Hang on . . . present-what-ism? Is that even a word? Turns out it is, and while discussing absenteeism and presenteeism can be about as exciting watching paint dry, the fact is that it has a substantial impact on payroll. There are two similar definitions for presenteeism: the mainstream definition – when employees show up to work despite the fact that they’re sick and could potentially infect others – and the business continuity definition which is when healthy employees show up after a disaster but are so distracted by the process of getting their personal lives back in order that their onsite productivity takes a dive....
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We’re pretty excited about our 50th conference, so you’ll have to to bear with us as we continue to boast about the top-notch speakers, sessions, and workshops that we’ve got planned for DRJ Spring World.
With the theme of “Ensuring Resiliency in a Risky World”, you’re going to want to make sure you’re in Orlando, Florida from March 30 - April 2.
Here's a closer look at what you’ll be learning and the people you’ll be meeting at our 50th conference, make sure you download the conference agenda and review these sessions, workshops, and break-out tracks designed specifically to meet your business continuity and disaster recovery needs....
STORServer takes it to a whole new level
What happens when you combine the best hardware in the industry and the industry leading data protection software in the industry? Simple, you get the best data protection solution in the world.
CommVault has been an industry leader for years and has lead the Gartner Magic Quadrant over the likes of IBM, EMC and Symantec. Combine that with the easy to use, easy to understand data protection product they have developed makes them a logical choice for customers looking to manager the protection of their data....
Following the recent departure of number one son to Manchester (see “University challenge”), on Sunday afternoon I decided to address a small issue that's been troubling me for a while. For several years, in fact. When I say troubling, I mean causing my blood to simmer gently on a pretty much permanent basis, and to boil over about once a week, often punctuated by the phrase "...and tidy your @*~%#& bedroom!"
I've often wondered whether life would have been easier if we'd had girls instead of boys. I imagine that they're probably altogether more wholesome and helpful creatures who do things like washing up (and just general washing); and being pleasant and considerate to their wonderful parents; and not trashing the whole house; and keeping their @*~%#& rooms tidy. I'll never know though, because we were blessed (at least I think that's the right word) with two boys. Perhaps someone can enlighten me....
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are becoming a trending and serious issue when it comes to Cyber Security across many industries in particular the banking and financial sectors.
In a DDoS attack Botnets (usually referred to as a “Zombie army”) bombards a server or a network with thousands of system requests sent from infected computers and internet connections causing network traffic to become overloaded and unavailable. So how do we prevent this from happening? Below are five strategies that can be used to prevent a DDoS....
Mark these dates on your calendar: March 30 - April 2, 2014 and make a note that you’ll be in Orlando, Florida for Spring World 2014.
It might seem a bit early to start planning your 2014 education, networking and learning opportunities, but we really don’t want you to miss out on attending Spring World 2014. We’ve got a great agenda of classes, workshops, sessions - all led by the leaders in the disaster recovery and business continuity space.
To help you start planning your Spring World 2014 experience, each week we’ll highlight different sessions, workshops, events and presenters....
By Jacque Rupert, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog
A Business Continuity Scoping Approach That Contributes to Better Management Engagement and Prioritization of Risk Management Efforts
One of the most common questions business continuity professionals ask is how to keep management involved in the ongoing preparedness effort and prioritize the implementation of business continuity strategies with limited resources. Business continuity professionals strive to have engaged, interested management teams, but often struggle to achieve this goal. Whether management disinterest has been present from the beginning of the preparedness effort, or whether interest has waned over time, there is one key strategy that Avalution strongly suggests organizations implement in order to achieve greater levels of both management involvement and input regarding business continuity planning: scoping and planning based on the recovery of products and services....
By Andy Osborne, Consultancy Director at Acumen
We recently reached a significant milestone in the Oz family history, when we transported number one son (number one as in the sequence in which they arrived, as opposed to any order of preference, I hasten to add) with a car chock-full of his gear, to his chosen university in Manchester, some 120 miles from home.
It would be churlish of me to mention that, with just two hours to go before our planned leaving time, it came to light that some important stuff that he needed to take with him had been lent to friends, so I won't. Suffice it to say that, despite my and Mrs Oz's strenuous, vociferous and repeated efforts over the preceding weeks to ensure it didn't happen, there was an unwelcome amount of last minute frenzied activity and associated stress....
The Tip of the Week: Private Sector Beware!
By Dr. Tom Phelan
Thursday, October 30, 2013, 8:07 a.m. EDT – This morning I received an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org titled FEMA Private Sector Resilience Tip of the Week. I usually scan these, but today, attempted to follow the enticing title through the thread provided in the e-mail.
FEMA Private Sector Resilience Tip 10/28/13: Prevent cyber threats from impacting your business systems network. http://go.usa.gov/WrPP.
I clicked on the link which led me to http://www.dhs.gov/protecting-our-nation’s-critical-infrastructure-cyber-threats. The first four paragraphs narrowed the “Tip” to a discussion of cyber threats to only a certain few forms of critical infrastructure – “…the broadband networks beneath us and the wireless signals around us, the utility plants that pump water into our homes, and the massive grids that power our Nation.” My home has a well, so no need for a plant to pump in the water, but electric power is required for it to provide water. It still seems a bit confusing how cyber threats might impact bridges, tunnels, and road ways, but I continued in my journey down the “Rabbit Hole.” Low and behold, the concluding paragraph stated,...
from the Huffington Post:
Today, Oct. 29 marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. This was the most devastating storm of 2012 and the second most expensive in the history of the United States.
A quick online search reveals a range of opinions, facts and photography collections that tell the story of Hurricane Sandy. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. Livelihoods were crushed. People have started to recover - some areas of the Eastern Seaboard are in "better" condition than they were before the Superstorm Sandy hit.
With an influx of funding and support, many businesses, cities/towns and people have been able to rebuild and get back to life as they knew it. This returning to life as it was before the storm though, could just be the source of the problem....
Events near the end of October have a way of forcing me to choose among equally enticing prospects. Rather than attend this year's Executive Women's Forum in Scottsdale, I flew to Reno to help present the 2013 Hall of Fame Awards & Gala for the International Network of Women in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The event is only three years old. I was honored and amazed to be inducted in 2011, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Clara Barton. Last year's inductees were splendid. And this year, we kept the bar high.
Two distinguished Washingtonians were honored: Mary Schoenfeld, a pioneer in the field of emergency management and school crisis management. She's been in the field over 30 years and has written 5 books and countless articles. She is an inspiration to each of us. Here, she is pictured in the president of inWEM, Dr. Jacqueline McBride, who also hosted the evening's festivities.
Also honored in memoriam was Ben Dew from FEMA Region Xand prior to that, Washington State emergency management. He is the author of the strategy we now call "Neighbor Helping Neighbor." More than one person remembered him and his "Never give up" mantra during the evening.
And there were others who received awards that evening as well, including four of the women pictured below. Left to right: Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes (Red Cross), Cheryl (on behalf of Delta Sigma Theta), Fire Chief Toni B. Washington, Dr. Meloyde Batten-Mikens (2012 awardee), and Fire Chief Debra Prior.
Here's Mary Anne McKown, author/synthesizer extraordinaire for some of our finest national documents, including the National Response Plan, the National Response Framework, and the National Emergency Communications Plan. That's just a small taste of the work she began when she left Booz Allen become a government employee after 9/11.
Different stories for each of the awardees, but overall you could say that each of these women understands public service, the notion of giving back on behalf of something larger than yourself, and a keen desire to leave the world a better place.
During the shutdown, slowdown or whatever you call it, did you stop using your phone, sending emails or going to work? No. For the majority of us, the only thing that actually shut down was our goofy government and wonderful representatives (all of them). The fact is, the rest of the world just kept on working. We did not have a choice.
Funny thing. This living being that is “big data” kept growing while we continued feeding it with our day-to-day use of electronics. You used Facebook and the bank and everything else.
Here’s the real question. Did the IT departments of the banks and Facebook shutdown too? Did all the data protection solutions in play stop working because the government decided not to do its job? Again, the answer is no.
While the government stopped, the world added petabytes to the infrastructure we protect. It’s important to understand that protecting all of this data is not easy. As a matter of fact, it is impossible....
A disaster recovery plan protects a business's IT infrastructure and allows this infrastructure to recover quickly during a disaster. A recovery plan specifies the steps that a business needs to perform during a disaster and is typically kept in written form and in a secure environment. A DRP covers natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes that physically damage the infrastructure or impair the ability of personnel to take appropriate action. It can also protect a business from man-made disasters such as acts of terrorism or equipment failures.
DRPs are becoming more common in business due to their increasing reliance on information technology. Government regulations for some business sectors also require businesses to maintain DRPs. For example, the regulatory body for financial institutions in the United States is the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Credit Union Times provides tips for credit unions to comply with FFIEC guidelines, including an impact review, testing and analysis of the DRP. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or SOX 2002, also provides specific guidance for the DRPs of financial institutions....
This is my first post on the DRJ blog, I appreciate the invitation to contribute and hope the readers derive some value from my contributions.
My primary aim will be to promote, or at times provoke, discussion. So I am going to link together an “opinion piece” on the blog with a discussion on the DRJ LinkedIn group. Sometimes it might even start the other way around!
I often write from a different perspective than many commentators in the BC/DR industry. Like many of you I came to the industry via the IT sector and the Disaster Recovery discipline - that was back in 1986. Since then my path has diverged as I moved in and out of Business Continuity. I have been an Executive and manager - one of those people we lament that don't understand/support BC - so I often comment on BC from their perspective, and their needs....
By Andy Osborne, Consultancy Director at Acumen
It's fairly standard practice to hold some form of debrief at the end of an exercise or test, which is a very sensible thing to do. It helps to ensure that any issues and actions arising are captured and it's a good way to obtain feedback from the participants on how they thought things went. But some debriefs are a bit on the, well, brief side. Because it comes at the end of what can sometimes be a lengthy or challenging, sometimes stressful, session, it can be all too easy to make the debrief too brief. There can be a temptation to let people "get away" so that they can return to their day jobs. But the danger is that, once they do so, all the good stuff that the exercise teased out will be forgotten within a couple of weeks or, at best, vaguely remembered but not given the attention it deserves.
That's not to suggest that the debrief should be overly lengthy, just that sufficient time should be allowed to ensure that everything that needs to be captured is, so that a follow-up action plan can be agreed.
And, whilst it may seem like a bit of a luxury, it can be very beneficial to hold two debriefs - a "hot" debrief immediately after the exercise or test and a second, "cold" debrief a couple of weeks later, after the proverbial dust has settled. Go on, be honest, how brief are your debriefs? And how many do you do? If you don't already do so, why not give the double-debrief a try after your next exercise or test and see what the results are like?
Originally posted on Acumen's business continuity "Tip of the Month" page (www.acumen-bcp.co.uk/totm)
When did data protection get to be such a pain? We all know that data is growing quickly and that the types of data are constantly changing, but that doesn’t change the basics of storage management. The old rules still apply, leaving some IT professionals wondering what really has changed and how those changes affect their shop.
The old rules of thumb still hold true in this new age of data management. According to Wikipedia, a rule of thumb is a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation....
By Stacy Gardner, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog
Why “Chicken Little” and “Black Swan” Planning is NOT the Way to Respond to Recent Catastrophic Events
It seems that every week there’s a story in the news about a catastrophic disaster happening somewhere in the world, as the last five to ten years have seen what appears to be unprecedented numbers of global natural disasters. While it sometimes might seem like the world is ending, overacting to these events or trying to plan for every worst case scenario is not productive and could DAMAGE your business continuity program. This article will discuss why focusing on these types of outlier events do not generate value or management interest, as well as discuss ways you CAN tweak your risk assessment and planning to ultimately gain more value without trying to tackle impossible planning standards....