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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 00:00

Agility and Stability

The world is in a time of rapid change resulting from the usual culprits:

  • The integrated economies and labor market have created a “flat world.
  • The Internet has reduced friction in the marketplace
  • The accessibility of data has revolutionized target marketing
  • The low cost of processing, storage, and software environments (e.g., Java, Python, R) has made application development efficient, enabling innovation and disruptive technology.

In the past, building business was associated with stability — creating an organization of lasting value that persisted even through a change of management or some market structure change. Running a business in the face of today’s changes, however, alters the nature of business management.

...

http://blog.cutter.com/2016/06/28/agility-and-stability/

Yahoo garnered a lot of attention in 2009, when it announced the unusual design of a data center it was building in Lockport, New York. Shaped like a chicken coop, the facility would rely primarily on outside air for cooling, use a flywheel-based energy storage system, and have an annualized PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) under 1.1, which was better than the average data center PUE Google was reporting at the time.

Now, the patents and patent applications describing the design of the Yahoo Computing Coop data center, also known as the Yahoo Chicken Coop, are for sale. The innovations are part of the trove of thousands of patents and applications the troubled internet giant is hoping to sell. Yahoo expects to make more than $1 billion from the sale, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources.

The trove of patents is only one of the assets Yahoo is selling as it continues to wrestle with shrinking revenue. It has been soliciting bids for many of its assets, including its core internet business, according to news reports, with Verizon Communications and AT&T reportedly being top contenders for its core assets.

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/06/28/yahoo-wants-to-sell-chicken-coop-data-center-designs/

Smart risk analysis and planning then helps to avoid gaps and vulnerabilities. This may not be uppermost in the minds of start-ups or established companies.

Often, the priority is given to finding a concept or a position likely to please the market, and then to worry about continuity afterwards. Yet enterprises may find business continuity entering into their life cycles earlier and earlier.

One reason for business continuity to appear sooner instead of later is the predominance of IT in particular in many sectors of business.

...

http://www.opscentre.com/business-continuity-business-strategies/

Dr. Jim Kennedy explains why managing the cyber risks posed by suppliers and partners is the weak link in many information security plans and looks at how to improve in this area.

Computer, network, and information security is based on three pillars: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. In my business as an information & cyber security, business continuity and disaster recovery consultant, I see every day how various sized and types of companies address and balance these three areas along with business needs. Some very well, some not so well, and some really poorly.

Given all the regulations and standards (HIPAA, SOX, NERC-CIP, FISMA, PIPEDA, ISO 27001/2, NIST 800-XXX and etc.) developed and published over the last five or ten years you would think that US businesses and government should be doing much better in securing their computing systems and network infrastructures. However, based on the seemingly never ending stream of cyber events prominent in the press and trade journals almost every day this does not seem to be the case.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/technology/1220-cyber-risk-management-of-third-party-suppliers-and-partners

Dee Smith and Associates explores what good communications after an incident looks like, looking at some real-world examples and emphasising the important of being transparent during a crisis.

A crisis can be one of the most stressful and testing events that you will likely have to face during your career. And they can make or break individuals, companies or any such group that is unfortunate enough to be dealt one.

Every organization will experience a crisis of some sort during its existence. Crisis management and how a major incident is handled is one of the most crucial processes for an enterprise. A major incident, which is one with a significant negative business consequence, needs to be handled with a well-defined process which is not currently clearly defined in existing methodologies. If you have done crisis management training, then it's likely that you are well prepared and the steps for managing a crisis are documented in your business continuity plan. If not, at least consider the most important factor in any crisis: communication.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/business-continuity-news/1219-the-anatomy-of-a-good-crisis-communications-response

Compliance is a profession that requires multi-tasking – another profound grasp of the obvious. But in the multi-tasking world, some principles and strategies are more important than others.

My colleague and compliance guru Tom Fox has coined the mantra: “document, document and then make sure you document.” My contribution to this same mantra is along the same lines: “If you do not document, then in the eyes of DOJ and the SEC, it did not happen.”

Putting aside these pithy mantras, it is important to take a moment and consider the real implications of compliance documentation. A good place to start is the Hitachi enforcement action from last year.

...

http://blog.volkovlaw.com/2016/06/thing-fear-no-documentation/

Imagine a data center network for an e-commerce business that allows for on-demand allocation of bandwidth as a result of high traffic volumes generated by large number of transactions during the holiday shopping season, or a data center network for a financial services company that can intelligently reroute critical transactions around brownouts, error prone links, and network congestion using per-application policy. Finally, imagine a content delivery network (CDN) that can logically segment the physical infrastructure to speed the delivery of web content by separating large and small traffic flows. All of these scenarios require an agile network that can provide some type of explicit forwarding path to the applications while reducing latency.  This is what Segment Routing does. It provides the most optimal path to the applications, which in some cases may not be the shortest path.

As the networking industry continues to stride towards Digitization and simplification of the data center, Cisco continues to innovate and execute on the concept of software defined networks (SDN). Segment Routing is one such innovation, whereby it provides the benefits of SDN but also adds intelligence into the network making it adaptive to the needs of the application itself.

...

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/application-level-intelligence-in-the-data-center-using-segment-routing

PHILADELPHIA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is continuing to support response and recovery efforts in West Virginia following the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that have been affecting the state and its people. The National Weather Service has indicated that the floodwaters are receding in parts of West Virginia, but more heavy rain is expected in areas already hit hard by flooding. A flash flood watch for 22 counties has been issued until Monday evening. Heavy rains could cause some streams to breach their banks. 

To learn more about what to do before, during and after severe weather, visit www.Ready.gov.

On June 25, 2016, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of West Virginia. This declaration releases federal funding to help individuals and communities recover from the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that occurred June 22, 2016, and continuing. The request makes assistance to individuals and households in Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas counties. The request also provides emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program for Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas counties. All of West Virginia is eligible for hazard mitigation grant program (HMGP) funding. 

FEMA’s main priority is to support survivors and communities in West Virginia, and as of Monday morning, over 1,000 total registrations for FEMA Individual Assistance program have been counted as a result of the Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) conducted in the area that began today. PDAs are an information gathering process that measures damages and the impact to communities. 14 PDA teams have arrived to conduct PDAs for both Public Assistance and Individual Assistance.

FEMA is working to provide commodities and support to the State of West Virginia’s distribution efforts. The agency has moved water and food supplies into West Virginia and is turning them over to West Virginia Emergency Management Agency for distribution to impacted communities. In support of the State of West Virginia, FEMA has deployed over 250 staff to the state to assist in response and recovery. An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) has arrived to coordinate directly with the State of West Virginia and support requests for assistance.

The first Disaster Recovery Center is planned to be open soon, where survivors can go to get assistance and information. Details and confirmation will be forthcoming as soon as they are available. To support that effort, the federal agency is working to deploy Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams to impacted areas to canvas shelters and register survivors.

The State of West Virginia, the American Red Cross, FEMA and others are working together to meet any potential housing needs. Region III’s Voluntary Agency Liaison and Disability Integration Specialist has been deployed to work with and support voluntary agencies, communities, and individuals with access and functional needs.

FEMA is encouraging all individuals, households, and businesses both inside and outside of Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas Counties to document any damages they have. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). 

  • Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

AFTER A DISASTER – QUICK TIPS TO HELP YOU ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

  • Injuries may occur when people walk amid disaster debris and enter damaged buildings. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
  • Be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in or around your home.
    • Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards and before going back to a property with downed power lines, or the possibility of a gas leak.
    • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines.
    • Report downed power lines and electrical hazards to the police and the utility company. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
  • It’s important for all residents and visitors in flood-prone and low-lying areas to continue to monitor local radio or television stations for updated emergency information and follow the instructions of state and local officials.
  • Don’t put yourself at risk; follow the instructions of local officials – and if told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • If you encounter flood waters, remember – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.
    • Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles.
    • Do not walk through flood waters. A few inches of water can sweep you off your feet.
    • When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges, and at highway dips.
    • As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • If roads are closed or there is water over a road, do not drive through the water.
    • Be prepared to take detours and adjust your route due to road closures if there is standing water.
  • Ensure you have a flashlight, NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries on hand. Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.
    • Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
    • Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions. 
    • If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Outside your home or business: Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay out of any building that is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water might be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water also might be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Avoid moving water and do not attempt to drive through standing water, even if it seems shallow.
  • Avoid non-essential debris removal until the storm has passed.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.  Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.

A high-profile ransomware attack crippled the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center's network earlier this year, an incident that eventually resulted in the hospital paying hackers $17,000 in bitcoin to regain access to their systems.

This proved to be the tip of the iceberg, with more complex ransomware attacks challenging the industry's security. While ransomware is not a new form of malware, 2016 has set the bar for these types of threats, with many hackers now targeting hospitals and local governments more actively than ever.

These attacks have not only left many institutions vulnerable, but have resulted in hackers developing creative new business models, such as ransomware-as-a-service.

...

http://www.esecurityplanet.com/network-security/ransomware-is-on-a-roll-so-how-can-you-stop-it.html

(Bloomberg) -- The lasting impact of the U.K.’s vote to break with the European Union won’t be known for years, but the shift has immediate ramifications for the global technology industry. There are a few issues to be particularly mindful of.

No IPOs

Chaos in the global markets is not an environment that makes investors eager to buy shares in an initial public offering. Any technology startup considering an IPO will likely wait to see how the turmoil following the Brexit vote shakes out.

There has already been a dearth of listings this year and the U.K. vote will only extend the lull. The European telecommunications company Telefonica SA is said to be postponing plans to sell shares of its infrastructure unit Telxius and U.K. wireless unit O2.

Impacts have been felt elsewhere in the world, with Line Corp., Japan’s most popular messaging service, planing to delay the setting of a price range for its initial public offering as a result of the Brexit vote.

...

http://mspmentor.net/msp-mentor/how-brexit-will-impact-tech-industry-worldwide

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