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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

There are more viable offshore outsourcing destinations than ever before -- a great boon for IT leaders seeking new sources of talent, language capabilities, nearshore support, and risk diversification. But IT organizations can no longer afford to take traditional view of outsourcing location assessment.

"The maturity of global delivery models also continues to increase, and given the demands of increasingly global businesses, this trend will only continue," says Charles Green, an analyst in the sourcing and vendor management practice of Forrester Research. "However while a geographically diverse portfolio of suppliers brings benefits it also requires clients to diligently manage the increased risk of such a portfolio."

...

http://www.cio.com/article/735060/How_to_Evaluate_the_Risk_of_Outsourcing_Locations

It's 2am on Christmas Day. You are woken by a phone call informing you that a police raid in central London has uncovered documentation suggesting that your company has been targeted by a group with links to terrorist and state organisations. These groups are renowned for attacking commercial organisations. What would you do?

Sadly, in my experience this is when most companies realise they are ill-prepared to deal with a cyber-attack. I have seen companies struggle to come to terms with the loss of intellectual property (IP), funds, a fall in share value, and their reputation damaged by information that now finds itself on the web.

So how prepared are you to deal with a cyber-attack? Lets start by simplifying this subject. The risk around cyber is simply an issue of information security, the way a company values and protects the precious data it is entrusted with. Too often, information security is viewed as an impediment to a company's operations, and if it is too prohibitive, can indeed damage its effectiveness. It has to be proportionate. We can't remove risk, but we can manage it.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/media-network/media-network-blog/2013/jun/18/how-prepared-company-cyber-attack

Today, many government agencies – civilian and defense – find themselves in a technology quandary: the volume of data that must be stored is growing rapidly, while shrinking budgets are limiting capital expenditures (i.e. – servers, storage devices, etc.) required to store all of this data.

Government agencies are not only eyeing existing storage demands, but anticipated storage requirements as well. Gartner estimates the external controller based (ECB) disk storage market will grow from $22.2 billion in 2012 to $31.1 billion in 2016 (a compound annual growth rate of 7.9 percent).

As a result, storage optimization becomes critical for agencies seeking to boost IT performance while improving utilization and infrastructure efficiency. For agency decision makers seeking to improve storage efficiency as a way to address growing data volumes and shrinking budgets, there are a handful of key strategies to consider.

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http://blogs.computerworld.com/government-it/22332/era-sequestration-data-storage-optimization-key-government-agencies

In 2012, according to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 2013, there was a 42 percent increase in targeted attacks on the internet, and 31 percent of those attacks were aimed at businesses with fewer than 250 employees. In short, security risks are continuing to grow at incredible rates, and the standard MSP customer is certainly not immune to the threat. For many small businesses, the initial cost and complexity of acquiring the necessary tools to provide security services can seem daunting. As such, selling security services can be a key part of the managed service provider’s portfolio. So, it’s important to take a look at some of the strategies and opportunities for MSPs to boost revenue and build lasting client relationships through security offerings.

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http://mspmentor.net/blog/four-approaches-help-msps-sell-it-security

There are more viable offshore outsourcing destinations than ever before -- a great boon for IT leaders seeking new sources of talent, language capabilities, nearshore support, and risk diversification. But IT organizations can no longer afford to take traditional view of outsourcing location assessment.

"The maturity of global delivery models also continues to increase, and given the demands of increasingly global businesses, this trend will only continue," says Charles Green, an analyst in the sourcing and vendor management practice of Forrester Research. "However while a geographically diverse portfolio of suppliers brings benefits it also requires clients to diligently manage the increased risk of such a portfolio."

...

http://www.cio.com/article/735060/How_to_Evaluate_the_Risk_of_Outsourcing_Locations

A new report named ‘Disaster Unpreparedness’ has been published by MeriTalk which is an online community and go-to resource for government IT. The report which was underwritten by NetApp and SwishData details how confident IT professionals working for federal agencies are with their current data backup and disaster recovery solutions.

In December 2012, MeriTalk surveyed 150 Federal Department of Defence and civilian IT professionals to see how confident they are with their current disaster recovery strategy, how resilient they deem their strategy to be and how often they test their strategy.

The federal IT professionals who participated in the survey scored themselves very highly for their data backup and disaster recovery preparedness with 70% giving their agency a grade of ‘A’ or ‘B’. Despite the IT professionals awarding their agency such high marks for their data backup and disaster recovery preparedness, only 8% believed that they would be able to recover all the data in the event of a natural or man-made incident.

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https://www.backup-technology.com/12926/disaster-recovery-federal-agencies-unprepared/

The role of risk management changes at each level of an organisation in the mining industry. The criteria used to evaluate results will therefore be extremely varied. Corporate management will be interested in risks that are vastly different to those that keep general managers at minesites awake at night. But what effective corporate and minesite risk management has in common is that it should primarily be concerned about removing surprises.

Everyone in the business should be focused on the following simple questions:

  • What are the real, material risks?
  • What are we doing about them?
  • Is it actually working?

...

http://www.energyglobal.com/news/coal/articles/Active_Risk_%20A_new_approach_to_risk_management_226.aspx

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s free app, Solve the Outbreak, may help public health officials educate Americans about massive sickness and treatment.

The app is an interactive, question-and-answer game that educates players about how medical professionals identify mysterious illnesses that strike large populations. Though Solve the Outbreak doesn’t have much replay value, it’s still an informative experience.

People play as disease detectives in three missions and investigate clues to discover what’s happened to make people sick in scenario. Each clue offers information about the outbreak and asks players what to do next.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/App-Review-CDCs-Solve-Outbreak.html

This article is the first in a four-part series addressing the four fundmental principles of crisis management: creating a workable plan, preparing for a crisis, managing the occurance of a crisis and how to successfully regain business continuity and traction after a crisis strikes.

The tragic events that have taken place over the last few months, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks, should serve as a reminder that we can never be sure when or where a crisis may next occur. As business leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure our people and properties are protected as much as possible.

The first principle in crisis management is to establish a plan. If you already have one, now is a great time to dust it off and re-evalutate it. A well-designed crisis-management plan will be the end result of three steps. First, you will want to identify probable risks. Second, you must determine procedures and protocols to follow in the event of each scenario. Lastly, you must assemble the plan in an organized fashion and make it accessible to all of your associates.

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http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/10685/Creating-a-workable-plan-during-a-crisis

Each calendar year can be easily associated with a “tech meme.” 2011’s Cloud gave way to 2012’s Big Data. 2013 is nearly halfway over and it’s clear that this year’s meme is “Software-Defined”—specifically in my line of work, the “Software-Defined” Data Center.

I’m not suggesting that these secular trends aren’t / weren’t valid. Nor am I saying that these are not transformational forces that will radically alter the way we conceive, design, build, and run IT for the next several decades. They’ve already started to have a significant impact in companies large and small.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/06/17/heard-of-the-software-defined-data-center-heres-the-software-defined-blog-post/