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To most people a crisis is bad and for the most part, they’d probably be right. However, an organization can do good things when they are hit with a crisis; some may even say there is an opportunity. The situation itself might be bad enough but it it’s not being managed correctly or communications aren’t approached in a positive way, the crisis can be compounded because the media and the public will think there are more things being hidden by the organization.

If it seems that an organization isn’t prepared – through its communications and response actions – the media and public may start to go ‘hunting’ for more information and uncover other details of the organization that the organization may not want released. Not that they are bad examples on their own but compounded with the existing crisis they will seem larger and could create another crisis or even escalate the existing one. The organization will then be fighting more than one crisis on its hands.

Below are some tips for how to communicate during a crisis; some do’s and don’ts and tips for ensuring good communications when speaking to the media and the general public.

1. Lawyers Aren’t the Face of the Organization – This is one of the biggest mistakes organizations make when communicating with the media and public; they let their lawyers do the talking. Lawyers are good at what they do don’t get me wrong, they just aren’t the ‘face’ of the organization. Often they will speak in terms that the public either don’t understand or don’t want to hear. The public wants to hear what the situation is and what the organization is going to do about the crisis, not the legalities it’s taking to find blame (which is what the lawyers will be trying to do to wither minimize or remove the burden off the shoulders of the organization).

2. Apologize and Show You Care – Be sincere and offer apologies. Don’t say you’re sorry and continue with a ‘but’ statement, as it just nullifies the apology and the public and media will know you really aren’t showing care of the parties involved or impacted by the crisis. It shows you’re trying to defend the organization rather than helping those impacted – or possibly injured – as a result of the situation. Apologizing with sincerity can soften the anger towards the organization and actually help bring people towards the organization by offering assistance. Apologizing also shows that the main concern of the organization is people, not money or shareholders, but people impacted by the situation.

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It's time to celebrate - in 2014 at DRJ Spring World we're celebrating our 50th conference!! DRJ Spring World 2014 promises to be our best yet and you can be confident that we're looking forward to learning, growing and celebrating with you.

While it might seem early to start thinking about your 2014 conference plans - we couldn't disagree more. Now is the best time to get started with mapping out and deciding on your education, networking and learning opportunities for 2014.

Book your calendars for Orlando from March 30 to April 2. (And most of all, register before January 29 to take advantage of our early-bird pricing packages.)

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Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

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Nearly two weeks ago at 8:48 a.m. an OC Transpo bus collided with a Via Rail Train in the city of Ottawa, Ontario. Six people were killed and over thirty people were injured. These are the basic facts of this terrible collision. It will take months for Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigators to understand (as best they can) what might have caused the collision.

I live in Ottawa. This accident occurred a mere 1 mile from my house. I used to take a bus to work that crossed that very same level train crossing. It is so very hard to understand what happened and how this could have occurred. As can be expected, there was lots of speculation on what could have caused the crash - but the reality is we won't know anything for a very long time. 

It seemed that myself and so many others learned of this crash before the local media... Yes, this is the age of Social Media after all. I received a Skype chat message just minutes after the crash that included a rather graphic photo of the bus. I quickly scoured Twitter trying to find out more - and then I went to the CBC.ca website (our national broadcaster) - but it took time for this website to be updated with any details about the collision. But the Twitter accounts for local Ottawa CBC reporters were beginning to become active and report news of the crash. 

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Data protection is important in today’s world, but at times people forget the simple steps that need to be taken to secure access to that data. As an afterthought, securing your data should be taken seriously. Below you will find six ways to secure your data and data protection solution.

Restrict access to clients

It may seem elementary, but securing the clients with a username and password is the first line of defense against hackers or people accessing your data who should not be. Adding a password to each laptop, server and workstation is not only important, but is also paramount when trying to secure your environment. There are different levels of passwords, and now systems even let you use patterns to secure access to clients.

Restrict access to the backup/archive client

In most data protection solutions there are also different levels of access. A client usually only has access to its own data. When installed, the data protection solution needs to be accessible only to the correct users with the correct credentials. In other words, if you sign-in to the system with different credentials, then the data protection application should not be available (or limited).

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Tagged in: Encryption Security

Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Time flies when you're  having fun and most of all - extremely busy!! Yes, it is that time - DRJ Fall World time. In less than a week, we'll be at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront getting ready to host and welcome you to DRJ Fall World.

To help you get the latest information on DRJ Fall World and to make sure you don't miss out on all the great sessions and activities planned for you in San Diego, take a look at these links:

As you will read, there is so much happening at DRJ Fall World - make sure you've got your schedule set and of course be sure to leave some room in your day for catching up with colleagues and visiting the exhibitor hall.

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Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

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The very nature of Disaster recovery is kind of a morbid but necessary subject to talk about due to the nature of what it is. A crash kit is the box you will use in a true DR and will save your business from possible extinction or at the minimum weeks of lost revenue.  The keyword here being DISASTER, imagine all your business falls into a sink hole, goes up in flames, torn away in tornado, terrorist attack, unstoppable computer worm, flash flood or any numerous type of natural disasters that leave you vulnerable and worse unrecoverable. Disaster recovery and business continuity planning provides a framework of interim measures to recover IT services following an emergency or system disruption.

 

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With school back in session, now is the perfect time to address the issues facing those responsible for data protection in educational facilities. IT managers in educational institutions can drive up the cost of storage unnecessarily by treating all data the same and storing it all on the same media. Let’s face the fact; a child’s art is not as important as the transcript database or even the email database. So why are you using the same policy for both?

When looking for a data protection solution, find one that allows you to use policies to treat data differently. You need to treat data that is important as tier one data that gets backed up often and fast. Perhaps it stays on disk for fast restore.

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

In 2005, citizens of Southern Alberta were deeply impacted by what Environment Canada named the "top weather event of the year"... And yes, we're talking about heavy flooding that resulted in 14 municipalities declaring a state of emergency. Residents of Canmore, High River and Calgary were evacuated...

Sounds kind of similar doesn't it to the experiences of Southern Alberta citizens this past summer... In mid-June, the province and in particular the communities of Calgary, High River and Canmore were hit once again with severe flooding. Flooding that resulted in the closure of downtown Calgary, emergency evacuations of people from their homes, closure of businesses, deaths, and the complete loss of homes and businesses. 

Now 60 days or so since the flooding hit Alberta, the province, communities and people are still struggling to pick up the pieces and get back to a normal life. Through out this ordeal there have been news reports and stories of tremendous community spirit - of people coming together to help one another in the clean-up efforts and of people who were not impacted by the floods opening their homes to those who were. 

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President Obama made the proclamation in 2012 that September is “National Preparedness Month.” What does that mean to you? As an IT professional, it means now is the ideal time to come up with a plan for your IT environment.

We all talk about it, but do you really have a plan that will save your data? Do you really have a plan that will get you and your company back to work in a reasonable amount of time?

Here is the proclamation in its entirety:

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

In professional sports today, the coach always has a “plan B.” In the NFL, those are called backup quarterbacks. There is even a backup to the backup. In football, however, they know and understand that a player can get hurt on any play. They might not know how or when, but they know it’s coming.

 

The world of data protection is a little different. Most people think that a disaster will never happen to them. They think they will never have a fire or flood. While that may could be true, you really can’t afford to take that risk.

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September is National Preparedness Month! Here are the "official" toolkits provided by FEMA- 

(via community.fema.gov)

The National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2013 Toolkit includes suggestions for activities and events that state, local, tribal and territorial governments, business, non-governmental organizations, and community organizations could sponsor to promote NPM.

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

From the Centers for Disease Control’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

 (seriously)

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Can you believe it is the middle of August? Not only does this time of the year signal the winding down of summer (sorry!) it also means it is time to really start thinking about your September plans. 

For us here at DRJ, September is all about DRJ Fall World. This year DRJ Fall World runs from September 22 - 25 in San Diego, California. If you've been following our posts about DRJ Fall World, you'll have read about the outstanding learning and networking sessions we have for you this year. 

As always, we want to make sure you get all the opportunities you need to push the boundaries on your BC and DR learning - this is why the Sunday Solution Track is an excellent option. 

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Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

This blog written in honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who and YouTube’s Geek Week.

If you can’t travel back in time, you better know you can recover your data.

 In BBC America's series "Doctor Who," the Doctor has the ability to travel through time in space in a device called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). He simply adjusts the Timey-Wimey knobs and buttons and can go anywhere at any time.

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Recovery based offerings cost so much more than they tell you.  They only show you the tip of the ICEBERG

 I have seen many a cloud offering to backup and recover your data for as low as $.01 per Gigabyte ($10.24 a TB) per month.  BUT that is only the tip of the iceberg. 

 Backup and recovery is really all about the recovery.  All the fancy backup in the world does not do you any good unless you can recover that data, quickly and easily.

 Let’s see what backup and recovery actually costs with this type of BaaS product.  Let’s make it simple and look at the numbers of one of the more popular products on the market (which will remain nameless).

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By Glen Bricker, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Many organizations think having a disaster recovery plan is all the protection they need from disasters. However, there is so much more to disaster recovery than just a plan! That’s why most industry professionals see disaster recovery as an ongoing program or process that contains a number of distinct elements. Key process activities include:

  • Business engagement and establishment of business requirements (through business impact analyses and risk assessments), resulting in the definition of recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, and downtime procedures (manual workarounds)
  • Identification, evaluation, and selection of appropriate recovery approaches to achieve business requirements, including  defined ongoing budget commitments and staff allocations
  • Development of plans for technical recovery and coordination of the recovery effort
  • Execution of ongoing exercising and training

In addition to process elements, the following governance activities are also typically performed:

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..goes unpunished, they say. Nowhere is that more true than with those who respond to disasters- natural or man-made, where death and severe injury is present.  These workers are at risk of experiencing stress from what psychologists refer to as a traumatic incident. A traumatic incident is one that may involve exposure to catastrophic events, severely injured children or adults, dead bodies or body parts, or a loss of colleagues. All workers involved in response activities help themselves and their coworkers and reduce the risk of experiencing stress associated with a traumatic incident by utilizing simple methods to recognize, monitor, and maintain health on-site and following such experiences.  

A Personal Case Study

As emergency responders, we often feel a need to “be brave”, impervious to the bad things we see, stoic in the face of tragedy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The very parts of our nature that drive us to respond to disasters- to help those most affected- also prevents us from turning a completely blind eye to what we witness. We may fool ourselves for a while, but sooner or later, it will surface.

Immediately following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I found myself in New Orleans, serving in the city’s Emergency Operations Center as a Safety Officer. In the ten months I served, four of those months were with the New Orleans Fire Department‘s Urban Search and Rescue team. From March through June, 2006, our mission was to make a final sweep through New Orleans devastated 9th Ward searching for any as yet unfound victims. This entailed going from one ruined home to another, led by teams of cadaver dogs. Climbing over stinking refuse and debris, trying to block out the fact that these had been people’s homes- where children had been raised, homework done, Christmases and birthdays celebrated. And yes, even 6 months after the storms, there were remains to be found. During this mission, twenty six total. 

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TSM architecture gives STORServer customers long-term control

 By: John Pearring, STORServer

 

Virtual this and virtual that have become watchwords for technology geeks tracking what’s happening in the IT centers of practically every sized company. But a revolutionary idea that has almost three decades of development behind it makes virtual storage a reality for data protection aficionados.

Get this. How about a backup and archive architecture that doesn’t store your data on media? How is that possible? By designing backup and archive buckets, or pools, that float like clouds right in your own datacenter.

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It may be the middle of the summer, but we've got our eyes on September and more specifically on DRJ Fall World. This blog post continues our series on highlighting the learning and networking opportunities you'll have at our September 22-25 conference in San Diego.

In this post, we're taking a closer look at the Tuesday Workshops. These workshops are designed to give you learning opportunities that take the knowledge you gained from the General Sessions and Breakout Tracks to the next level. 

One of the keys to the Tuesday Workshops is that they're designed to be interactive and they are focused on experience level - so regardless of your level of BC knowledge, you'll find a workshop that meets your needs.

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Tagged in: DRJ Fall World

Do you know where your data will be in 7 years?

 Seven years ago, you had a pager or really big phone that did not get email. You watched analog TV and bought CDs and DVDs. Life and technology is quite different nowadays. You have a smartphone, hi-def TV, iTunes and Netflix. Can you imagine what you will have seven years from now?

 You have no idea. The same is true in the IT world. Do you know what type of media your data will be on in seven years? You can guess, but you really don’t know. You are LTO4 or LTO5 today, but in seven years, you could be on LTO19 or even some new technology.

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