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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Cosentry has expanded its disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) offering to help customers improve their data recovery times.

The data center services provider said its expanded DR service is designed to meet a full range of business recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO), with targets ranging from less than 15 minutes to several days based on application importance and budget.

"We anticipate that our customers will be able to implement a disaster recovery solution that meets their own specific requirements as it pertains to availability and the potential for data loss at a price that meets their budget," Craig Hurley, Cosentry's vice president of product management, told MSPmentor. "Our service expansion also looks to address the reality that many of our customers are looking to protect both virtual and physical servers."

...

http://mspmentor.net/backup-and-disaster-recovery/012215/cosentry-revamps-dr-service-expands-draas-offering

The September arrests/detentions in Australia of suspected Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) supporters who had allegedly been planning to kidnap random people, decapitate them and then drape their bodies in the group’s flag and post the entire horrific event live to the Internet has brought to the forefront one of the most serious yet least discussed scenarios in counterterrorism. We term it “Main Street terrorism” and by that we mean terror attacks not on a grand scale, but multiple small attacks carried out by individuals or very small groups in environments where we have traditionally felt safe.

The December hostage situation in Australia is another example. It was an attack on a soft target, a target that would not fit the “traditional” profile of being highly visible or connected to government or military operations, carried out by an individual espousing extremist beliefs but acting essentially alone.

Who remembers the pipe bombs placed in mailboxes throughout the American Midwest during spring 2002? A total of 18 bombs were placed with six of those exploding (injuring four U.S. Postal Service mail carriers and two residents) and 12 others discovered without exploding. Until the suspect was apprehended, how many of us changed our routine for something as mundane as getting the mail because, suddenly, that everyday activity had become potentially deadly?

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Main-Street-Terrorism.html

(TNS) — Despite high-profile computer attacks on Target, Sony and other major corporations, Idaho's director of homeland security said cyberthreats remain the "most important and least understood risk" to government and the private sector.

In a presentation Tuesday to the Senate State Affairs Committee, Brig. Gen. Brad Richy said the potential threats range from defaced or misleading websites to data theft and disruption of public services.

"The vulnerabilities are extreme," Richy said. "A breakdown in IT [information technology] services could take it from that sector into our industrial sector, to our water supply or electrical supply."

Cyberattacks are "a trend that's been going in the wrong direction for quite some time," said J.R. Tietsort, who heads up Micron Technology's global security efforts.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Idaho-Emergency-Operating-Plan-Cyberattack-Procedures.html

Friday, 23 January 2015 00:00

Cyber Value-At-Risk

Measures and methods widely used in the financial services industry to value and quantify risk could be used by organizations to better quantify cyber risks, according to a new framework and report unveiled at the World Economic Forum annual meeting.

The framework, called “cyber value-at-risk” requires companies to understand key cyber risks and the dependencies between them. It will also help them establish how much of their value they could protect if they were victims of a data breach and for how long they can ensure their cyber protection.

The purpose of the cyber value-at-risk approach is to help organizations make better decisions about investments in cyber security, develop comprehensive risk management strategies and help stimulate the development of global risk transfer markets.

...

http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=3914

Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

Putting the Cloud inside Your Company Firewall

Some enterprises are attracted by the potential advantages of the cloud for disaster recovery and business continuity. However, they fear the possibility of information being spied on, stolen or hacked after it leaves their own physical premises. A little lateral thinking suggests another possible solution. Instead of moving outside a company firewall to use cloud possibilities, how about implementing cloud functionality inside the firewall? A number of vendors now offer private cloud solutions and they have some customers whose identity may surprise you.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/putting-the-cloud-inside-your-company-firewall/

Big Data is quickly moving from concept to reality in many enterprises, and with that comes the realization that organizations need to build and provision the infrastructure to deal with extremely large volumes, and fast.

So it is no wonder that the cloud is emerging as the go-to solution for Big Data, both as a means to support the data itself and the advanced database and analytics platforms that will hopefully make sense of it all.

In a recent survey from Unisphere Research, more than half of all enterprises are already using cloud-based services, while the number of Big Data projects is set to triple over the next year or so. This leads to the basic conundrum that the business world faces with Big Data: the need to ramp up infrastructure and services quickly and at minimal cost in order to maintain a competitive edge in the rapidly expanding data economy. The convergence between Big Data and the cloud, therefore, is a classic example of technology enabling a new way to conduct business, which in turn fuels demand for the technology and the means to optimize it.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/the-cloud-the-quickest-way-to-big-data-infrastructure.html

Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

Ohio Helps Pay for Tornado-Proof Safe Rooms

(TNS) — Mary Kirstein and her partner hunkered down under a dining-room table, with their cat corralled in a laundry basket between them, as the tornado roared toward their home.

And this didn’t happen just once during Kirstein’s nine years in Houston, where tornadoes seem as common as wide-brimmed Stetsons. It happened time and again. Thankfully, she said, the big one never hit, but a person doesn’t easily forget that fear.

“Tornadoes freak me out,” said Kirstein, a purchaser at Battelle who now calls Hilliard home.

In 2012, while researching tornado safety as part of her role on a committee at work, she discovered that the state of Ohio had a new program to help pay for safe rooms that can withstand even the 250 mph winds that accompany the most-destructive EF5 storms. She filled out an application for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program, run by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Ohio-Helps-Pay-for-Tornado-Proof-Safe-Rooms.html

North Carolina CPA Firm Leverages StorTrends iDATA to Analyze Physical and Virtualized VMware IT Environment and Support Smart IT Investment

 

 

NORCROSS, Ga. – StorTrends® today announced that Thomas, Judy & Tucker (TJ&T), a leading CPA firm in Raleigh, N.C., has deployed a StorTrends high performance storage area network (SAN) to ensure application performance and the protection of its financial and legal data, while adhering to its strict budgetary requirements.   Not wanting to sacrifice speed for cost, the new StorTrends SAN provides TJ&T with the performance of solid-state disk (SSD) caching and SSD tiering, at the cost of spinning disk.

 

The Raleigh, N.C.-based Certified Public Accounting firm of Thomas, Judy & Tucker was founded by Cliff Thomas, Chris Judy and David Tucker. As a large local CPA firm, TJ&T has the capacity and the capability to offer a myriad of services to its clients. Since 1990, TJ&T has been creating and sustaining partnerships that deliver professional, reliable results. As a full-service accounting firm, offering attestation, taxation, outsource accounting and business valuation/litigation support, TJ&T is equipped to offer timely business, financial and tax services to a variety of clients.

 

As part of their business operations, TJ&T creates a large volume of data. From PDF documents of invoices and checks and volumes of financial documents to tax returns, time and billing data to the Microsoft Exchange Server for 130 mailboxes, TJ&T found that its storage requirements continued to grow. Even while its existing direct-attached storage (DAS) primary storage system had enough capacity, its operation was becoming increasingly slow, impacting production performance and office productivity. TJ&T needed to find a storage solution that would deliver the high capacity they needed at speeds that would support the demands of their business.

Not wanting to compromise on speed and capacity, TJ&T ruled out many of the solutions it evaluated. Then they discovered StorTrends. StorTrends was able to offer the performance of SSD caching and SSD tiering with the dense capacity of spinning disk drives, all for an extremely reasonable price.

 

The results have even out-performed expectations. "I've looked at various metrics on our VMware systems as well as on the StorTrends unit itself, and it's performing better than I thought would be technically possible," said Drew Green, Director of Information Technology for TJ&T. "I thought it would perform to our needs, but the numbers I've seen are better than anticipated."

 

"For organizations like TJ&T, StorTrends high-performance storage solutions can deliver the impressive performance and functionality that truly makes them more productive, with the high capacity that will meet their business needs well into the future," said Justin Bagby, Director of StorTrends.  "The StorTrends IDATA performance analysis tool was also of high value to TJ&T because it precisely analyzed their environment to assure that the StorTrends solution they implemented exactly matched their needs."

 

It was the sum of the StorTrends solution and experience with the StorTrends sales and support staff that further underscored the value TJ&T sees in StorTrends. "The couple of instances that I've spoken with support have been phenomenal," added Green. "This has been the best support experience I have ever had. Everything has exceeded expectations."

 

To read more about TJ&T, and other StorTrends customers, please visit: http://www.stortrends.com/resources/customer-stories/

 

Tweet this:  Thomas, Judy & Tucker Public Accountants Safeguard Valuable Company Data with @StorTrends http://www.stortrends.com/resources/customer-stories/

 

About StorTrends
StorTrends® from American Megatrends isPerformance Storage with Proven Value. StorTrends SAN and NAS storage appliances are installed worldwide and trusted by companies and institutions in a wide range of industries including education, energy, finance, state & local government, healthcare, manufacturing, marketing, retail, R&D and many more. StorTrends meets the challenges and demands of today's business environments by offering a wide variety of solutions from All-Flash Storage, Hybrid Storage to Spinning Disk Solutions. StorTrends is backed by 1,100+ Customer Installations, 100+ Storage Patents and nearly 30 Years of IT Leadership from a company that millions or people trust on a daily basis, American Megatrends, Inc.

ZURICH – Swiss Re Corporate Solutions strengthens its Cyber & Technology team with two new senior executives. Francois Brisson and Richard De Piero are appointed Global Head and Head North America, respectively, for this key line of business in the company's Financial & Professional Lines segment.

 

Mr. Brisson has 17 years of experience in brokerage and underwriting. For the past seven years he worked as Head Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) at Hiscox France, where he was responsible for the cyber risks book and a member of the team that covered TMT accounts in Europe and the US. He will be based in Paris.

 

Philippe Aerni, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions' Head of Financial & Professional Lines, comments: "We are reinforcing our commitment to cyber insurance, a complex and fast developing business that fits very well with our value proposition of underwriting expertise, innovation and financial strength. In his global role, Francois will be instrumental in developing our product offerings and supporting our regional underwriting teams."

 

Mr. De Piero has 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently he was Senior Vice President at Marsh, New York City, where he specialized in solutions for technology and telecom risks, with an emphasis on privacy liability. Prior to Marsh, Mr. De Piero held positions of increasing responsibility in adjusting and claims management at Electric Insurance Company. He will be based in New York City.

 

Jeff Summerville, North America Head of Financial & Professional Lines for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, says: "We are very happy to have Richard on our team to further develop our capabilities in North America. His knowledge of cyber liability and technology errors & omissions, coupled with his strong brokerage relationships, will be particularly advantageous as we execute our regional strategy and growth plans."

 

About Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers innovative, high-quality insurance capacity to mid-sized and large multinational corporations across the globe. Our offerings range from standard risk transfer covers and multi-line programmes, to highly customised solutions tailored to the needs of our clients. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions serves customers from over 50 offices worldwide and is backed by the financial strength of the Swiss Re Group. For more information about Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, please visit www.swissre.com/corporatesolutions or follow us on Twitter @SwissRe_CS.

LONDON – Interoute, owner operator of Europe's largest cloud services platform, has expanded the scope of its combined ISAE 3402 and SSAE 16 type II 2014 assurance report to include its Paris Data Centre Operations. The annual third party audited report provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) now covers Interoute’s Amsterdam, Berlin, Geneva, London and Paris data centre operations. The type II report was completed by PwC, one of the world’s leading risk assurance consultants, following a six month sampling audit across seven fundamental security and risk control areas. The assurance report of Interoute’s controls provides assurance to global customers that their quality and security ICT service management requirements will be supported for their critical outsourced business technology standards.

 

Joe Stevens, Chief Security & Risk Officer for Interoute, said: “This is another significant expansion of our overall Enterprise Quality and Security Management System at Interoute. We maintain critical ICT business technology solutions for our customers and they expect us to continuously meet their quality and security challenges. The external assurance report produced by PwC measures the effectiveness of our ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 controls, and provides reporting transparency to our customers to support their governance demands.”

 

The PwC assurance report highlights the effectiveness of Interoute's operations regarding managed outsourced security and risks, and applies to Interoute’s virtual hosting infrastructure, including Interoute Virtual Data Centre (VDC). Enterprises trusting their data to external service providers demand the highest levels of security and independent compliance assurance. The report provides enterprises with the necessary assurance that their critical business systems and data are protected with Interoute.

 

The following controls have been tested and certified: security and risk governance, physical environmental and logical security and management of availability, as well as change configuration and continuity. Interoute's combined ISAE 3402 and SSAE assurance report proves that the company has the right processes and controls in place to secure the high demands for governance and certification across the company’s data centres. Interoute’s strategic approach to deliver this level of quality and security is to integrate the proven industry best practice standards (ISO 20000, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS) and ensure the integrity of its customers’ critical outsourced business applications. These quality controls are integrated across the company’s entire product portfolio and operations processes.