises on such a prestigious list."

The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. is the most competitive crop in the list's history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000's aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period.

"The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts," says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. "It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great -- usually from scratch. That's one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails."

About Abacus Data Systems

Abacus Data Systems is a leading provider of business technology products and solutions, serving small enterprise companies worldwide. Abacus gives companies sustainable and predictable performance gains while decreasing operational costs related to managing complex IT infrastructure and data center operations on their own.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, and backed by private investment with Providence Equity, Abacus operates three fully redundant data center footprints in the United States specifically engineered to host and safeguard sensitive data, giving its clients robust security and compliance policies with zero capital investment and complete data ownership in a flexible and dynamic environment. The integrated Abacus family includes Abacus Private Cloud™, AbacusLaw™ and Amicus Attorney™, providing technology solutions to over 500,000 clients worldwide.


Businesses No Longer Have an Excuse for Not Implementing Continuous Data Protection

CHARLOTTE, NC – Peak 10 is removing the barriers to adoption for Disaster Recovery as a Service, making it accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes. On the heels of its recent announcement expanding its Recovery Cloud (DRaaS) solution to include three tiers tailored to a variety of business requirements and budgets, Peak 10 is now offering a limited-time offer to help companies implement an effective disaster recovery (DR) solution. Business can sign up for DR protection now and pay in 2017 -- allowing them to receive four free months of continuous data protection services with a 24-month commitment.

"Rather than earmarking capital for business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, many businesses today still choose to operate without a contingency plan -- even though the business risks today are real and appear in the headlines daily," said Mike Fuhrman, CTO at Peak 10. "Protecting your company's mission-critical data and applications has never been more important. With that in mind, we've taken our most popular, DRaaS tier -- Recovery Cloud Essentials -- and created a special offer to make DR accessible and affordable for all businesses -- right now. At Peak 10, we strive to be a great business partner to the customers we serve, and this is just another way for us to do it."

Recovery Cloud Essentials is a great way to get started with DR, to achieve base-level compliance with business or industry regulatory standards, and to protect standard workloads. Recovery Cloud Essentials:

  • Is the most cost effective solution on the market
  • Is easy to implement, helping expedite the road to DR protection
  • Supports hybrid environments (on-premise, Peak 10, or third party hosted)
  • Requires no changes to existing architecture
  • Is HIPAA and PCI compliant
  • Includes 24/7/365 access to Peak 10's team of DR experts

To take advantage of this one-time offer, call Peak 10 at 866-473-2510 or visit www.peak10.com/contact-us and mention the DRaaS offer, which ends on September 30, 2016.

Learn about all three levels of Peak 10's cost-effective, flexible and secure DRaaS tuned to any organization's business environment by visiting http://www.peak10.com/products-services/cloud-services/recovery-cloud/.

For real-word examples of how Peak 10's recovery cloud is helping companies achieve continuous data protection, read the following case studies:

About Peak 10
Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are flexible and designed to scale and adapt to customers' changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus internal IT resources on their core competencies. Peak 10 undergoes annual examinations by third party auditors and helps companies meet the compliance requirements of various regulatory and industry standards such as SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, HIPAA, PCI DSS, FISMA, ISO 27001 and ITAR. For more information, visit www.peak10.com or the Peak 10 Newsroom for the latest news.


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