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Volume 29, Issue 5

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

The Business Continuity Institute - May 10, 2016 10:03 BST

With just weeks to go until the referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Union, a survey of over a thousand senior decision makers across Europe’s three largest economies (Germany, France and the UK) has found that only one in four businesses has developed a clear plan for dealing with the impact of a 'leave vote'.

The survey commissioned by law firm Pinsent Masons also found that more than half of respondents (53%) said there had been no discussion at Board level about the potential impacts of Brexit, and 40% of British businesses admit they have yet to take the basic steps which would help protect their business from commercial challenges arising from Brexit. For instance, 92% are yet to review business-critical contracts which could be rendered legally ambiguous in the event of a 'leave vote'.

The figures reflect that, while many larger businesses have begun contingency planning for Brexit, a significant proportion have not yet contemplated the impact a vote to leave might have. The political, regulatory, economic and societal nature of the UK is now so very intertwined with that of the EU, that any change in its status could have a significant impact on the organizations within. Business continuity is about preparing organizations for any disruption, and that includes the disruption caused by changing political systems It is therefore important that those working in the industry start considering how Brexit could affect their organization, and then make plans to lessen that impact.

Guy Lougher, a Partner and Head of the Brexit Advisory Team at Pinsent Masons, says: "If the UK vote is in favour of leaving the EU, there will be profound implications for all businesses irrespective of whether they operate or trade in - or with - the UK. A number of economists believe a vote in favour of Brexit would create a profound economic shock. Whether one accepts such predictions or not it is hard to imagine that - at the very least - exchange rates will not be impacted. The uncertainties in a Brexit scenario are so great that there may be a temptation to do nothing until the referendum result emerges. However, our advice to businesses is to start taking steps now. While one cannot protect against all risks, it is possible to identify the risk areas and start thinking about how these could be mitigated."

There are a number of measures businesses can institute now in order to minimise the disruption of Brexit upon business, from assessing the number of workers likely to be impacted by freedom of movement rules to reviewing how and where customer data is held.

0% rely on disaster recovery technologies that cannot deliver on today’s exacting RTO requirements
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – May 10, 2016 – Infrascale, the leader in Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), today unveiled its findings in the 2016 DRaaS Attitudes & Adoption Report, developed by ActualTech Media. The report revealed some alarming results, most notably that 80% of small- to mid-sized companies surveyed still rely on tape or disk-based technology as part of their disaster recovery strategy, which is part of the reason they’re unable to quickly restore critical applications when servers crash.
 
Given the promise of cloud-based disaster recovery to deliver near-instant failover, Infrascale sponsored this research to better understand the needs of IT decision makers when it comes to DRaaS and the barriers to adoption.
 
This is the second straight year for the report, which includes responses from 274 technology professions from organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees. The report highlighted an unsettling number of businesses are not investing in modern disaster recovery solutions and testing them on a regular basis for a variety of reasons including cost and complexity.
 
According to Infrascale Founder and CEO Ken Shaw Jr., “Given the importance of operational uptime and the growing threat of ransomware, companies know having a sound disaster recovery system in place is essential. The perception that reliable disaster recovery solutions are expensive and difficult to implement leaves organizations unnecessarily vulnerable.”
 
Key findings from the survey include:
  • More than a third of those surveyed (37%) couldn’t quantify the costs of downtime to their organization.
  • Over half of those surveyed (54%) do not have failover capabilities that give them the ability to restore key business applications within one hour of failure.
  • Approximately half of those surveyed (52%) said the main hurdles for their organizations not adopting failover systems were the perceived high costs and lack of IT resources. The top four considerations for evaluating on-demand failover solutions are cost, reliability, security and system compatibility.
  • One-fifth of the respondents either haven’t tested their disaster recovery plans or conducted a test in the past year.
 
“Disaster recovery may not be a favorite topic for IT professionals, but having failover plans and systems in place can be the difference between surviving the roller coaster of modern business and closing up shop when disaster strikes,” said Scott Lowe, co-founder of ActualTech Media. “These findings indicate that SMBs are still largely being underserved when it comes to emerging DR and DRaaS solutions.”
 
Shaw said, “What’s concerning is that organizations are leaving themselves vulnerable and at risk of losing sales, productivity, reputation and revenue based primarily on the fallacy that today’s disaster recovery options are costly and difficult to implement. What’s even scarier is that these same companies aren’t fully aware of the implications of this potential downtime.”
 
Shaw added that there’s a real disconnect between where the DRaaS industry is today and companies’ understandings of what disaster recovery should entail for businesses of all sizes, “No organization is immune to downtime, whether caused by human error or natural disaster, but these events no longer have to be crises when organizations have a DRaaS solution in place.”
 
Data were weighted to be representative of the business populations of interest. More details and a full copy of the 2016 DRaaS Attitudes & Adoption Report can be found here.
 
About Infrascale
Infrascale provides the most powerful disaster recovery solution in the world. Founded in 2006, the company aims to give every company the ability to recover from a disaster – quickly, easily and affordably. Combining intelligent software with the power of the cloud is how Infrascale cracks the disaster recovery cost barrier without complex, expensive hardware enabling any company to restore operations in minutes with a push of a button. Infrascale equips businesses with the confidence to handle the unexpected by providing less downtime, greater security, and always-on availability.
 
Visit www.infrascale.com or follow us on Twitter at @Infrascale for more information.

Data is finding its way into just about every type of modern product and service. As a result, some companies are necessarily rethinking their business models, product strategies, customer engagement strategies, and supply chain strategies. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are discovering entirely new solutions to age-old problems.

"Our traditional business model, the way we provide products and services, is being disrupted because people -- especially Millennials -- do not look at a big book of codes," said Nataniel Lin, analytics and strategy lead at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in an interview. "We're in the process of becoming a 120-year-old startup. Essentially, we're leveraging all the data that's available out there and aggregating data to create unique value and solutions that up until today were not possible."

In NFPA's case, data is flowing in from connected IoT systems in homes and commercial buildings, insurance companies, and other sources. Lin is working with 26 different property and casualty insurance companies with the goal of anonymizing and aggregating data in a way that benefits all of the companies without exposing them to privacy or security risks. That way, the companies can have a more objective view of revenue, profitability, and risks than would be possible using only their own data.

...

http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/data-products-9-best-practices-to-minimize-risk-/d/d-id/1325420

To some, cloud computing and IT security do not intersect. The results are often disastrous. Considering the huge amount of press that cloud computing receives when breaches occur, it's easy to understand why they believe that. But if you look at IT security from a wider lens, you'll see that cloud computing technologies are actually helping to propel IT security at rates never seen before.

Indeed, some of the advancement of security mechanisms and architectures such as end-to-end encryption can be traced back to public and private cloud security breaches where sensitive data was stolen for profit or fun.

This brought the topic of encryption to the forefront of conversation in CIO circles around the globe. It also likely contributed to the recent skyrocketing adoption rates for encryption. According to a recent Ponemon Institute study that polled more than 5,000 IT and business managers from various parts of the world, 41% said that encryption has been adopted extensively in their organizations, an increase from 16% in 2005.

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http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/platform-as-a-service/7-ways-cloud-computing-propels-it-security/d/d-id/1325430

(TNS) - At Ipswich, locking the front doors to the school is only a screen tap away.

Superintendent Trent Osborne said he has an app on his phone that gives him the ability to quickly lock the school's main entrance. It's the only door at the school that's open during the day, he said, and that's because visitors walk straight into the school office.

Last week, the front door to Ipswich was locked. Osborne said it wasn't a lockdown incident, but the district was dealing with a family situation. No threats were made, he said, he just locked the door as a precaution.

Visitors to Aberdeen public and private schools will note intercom systems in place at the main entrances that allow entry into the schools. Aberdeen public school Superintendent Becky Guffin said installation of the systems started in 2013.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/School-lockdowns-are-more-than-just-secure-entrances.html