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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

(TNS) - Obama administration emergency managers are proposing to toughen the requirements for federally funded construction projects to try to make flood-prone communities more resilient to the increased risks of flooding expected to be caused by global warming.

The Federal Emergency Management on Monday proposed the rules, which would require federally funded construction to take place on higher ground, farther from floodplain areas.

“Flooding is the most common and costly type of natural disaster in the United States, and floods are expected to be more frequent and more severe over the next century due in part to the projected effects of climate change,” the agency said in its proposal, published in the Federal Register. “This proposed rule would ensure that FEMA Federally Funded Projects are designed to be resilient to both current and future flood risks.”

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/FEMA-seeks-to-move-construction-away-from-flood-zones.html

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

7 Database Security Best Practices

Databases - by definition - contain data, and data such as credit card information is valuable to criminals. That means databases are an attractive target to hackers, and it's why database security is vitally important.

Here are seven useful database security best practices that can help keep your databases safe from attackers.

Ensure Physical Database Security

In the traditional sense this means keeping your database server in a secure, locked environment with access controls in place to keep unauthorized people out. But it also means keeping the database on a separate physical machine, removed from the machines running application or web servers.

...

http://www.esecurityplanet.com/network-security/6-database-security-best-practices.html

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

FEMA: Begin Flood Cleanup as Soon as Possible

It’s not too early to begin cleaning up from Louisiana’s severe storms and floods that began Aug. 11.

Flood-damaged items like carpeting, bedding, furniture and other household items can be serious health hazards as well as eyesores. Here are some tips to dispose of these items safely and jumpstart your recovery:

File an Insurance Claim then Register with FEMA

  • Contact your insurance company and file a claim. Get your company’s contact information online at the Louisiana Department of Insurance: www.ldi.la.gov/onlineservices/ActiveCompanySearch.                                     

  • If you have flood insurance questions call 800-621-3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and select option 2. Call center staff are available to assist with information regarding your policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery and answer other flood insurance questions. You can be transferred to your insurance carrier for additional assistance if you have further questions.

  • Register for federal disaster assistance. If you had severe storm or flood damage in Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes you may apply for FEMA help online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Lines are open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Survivors who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.

Start Cleaning Up Now

  • Mold may be a serious health risk so don’t wait for a visit from FEMA or your insurance company before you start cleaning up. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters will still be able to verify flood damage.

  • Because mold may be a serious health risk, it’s important to remove flood-damaged valuables from your home. Take lots of pictures before your insurance adjuster visits.

  • Be sure to consult with your local officials for instructions before setting out debris. If you don’t have local emergency management contact information, it can be found online at gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.

  • Place debris curbside. Debris cannot be collected on private property.

  • Do not prop up debris against trees and utility poles or place in the vicinity of fire hydrants and utility boxes. That makes it more difficult for cleanup crews to collect.

  • Debris should be separated into the following six categories:       

    • Household garbage such as discarded food, packaging and papers.

    • Construction debris such as building materials, carpeting, furniture and mattresses.

    • Vegetation debris such as tree branches and leaves.

    • Household hazardous waste such as batteries, paints and cleaning supplies.

    • White goods such as refrigerators, washers/dryers, water heaters and air conditioners.

    • Electronics such as televisions, stereo equipment and computers.

  • Go online to this link to see a graphic that explains how to sort debris:

www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/images/110554

  • Other tips to speed up debris collection include:

    • Try to combine debris piles with your neighbors.

    • Secure refrigerator and freezer doors with duct tape.

    • Limit curbside household garbage to two 32-gallon containers or eight trash bags.

    • Get more and tips on flood clean up, repairing, and rebuilding at www.fema.gov/Louisiana-disaster-mitigation.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

Zika and Business Interruption Insurance

As the Zika virus continues its rapid spread and amid travel warnings, including one advising pregnant women not to travel to popular tourist destination Miami Beach as well as advice to postpone non-essential travel to Florida’s Miami-Dade County, questions on business interruption insurance are bound to arise.

So this is perhaps a good time to review what a business interruption insurance policy covers.

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reminds us that business interruption coverage, sometimes known as business income insurance, covers financial losses resulting from a business’s inability to operate because of property damage due to an insured event.

...

http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=4553

BATON ROUGE, La. –You may find yourself frequently moving if you’re a survivor of Louisiana’s recent severe storms and floods.

If you’ve had any changes to your contact information it’s important to let FEMA know so the disaster assistance process stays on track.

FEMA may need to contact you to schedule an inspection or to get additional information to help process your application. That’s why it’s important to let them know as soon as possible if you’ve moved or have a new phone number.

You may update contact information two ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov

  • By calling 800-621-3362

    • People who use TTY may call 800-462-7585

    • Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 800-621-3362.

If you had storm or flood damage in Louisiana you may also use those resources to apply for FEMA help if you haven’t done so already. Survivors in Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes may be eligible.

It’s important to note that FEMA disaster assistance checks cannot be forwarded. If you cannot access your home address, you can request the postal service to hold your mail. You can also have the funds sent via direct deposit to your financial institution.

Residents are urged to contact their insurance company to file their flood insurance claims. For flood insurance policyholders who may have questions, FEMA has streamlined its process to better service claims and answer questions. Policyholders may call 800-621-3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and select Option 2. Call center staff are available to assist policyholders with information regarding their policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery, and respond to general as well as complicated questions about the NFIP. Policyholders with questions specifically about an insurance claim can be transferred to their insurance carrier for additional assistance.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. The loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

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We urge everyone to continue to use caution in areas where floodwaters remain. Monitor DOTD’s www.511la.org website for updated road closure information. Look for advisories from your local authorities and emergency managers. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at www.emergency.la.gov. GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

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.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

Creating Business Continuity Plans

While globally, the level of maturity of business continuity programs continues to rise, there are still many organizations that do not feel fully prepared. And, there is confusion when it comes to creating business continuity plans. On average, respondents to MissionMode’s Readiness survey rate themselves at 58/100 in overall preparedness, and a recent disaster preparedness benchmark survey found that 75% of companies worldwide are failing in terms of IT disaster readiness. According to our Readiness Survey, 60% of organizations have underdeveloped plans as follows:

  • 6.9% currently have no business continuity plans in place
  • 21.6% have preliminary plans created but not trained
  • 31.9% have plans created and trained for some event types
  • 39.7% have plans created and trained for all event types

...

http://www.missionmode.com/creating-business-continuity-plans/

If you’ve archived backups of data for contractual or regulatory reasons, do you also need to back that data up?

Or if you make backups of your current data, should those backups be archived?

When it comes to data retention, it’s essential to be clear about requirements. Take data archiving for example.

Company projects executed with contractual guarantees to the customer may mean that project data must be retained for years afterwards, in order to determine liability in case of a defect coming to light (think of large construction or engineering projects).

...

http://www.opscentre.com/archived-backups-backups-archives-need/

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

What will big data mean for your data centre?

In the next few years, every business in the UK will need to make some big decisions about how they approach their data. With the amount of information gathered and processed by businesses growing all the time, legacy data centres may struggle to cope under the strain.

The era of big data will therefore demand a new approach for the data centre, which will need to be faster and more flexible than in the past in order to handle the ever-growing volume and variety of information.

So what are the key issues IT managers will have to contend with when it comes to modernising their infrastructure and ensuring that it works as efficiently as possible?

...

http://blog.krollontrack.co.uk/the-world-of-data/will-big-data-mean-data-centre/

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

Employees Continue to Fall for Phishing Bait

What would you do if nearly a third of your employees were making mistakes that could cause serious harm to the company?

According to findings by Duo Security, that’s exactly what is happening with employees and phishing attacks. About 31 percent of employees were clicking on phishing links, opening up the company to potential malicious activities. Another 17 percent willingly gave up their username and password combination when asked. As Jordan Wright, R&D engineer at Duo Security, told eWEEK:

The main thing to take away from this is that even if only 17 percent provided their username and password, 31 percent clicked the link, which in itself can lead to a breach through an outdated endpoint.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/employees-continue-to-fall-for-phishing-bait.html

The enterprise is very eager to move applications to the cloud, implement Big Data and the IoT and, in general, engage in all of the other advanced technologies that are driving digital transformation.

At the same time, however, the enterprise has quite a bit of legacy data infrastructure to support, and it would be a waste to simply scrap this investment just because something new has come along.

This is why conversion of existing facilities has become such a hot topic of late. On the one hand, today’s applications running on today’s infrastructure will still support a good portion of the enterprise workload going forward, and on the other, there are myriad ways in which these resources can be made more efficient and more effective within the broader scope of cloud and converged infrastructure development.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/data-center-conversion-making-the-most-of-what-you-have.html

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