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Jan 24
2013

BC Predictions for 2013: Number 4 - Contingency Planning will become fashionable again

Posted by The BCI in Untagged 

The BCI

There has been some puzzled faces questioning our BC prediction number 4 – “Contingency Planning will become fashionable again as a part of a broader understanding of Business Continuity which includes Continuity Capability and Crisis Response”.

Without stealing the thunder of my colleague Lee Glendon who is researching this proposition and will issue a discussion paper on the topic later during BCAW 2013, I think it is becoming obvious that conventional BCM as defined by a management system does not cover the full range of BC thinking. British Standards are working on a Crisis Management Standard (BS11200) and an Organizational Resilience Standard (BS45000) so we can only assume that they agree with us.

Jan 22
2013

Why You Should Pay Attention to Business Continuity Standards (Even If You Aren’t Seeking Certification)

Posted by Courtney Bowers in Business Continuity , Avalution Blogs

Courtney Bowers

By Stacy Gardner, Avalution Consulting
Article originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Standards…ugh! Even though the business continuity profession appears to be paying some attention to the topics of standards development and organizational certification, you may be tempted to skip over these articles and ignore the opportunity to review new or revised standards when released (especially if you feel organizational certification isn’t right for your organization). However, many reasons exist as to why all organizations (and BC practitioners) should not only pay attention to standards, but also seek opportunities to incorporate applicable elements of them into their programs to improve performance and enhance credibility.

Jan 21
2013

Colocation Hosting For Disaster Recovery

Posted by Adnan Raja in Disaster Recovery Hosting , Colocation Hosting , Business Continuity

Adnan Raja

While it is impossible to avoid disasters that are out of your control, the affect of such disasters can be minimized with a disaster recovery plan.  Disaster recovery plans are essential for businesses that value resiliency and that understand the importance of spending money now to protect against the threat of a potential disaster in the future.  You never know when disaster may strike and it may happen at a very inconvenient time.

One way to ensure that your disaster recovery plan is comprehensive and flexible is to invest in colocation hosting.  While colocation hosting may seem like a more expensive alternative to running your own servers in- house, you are actually getting more value for your money if you look at it from a disaster recovery standpoint.  But, what are the benefits of colocation hosting for disaster recovery and why might you choose this solution for your business?

Jan 15
2013

Out with the Old, In with the New

Posted by Joe Flach in Untagged 

Joe Flach

Well, we are now several weeks into the new year and, as crisis management and business continuity professionals, we are happy to see 2012 in our rear view mirrors. Maybe it is just the relative recentness of Hurricane Sandy, or the fact that she devastated such a wide and highly populated area in the United States, but 2012 seemed to have been a very busy year for business continuity planners. And, this is not just in terms of responses to a number of disasters, but also in terms of preparing for high-risk events such as the London Olympics, the US Presidential Party Conventions and several Political Summits throughout the region.

I guess some of the reasons we were so busy are good reasons. I am witnessing a much higher level of awareness for the potential of business interruptions occurring from mass gathering events. I have been somewhat impressed with the levels of preparedness from both the public and private domain for events such as the Olympics and the Conventions. It seems people are starting to realize the benefits of the private and public sectors working together in preparation for these events. Coordinating work schedules and being aware of commuting challenges and potential mass gatherings, coupled with work from home solutions and proactive strategies for shifting work-flows and employees away from the congestion during the most active event times, seem to all have helped businesses and communities cope with the challenges of hosting such events.

Jan 15
2013

A Pandemic Planning Update

Posted by Joe Flach in Untagged 

Joe Flach

Well, it is flu season again in the United States and in Corporate America that means it is Pandemic Flu Preparedness Planning Season again. However, please do not confuse the Seasonal Flu with a Pandemic Flu. This website from Flu.gov includes a terrific table at the bottom of its page, defining the difference between the two.

Over the past few months, Safe Harbor Consulting has been active with a number of clients in updating their Pandemic Plans and conducting Pandemic Response Simulated Exercises. One common opportunity for improvements in these programs is with regards to the inclusion of Threat Level Tables within their Plans.

Jan 11
2013

Understanding Enterprise Resiliency

Posted by Vicki Thomas in enterprise resiliency

Vicki Thomas

In the Fall 2012 issue of the Disaster Recovery Journal we focussed on enterprise resiliency - researching and writing about this topic from a range of angles and perspectives. We thought it would be useful to pull some highlights from this issue to help you to better understand enterprise resiliency and what it means for your organization.

Enterprise resiliency is not something to take lightly nor is it something that is easy to achieve. But as you'll read, there are methods and principles you can put into practice in your businesses that will go a long way in achieving true enterprise resiliency.

Jan 10
2013

Should I Back Up to the Cloud?

Posted by Adnan Raja in Data Backups , cloud server hosting , Cloud Provider

Adnan Raja

Lately, the cloud has emerged as a popular solution for data backup for small to medium sized businesses.  Data backup has always been a popular subject for the SMB market and with the recent trend in data growth, cloud-based backup solutions, like cloud server hosting, are here to stay.  Backing up your data to the cloud does however create a few challenges that need to be considered.

First of all, certain data policies require specific protection regarding where data can be stored and transmitted.  Investigate the policies specific to your data to make sure that outsourcing to a cloud provider is not outside of data regulations.  For example, health care facilities are responsible for maintaining the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of their patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI), as they must ensure it meets HIPAA compliance.  Also, consider the data policies, especially the security practices, of the cloud provider to determine if a public or private cloud solution best fits the needs of your data.

Dec 28
2012

2013 – The Year Cloud Changes the Way We Do Business

Posted by Adnan Raja in Cloud Provider , Cloud Hosting , Cloud Computing

Adnan Raja

In an article published last week, Forbes predicted a substantial shift to the cloud by corporate IT in 2013, saying “whether it is public, private or personal clouds, we will undoubtedly look back on 2013 as the year that cloud computing became an integral part of IT.”  With the rise in cloud adoption predicted for the coming year, it is imperative that IT managers make a conscious effort to become better educated on cloud best practices, data security, trends in cloud utilization, and new cloud-enabled technologies so that they can help their businesses leverage all the appropriate benefits of the cloud.

Forbes predicts that soon, enterprises will no longer think of themselves as strictly 9 to 5 businesses, but rather embrace the notion of being a 24/7 entity because, thanks to cloud computing, not everyone must be chained to his or her desk to get work done.  Cloud computing allows employees to access data via any device connected to the Internet and in turn, enables them to complete work, manage projects, communicate with clients, share files, and more without needing to be physically present at the office. 

Dec 25
2012

School Children, Teachers, Firefighters and Cops - It Hurts

Posted by Dr Tom Phelan in Emeregency Management

Dr Tom Phelan

Children have been senselessly murdered along with school personnel, including at least a teacher and a principal.  Firefighters and cops have been ambushed.  Both incidents show the limitations of emergency planning.  As a school teacher and administrator for better than 25 years, and an instructor of firefighters and law enforcement officers at colleges and police academies, I have felt the hurt and the anguish of the most recent events.  You must have, too.

Some of you have written about your experience in business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning, not fully recognizing the lack of such plans in many schools.  I have read your comments and felt your pain.

Dec 20
2012

Programmatically Manage Your Cloud Servers with RESTful API

Posted by Adnan Raja in Cloud Computing

Adnan Raja

Most cloud applications are built with APIs, which perform key tasks in helping the application operate effectively.   Cloud APIs can modify the resources available to operate the application, provide an interface that enables a specific capability, and offer methods to interface and extend the application on the Internet.  Administrators can now integrate applications and other workloads into the cloud using these APIs.

The Atlantic.Net cloud API is a RESTful query interface designed to allow users to programmatically manage Atlantic.Net cloud servers.  A RESTful API is a web service implemented using HTTP and the principles of REST (uniform interface, stateless, client-server, cacheable, layered system, and code on demand).  REST is focused on accessing named resources through a single consistent interface.  For example, in Atlantic.Net’s case, calls are made over the Internet by sending HTTPS requests to cloud API server.