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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00

Public apathy in the path of preparedness

Responses to winter storm Juno seem to show that you cannot please the public when it comes to preparedness. In this article Geary Sikich asks whether business continuity and emergency planners are missing something when it comes to communicating preparedness with the public.

Introduction
I was supposed to be in Boston presenting at ‘The Disaster Conferences’ on 28 January 2015. Well, the weather just put us out to 19 March 2015 for the now rescheduled Boston conference. I guess that they are still feeling the effects of this week’s blizzard, now named ‘Juno’; that left Boston with over 24 inches of snow. According to the Weather Channel Winter Storm Juno pounded locations from Long Island to New England with heavy snow, high winds and coastal flooding late Monday into Tuesday. The storm is now winding down. The National Weather Service has dropped all winter storm and blizzard warnings for Juno.

Snow amounts in New York have ranged from 9.8 inches at Central Park in New York City to 30 inches on Long Island. The snippets from the Weather Channel and from other news sources barrage us with the details of this latest storm:

  • In Massachusetts, up to 36 inches of snow has been measured in Lunenburg, while Boston has seen 24.4 inches. Juno was a record snowstorm for Worcester, Massachusetts (34.5 inches). Incredibly, 31.9 inches fell in Worcester on Jan. 27, alone!
  • Thundersnow was reported in coastal portions of Rhode Island and Massachusetts late Monday night and early Tuesday.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1275.html

What worries chief information officers (CIOs) and IT professionals the most? According to a recent survey commissioned by Sungard Availability Services information security, downtime and talent acquisition weigh heaviest on their minds.

Information security
Due to the increasing frequency and complexity of cyber-attacks, security ranks highest among IT concerns in the workplace for CIOs; as a result more than half of survey respondents (51 percent) believe security planning should be the last item to receive budget cuts in 2015.

While external security threats are top of mind for IT professionals, internal threats are often the root cause of security disasters. Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents cited leaving mobile phones or laptops in vulnerable places as their chief security concern (62 percent), followed by password sharing (59 percent). These internal security challenges created by employees, lead 60 percent of respondents to note that in 2015 they would enforce stricter security policies for employees.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07511.html

Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00

10 Expert Tips for Better Data Storage

Better data storage means different things to different people. For some it is all about speed, for others cost is the primary factor. For many it is about coping with soaring data volumes while for some, simplicity and ease of install/use are top-of mind elements.

Whatever your opinion of what better data storage is, here are a few tips on how to improve storage in the coming year.

...

http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-management/10-expert-tips-for-better-data-storage.html

Robin Murphy is a leader in the field of disaster robotics, having started working on the topic in 1995 and researching how the mobile technologies have been used in 46 emergency responses worldwide. She has developed robots that have helped during responses to numerous emergencies, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. As director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University, Murphy works to advance the technology while also traveling to disasters when called upon to help agencies determine how robots can aid the response. The center’s first deployment was in response to 9/11, which also was the first reported use of a robot during emergency response.

Emergency Management: Since 9/11, how have you seen the use of robots in disasters change?

Robin Murphy: We started out in 2001 and up until 2005 you didn’t see the use of anything but ground robots. Everything was very ground-centric, and I think that reflected the state of the technology. For years we had bomb squad robots, which were being made smaller and smaller for military tactical operations so that gave them a tool that was pretty easy to use. Starting in 2005, we saw the first use of small unmanned aerial vehicles that were being developed primarily for the military market and those were very useful. Those have really come up and, in fact, since 2011, I’ve only found one disaster that didn’t use an unmanned aerial vehicle and that was the South Korea ferry where they used an underwater vehicle. So we went from ground robots dominating to about 2005 and then we started shifting toward unmanned aerial vehicles. In about 2007, it became much more commonplace to see underwater vehicles being used. Then starting in about 2011, I think if you have a disaster and you’re an agency and you haven’t figured out a way to use a small unmanned aerial system, it’s kind of surprising.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/How-Robots-Are-Changing-Disaster-Response-Recovery.html

Industry’s First Ultra-Density Chassis Provides the Right Footprint for JBKnowledge, Inc.’s Data Center and Secures Vital Information for Commercial Construction and Risk Management Professionals

 

LONGMONT, Colo. – Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today announced that the company’s Ultra48™AssuredSAN® high density storage system has been deployed by JBKnowledge, Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions for construction, risk management and insurance enterprises in North America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

 

Built on the industry's first ultra-density chassis, the Dot Hill Ultra48 AssuredSAN houses nearly 58 terabytes of data on small form factor 2.5-inch devices, while utilizing 23 percent less power while using significantly less rack and data center space. Uniquely designed to deliver high-performance, randomized sequential I/O optimization for demanding, multiple-stream workflows, the array enclosure can support any combination of solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives, making it an ideal solution for JBKnowledge and its customers.

 

“Dot Hill’s Ultra48 AssuredSAN storage array provides the density, performance and reliability we need to mirror our storage area network, so that our customers can always access their data,” said Mike Bentley, network services director at JBKnowledge. “Using half the space compared to typical alternatives, the Ultra48 is unmatched in cost-effectiveness.”

 

JBKnowledge’s web-based solutions include SmartBidNet software for commercial general contractors; SmartCompliance management software for risk managers; SmartInsight construction qualification dashboard; and the SmartReality mobile app for project visualization. Thousands of commercial builders rely on SmartBidNet, which streamlines subcontractor prequalification, bid invitations, and project collaborations. SmartCompliance uses OCR technology to scan, analyze, store, and search insurance certificates allowing users to manage vendor compliance in a centralized, secure online platform.

 

PAC Data, Dot Hill’s distributor located on the west coast, first introduced the Dot Hill product line to JBKnowledge. Based on the solution that PAC Data recommended, JBKnowledge now relies on their 62 terabyte Dot Hill AssuredSAN Ultra48 storage array to mirror and protect all customer data created through its solutions. Ultra48 models combine high performance and high capacity storage hardware with the next-generation RealStor™ software to create the optimum balance of affordability, capacity, and performance.

 

“This collaboration with JBKnowledge showcases the superior benefits of the Ultra48 and Dot Hill’s ability to provide solutions to power high-volume, transaction-intensive commercial software applications,” said Jim Jonez, vice president of marketing, Dot Hill. “Dot Hill created an entirely new product category of ultra density storage products when we launched the Ultra48. Nothing compares to the Ultra48, which delivers twice the performance and capacity per rack unit versus competitive solutions.”

 

With fully redundant and hot-swappable components, the Ultra48 provides easy serviceability resulting in lower support costs through the life of the product. Also, as with all highly reliable AssuredSAN solutions, the Ultra48 delivers proven 99.999 percent availability. Backed by an industry-best 37-month "bumper-to-bumper" warranty, Ultra48 storage solutions are available with the latest, high-bandwidth interfaces including 12Gb SAS or dual personality 16Gb Fibre Channel/10Gb iSCSI with throughput performance of 6400 MB/s and 100,000 IOPS from disk. The Ultra48 supports RealStor™ 2.0 software which delivers real-time autonomic tiering and a host of other management features.

 

About JBKnowledge, Inc.

An information technology services and products provider, JBKnowledge, specializes in enterprise applications and databases, electronic data interchange, strategy consulting, mobile solutions, and web development for the construction, risk management and insurance industries. Makers of SmartBidNet, SmartCompliance, SmartInsight and SmartReality, JBKnowledge is based in Bryan/College Station, TX, and serves clients across North America, the Caribbean and Middle East.

For more information, visit www.jbknowledge.com

 

About Dot Hill

Leveraging its proprietary Assured family of storage solutions, Dot Hill solves many of today’s most challenging storage problems – helping IT to improve performance, increase availability, simplify operations, and reduce costs. Dot Hill’s solutions combine breakthrough software with the industry’s most flexible and extensive hardware platform and automated management to deliver best-in-class solutions. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information, visit us at www.dothill.com.

Is there anything that can’t be connected to the Internet? For example, where I once wore a $10 pedometer clipped to the waistband of yoga pants, I now wear a $130 fitness tracker on my wrist. In the past, I just took a look at the numbers on the pedometer to see how many steps I’d taken; now I need to log onto an app on my smartphone to see how far I’ve walked and how many calories I’ve burned and even how well I’ve slept. Or, if I wanted to, I could turn on any light in the house from the comfort of my couch rather than get up and do so manually. And that’s just a small scratch on the surface of the phenomena that is known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

However, if we know that virtually everything can now be connected to the Internet, we have to recognize its corollary statement: everything that can be connected to the Internet can be hacked. That fitness tracker I’ve come to depend on? Most of the information transmitted isn’t done securely and the apps have been known to have vulnerabilities. According to Symantec, this could make my movements easy to track and make my login details easy to steal. Those smart light bulbs, according to Slate, have insecure transmitters that could share too much information. And what about the home security system you have … you know, the one you turn on and off with your smartphone?

...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/sungardas/2015/01/29/the-internet-of-things-has-a-growing-number-of-cyber-security-problems/

The Business Continuity Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its new Careers Centre, providing those working in the industry with the support they need to further their career by highlighting the job opportunities available. The BCI Careers Centre will also allow recruiters to find the perfect candidate for them by offering a CV search facility.

If you’re looking for a new job in business continuity or resilience then look no further than the BCI Careers Centre. Powered by JobTarget, the Careers Centre pulls in advertised vacancies from global recruitment sites, as well as those advertised directly with the BCI, and allows users to search by position or location. The system also allows users to set up a job alert so they can be the first to see new vacancies.

If you’re a recruiter then post your job within the Careers Centre to make sure it can be seen by a wide selection of desired candidates. If you’d rather seek people directly then search through the CVs uploaded by business continuity professionals to find the one who is suitable for you, or perhaps a selection that you would like to shortlist. The BCI Careers Centre is an open site with business continuity and resilience specialists from around the world encouraged to register for vacancies.

As the Careers Centre is specifically designed to focus on roles in the business continuity and resilience industry, it might be helpful to know what industry memberships or credentials a potential employee has. If you're a member of the BCI or hold a BCI credential then this will be clearly identified on your profile. It will also be clearly identified if you are on the BCI's CPD scheme.

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/introducing-the-bci-careers-centre-matching-the-right-candidate-to-the-right-job-104438

Big Data will bring new challenges to data governance. Succeeding will require organizations to simplify, prioritize and above all adapt as Big Data use matures.

Yesterday, I shared four Big Data governance challenges:

  • Changing data roles
  • Broader business involvement
  • Business buy-in
  • Technical challenges

Let’s look at how those success principles can be applied to the first two Big Data governance challenges.

- See more at: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/a-three-step-strategy-for-tackling-big-data-governance-challenges.html#sthash.ewxFgvwx.dpuf

Big Data will bring new challenges to data governance. Succeeding will require organizations to simplify, prioritize and above all adapt as Big Data use matures.

Yesterday, I shared four Big Data governance challenges:

  • Changing data roles
  • Broader business involvement
  • Business buy-in
  • Technical challenges

Let’s look at how those success principles can be applied to the first two Big Data governance challenges.

- See more at: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/a-three-step-strategy-for-tackling-big-data-governance-challenges.html#sthash.ewxFgvwx.dpuf

Big Data will bring new challenges to data governance. Succeeding will require organizations to simplify, prioritize and above all adapt as Big Data use matures.

Yesterday, I shared four Big Data governance challenges:

  • Changing data roles
  • Broader business involvement
  • Business buy-in
  • Technical challenges

Let’s look at how those success principles can be applied to the first two Big Data governance challenges.

- See more at: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/a-three-step-strategy-for-tackling-big-data-governance-challenges.html#sthash.ewxFgvwx.dpuf

...

 

Business continuity and cloud file sync services provider eFolder, has announced the release of its production version of Cloudfinder for Box, a dedicated cloud-to-cloud backup, search and restore service for Box. The company rolled out the production version of the offering following Box’s (BOX) long-anticipated initial public offering last week.

The production version of Cloudfinder for Box builds on a Freemium version that was available last year.  eFolder completed its acquisition of Cloudfinder in Q3 of 2014.

...

http://mspmentor.net/cloud-computing/012815/efolder-launches-cloudfinder-box-cloud-cloud-backup

(TNS) —When disaster strikes in Palm Beach County, Fla., a team of volunteers trained by county emergency managers can be deployed as the first line of defense, helping their communities with everything from search and rescue to basic first aid to putting out small fires.

They can also be called upon to distribute or install smoke alarms, hand out disaster education materials or replace smoke alarm batteries in the homes of the elderly, according to a brochure about the program.

But there's no requirement that they be subject to any kind of criminal background check.

That could change after a concerned Boynton Beach resident complained to the Florida Division of Emergency Management's Inspector General. In a report released last week, the inspector recommended that background checks be a condition of the grants doled out for the program.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Should-Background-Checks-Required-Emergency-Volunteers.html

Thursday, 29 January 2015 00:00

REAL ID Act Catches Up with States

(TNS) — Lawmakers are scrambling to fix a problem that could result in Idaho driver's license holders being denied entry to federal facilities nationwide by the end of the year.

The issue arose last week, when the Idaho National Laboratory began enforcing the REAL ID Act.

The act, adopted in 2005, was a response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It tries to limit the availability of false driver's licenses and identification cards by imposing detailed security requirements on states for issuing such cards.

Idaho is one of nine "non-compliant" states, meaning the U.S. Department of Homeland Security isn't satisfied with its efforts to implement the act.

Consequently, Idaho licenses and ID cards can no longer be used to gain entry to nuclear power plants, to restricted portions of the Homeland Security headquarters building or - as of Jan. 19 - to INL and certain other federal facilities (see related story, at right).

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/REAL-ID-Act-Catches-Up-States.html

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