Cybercrime Takes Center Stage This Holiday Season


The news that a major retailer had possibly compromised millions of customers’ credit card data during the holiday season was a wake-up call for cyber security. At home, we received two letters from credit card companies warning us that our accounts might have been compromised. Knowing that cybercrime puts data in danger is a scary thought for the average consumer, not to mention one of the largest retailers in the country. Cyber resilience is no small matter; today, it is a necessity. With the holiday season in full swing, millions of shoppers will purchase gifts online during the month of December. On “Cyber Monday” alone, the National Retail Federation predicted that more than 131 mil … Read more

The Art Of Holiday Conversation Avoidance

Secret #1 to avoiding awkward holiday small talk at home.

Holiday conversation is treacherous ground, isn't it? There are the people you don’t want to talk to (like Aunt Susie, whose flighty conversation takes more dips and turns than an extreme snowboarder, or Cousin Jim, who drones on and on and on and on …) and the topics you don’t want to talk about (your job, your love life, your bad habits). If you prefer computers who respond as programmed and who only speak when spoken to, the flood of talk can be overwhelming. But never fear – IT professionals are infinitely resourceful, as demonstrated in this humorous video. You’ll chuckle over four enterprising and entertaining methods of avoiding the verbal barrage! However, a warning is in orde … Read more

IT And LOB Execs Don’t Speak The Same Language When It Comes To Operational Resilience

operational resilience

Ever read the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, or the classic He Said, She Said by Deborah Tannen? Big shock: men and women don’t communicate the same way, even when they’re talking about the same things. Can you handle another shock? IT executives and line-of-business (LOB) executives don’t mean the same things when they use the same words, either. In the IDC white paper Lack of Operational Resilience Will Undermine Enterprise Competitiveness: A Strategy for Availability, David Tapper focuses on the key term “operational resilience.” He notes that, “The best definition of operational resilience is ‘an emergent property of an organization that can continue to car … Read more

IT Resilience – What Do Organizations Really Want, Anyway?


Every morning I wake up, have a few cups of coffee, and spend the rest of my work day talking to organizations about three aspects of IT Resilience – Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery, Information Security, and IT Operations. What do organizations want in this arena? Well, I can tell you what they ask for. I can tell you what I think they really need. And then I’ll speculate on what they really want. What They Ask For Most of the time, conversations go like this. We spend 10 minutes introducing each person on the call or in the room or both, 15 minutes defining their requirements, and 30 minutes ‘solutioning’ (my word for ad hoc solution design). As part of this conversation, t … Read more

Disaster Resilience: The Perfect Ingredient for a Freestyle Cruise

disaster resilience

Today’s cruise ships are like giant cities on water, with everything from Wi-Fi to satellite TV, to live Broadway-quality theater, gyms, and water parks. Passengers expect both exotic ports of call, as well as all the comforts of home when they go cruising. For the world leader in ‘freestyle’ cruising – Norwegian Cruise Line – this means ensuring the resiliency of its systems and technology while providing exceptional service to guests from the time they make their reservations to the time they board the ship, and all during the cruise. In other words, they know they have to run a tight ship. NCL Chief Information Officer Vincent Cirel understands the critical role that operation … Read more

Can You ‘Risk’ Not Bolstering Your Cyber Resilience Strategy?

cyber resilience

In the board game Risk, bold offensive action is necessary to consume your opponent, hindering his or her ability to mount a successful counteroffensive. In Risk, a player’s ability to build up an army depends on aggressively attacking the other players in order to acquire territory. But a lucky roll of the dice is the ultimate determining factor and can dramatically change the game in one turn. In the world of IT, rolling the dice with your cyber security is a very risky strategy. In many cases, a shift in thinking is required to move from a traditional defensive model to a cyber-resilient approach that incorporates interconnected, adaptive consequence management. “Any organization should … Read more

Business Continuity and Social Media – How Social Tools are Affecting Organizational Resilience

business continuity and social media

During a recent New England Patriot’s football practice, star quarterback Tom Brady injured his knee. Within minutes, the Twitterverse went crazy with all sorts of unattributed perceptions as to just how bad the injury was. Preseason injuries have always been part of training camps throughout the NFL. However, the way this information is disseminated has changed. Twitter observers want to make their mark and will often post unsubstantiated reports that almost instantaneously become “reality” until later addressed with facts. In fact, Mr. Brady only slightly injured his knee and the New England’s season was “saved.” Social media can be used to spread information almost instantaneously an … Read more

Why I Love Being a Business Continuity Consultant

business continuity consultant

A mentor of mine once asked me to enumerate the personality characteristics that distinguished the extraordinary individuals I have come across and why I respect them. After careful consideration, I narrowed the list down to the following four points: 1. Resilience: Exceptional individuals are resilient, and have the ability to recover or adjust easily to misfortune or change by being nimble, humble and flexible 2. "Never give up” attitude: They all had a “never give up” attitude, which allows them to achieve goals despite facing natural and man-made crises 3. Transformers: They transform challenges into opportunities through creativity and a positive attitude 4. Build core strength … Read more