Iron Mountain Incorporated has published the results of a recent research survey with IDG Research Services to understand the level of risk associated with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the enterprise, the importance of contingency planning, and the consequences experienced when a SaaS vendor does not meet expectations for application support.
Often, small SaaS providers can’t answer the question “What if your servers go down?” much less the bigger question, “What if you close your doors, how do I continue operations and get my data?” SaaS providers need to earn the trust of their customers by ensuring that an application continuity plan is in place.
The survey targeted management-level employees at enterprises employing 1,000 or more people to gain their insight.
Key findings from the research include:
- SaaS has risen to 25 percent of the average applications portfolio (as compared to 11 percent in 2008);
- Half of respondents think that risks associated with SaaS are greater than those of traditional on-premises software;
- 73 percent of enterprises surveyed say it’s ‘very important’ or ‘critical’ that a SaaS provider allow continued access to applications and data, even if the provider goes out of business.
The survey report recommends that users of SaaS applications ensure that they have a business continuity plan in place that can see them through any type of crisis – including ‘man-made disasters’ such as hacking or a server crash – that aren’t covered by typical disaster recovery (DR) plans.
Download ‘When the Cloud Evaporates’ at www.ironmountain.com/cloud-evaporates (registration required.)
With the aim of raising standards of governance and administration in defined contribution (DC) schemes, the UK Pensions Regulator has publishing a draft revised code of practice for consultation.
The new draft DC code is shorter and simpler, and sets out the standards of conduct and practice the regulator expects trustee boards to meet in complying with their legal duties, and to deliver better long term outcomes for retirement savers.
The new code will overhaul the existing DC code first published in 2013 to better support trustee boards and managers of schemes offering money purchase benefits as they adapt to major reforms introduced earlier this year.
The draft DC code includes a section which specifies what is required when it comes to business continuity. It reads as follows:
“We expect trustee boards to ensure that they have an adequate business continuity plan and that this is reviewed at least annually, and tested as appropriate. The complexity of this plan will dependon the size and complexity of the administration operation, but weexpect it to cover:
- loss of key personnel
- business disaster recovery
- safeguarding of data
- how to continue to process core financial transactions.
“Where a third party administrator is used, trustee boards will need to understand the business continuity arrangements that the service provider has in place, and be confident that it adequately mitigates any risks to member data and benefits.”
The consultation will run until the end of January 2016 before the DC code is laid in Parliament next May, and comes into force in July. The 2013 code remains in force until then.
One of the great things about cloud storage is its collaborative capabilities. With some relatively simple software, enterprises can make data available to a wide range of users via multiple devices across large geographic areas.
The problem is, not all data is appropriate for the public cloud, which is why many organizations are working to implement the same collaborative tools across their on-premises storage infrastructure. Ideally, this works best in a private cloud setting, although it can also function within a traditional storage array, but perhaps not with the same degree of scale and flexibility.
Much of this development is coming from firms that are already steeped in public cloud collaboration. Egnyte, which builds both cloud and on-premises file management systems, recently teamed up with collaboration firm Jive to enable greater collaboration across the entire enterprise data environment. The idea is to give users greater choice over where and how they store, access and share data, with Egnyte bringing secure, application-based file access and orchestration to the Jive platform and Jive helping Egnyte tie into multiple productivity offerings from Microsoft, Google and others.
Alphabet subsidiary Google has contracted for 61 MW of solar power with Duke Energy, the largest utility in the US, to power its North Carolina data centers.
While utility-scale renewable power purchase agreements are common for Google, this is the solar power contract that’s big enough for an entire data center. “This is the first time that we’re purchasing solar power in enough volume to power one of our data centers,” Gary Demasi, who oversees data center energy and location strategy at Google, wrote in a blog post.
The company has multiple data centers on its campus in Lenoir. The first data center there was constructed in 2007, and six years later the company announced an expansion project.
As the holiday season quickly approaches and holiday shopping begins, find a gift that truly show those you love how much you care—the gift of preparedness
While an emergency kit may not be on any of the top-ten big name gift lists this season, a starter kit could end up being the most important gift you give your friends and family this year. Most of us would love to be a little more prepared, but have not made the time or don’t know where to start. Often, just taking the first step towards getting prepared is the hardest part. Give your friends and family the gift of being prepared for the unexpected.
Need creative ideas for your gifts of preparedness? We’ve got you covered with these gift ideas:
The Starter Kit
Help get your friends thinking emergency prep with a few key items to start their emergency kit. Pack the items in a small plastic storage container or water-proof bag that can be stored easily. Include the following items:
- First aid kit (You can get a pre-made kit at most of your local drug stores or pharmacies)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable phone charger (also sometimes known as a portable battery. This charger should be rechargeable and have the ability to charge a phone without being plugged into a power source)
- Manual can openers (and a reminder that every emergency kit should include a three-day supply of food and water)
Emergency Prep for Kids
Sometimes the best way to get families thinking about emergency preparedness is through teaching kids about the importance of having an emergency kit, an emergency communication plan, and a family emergency response plan for every disaster.
Get kids excited and interested in emergency preparedness with CDC’s Ready Wrigley activity books. You can print coloring books for disasters including, extreme heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and winter weather. Help kids check-off items on Ready Wrigley’s emergency kit list with some of the following items:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- A battery-powered or crank weather radio
- Small and portable games or activities that can entertain kids if they have to shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. (Small board games, playing cards, books or stuffed animals are good items to consider).
Emergency Kits for the Road
For the car-lovers or new drivers on your list, consider putting together a kit of emergency supplies they can keep in their car. Plan your gift based on local hazards. If you live in an area that gets significant amounts of snow you may consider including a windshield scraper, extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets. For any emergency, your car kit include these basic items:
– Basic tool kit with pliers, a wrench and screwdriver
– Jumper cables (you may consider purchasing a “roadside emergency kit” from your local auto shop that also includes reflective triangle markers, gloves, and a flashlight)
– First aid kit
– Cellphone charger (either or a car charger, or rechargeable portable charger)
Pets and Pet Lovers
Remember to include pets in your emergency planning. Whether you are thinking of gifts for your furry friends or a gift for the pet lovers in your life, put together a gift of the following pet emergency kit items:
- Extra food and water for your pet, including an extra water and food bowl.
- Sturdy leash, harness, and carrier to transport pet safely. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for several hours.
- Pet toy and a pet bed that can easily be stored and taken if you are forced to evacuate. (Remember to always check with your local emergency shelters before a disaster to find out which shelters take in pets).
All of these emergency packages are great gifts to help friends, family, or yourself start an emergency kit. Check out CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and You page for more tips on how to be prepared for any emergency.
(TNS) - Plans are accelerating for construction of a new regional Emergency Management Center in McAlester built to withstand an F5 tornado, nearby blasts, or explosions and even earthquakes.
When completed, the McAlester office will serve as the hub for emergency management services for all of southeastern Oklahoma — basically everything south of Interstate 40 and east of Interstate 35.
The building would also serve as local headquarters for the McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management — allowing personnel with the agency to move out of their current headquarters in the oft-flooded basement of the Pittsburg County Justice Center. Plans call for the building to also include office space for the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management and the Choctaw Nation Office of Emergency Management.
For Tuscaloosa, Ala., there are lessons to be learned from the terror that gripped Paris just over a week ago.
After the Islamic State attacks, Democratic Mayor Walter Maddox took note of the Parisian security staff that prevented a suicide bomber from entering the French national soccer stadium. His thoughts turned to Bryant-Denny Stadium -- where more than 100,000 people gather for University of Alabama football games.
Maddox said he considered what could happen in his 95,000-person city. But he and some terrorism and security specialists say many chief executives and police departments in midsize U.S. cities may not realize that terrorism could put their people and infrastructure at just as much risk as high-profile targets like New York City and Washington, D.C.
McGraw-Hill Education's chief digital officer has driven the company's effort to leverage small data to improve student outcomes, teacher insights, and curriculum improvements. Here's why small is better than big.
In any individual math classroom there may be an advanced student, a dyslexic student, and many other students with various levels of proficiency and confidence in the current module of math. How can you customize the educational experience of each of these students to enable the best outcome? McGraw-Hill Education says it believes that small data, which in this case is data generated by how students interact with the curriculum, is the answer.
Stephen Laster joined the company as chief digital officer a little over three years ago to drive its implementation of small data to improve educational outcomes. He's someone who is passionate about education, and someone whose own educational experience was mixed.
Big data is becoming an increasingly important part of the business plan for companies in many different industries. Analyzing large customer datasets and other kinds of data with tools like Hadoop reporting lets companies save money as well as boost revenue by targeting their marketing better, designing products to better appeal to their customers, make better predictions, and so on. On the other hand, this rise in the use of big data has coincided with the rise of advanced persistent threats to data security. Big data is not just lucrative to the companies that collect it: it is also worth money to identity thieves and other bad actors. This has given rise to a cottage industry in hacking and cracking. Companies that use big data, especially if that data consists of personal information of customers, are at an elevated risk of drawing hacking attempts. Developing ways to protect that data will prove to be just as important as the data itself.
The last few years have seen hacking capture headlines on a regular basis. Large companies like Target have become victims, with hackers stealing credit card information of millions of customers at a time. Even the U.S. government has been affected. The Federal Office of Personnel Management was breached earlier this year and detailed personal information of several million American citizens was stolen by unknown hackers. These breaches are only the latest of a string of such attacks. Furthermore, just because the largest companies are the most likely to make the news does not mean that smaller companies are safe. Hackers know that while large companies tend to control more data, small companies have less robust cyber-defenses, leaving them more vulnerable to organized attack.