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Lessons Learned

January 2004: Two students in Louisiana are arrested after planning to shoot students and teachers in an effort to copy the 1999 Columbine High School killing spree in Colorado. October 2003: A gun-wielding teen takes an administrator hostage in a Sacramento, Calif....

Ready for Section 404?

It is no surprise that public companies continue to struggle with the tasks of evaluating their internal controls and financial reporting systems, brought about by passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002. What may be surprising to some is the cost in terms of...

Weathering the Storm

Paxson Communications Corp. operates more than 60 television stations across the nation. The company’s lifeblood is advertising revenue from commercials that must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla. That adds up to...

Who’s the boss

It’s often said that, other than your spouse or significant other, you can’t pick your family members. We love our parents and grandparents, but in almost every family, there are people who, had we had the opportunity to select, they might not have been chosen. It’s...

The Real Threat

Information warfare (IW) is not new in the United States. The Department of Defense (DOD) has for approximately 30 years been preparing for and defending against our adversaries’ employment of IW. However, with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States,...

When the Smoke Cleared

Worst Wildfires in California History Prove Valuable Lesson for Continuity Planners By JANETTE BALLMAN Emergency responders and continuity planners had their hands full when nearly a dozen wildfires erupted in California during mid-October. Strong Santa Ana winds and...

New Kid on the Block

When reading on the topics of business continuity, disaster recovery, or business resiliency in the current literature, one cannot help but notice that a vast majority of writers possess many years of experience in the field. Practitioners with 15, 20, and even 25...

A Word to the Why

The Blackout of 2003 created major and costly inconveniences for an estimated 50 million people from Michigan, across Ohio and into New York and north into Ontario. Referred to by some media writers as the “Lake Erie Loop,” the interconnected power grid fell subject...

The Iceberg Theorem

Some years back, while in the defense industry, I met a fellow who mentioned that he once worked with a Hughes reliability engineer named Murphy, the very man responsible for “Murphy’s Law.” Reliability engineers are principally involved in analyzing why systems fail...

Targeting Preparedness

By now, IT executives all over the world know that having a plan in place for recovery from unexpected outages, either natural or man-made, is vital to the health of their business. The volume of information continues to increase as a result of e-commerce and other...

A Season of Fury

This May, a prime time for tornadoes in the Midwest, we saw an unprecedented amount of storm activity that struck at the heart of municipal infrastructure across the Plains states and into the South. More than 50 lives – and millions of dollars worth of property –...

Synchronicity or Not

In today’s data processing environment, synchronicity of data may need to be addressed when performing backups as well as the recovery of data. The subject of data synchronicity was not a big topic of discussion when data centers were composed of a single large...

How Far Is Far Enough

How far is enough? That was the question asked of Association of Contingency Planners (ACP) chapters in the United States. The intent of the survey question was to set standards from within the industry regarding how far an alternate facility and an off-site storage...

Not Just For HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) sounded a wakeup call throughout the healthcare industry – patient data is an asset and it needs to be protected. IT departments are now facing the challenge of implementing HIPAA’s three...

Missing A Step

For most people, the term “business continuity” conjures thoughts of complex plans, choreographed drills and heightened data security. Despite the increasing priority of continuity initiatives on corporate agendas and advances in business continuity technologies, the...

How Much Is Enough?

In an ideal world, IT managers would have unlimited budgets to ensure that employees, customers, and suppliers always had access to business systems and important information. Indeed, many organizations allocate significant portions of IT spending each year to build...

Recovering Data In A Snap

As data we regularly store on our PCs and servers is becoming more and more valuable, the ways to “lose” this information are increasing. A surge protector, UPS and regular backups can safeguard financial, medical, legal, or other critical documents to a point. It is...

All Hands On Deck

Most planners are beginning to accept and to promote “enterprise” planning rather than either specifically “business” or “support” (read IT) function-only plans. What is often not stressed is the need for what we term “all hands” planning. All hands includes everyone...

The Great Flood of 2001

Less then one week after the beginning of the 2001 Hurricane season we already had a named storm in the Gulf of Mexico, her name was Allison. But it was just a tropical storm, no need for concern yet; after all we really didn’t need to worry until it became a...

12 Point Check-up

INTRODUCTION My formal training in the area of disaster recovery began in 1980 following a “near miss” in the computer center. A building under construction next door to the data center (which housed a very large central mainframe and disk system) let loose of about...

Applications

In the 1960s information systems arrived. An early tag word of this developing technology was the term ‘application.’ At the beginning of the 2000’s, it is a concept surrounded by seriously flawed habits of thought and action. Consider the following...

DR vs. BC: Dueling Recovery Plans

Many companies today have created an environment of hostility between disaster recovery planning (DRP) and business continuity planning (BCP). Companies are creating two independently operating groups tasked with planning for a disastrous event. Below is the...

Business Continuity Planning for the Rest of Us

BIG, it’s always BIG! Every contingency planning book you read assumes that your company is BIG. Let’s see now’.you should have a team conducting a Risk Analysis (RA), followed by a team conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA), followed by a team...

The Incident Preparedness Pyramid

Once upon a time, and not very long ago, disaster recovery was born. As a discipline yet in its infancy, its aims were noble and its efforts sharply focused.Its practitioners were few, but with limited resources they strove to achieve technical redundancy for...

Spring World 2005 Another Great Success

More than 1,100 attendees joined expert speakers and exhibitors for a total of 1,500 people at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla., for the Disaster Recovery Journal Spring World 2005 conference March 6-9.“We are very pleased once...

Preparing Like Europeans

Businesses are spending big on facilities and plans that will help them recover in the wake of disaster, but are they spending wisely? In today’s world of power crises, cyber hackers, terrorism, and increased climatic threats, businesses are responding with...

Getting Started

The majority of business continuity/disaster recovery articles written for trade journals are directed toward the technical audience. There is an abundance of information available on the steps necessary to implement a business impact analysis or build the disaster...

Getting Started

The majority of business continuity/disaster recovery articles written for trade journals are directed toward the technical audience. There is an abundance of information available on the steps necessary to implement a business impact analysis or build the disaster...

Getting Started

The majority of business continuity/disaster recovery articles written for trade journals are directed toward the technical audience. There is an abundance of information available on the steps necessary to implement a business impact analysis or build the disaster...

Regulatory Compliance

Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. It is the way in which the corporate boards and officers set the policies and handle the affairs of corporations. Initially, the focus of corporate governance was to protect...

Earthquakes Rattle Supply Chain

When we think of Niigata prefecture in Japan, we think of exceptionally delicious rice, or perhaps the exceptional sake produced from that delicious rice, but not critical business infrastructure. However, when a series of large earthquakes struck the Chuetsu area...

Top-5 Causes of Replication Failure

With all the miles I log driving the vast Texas highways, sooner or later I know the odds will catch up with me and my car will end up with a flat tire. It may be an inconvenience, but I don’t worry because I always have a spare that will adequately cover my needs...

Emotional Continuity Management

Taking Care of Human Emotions While Protecting Your Business’ Bottom Line Reasonable variations of human emotions are expected at the workplace. People have feelings. Emotions that accumulate, collect force, expand in volume and begin to spin are another matter...

Insurance Company Looks For Silver Lining

For most companies concerned with their ability to recover print-to-mail processes after a business interruption, three hurricanes in six weeks would be reason enough to question their recovery capabilities. However, for a Florida-based insurance company, the added...

Modeling Events To Affect a Recovery

How do you begin planning specific recovery strategies for a disaster event that hasn’t happened? Industry best practices and your own good sense suggest that you use the worst-case scenario to determine the necessary recovery strategy to be used. It follows that if...

What Every CIO Should Know About DR

A number of years ago when I became CIO of a large international company, my operations manager advised me that our disaster recovery hotsite contract was up for renewal and needed enhancement. We were a single IBM mainframe shop supporting a $7 billion business, and...

When You Least Expect It …

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article serves as a follow-up to articles published in the winter 2004 and summer 2004 editions featuring the trials and tribulations of a new BC professional. One never knows when disaster will strike. As every business continuity professional...

Addressing the Data Protection Challenges

Whether it is customer account information, financial records, operations data, or e-mail, the life blood of any business is corporate data. Data protection should not be an afterthought. Studies have shown that businesses that suffer catastrophic irrecoverable data...

BC Analysis Using Computer Simulation

Simulation modeling and analysis has long been a tool used to analyze complex systems and processes. Once known to have staple use in analyzing processes requiring fail-safe operation such as those found in military, aerospace, telecom and nuclear applications,...

Ounce of Prevention Equals Pound of Cure

It’s no secret network managers today must ensure the highest availability of their networks to meet overarching business challenges. This means network managers must ensure they have the tools necessary to aid them in not only managing the network but in also...

A Team Approach To Emergency Management

Whether your perspective is from the national strategic level or the municipal level, the view of homeland security and emergency management has changed for the foreseeable future. The primary responsibilities of any elected or appointed public servant – or leader of...

First on the Scene

Emergency responders called into action after Hurricane Katrina were put to the test as they handled thousands of emergencies in less than ideal conditions. Brandon Bond, team member with the Disaster Medical Assistance Team CA-6 gives a first-hand account of his...
DR Rules & Regulations

DR Rules & Regulations

Note: A Special Thank you DRJ’s Editorial Advisory Board for their incredible efforts to identify and compile this information. *UPDATED – September 2019 The Rules and Regulations (“R&R”) committee of the DRJ has been providing one of the...

Competitive Diligence

Corporations can not meet today’s levels of productivity and expectations for corporate earnings if their systems, networks or critical suppliers have interruptions that affect productivity. Likewise, if customers do not choose to buy your products or services...

Tic-Tac-Tornado

This game of hit and miss took place in Columbia, Missouri around 2:15 a.m. on November 10, 1998. As I lay sleeping, I was awakened by the weather alarms nearby. My family and I heard very strong winds and then the power went out all over the area. Living in a mobile...

Facing Y2k plus One

Time is running out to fix the millennium bug. What will happen to your company if it is too late to fix every system, or you are not certain that everything will work properly in the new millennium? If you are responsible for business continuity, then you need a...

Personal Preparedness

It Can’t Happen HereThe morning solitude was deafening. There were no birds singing; no children playing; no traffic scrambling to make the morning commute; and most notably there were none of the wonderful smells associated with the preparation of a morning...

The Current World

Who hasn’t heard of extended power outages, flooding, hurricanes, tornado events; all part of the news? You have to be aware of the risk to business operations and systems. Right?Your mainframe group has a disaster recovery hotsite….your facility manager...

Prepare or Fail

“If you’re failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail” — Bobby Collins When it comes to Disaster Recovery (DR), pre-planning is of the utmost importance, especially if you are the one responsible for timely restoration of IT resources. Considering that...

Year 2000 File Aging

Many words have already been written about the so called millennium bug. Probably many more will also be written prior to January 1, 2000. So why am I adding to the number when surely we would all be better off rolling our collective sleeves up and getting down to...

Fear Management

It is a comfortable day in Washington D.C. The weather forecast predicts a cool overcast day. Temperatures are expected to range from a morning low of 62 to an afternoon high of 75. The winds are light (approximately 7 mph) out of the north. At 8:30 a.m., it is 70...

Millennium Mayhem

Over the past several years the world has become increasingly interlinked and inter-connected. More and more businesses are rarely out of touch with those who may need to reach us’to answer questions, to respond to emergencies, and reply to opportunities that...

Implementing an Enterprise-Wide Security Program

Abstract The process of identifying threats and the risks they pose within your organization is a cost-effective way to eliminate the risk, or reduce its impact and frequency. For these reasons, the importance of performing this type of critical analysis cannot be...

The Sky is Falling

Of all the disasters President Clinton has had to declare during his tenure, he has yet to address the one which could be the largest disaster of all. There should be no doubt that he and other leaders in government and industry should consider the Year 2000 crisis a...

Business as Unusual

For the Business Continuity Planner/Consultant, one of the more difficult aspects of the project is gaining the cooperation of critical process owners. The obstacles encountered vary with the organization and its culture, but have themes like this: “I’m too busy...
Predictive Recovery

Predictive Recovery

Predicting disaster response can never be an exact science. But by including extrapolation and correlation analysis, they can provide visibility into what can happen in a real event. Collecting the right data during a test makes it possible to extrapolate and makes...

Think Like A Coward

The business world has changed significantly and rapidly in the last decade. Regardless of the industry, more and more businesses are operating on a 24×7 global basis. Even tiny organizations with less than a dozen employees depend on several modern technologies...

How We Communicate

Have you ever thought about how you effectively communicate to others and express ideas or what methods of communication work best when others communicate with you? What works for one individual does not necessarily work for others. At Spring DRJ, one of our general...

Books Tell the Story: BCP & EM

Business continuity planning and emergency management are emerging disciplines, but not without considerable history. Luckily, for us, there are practitioners with a strong interest in writing about their disciplines to better inform us all. Two such writers, Edward...

Bailing Out the IRS

When it rains, it pours. At least that was the case in June 2006, when torrential rains flooded the Washington headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with an estimated 5.5 million gallons of water – a deluge that was an unwelcome companion to the...
Planning For The Pandemic

Planning For The Pandemic

I once was convinced The Pandemic, if it arrived at all, would be nothing more than a near-normal “empty facility” event. In many respects, The Pandemic, if H5N1 Avian Influenza does morph into a human-to-human transmittable disease, is your basic,...

Where’s the Beef?

For years, many of us in the BCP industry have used the same statistics to encourage (or scare) businesses, organizations, managers, and leaders that business continuity planning must be addressed. Where’s the beef? The question was posed in a 1984’s Wendy’s ad where...

Is Tape Dead?

Just recently, tape backup has received a lot of press in the technology community; much of it has not been so flattering. There have been stories of glitches, tapes, and data vanishing at some of the largest financial institutions, customer data that has been...

College In-Security

Are we ever really safe from each other, from an insider, from one of our own? Colleges exist to educate people, and they must be open to their own students. Protecting all members of the college community from one of their own who “snaps” and decides to...
Staying Connected

Staying Connected

Emergency notification systems have risen in popularity over the past few years. These communication tools offer a faster, more efficient way to communicate in a variety of settings. Emergency notification systems have risen in popularity over the past few years....
Back to the Basics

Back to the Basics

I took a moment to ask how many had a personal preparedness plan and sufficient supplies for their home. I was a bit surprised when only a quarter of the audience raised their hand. I recently heard the term “plandemic” in reference to the many new plans...
Nothing Ever Happens

Nothing Ever Happens

My job is nothing. If I do my job well, nothing happens. I don’t want anybody to need anything I’ve worked on. In other words, I’m a business continuity planner and if I’ve done my job correctly, I’ve mitigated problem areas and made them non-issues. How boring. My...
No Rain, No Power

No Rain, No Power

The prolonged drought in Uganda has led to low water levels of Lake Victoria, which in turn has caused a fall in electricity supply. This has forced Umeme to resort to rationing of electricity supply. This rationing of power supply has affected manufacturers,...

Setting Sails For Open Seas

DRII column It has been said that one of the few constants in life is change. We are living in a world where the truth of this statement is on daily display; we wake each morning in this new millennium, and we pick up the newspaper or watch the news on television to...
Restoring Order

Restoring Order

As you sit here reading this article, imagine your typical work day. You arrive at work and walk into your break room to grab a cup of coffee. You then move on to your work area, sit at your desk, organize your file folders, and check your inbox for any important...