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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Algorithms developed by MU researchers could provide critical data for quick decisions

 

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In natural or man-made disasters, the ability to process massive amounts of visual electronic data quickly and efficiently could mean the difference between life and death for survivors. Visual data created by numerous security cameras, personal mobile devices and aerial video provide useful data for first responders and law enforcement. That data can be critical in terms of knowing where to send emergency personnel and resources, tracking suspects in man-made disasters, or detecting hazardous materials. Recently, a group of computer science researchers from the University of Missouri developed a visual cloud computing architecture that streamlines the process.

“In disaster scenarios, the amount of visual data generated can create a bottleneck in the network,” said Prasad Calyam, assistant professor of computer science in the MU College of Engineering. “This abundance of visual data, especially high-resolution video streams, is difficult to process even under normal circumstances. In a disaster situation, the computing and networking resources needed to process it may be scarce and even not be available. We are working to develop the most efficient way to process data and study how to quickly present visual information to first responders and law enforcement.”

The research team, including Kannappan Palaniappan and Ye Duan, associate professors in the Department of Computer Science, developed a framework for disaster incident data computation that links the system to mobile devices in a mobile cloud. Algorithms designed by the team help determine what information needs to be processed by the cloud and what information can be processed on local devices, such as laptops and smartphones. This spreads the processing over multiple devices and helps responders receive the information faster.

“Often, we see many of the same images from overlapping cameras,” Palaniappan said. “Responders generally do not need to see two separate pictures but rather the distinctive parts. That mosaic stitching that we helped define happens in the periphery of the network to limit the amount of data that needs to be sent to the cloud. This is a natural way of compressing visual data without losing information. Clever algorithms help determine what types of visual processing to perform in the edge or fog of the network, and what data and computation should be done in the core cloud.”

Incident-supporting visual cloud computing utilizing software-defined networking” recently was published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology in a special issue on cloud computing for mobile devices. Guna Seetharaman of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory also contributed to the study. Funding for the project came from a combination of ongoing grants from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Research Laboratory and the U.S. National Academies Jefferson Science Fellowship.  The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

Free App Provides Potentially Lifesaving Information Designed to Help Businesses, Employees and Families Before, During, and After Disasters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging residents across the nation to download and use the FEMA smartphone app.  The app is designed to help businesses, employees, and their families prepare for a wide array of natural and man-made disasters, and can help affected Americans recover, should disaster strike. 

 According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans have used their smartphone to look up government services or information. Additionally, a majority of smartphone owners use their devices to keep up to date with breaking news, and to be informed about what is happening in their community.

Some key features of the app include:

  • National Weather Service Alerts: The app enables users to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation. This new feature allows users to receive alerts on severe weather happening anywhere they select in the country, even if the phone is not located in the area, making it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening family and friends.
  • Safety Tips: Tips on how to stay safe before, during, and after over 20 types of hazards, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
  • Preparation Checklist:  Helps users put together emergency kits and develop family communication plans to determine how they will reunite with loved ones in the event of a disaster.
  • Maps of Disaster Resources: Users can locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers.
  • Apply for Assistance: The app provides easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance.
  • Information in Spanish: The app defaults to Spanish-language content for smartphones that have Spanish set as their default language.

The latest version of the FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.  For more information visit https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Both data center providers to actively market each other’s facilities and services in U.S. and Canada

NEW YORK - Sabey Data Centers and Toronto-based Q9 announced jointly today that they have formed a strategic sales alliance, effectively creating an international offering of data center locations and services that spans the U.S. and Canada from coast to coast.

Beginning today, Sabey Data Centers will market to its customer base and prospects Q9’s colocation and wholesale data center space at multiple facilities in Toronto, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Kamloops, British Columbia. Likewise, Q9 will market Sabey’s portfolio of more than three million square feet of mission critical space in Washington State, Virginia and New York City to its customers and prospects.

John Sabey, President, Sabey Data Centers, said, “Our partnership with Q9 allows data center customers and prospects to have immediate access to resources in major technology markets in the U.S. and Canada. We believe that there will be strong demand from the financial services and energy sectors, especially with oil and gas producers who operate in both countries. We are eagerly looking forward to working with Canada’s leading data center company.”

Karen Sheriff, CEO of Q9, said, “We see an immense amount of synergy between ourselves and Sabey. Our customers are now able to leverage the same high quality mission critical facilities North and South of the US/Canadian border.”

Under the alliance agreement, Sabey and Q9 will train their respective sales teams to focus on the new, combined offering of data centers and carrier networks located in the U.S. and Canada. Now, both companies can address U.S.-based customer needs in Canada, and vice versa.

Daniel Meltzer, Vice President of Channel Sales and Marketing, Sabey Data Centers, said, “I believe that many Canadian enterprises on the Globe & Mail “Top 1000” list would be interested in exploring a fully integrated offering of data center space and carrier neutral network connectivity bridging multiple data center sites in major U.S. and Canadian markets.”

About Sabey Data Centers

With a portfolio of more than three million square feet of mission critical space, Sabey Data Center Properties is one of the oldest and largest privately owned multi-tenant data center owner/developer/ operators in the United States. Sabey specializes in scalable, custom-built solutions including data center ready shell space and fully turnkey data centers managed by Sabey’s award-winning critical environment operations team. Consistently recognized for its reputation for operational excellence through its world-class data centers and sustained uptime, Sabey boasts one of the most sterling tenant rosters in the industry. .

About Q9

Q9 Networks Inc. is Canada's largest provider of outsourced data centre infrastructure for organizations with mission-critical IT operations. Q9's data centres and network are backed by an industry leading SLA that guarantees 100 per cent network and power availability. Q9 services, including: co-location, private cloud, managed hosting and interconnect service offerings, to a global ecosystem, allow clients to optimize their IT infrastructure. Q9 is owned by an investor group comprising Canada's largest communications company, BCE Inc., and some of the largest and most experienced North American pension and private equity funds, including: Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC. www.q9.com

FREMONT, Calif. – RecoveryPlanner, a leading service provider of Business Continuity Management Planning Solutions, has been ranked as one of the 20 Most Promising Enterprise Risk Management Solution Providers 2016 by CIOReview.

A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs, IT VPs including CIOReview editorial board finalized the “20 Most Promising Enterprise Risk Management Solution Providers 2016” in the U.S. and shortlisted the best vendors and consultants. “We are proud to include RecoveryPlanner in the ranking list and we look forward to seeing the new wave of business innovation,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “RecoveryPlanner’s products and services are regarded as the best in market as it focuses on delivering continuity and risk management solutions to help organizations in managing risk and achieve business goals.”

RecoveryPlanner is recognized for delivering innovative, proven Governance, Risk Management and Compliance solutions for public and private industries of all sizes, throughout the world. Its comprehensive platform integrates Business Continuity, Risk, Incident and Vendor Management. RecoveryPlanner is the first leading Business Continuity Management (BCM) company to include Personal Preparedness as part of a continuity mobile App for both business and personal. It developed a native mobile app “H.E.L.P.”, abbreviated for Home Enterprise Live Planning, which manages, stores, and integrates business & personal preparedness, recovery and continuity so that employees can manage both areas of their lives during an incident or disaster.

About RecoveryPlanner
Founded in 1999, RecoveryPlanner enjoys a well-earned reputation as a leading authority on Business Continuity Management, Disaster Recovery, Risk and Incident Management. It’s a USA based company with Global Network of Partners to provide local consulting, implementation and Help Desk Support services in a variety of languages and time zones. Its primary focus is to help organizations with compliance, best practices and risk mitigation while reducing costs and time spent on planning. For more info visit: www.recoveryplanner.com

About CIOReview
Published from Fremont, California, CIOReview is a print and electronic magazine that explores and understands the plethora of ways adopted by firms to execute the smooth functioning of their businesses. As a technology magazine, CIOReview is the leading source that shares innovative enterprise solutions developed by established solutions providers, upcoming hot enterprises and is a neutral source for technology decision makers. For more info: http://www.cioreview.com

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.

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

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