What Do Information Security Consultants REALLY Do?

Man working at laptop

With all of the data breaches in the news lately, you might be thinking of calling in an information security consultant to help improve your network’s protection. That’s a good idea, and a good step to protect your company data. But consultants are not created equal. They have different areas of expertise and levels of expertise as well as different levels of commitment to your business. Before you spend a lot of money on an information security consultant, you want to make sure you know your security goals and priorities. The following questions can help you determine your needs and ultimately choose the right consultant: • Do you have the staff and the skills to successfully manage … Read more

Think It’s Just A Line Item In An IT Budget? Think Again.

IT Budget Line Item Check

You’ve been there: you and others are sitting at a table with a budget spreadsheet, reviewing line items in an attempt to reduce costs. The problem is, when it comes to IT, attempts to reduce costs can have an unanticipated negative impact on business availability if people are looking at a line item’s cost but are not taking into account the item’s value. Let’s take a fundamental component of availability as an example: Internet access. It’s an essential artery to your business survival. However, not all Internet services provide the same functionality. Some people at the budgeting table might think, “This service costs $X. With another service, we could save $Y. Let’s change. They both gi … Read more

Think Your Business Continuity Plan Is Complete?

Magnifying glass against stack of documents.

Your business continuity team has brought you the company’s new, improved, revised, or updated business continuity (BC) plans. Nice plans – comprehensive, lots of information about assignments, call trees, contact lists, etc. and they’re all up-to-date. Your staff assures you that they have addressed all of the priorities and requirements defined from your business impact analysis (BIA) and involved every key stakeholder, so that the company is ready for the worst case scenario. You can hand out the kudos and get on with the next task. Not so fast. Before you give those kudos, you have some questions to ask! There are three important elements that too many business continuity plans are missi … Read more

Sungard Availability Services Named A “Leader” In Gartner BCM Magic Quadrant for its Assurance Continuity Manager!

Gartner Report thumbs up

Customer responsiveness: those two words capture the Assurance Continuity Manager’s journey since its inception last year. The team I get to work and play with – product management, sales support, professional services, sales, and consulting – all embodies the spirit of customer engagement. You spoke. We listened. We at Sungard Availability Services are pleased to be acknowledged by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning Software. Are you evaluating new or replacement Business Continuity Management Planning (BCMP) software tools and finding your search stalled? Here’s my advice: Look beyond “what” functionality a product offers and conside … Read more

VMworld 2014: The Top 3 Topics (Besides Virtualization And The Cloud)

VMworld 2014

If you’re in IT, you probably feel pressure every day to protect your corporate data, keep your systems online and available, and make sure the whole kit and caboodle is recoverable. But how do you keep abreast of all the challenges and opportunities in the constantly-changing tech world? Well, going to VMworld is a great place to start! The Sungard AS Team had their ears to the ground at this week’s VMworld conference in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and they brought back some terrific insights to share with you. Clearly, everything is about the cloud, and virtualization is here to stay as companies seek not only to virtualize resources, but also network and storage. Here are the top … Read more

Are Working Moms The “Mother” Of BC/DR?

business team of mother and son

Working moms spend every waking minute striving to keep their family life and work responsibilities—sometimes simultaneously—up and running. They run their lives based on contingency-plans for the “what-if” scenarios and recovery plans from the inevitable everyday disasters, all with the goal of minimal impact to home and workplace operations. If you’re out there earning the title “working mom” every day like I am, adopting a business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) mindset might help you in your everyday quest to maintain seamless operations at the office and on the home front. Since my recent debut as a working mother when I returned from maternity leave, I haven’t been able to help … Read more

Why Hackers Love LinkedIn

Hacking information from LinkedIn

I’m a penetration tester. My job is to try to breach my clients’ systems in order to help them identify vulnerabilities in their IT security. In a nutshell, I try to find security gaps before the criminals do, so that my clients can shore up their defenses against hacker attacks. Someone recently asked me, “If you were a criminal hacker looking to exploit a company - inflicting the irreparable harm of a data breach - what’s the first thing you would do?” My short and easy answer: scour LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a treasure trove of easily accessible personal information and company IT data. Unbeknownst to most of the employees who post their information on LinkedIn, any hacker looking to wreak … Read more

Clutter, Chaos, and Confusion…Oh, My! How to De-junk Your Business Continuity Plan

business continuity plan

By Kelley Pidhirsky You bring on a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. It improves efficiency beautifully and becomes a critical part of your daily operations. Wonderful! Did you remember to put it into your business continuity (BC) plan? No? Oops. You have made your BC plan a master repository of all the information you could ever want in time of crisis. You’ve included data files, contact information, and all the rest of it. Great! Has any of that data or information changed in your production environment? It has? Have you updated your BC plan to reflect that change? No? Oops, again. Let’s face it. Because of the rate of change in business today – new SaaS applications, em … Read more