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Corporate Karma

Corporate Karma

Karma is the concept of an “action” or “deed” which fuels the entire cycle of cause and effect. As a leader, you and your corporation help communities. Acting and responding in an ethical and moral manner is building up a positive corporate...
Build a Roadmap to Success

Build a Roadmap to Success

As the saying goes, “It doesn’t matter what road you take if you don’t know where you are going.” For many business continuity management (BCM) programs, not knowing the destination is the norm rather than the exception. The BCM staff at many...
Being Available For Guidance

Being Available For Guidance

I’ve had the pleasure of being the chair of the Disaster Recovery Journal Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) for the past two years. This is the second time I have been nominated to hold the EAB chair position which demonstrates my commitment to working with other...
Let DRJ Help You

Let DRJ Help You

The new year is in full swing. With this first issue of Disaster Recovery Journal for 2019, I want to share a few things that are currently at the top of my priority list. Cyber Criminals Hacking, malware, social engineering, credential compromising, web attacks....
Want to Secure Your Business?

Want to Secure Your Business?

Here Are 5 Steps To Follow Any business owner has considered the possibility of a cyberattack, but this does not mean that they are prepared for the reality of one occurring. In fact, 87 percent of small business owners stated not actually feeling at risk of this...
Rise of the Drones

Rise of the Drones

Understanding and Mitigating Business, Operational Risks   The unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) market is becoming one of the fastest growing markets in the world. According to Dedrone’s 2017 “Drone Security Insights Report,” commercial,...
More Art Than Science?

More Art Than Science?

Through the veil of chaos, the disaster recovery manager sees a blank canvas, replete with the clarity of success.  I heard a comment recently where someone said, “Disaster recovery is going away.” I found the comment odd for a few reasons. Because...
Gain Management Support

Gain Management Support

Organizations in which management is strongly supportive of business continuity efforts have been proven to have higher-performing programs than those where management support is half-hearted. Interestingly, the degree of management support given to BCM in various...
Stand Up for Your Program

Stand Up for Your Program

No one can be an effective leader unless he or she believes in the mission of his or her organization and has faith that it is making a valuable contribution. The best leaders go even farther: they are effective advocates for their teams—to themselves, their...
The Power of Networking

The Power of Networking

After 18 years in the business continuity and disaster recovery profession, I have learned some valuable lessons in the power of networking. I admit that when I started my professional career, it was difficult for me to walk up to a person I had never met and...
Be The Calming Influence

Be The Calming Influence

When someone asks what a resilience professional does, I tell them, “You’re the calming influence.” Primarily, business continuity management (BCM) and emergency management (EM) professionals have to have that effect on people, their organizations,...
Corporate Mobile Worker Safety

Corporate Mobile Worker Safety

Assumptions, Insights, and Expectations Businesses must have a comprehensive strategy in place to protect their employees – wherever they happen to be working. Research firm IDC forecasted that 72 percent of the U.S. workforce would be made up of mobile workers...
Reimagining Business Resiliency

Reimagining Business Resiliency

Business is constantly changing so the way we respond to crises and disasters should evolve, too. As we become faster and are able to work more with less, our connectivity makes us more accessible but also more vulnerable. So how do we keep ahead of the problems and...
Hurricane Evacuation

Hurricane Evacuation

Factors People Consider When Deciding if Evacuation is Necessary   There are many types of natural disasters, frequently wreaking havoc and leaving devastation in their wake. One such natural disaster – hurricanes – was the focus of this field study....
Kerzner’s Time Machine

Kerzner’s Time Machine

Evolving Business Continiuty 10 years in 10 months   I. Dr. Kerzner and the Struggles of Project Management There are a great many parallels between the history and challenges of project management (PM) and those of business continuity (BC). For years, PM...
What? Can You Repeat That?

What? Can You Repeat That?

In your years as a recovery planner, have you ever taken a phone call where you found yourself saying to the caller, “What? Can you repeat that?” They spoke so fast that you weren’t sure you heard them right. But after they took a deep breath and...
Putting Leadership Into Action

Putting Leadership Into Action

Leadership matters. Regardless of our experience, age, industry, or profession – we need good leadership. The right leadership has the capability to lead, transform, and inspire each of us onto greater things. I want to personally thank you for being part of the...
Reducing the Impact of a Recall

Reducing the Impact of a Recall

When a crisis strikes, it can cause an earthquake of fear and stress to erupt within a company affecting its team members, stakeholders, and customers. Without a concrete plan of action, a business can quickly fall apart from the inside out. These impacts can create a...
BC Has Been Very Good To Me

BC Has Been Very Good To Me

In the late 70s, Garrett Morris portrayed a fictional character named “Chico Esquela” on Saturday Night Live. His catch phrase was, “Baseball has been berry berry good to me.” In homage to that character, I can say that business continuity has...
Unlocking Resilience

Unlocking Resilience

  How resilient is your organization? Current and past incidents teach us that business disruptions, crises, and disasters occur far more frequently than previously imagined. Last year’s massive winter storm on the East Coast, widespread flooding in the...
The Threat of Absenteeism

The Threat of Absenteeism

When Disgruntled Key Employees Don’t Show Up One threat often overlooked is that of key employees unwilling to respond after a disastrous event. Once unthinkable, changes in corporate culture and society have caused this to be a real threat to your recovery time...
Who’s in Your Hall of Fame?

Who’s in Your Hall of Fame?

After achieving a recent professional goal, I began reflecting on the people who have helped me to make progress and achieve milestones in my career. One person came to mind, followed by another, and another, until I had a list of more than a dozen names. Even though...
Remembering Dr. Tom Phelan

Remembering Dr. Tom Phelan

The Board of Directors at Private and Public Businesses, Inc. (PPBI) mourns the loss of our friend, Board of Advisors and key contributor to the Emergency Planning, Response, Business Continuity and Academic communities which he served, Dr. Thomas D. Phelan. In...
2017 Cyber Threats

2017 Cyber Threats

In today’s age of having everything online, not only can your consumers or employees face passive threats in just about every social platform imaginable, but institutions are prone to actively exposing confidential data. Compliance Complications Draft EU Data...
IT During A Merger

IT During A Merger

At Greater Risk for an IT Disaster? According to the Harvard Business Review, 60 percent of all mergers and acquisitions (M&A) end up destroying shareholder value. While much of this failure is caused by a strategic mismatch between the two organizations, smooth...
Protecting Your Data

Protecting Your Data

Among DR/BC customers many plan to rely only on near real time replication and frequent snapshots as an appropriate (and only) solution for protecting data. And, while the near-real-time replication and frequent snapshots are essential to any disaster recovery and...
Team Building Basics

Team Building Basics

The old “once-in-a-lifetime” disaster seems almost common place nowadays. Recently that catastrophic image filled the news yet again. A very large forest fire broke out in the Smoky Mountain National Park and spilled over to the town of Gatlinburg, Tenn....
You Want Me to Do What?

You Want Me to Do What?

One of the challenges I have seen over my 30 years in the business continuity industry is for people charged with executing DR or BC plans to accept and execute the plans in the format they are written. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the area of IT...
A Time For Renewal

A Time For Renewal

This time of the year is often a time of renewal for many. We’ve made it through the winter, recovered from the holidays, and we have our eyes firmly set on the rest of the year. At DRJ, 2017 has already been a truly outstanding year. We’ve been through a...
The Value of Certification

The Value of Certification

As business continuity continues its growth as a profession, the idea of certification and the membership of professional bodies are more frequently discussed at all levels of the organization; from those starting out their career in the industry, right up to the...
The Zero Day Scenario

The Zero Day Scenario

 It’s happening right now in clandestine labs around the world: an old warehouse in an abandoned industrial park in Russia, a government-supported facility in North Korea, maybe even the basement of an unremarkable house in a working-class St. Louis...
Active Shooter Fallout

Active Shooter Fallout

Hesston, Kansas, is the picturesque Midwestern town. Hesston is located 36 miles north of Wichita. It is very much a town like the stereotypical American small towns Norman Rockwell painted years ago. According to the 2010 census it has a population of 3,709 people....
Exercise is a Must

Exercise is a Must

What is in your plan? Who developed your plan? How did you exercise your plan? Have you updated your plan? Why do you even have a plan? Have you ever used your plan? Does your plan work? These are just a few questions you and your colleagues should be asking one...
No Place Like DRJ.com

No Place Like DRJ.com

Most everyone knows that Disaster Recovery Journal publishes a world-class quarterly magazine with articles that chronicle readiness, risk mitigation, resilience, and high availability. DRJ is also recognized as the preeminent source of conferences that encourage...
Migrating to the Cloud

Migrating to the Cloud

When it comes to ensuring security for legacy and emerging data storage needs, companies are at a crossroad. Many companies are starting to invest in technologies like cloud to meet their storage demands. In many ways, cloud services have fundamentally changed data...
Powering Disaster Planning

Powering Disaster Planning

Improving Battery Reliability with Automation   Disasters are a challenge for any business regardless of their products or services, hence the essential role of business continuity planning. For industries such as telecommunications, utilities, railroads, and...
Make A Connection

Make A Connection

It’s not what you know but who you know. This business mantra has been around since the mid-1900s. Yes, way back before conferences, social media, e-mail, professional organizations, LinkedIn, instant messaging, and “friending” – savvy folks...
Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.” Organizations, government, and private sector try to control this chaos through plans and training. No...
Lessons from Tianjin

Lessons from Tianjin

Perhaps no industrial accident in recent memory has had such an impact on public awareness of chemical safety as the explosions at the Port of Tianjin that killed more than 170 people last year. The largest of the blasts was the equivalent of more than 21 tons of TNT...
Ensure Resiliency

Ensure Resiliency

Plan for the future. Act today for tomorrow. Be ready for what comes next. These phrases flash on our screens and in magazines more than we realize. In general, these messages are trying to get people to think about their futures (and sell something). But, for you and...
Change is Good

Change is Good

We truly live in an era of innovation and information. It seems like every week there is a new “must have” app or a better faster way of doing something. Research, discoveries, and information-sharing are ongoing in these fast changing times. From my perspective at...
It’s What You Do

It’s What You Do

How do you explain what it is you do? Do you use words like continuity, recovery, planning, contingencies, and resiliency? Are you sometimes confused over what term you should be using these days? You’re not alone – the growth and boom in our industry has resulted in...
Resilience

Resilience

Disasters seem all around us nowadays. Not a day goes by without some sort of disaster or terrorist attack occurring somewhere in the world filling the news. The New York Times on July 21, 2015, ran an article on a study from the Norwegian Refugee Council. The Refugee...
Automats of Readiness

Automats of Readiness

Automats – those fast-food vending machines – were before my time. I wasn’t born in Gotham. I wasn’t raised in the Windy City. I grew up hopelessly suburban and automats were mostly out of vogue before I showed up. Still, whether seeing an automat in an old film,...
The Active Shooter

The Active Shooter

Although this topic makes people uncomfortable when discussed, it does need to be discussed. While you have a higher chance of being hit by lightning than being involved in an active shooter incident (or “active slaughter incident” as Lt. Col. Dave Grossman calls it),...
Change Change Change

Change Change Change

Gen. Eric Shinseki, retired chief of staff of the US Army and former secretary of veteran affairs said once, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” Government leaders have wrestled with that paradox. Environmental circumstances demand...
The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

Stay in our profession for any length of time and you’ll soon get a feel for the various mindsets that often prevail throughout the populations and organizations we try so hard to serve. In some ways it’s understandable. No one wants to believe they have a need for...
Responding to ‘Maybe’

Responding to ‘Maybe’

For most business continuity programs, the response to an actual event is pretty straightforward: evaluate the impact and, if warranted, activate the related plan. What can be less straightforward is the response to an anticipated event. These are situations in which...
It’s Time to Give Back

It’s Time to Give Back

You, the readers of Disaster Recovery Journal, represent a broad range of disciplines – not only business continuity planning, but also the related areas of risk management, disaster recovery, emergency management, business resilience, audit, strategic planning,...

Days of Summer

I don’t know about you, but I kind of miss summer. The long relaxing days, the quieter days at the office, the long weekends and vacations. There is something to be said for the time to sit back and appreciate how lucky we are professionally and personally. It’s also...

Securing Storage Networks

Storage networking has come a long way in a very short time. Until recently, storage area networks (SANs) were limited to single corporate sites, but, today, SAN extension is hot. Perhaps as many as 70 percent of the world’s Fortune 1000 companies rely on...

Living On the Edge

Data located in remote sites, home offices and laptops sits outside the central network. So called “edge data” comprises more than 60 percent of critical business data. A study by the Strategic Research Corporation estimates that 75 percent of this data is...

Inventing the Future

Most organizations take time every so often to look at who they are, where they are, who they want to be, where they want to be, and how they are going to get there. Inventing the future through corporate business planning has received significant attention at DRI...

Infrastructure Maintenance

One of the most pressing challenges for IT managers today is maintenance. How do you maintain and manage your UPSs, power distribution units, air conditioning, gen-sets, and other critical infrastructure systems? How much maintenance is enough maintenance? One of the...

Ice, Gas & Money

In this article, I draw on some of the lessons my bank learned from last year and offer some recovery tips for other financial institutions. My advice is meant to apply not only to hurricanes, but for any type of natural disaster – such as tornadoes, floods,...

2005 BCM/DR Survey Results

In October, 2005, Gartner partnered with Disaster Recovery Journal to conduct a survey on the topic of business continuity management and disaster recovery. 2005 BCM/DR Survey Results From Gartner, DRJ By ROBERTA J. WITTY, CISSP In October, 2005, Gartner conducted a...

Small Business Case

Can small businesses recover from significant disasters? The answer depends on a number of variables such as the size of the business, its location, its financial strength, and the direct and indirect effects of the event. Did you know there were approximately 22.9...

Say What?

I was coming home from the gym when I heard a news report on the radio. It was a typical report about tornados that had touched down earlier that day. The reporter was giving the lead in to the story before the broadcast of a statement from a weather “expert.” I was...

Point of No Return

At the DRJ Fall World 2005 conference a group met to review the Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) document relating to “Developing Business Continuity Strategies.” This was shortly after Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in history....

Planning for the Bird Flu

Current information suggests the Avian flu H5N1 could in all likelihood mutate into a communicable virus among humans. Rather than the limited geographical targets of a natural disaster or terrorism, where the majority of the damage would be to infrastructure and...

Lessons from Katrina

As gulf coast businesses evaluate the effectiveness of their disaster recovery plans after Hurricane Katrina, a major area of focus will no doubt be data protection. As most know, a solid and secure data back-up procedure is a necessary part of any disaster recovery...

Is it Hype or Real?

If you work in business continuity long enough, you will see new threats appear and become the focus of this year’s conferences, sales pitches, and marketing. Some of this is justified and a correct reaction to a new threat. Others are hype and in an industry led by...

Avian Flu: Special Report

Concerns over a possible pandemic continue to capture the attention of almost every segment of society. In recent months, experts have warned that the world is overdue for a pandemic occurrence. The last severe one struck the United States in 1918, with milder...

We Have The Options

The old saying “when one door closes, a window opens” proves to be true. As continuity planners, we all deal with fast decisions and tough choices. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we must move away from the old methods and not be afraid to try something new....

Article Submission

Submission Guidelines Article deadlines for this quarterly publication are Jan. 1 (spring edition), April 1 (summer edition), July 1 (fall edition), and Oct. 1 (winter edition). Any subject related to business continuity planning or disaster recovery will be...

A False Sense of Security

Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, many customers are now proposing a program of carrier diversity for their telecommunications services, especially their long distance services. This diversity program essentially splits their network between two or more carriers....

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 –...

Off Site, Off The Hook?

How do you define a facility as being “off site?” Do you use the campus approach? If you are located off of the campus, you are off site. Do you use the mileage approach? If you are X miles or more from the campus, you are off site. Or does your facility use an...

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...

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...

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...

California Tsunami Warning

After a series of earthquakes and a tsunami warning in June hit the California coast, the panic that followed was a wake-up call. Large-scale disasters and emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, while a tsunami did not occur and no lives were lost,...

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...

Exercise: Who Needs It?

Is having a plan enough? NO!In late 1997, as Corporate Contingency Professionals (CCP) we were charged with exercising recovery plans of diverse business units covering multiple states for a regional corporation. Our experience to date underscored an important fact....

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...