Press Releases (1458)
Not yet known if strain will cause more outbreaks than previous years
A new strain of norovirus called GII.4 Sydney was the leading cause of norovirus outbreaks in the United States from September to December 2012, according to a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new strain was detected in Australia in March 2012, and caused outbreaks in that country and several other countries.
CDC researchers analyzed 2012 data collected through CaliciNet on norovirus strains associated with outbreaks in the United States. They found that of the 266 norovirus outbreaks reported during the last four months of 2012, 141 were caused by the GII.4 Sydney strain.
“The new strain spread rapidly across the United States from September to December 2012,” said Dr. Aron Hall, epidemiologist, CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases (DVD). “The proportion of reported outbreaks caused by this strain increased dramatically from 19 percent in September to 58 percent in December.”
Norovirus is very contagious. In the United States, norovirus is the number one cause of acute gastroenteritis, which leads to diarrhea and vomiting. Each year, more than 21 million people in the United States get infected and develop acute gastroenteritis; approximately 800 die. Young children and elderly adults have the highest risk for severe illness.
Norovirus spreads primarily from infected people to others through direct contact. It also spreads through contaminated food, water, and surfaces. Norovirus infections are common during this time of the year. Most outbreaks occur from November to April, and activity usually peaks in January.
“New norovirus strains often lead to more outbreaks but not always,” said Dr. Jan Vinjé, director of CaliciNet. Over the past decade, new strains of GII.4 have emerged about every 2 to 3 years. “We found that the new GII.4 Sydney strain replaced the previously predominant GII.4 strain.”
Better surveillance in the United States and abroad have helped to detect new strains of norovirus sooner. Early identification of new strains helps to alert the public and health professionals to better prevent infections and control outbreaks.
Health professionals should remain vigilant to potential increases in norovirus infection this season due to GII.4 Sydney. They should follow standard prevention and control measures for norovirus. People should know that the best ways to help prevent norovirus infection include washing hands with soap and water, disinfecting surfaces, rinsing fruits and vegetables, cooking shellfish thoroughly, and not preparing food or caring for others while ill.
“Right now, it’s too soon to tell whether the new strain of norovirus will lead to more outbreaks than in previous years. However, CDC continues to work with state partners to watch this closely and see if the strain is associated with more severe illness,” said Dr. Hall.
For more information on norovirus, visit CDC’s norovirus Web site at www.cdc.gov/norovirus.
BEDFORD, Mass. - RSA, the Security Division of EMC® Corporation (NYSE: EMC), today introduced two significant additions to its RSA Archer® product suite designed to help customers meet ever changing and comprehensive business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management demands.
RSA Archer Business Continuity Management and Operations is one of the industry’s most tightly integrated solutions designed to address business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management. Engineered to align with BS25999, NIMS and ISO 22301, it offers a standards-based approach to business continuity planning. Notably, deeper integration with other GRC processes such as enterprise risk management, incident management and third-party management, helps allow companies to align recovery efforts with organizational objectives and priorities for enhanced visibility, accountability and reporting.
Offering a flexible platform, continuity professionals can efficiently execute business continuity and disaster recovery process changes while limiting the need to invest in costly professional services. Additionally, RSA provides templates engineered to perform business impact analyses and risk analyses at any level of the business hierarchy or enterprise infrastructure, and tie to other risk assessments.
As engineered, Key Features of RSA Archer Business Continuity Management and Operations include:
- Risk Register – Helps users identify, evaluate and mitigate risks that may impact their organization, locations, processes or partners.
- Business Impact Analysis (BIA) – Gives users the ability to evaluate the criticality of their processes and determine recovery objectives (RTO and RPO) that are coordinated across supporting infrastructure.
- Centrally Managed Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans – Allows users to develop detailed recovery plans for business processes or IT assets, utilizing automated workflow for plan testing, activation and approval.
- Enhanced Crisis Management and Response – Helps enable users to report and manage crisis events, send emergency notifications to communicate crisis information to appropriate personnel, and activate business continuity or disaster recovery plans to recover disrupted business operations, facilities or IT infrastructure.
- Tighter Integration with Other RSA Archer GRC Components – Lets users relate Business Continuity Management components such as risks, BIAs, recovery plans or crises to organizational units (e.g., divisions, business units) and infrastructure (e.g., processes, facilities, IT applications or vital records) for visibility, accountability and reporting.
Additionally, RSA has also introduced the availability of the RSA Archer BCM Mobile App. As a key component in a GRC mobile strategy, the app is designed to augment hard copy plans and enable rapid response during a crisis situation by offering visibility into business continuity or disaster recovery plans and associated strategies, tasks, calling trees and requirements from most locations. In the event that a data center is not available, the RSA Archer BCM Mobile App is engineered to provide high availability, allowing the end user offline access to resources from the time the app was last synced. Additional capabilities including a Mobile App Toolkit built to enable customers to create and design custom applications including questionnaires and assessments will also be supported in a future release.
The addition of the RSA Archer Business Continuity Management and Operations solution and mobile app to the RSA Archer portfolio helps support EMC’s overall mission of building trust in next-generation IT solutions by automating the approach to business continuity, disaster recovery and effective crisis management.
Martin Goulet, Director Product Marketing, RSA, The Security Division of EMC
"Today nearly every business process depends on a digital infrastructure, but aligning business continuity and disaster recovery planning to the needs and risk levels of the business has been very challenging for IT professionals. By offering a broad solution that covers the entire process from designing and testing to mobile access, we're working to make it easier to align risk and criticality with business continuity plans. This lets IT deliver greater business value, and helps businesses better manage digital risks and deliver more trusted services to their internal and external customers. Tight integration with enterprise GRC processes helps ensure better alignment of business continuity management efforts with overall business risk and business strategies."
Darren Nichols, MBCP, Sprint Business Continuity Office (BCO)
“As a major wireless telecommunications provider, having a mobile application is high on our list of features for our Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning solution. The RSA Archer BCM mobile app gives us one more option for quickly accessing contact and plan data while we are away from our computers.”
Daniel Minter CBCP, MBCI, Equifax - Global Business Continuity Management
“We have encountered a 60% reduction in time it takes to create BC/DR report templates and our users are reporting far better output for their BC plans and business impact assessments. With the RSA Archer Business Continuity Management solution, we are light years ahead of where we were with our BC/DR program.”
The RSA Archer Business Continuity Management and Operations solution, and the RSA Archer BCM Mobile App, are currently available to customers worldwide.
- Register for the RSA Archer New BCM Solution: An All-in-One Approach Webcast -- January 24, 2013, 10:00 am EST/3:00 pm GMT
- Get more information on RSA Archer Business Continuity Management and Operations
- Get more information on the RSA Archer eGRC platform
- Download the RSA Archer BCM Mobile App for the iPhone and iPad in iTunes
- Connect with RSA via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, is the premier provider of security, risk and compliance management solutions for business acceleration. RSA helps the world’s leading organizations succeed by solving their most complex and sensitive security challenges. These challenges include managing organizational risk, safeguarding mobile access and collaboration, proving compliance, and securing virtual and cloud environments.
RSA offers industry-leading solutions in identity assurance & access control, data loss prevention, encryption & key management, compliance & security information management and fraud protection. These solutions bring trust to millions of user identities, the transactions that they perform, and the data that is generated. For more information, please visit www.RSA.com and www.EMC.com.
EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com.
ST. LOUIS -- ShakeOut needs your help to make this the largest Missouri ShakeOut in history! The Great Central US ShakeOut is a nine state earthquake drill that teaches the principles of “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” This year’s drill will occur at 10:15 a.m. on February 7. Missouri ShakeOut is now active on Facebook and Twitter making it easier to share information rapidly and effectively. Check out our pages for event information, milestones, updates, fun facts, pictures, and contests. Missouri ShakeOut also wants to hear from YOU! Feel free to share your personal stories about preparedness and ways that you are practicing earthquake safety.
Make Safety a Top Priority
Every time a post is shared, ShakeOut’s valuable message is reaching more people to help them prepare for and stay safe during an event. We cannot grow without your help! Help make your schools, neighborhoods and communities safer by ensuring the maximum reach of the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” message. To view the pages, you do not need to be a member of the social networks, so please do not let that discourage you from passing the word along!
Help Missouri have the most effective ShakeOut ever! Please check out our new information resources.
And if you haven’t already, please register to ShakeOut state wide on February 7:
Also, remember the State Emergency Management Agency has earthquake safety information and resources on the SEMA website’s Earthquake pages, including videos demonstrating different levels of ShakeOut drills. Please check out that site, too: http://www.sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_preparedness/default.asp.
Columbus, Ohio – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, announced today that it has received a U.S. patent for its flexible, energy-saving Liebert® XD cooling technology for high heat density data center applications.
The pumped refrigerant-based cooling technology featured in the Liebert XD family of high heat density cooling solutions was the first rack- and row-based cooling solution to address high density at the rack level. The Liebert XD family includes the Liebert XDV rack-mount, Liebert XDO ceiling-mount, Liebert XDH row-based and Liebert XDR rear door cooling modules. Originally designed to address hot spots or zones within the data center, the Liebert XD cooling modules provide cooling directly at the source of the heat without overcooling the whole data center.
“As the complexity and criticality of the data center continues to increase, and virtualization and consolidation become common occurrences in the data center environment, data center managers need flexible and efficient cooling solutions that meet today’s demands and help prepare them for what’s next,” said Steve Madara, vice president, global cooling, Emerson Network Power. “The Liebert XD cooling technology has quickly become a basic building block of the data center of the future, delivering the ability to meet the needs of today’s 10, 20 and 30 kW racks while offering the ability to support densities of 60 kW or higher in the future.”
The Liebert XD system can reduce the data center’s air conditioning energy consumption up to 30 percent when utilized as supplemental cooling and up to 70 percent when deployed as the primary cooling. Implementing the Liebert XD solution requires 15-50 percent less chiller plant capacity, as well as less diesel generator and switch gear capacity, resulting in a potential energy savings of 40-50 percent for data center energy consumption.
The flexible configuration of the Liebert XD system modules also allows scalability for future growth, as well as the ability to efficiently add redundant units for maximum reliability in the most mission-critical applications. The Liebert XD approach improves floor space utilization compared to an installation using only floor-mounted
cooling units. Because of the variety of cooling module sizes and placement, installing more Liebert XD capacity typically uses little or no additional floor area.
For more information on the Liebert XD family of high heat density cooling solutions, or any other technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit www.Liebert.com.
Natick, MA – TwinStrata, Inc., an innovator in cloud-integrated storage solutions, today highlighted results for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2012. The year was punctuated by a series of corporate and product milestones.
TwinStrata ended the year with substantial growth across all measures of its business:
• Throughout 2012, TwinStrata experienced sequential bookings growth of 35 percent or more quarter over quarter.
• Fourth quarter 2012 bookings were more than four times the amount of the same quarter in 2011.
• By year end 2012, TwinStrata achieved 260% growth in unique, paid customers.
• With more than 350 active installations, TwinStrata’s CloudArray® product manages more than three petabytes of capacity in the cloud.
• On a recent survey asking respondents to rank TwinStrata on product quality, customer support and buying process, at least 96 percent of customers ranked TwinStrata as “Excellent” or “Good” across all three categories.
• In a report released by Info-Tech Research Group, TwinStrata was given the Best Overall Value award for “coupling its impressive product with an appealing price.” TwinStrata CloudArray was also the only product in the report given an overall score of “exemplary.”
In addition to the corporate milestones, 2012 represented a substantial leap forward from a technology and solution perspective:
• Added native support for both network attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) protocols.
• Delivered ability to deploy CloudArray in multiple cloud compute environments.
• Doubled the number of supported cloud service providers, bringing total to more than 20.
• Unveiled line of fully integrated high-availability appliances with hybrid SSD options available.
• Introduced all-inclusive, subscription-based pricing model that bundles cost of appliance with cost of cloud storage to complement “bring your own cloud” (perpetual license) model. Subscriptions available in conjunction with Google, HP and Nirvanix.
Christopher Butler, CIO, St. John’s Preparatory School, said:
• “In less than six months of using TwinStrata to integrate cloud into our storage strategy, we’ve significantly reduced overall maintenance and quickly implemented a more comprehensive offsite data protection and disaster recovery plan.”
In a recent report (available at: http://www.twinstrata.com/ESGv4), Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Mark Peters wrote:
• “TwinStrata is…removing obstacles and objections that the IT managers of ‘serious’ applications might hitherto have maintained against the use of cloud storage.”
Nicos Vekiarides, CEO of TwinStrata, said:
• “We remain committed to enabling our customers to address the costly, time-consuming and persistent challenges of traditional storage infrastructure through seamless integration with the cloud. Our tremendous growth this year validates not only the TwinStrata value proposition, but also the increasing traction of cloud storage as a whole.”
• Register for our January 31 webinar where we’ll highlight some of the results and showcase how our customers are putting cloud storage into action:
• To try TwinStrata CloudArray for free, visit www.twinstrata.com/free-trial
• Follow TwinStrata at http://twitter.com/TwinStrata and http://facebook.com/TwinStrata
About TwinStrata, Inc.
TwinStrata delivers cloud-integrated storage solutions that seamlessly combine the flexibility of cloud-based technologies with the robustness of traditional storage. As a result, customers benefit from significant reductions in IT costs, time and administrative requirements. Customers of all sizes use TwinStrata to capitalize on the cloud’s scalability and economy advantages without sacrificing the security, performance and peace of mind of local storage. More information is available at twinstrata.com.
SAN MATEO, Calif – SIOS Technology, a leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, today announced that it has teamed up with Supermicro and Fusion-io to launch the high performance SuperSQL Cluster Appliance. The high performance, high availability server platform is fully integrated with SIOS’ DataKeeper Cluster Edition (DKCE) software and Fusion ioMemory products in a single chassis, dual-node Supermicro 2U Twin SuperServer, delivering outstanding performance with data protection.
SIOS’ robust data replication software DKCE arms the new SuperSQL Cluster with higher data availability and increased performance. Synchronous data replication, resulting in zero data loss, has less than 10 percent overhead, which is significantly better than alternative solutions whose performance impact can be in excess of 60 percent. One of the key benefits of DKCE’s high-speed, low-latency replication is the ability to provide complete data protection while maintaining the performance gains of the Fusion-io and Supermicro technologies.
“Working closely with Supermicro and Fusion-io, we have created a compelling offering that provides the benefits of a cluster without the complexity of a SAN in a cost-effective, single unit SKU,” said Celia Cattani, SIOS vice president of America, sales. “It’s easy to use and provides high performance and high availability in a single chassis containing two independent nodes. This appliance is an ideal solution for databases like Microsoft SQL or enterprise applications like Microsoft Dynamics or Lync.”
With SIOS, data protection is possible without an expensive SAN. DKCE is fully integrated with Microsoft Cluster Services (MSCS) and Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC.) DKCE eliminates storage as a potential single point of failure (SPoF), enhancing both availability and performance.
High capacity ioMemory products from Fusion-io deliver increased low-latency data performance. In addition, Supermicro's 2U Twin server based appliance uses 10/40GbE network interface cards to provide ultra-low latency data mirroring for the database instances, as well as high-speed data transport between cluster nodes.
“Supermicro’s 2U Twin architecture achieves the best balance between performance and density while providing the full range of feature sets required for SIOS’s SuperSQL Cluster Appliance,” said Wally Liaw, vice president of sales, international at Supermicro. “Our 2U Twin server features two independent nodes per system and offers the highest levels of efficiency, reliability and flexibility through its shared resource architecture. With support for SIOS’ DKCE and Fusion-io accelerated storage memory technologies, we are delivering the most cost-effective high-speed data replication solution on the market for mission critical database applications.”
“Databases like Microsoft SQL Server are the backbone of many businesses around the world,” said Thomas Kejser, Fusion-io EMEA chief technology officer. “By aggregating Fusion ioMemory with SIOS and Supermicro products, customers will be able to accelerate their databases with advanced performance and efficiency across datacenters and high-density environments.”
The new SuperSQL Cluster Appliance supports any edition of Microsoft SQL Server, including the cost-effective Standard Edition. High-density and low-power environments will greatly benefit from the SuperSQL Cluster appliance. This includes data centers, industrial process controls, small offices and web proxy and cache servers.
More information on the SuperSQL Cluster is available at firstname.lastname@example.org
SIOS Holds Position as First Linux Player in the World to Achieve SAP High Availability Interface CertificationWritten by Mike McClain, Senior Web Designer & Site Manager
SAN MATEO, Calif. – SIOS Technology Corporation, a leading provider of high availability and data protection software solutions for Linux and Windows, today announced it was the first Linux high availability player in the world to achieve SAP Application Server High Availability (HA) Interface Certification for its SteelEye® Protection Suite (SPS).
The HA-Interface Certification lets customers know that by using SIOS SPS, they are deploying high availability protection designed and certified to work with any SAP landscape. This equates to faster installation, fewer issues, superior protection, full SAP support and peace of mind that all components will work together seamlessly.
"SIOS worked closely with SAP's Linux Lab to achieve this first of its kind high availability certification," said Scott Armour, COO at SIOS Technology Corporation. "Our SteelEye software has been the innovative leader in SAP HA protection for more than a decade; this certification is the latest illustration of our close work with SAP to assure the best SAP landscape availability while also delivering the added benefits of integrated offerings and support."
SIOS’ SPS integrates with SAP to bring best-practice business continuity to SAP Business Suite software customers, ensuring compliant implementation for SAP systems. SPS provides complete protection for SAP landscapes including servers, operating system, databases and the critical components of the SAP application. It not only provides SAP high availability clustering, it can also be extended to provide multi-site disaster recovery and continuous data protection through a single, reliable, flexible and cost-effective enterprise-class solution.
“Having enjoyed a long-time strategic relationship with both companies, it is no surprise that SIOS is the first Linux player to be certified with SAP for high availability,” said Roman Janke, manager of Application Operations at Phoenix Contact, a leading manufacturer of electronic switches. “This certification strengthens the integration of these key vendor applications and reinforces our ongoing return on investment and support in working with SIOS to protect our mission-critical business applications.”
SPS for Linux offers sophisticated monitoring, automated recovery and other advanced features including high-speed, block-level data replication, redirection of client connectivity, and a unique hybrid storage model. For SAP environments, SPS is optimized to address traditional high availability requirements, the complex nuances of multi-site, wide-area clustering, and high availability within emerging virtualized SAP environments. SPS is the optimal SAP availability solution; it is the most flexible, easiest to implement and operate and is now the first to be SAP HA certified. SPS delivers the best availability profile at the lowest operating cost.
Product roadmap enhancements to SIOS’ SPS include improving the business continuity posture of SAP deployments through predictive monitoring, automated responses and centralized reporting of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure adherence to Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This enables unified control of both clustered and non-clustered SAP NetWeaver systems through SAP Adaptive Computing Controller. These SPS enhancements are slated for release the first half of 2013.
For more information about SIOS’ SteelEye Protection Suite visit
For more information about the SAP Application Server High Availability Interface Certification visit http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-8541
London – Ovum has published three “Trends to watch reports” on Cloud computing and reveals that 2013 will see cloud computing continue to grow rapidly.
2013 Trends to Watch: Private and Public Clouds* report , drills downs into not only private and public cloud trends, but also infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) trends, meanwhile, 2013 Trends to Watch: Cloud Services** report, looks at cloud computing from the point of view of IT service providers. Finally, 2013 Trends to Watch: Cloud Computing*** report, looks at the way cloud service providers and consumers adapt to cloud computing both on their own and as part of increasingly sophisticated cloud ecosystems.
In the “2013 Trends to Watch: Cloud Computing” report, Laurent Lachal, Senior Analyst, Ovum Software notes that “Cloud computing promises to tackles two hitherto irreconcilable IT challenges: the need to reduce costs and the need to boost innovation”.
Lachal says: “It takes a lot of effort from vendors and enterprises to actually make it work, and they will succeed in making it work in 2013, both on their own and as part of increasingly complex ecosystems.”
Indeed, cloud computing in all its guises (public, private, and hybrid) is building momentum, evolving fast and becoming increasingly “enterprise-grade”. Yet, it is early days for vendors and enterprises.
Lachal adds: “Cloud computing has barely reached the adolescence phase and it will take at least another five years for cloud computing to mature into adulthood.
2013 will also see the emergence of cloud computing ecosystem. Public clouds are increasingly approached not only as technology delivery platforms but also as “ecosystem hubs” for cloud service providers and consumers.
Lachal comments: “They offer a new way to accelerate participation in the rapidly evolving social networking and mobile solution ecosystems of the Internet age. Some industry sectors are benefiting from the “data centre as a hub”, an increasingly cloud computing-centric ecosystem of partners that assembles in a key location or data centre such as around financial exchanges, web and online services, or media content.”
Data will be the new cloud computing oil in 2013.
Cloud computing services, and the (social, mobile) applications that cloud platforms underpin, generate a lot of data, which in turn requires cloud services and applications to make sense of it.
This trend connects with and fuels other industry trends such as the Internet of things (machine-to-machine communication and data processing, cloud computing-based smart cities, TVs or cars projects), open government data, consumerisation of IT (with a variety of cross-device content centric public clouds, such as the one provided by Apple), and, last but not least, Big Data.
The market’s attention, under the Big Data banner, is currently mostly focused on technology issues, but from 2013 onward from a cloud computing perspective there will be growing interest in the cultural shift required by vendors and enterprises to turn data into a resource to manage and monetize, starting with data abstraction (from underlying IT systems), sharing (within and outside the enterprise), and valuation (via a model from companies such as Accenture).
“Some vendors played the cloud data card early , but the cloud data production, brokerage, and consumption ecosystem is still in the making and will continue to evolve over the next five years,” concludes Lachal.
Emerson Network Power Launches Dedicated Team to Deliver Innovative, Tailored Solutions for Massive, Complex Data CentersWritten by Mike McClain, Senior Web Designer & Site Manager
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity, and efficiency of critical infrastructure, today introduced a fully dedicated team serving the complex needs of massive data centers. The hyperscale solutions team is dedicated to leveraging Emerson-wide expertise and resources across the entire data center ecosystem to serve companies that build large cloud environments for search, social networking, web computing, and other data-intense functions.
The scale and growth of these massive facilities demands extraordinary data center architectures that require customized, highly scalable, and often modular infrastructures. The Emerson solutions team helps deliver these complex architectures through consulting, custom solutions, and implementation. Emerson Network Power announced the formation of the team at Open Compute Summit.
“The hyperscale solutions team is made up of individuals with decades of data center experience and draws upon the knowledge and capabilities of thousands of Emerson technologists and engineers to support the visions of data center professionals,” said Scott Barbour, executive vice president of Emerson and business leader for Emerson Network Power Systems. “And only Emerson has the global scale and resources to rapidly implement those visions.”
The team has engaged with industry thought-leaders and developed architectural solutions that solve customer-specific business issues in hyperscale data centers. Resources the team draws upon include deep expertise in embedded power, power conditioning, distribution and back-up, infrastructure management, cooling, services, access and control, and modularity.
Examples of the type of solutions created to meet hyperscale data centers’ unique needs will be featured in booth B14 and include an integrated rack solution that leverages the efficient AC and DC power distribution and back-up concepts in the Open Rack specification, created with off-the-shelf components accessible to all size customers and data centers. Also featured will be fly-through simulations of Emerson Network Power’s capability to deploy modular constructed data center solutions.
For more information on Emerson Network Power products and solutions that support the data center, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.
NEW YORK – Events such as Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, the 2011 Japanese tsunami and nuclear disaster, 2010’s Pakistani floods and the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano demonstrated that business disruptions are no longer confined to one-time, short lived events. Instead, such catastrophes are occurring more regularly and having devastating consequences across companies’ operations. As companies begin to realize the new normal, which consists of longer lasting business disruptions, events are compelling them to evaluate their current crisis management programs to assess implementing a comprehensive business continuity program.
Plans that detail a business’s initial emergency response provide a roadmap for keeping operations running through a crisis and ready a business for the return to full operational effectiveness in the weeks that follow a disruption. These forward-thinking solutions are critical components to effective business continuity programs, according to a new PwC US paper entitled, “Beyond the first 48 hours: Can your business continuity plan go the distance?”
“Business disruptions, whether natural or manmade, are inevitable today and are leaving businesses of all shapes and sizes crippled for days, weeks and more recently months. It’s no longer a matter of when a business disruption will strike, it’s a matter of how devastating it will be to a business, their resources and operations,” said Dean Simone, leader of PwC’s U.S. Risk Assurance practice. “An effective and tested crisis management plan will get a company through the initial impacts of major events, but in order to address the aftermath, organizations need a comprehensive plan. Today, a company’s ability to respond to a business disruption could either protect or damage their brand for decades to come. The best-prepared companies are ready with a complete and coordinated business continuity management process that covers the full crisis lifecycle beyond the first 48 hours - from emergency response to crisis management to recovery.”
PwC’s report examines the critical challenges of coping with the increased and unexpected risks of business disruptions. The paper outlines PwC’s recommended approach to effective business continuity management programs:
· Emergency response, crisis management, IT disaster recovery, and business continuity plans
· Recovery of critical business processes, prioritized to the organization’s overall functionality
· Assures uniform and consistent planning, implementation, and upgrade of business continuity policies and procedures
Uses specialists who’ve created and assessed hundreds of business continuity programs and can provide out-of-the-box solutions across the planning process, from analysis to reporting
“Companies need the right business continuity management program to react quickly and effectively to mitigate any revenue loss, potential damage to their reputation and return to full-operational status,” said Phil Samson, leader of PwC’s Business Continuity Management service. “Having a holistic plan helps an organization absorb the initial crisis, makes them resilient enough to remain standing through the aftershocks, and properly organizes them to return critical processes in the weeks and months that follow.”
“Beyond mega-disasters, advances in technology increase the possibility of devastating manmade crises such as cyber-attacks,” said Ken Coy, leader of PwC’s Governance, Risk & Compliance practice. “From deleting data to deliberate acts of destruction, having a risk-resilient design and tested crisis response is not enough. Establishing a governance and program management structure which aligns your crisis and business continuity management objectives are the keys to effective planning.”
For an in-depth discussion on what companies can do to be as prepared for the next disruption, join PwC for a webcast on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. EST. http://www.meetpwc.com/BCMBeyond48hours
To download a full copy of the report, “Beyond the first 48 hours: Can your business continuity plan go the distance?” please visit: www.pwc.com/us/en/risk-assurance-services/publications/business-continuity-management.jhtml
About PwC’s Risk Assurance practice
PwC understands that significant risk is rarely confined to discrete areas within an organization. Rather, most significant risks have a wide-ranging impact across the organization. As a result, PwC's Risk Assurance practice has developed a holistic approach to risk that protects business, facilitates strategic decision making and enhances efficiency. This approach is complemented by the extensive risk and controls technical knowledge and sector-specific experience of its Risk Assurance professionals. The end result is a risk solution tailored to meet the unique needs of clients.
About PwC US
PwC US helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a member of the PwC network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people. We're committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/US.