Despite the publicity given to Big Data and (to a lesser extent) the Internet of Things, their practical advantage has yet to be clarified. It’s difficult to think of them in terms of business continuity when they don’t influence the fortunes of an enterprise; unless you count the negative impact of money spent investigating them. A few companies cite gains in marketing effectiveness for example by analysing huge amounts of online data from customer interactions, but Big Data is not mainstream – or not yet. Similarly, the Internet of Things in which phones, PCs, cars, fridges and more are all web-enabled is a conversation starter rather than a reality. Things would change if either one acquired a killer app.
Reflecting on some of the most recent crises I’ve been involved in as an advisor, I asked: what am I really contributing?
I concluded by far the most valuable contribution was an outside perspective. Looking at the event and issues from the viewpoint of the customer, the stakeholder, the reporter, the victim, the detached observer. It is often very difficult for even the best communicators who are deeply embroiled in a problem to maintain that outside perspective. It’s the main reason why I think it is probably essential that your crisis communication plan include a qualified person completely outside your organization.
I worked on a plan for a major oil company a few years ago and saw in their plan the role of a Communications Advisor. In their case, it was intended for a specific PR expert who had a strong relationship with the President. But, it struck me as such a good idea I have built that role into almost every plan I have worked on since then. The responsibility of that person is to maintain a 30,000 foot view, maintain contact with stakeholders outside the organization, and represent an honest, objective and uninformed perspective.
While many California farmers are taking a wait-and-see approach regarding future rainfall, some almond growers are moving ahead with the removal of mature trees. But much more is at risk, including jobs and agricultural products for the rest of the country.
California grows about half of all U.S. fruits and vegetables, mostly in the Central Valley region. It also ranks as the top farm state by annual value of agricultural products. Crops exclusive to California are almonds, dates, figs, grapes for raisins, pomegranates, olives, peaches, pistachios, plums, rice, walnuts, kiwi fruit and clover seed.
In January, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency, and this month President Obama announced relief aid for California farmers and ranchers. Because of the severity of the ongoing drought, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as well as the State Water Project said there would be no water for Central Valley farmers and ranchers. According to the California Farm Water Coalition, it is expected that about 2 million acres in the San Joaquin Valley will receive no water this year.
When it comes to succeeding with data quality, you might gain an edge by avoiding a centralized approach, argues one data governance director.
Alan D. Duncan is the director of data governance at the University of New South Wales, Australia. In a recent MIKE 2.0 blog post, Duncan reacts to a survey finding that a “lack of centralized approach” is linked with inaccurate data. He questions whether it’s really lack of centralization or actually a complete lack of any structure.
Duncan’s premise, as he explains in some detail for InformationAction, is this: The social and cultural character of your organization should shape how you handle data governance. That means there will be a many different ways to structure governance, but broadly speaking, he identified three:
CIO — In the years since the HITECH Act, the number of reported healthcare data breaches has been on the rise — partly because organizations have been required to disclose breaches that, in the past, would have gone unreported and partly because healthcare IT security remains a challenge.
Recent research from Experian suggests that 2014 may be the worst year yet for healthcare data breaches, due in part to the vulnerability of the poorly assembled Healthcare.gov.
Hacks and other acts of thievery get the attention, but the root cause of most healthcare data breaches is carelessness: Lost or stolen hardware that no one bothered to encrypt, protected health information emailed or otherwise exposed on the Internet, paper records left on the subway and so on.
What will it take for healthcare to take data security seriously?
A lot of coverage has been dedicated to BYOD and security from the employer’s side of things. Now an interesting new study out from AdaptiveMobile shows what employees don’t know about BYOD, which is mostly how much control employers have over those personally owned devices.
According to FierceMobileIT:
The study of 1,000 IT decision makers and 1,000 employees, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that 83 percent of staff would stop using their own device or still use it with deep concern, if they knew their employer could see what they were doing at all times. With 61 percent of enterprises already having this level of access in place, and with a need to increase control to address growing security threats, organizations could face a backlash in their employees' willingness to adopt BYOD.
Business Continuity Awareness Week takes place from 17th to 21st March and Continuity Central’s BCAW update page will provide all the information you need to make the most of this annual event.
Business Continuity Awareness Week is available to all organizations to make use of and this year two main themes have emerged:
- The Business Continuity Institute is building its BCAW activities around the theme of ‘Counting the cost’. The BCI says that this is designed to demonstrate the potential cost of not having an effective business continuity management system.
- Various Canadian organizations have grouped together to promote BCAW in that country. The theme chosen is ‘Business Continuity: Helping Protect Business Value.'
The Continuity Central BCAW update page will provide updates from both the above initiatives as well as looking at what individual businesses and organizations are doing during that week.
The update page can be visited in two ways: either using the full URL http://www.continuitycentral.com/businesscontinuityawarenessweek2014.html or the shortened version http://www.businesscontinuityawarenessweek.com
The London Risk Register was approved in early February and provides an annual assessment of the likelihood and potential impact of a range of different threats to London’s businesses and communities.
The updated Risk Register identifies 67 risks, categorised as:
- 4 Very High risks
- 33 High risks
- 24 Medium risks
- 6 Low risks.
The four ‘Very High’ risks are:
- Influenza Pandemic
- Severe inland flooding
- Fluvial or surface run-off
- Telecommunication failure.
The updated London Risk Register can be viewed here (PDF).
The London Resilience Team has also developed a number of short presentations providing an overview of the main risk areas. These can be viewed here.
Almost half of organizations are operating under the assumption that their network has already been compromised, according to a survey conducted by the SANS Institute on behalf of Guidance Software. When the limitations of perimeter security are exposed, endpoints and critical servers rife with sensitive information are rendered vulnerable. With many high profile breaches in 2013 occurring on endpoints, interest in improving endpoint security is top-of-mind for many information security professionals.
In the first-ever SANS Endpoint Security Survey, SANS surveyed 948 IT Security professionals in the United States to determine how they monitor, assess, protect and investigate their endpoints, including servers. The largest group of respondents encompassed security administrators and security analysts. More than one-third of those respondents (34 percent) work in IT management (e.g., CIO or related duties) or security management (e.g., CISO or similar responsibilities).
The overall results of the survey indicate that the topic speaks to the strategic concerns of management while also addressing the technical concerns of those ‘in the trenches’.
NEW YORK, NY, – Send Word Now, the worldwide leader in critical communications, announced today its selection by Canadian North Airlines to provide emergency notification and incident management services. The two fully integrated solutions will enable the Alberta-based airline to rapidly alert and mobilize personnel, while better coordinating response efforts to urgent situations, such as inclement weather.
For Canadian North, the decision to acquire new technologies in support of its business continuity plan meant finding the best offering for fast and reliable communications. Canadian North continually seeks to improve upon its safety record and utilize the right tools to enable the entire organization to be informed and ready for any unforeseen issues or emergencies.
“Canadian North is pleased to be working with Send Word Now as they provide us with instant notifications and rapid response to any issue,” said Jim Paul, Director, Safety Systems, for Canadian North Airlines. “We see this as another important tool to extend safety to all areas of the organization.”
With Send Word Now, Canadian North will be able to quickly send urgent company-wide messages using a variety of methods, including phone, SMS and email. The solution’s Get Word Back feature will allow the airline to obtain essential feedback from message recipients in support of its comprehensive employee accountability and safety measures. Canadian North will also take full advantage of Send Word Now’s extensive conference bridging capabilities and Self-Registration Portal to further enhance its emergency communications strategy.
Additionally, Canadian North will use Send Word Now’s Incident Management Service to oversee and handle complex events from a central, fully integrated dashboard. Administrators will achieve greater collaboration by sharing pertinent information, uploading files, posting comments, assigning tasks and sending out messages throughout the course of an incident. Thorough and varied reports will provide the airline the documentation required for after-action review and auditing purposes.
“It is an honor to have been selected as Canadian North Airlines’ critical communications service provider,” said Lorin Bristow, Senior Vice President, Marketing, for Send Word Now. “Canadian North is clearly committed to passenger safety, and we are grateful for the opportunity to assist the company with its innovative business resilience and protection programs.”
Canadian North and its founding companies, Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair and Nordair, have proudly served Canada’s North with passenger and cargo services for more than 80 years. Canadian North is a member of the NorTerra Group of Companies whose parent corporation, NorTerra Inc., is owned equally by Nunasi Corporation, representing the Inuit of Nunavut; and the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. The company was recently named a finalist in the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction 2014 - Eagle Feather Award.
Headquartered in New York City, Send Word Now is the leading provider of on-demand alerting for crisis communication. The company’s easy-to-use, web-based emergency notification solutions and mobile applications are used by businesses, government agencies, universities and non-profit organizations to ensure fast, effective, two-way communication when it is needed the most.
Send Word Now's enterprise-class notification service is capable of transmitting tens of thousands of voice and text messages in minutes, while providing a full audit trail for after-action reporting and follow-up. It is designed to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime, with any device, over any type of connection. Send Word Now was recently awarded “Notification System of the Year” by DRI International, and also received the 2013 Small Business Achievement Award from the Department of Homeland Security for its work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).