The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-27-14

IT blogs

Have you ever heard of a ‘life hack’? For those who are unfamiliar, a life hack is a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way (as defined by Oxford Dictionaries). Trust me, there’s some creative ones out there, like using the sticky side of a post-it note to clean in between your computer keys (it works!). The point is, life hacks make our lives easier. But computer hacks have an opposite meaning. When a company is hacked, more obstacles arise than ever before. First it’s the cyber attack, then data is lost, and then companies must salvage what they can. Here’s a roundup of the recent hacker havoc and the ‘life hacks’ that can ke … 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

Failing Your Compliance Audits? Here’s Why

Theatre stage as a book

Audit. The very word brings on a state of nervous tension. Financial audits. Tax audits. Records audits. And in the business IT space, compliance audits. There’s good reason for that shiver of cold fear. In my conversations with clients, I have discovered that too many companies are failing their compliance audits, and they don’t know why. They’ll say, “But we prepared! We tested! Everything worked fine!” Most of the time, it takes me just a few targeted questions before I can tell them, “This is why you are failing your compliance audits!” For instance, • “Have you only performed tests on single aspects of your disaster recovery plan … without ever ‘putting it all together’?” • “Have you … Read more

3 Dumb Questions NOT To Ask When Vetting Your Vendors For Business Continuity Risk

business continuity

Vetting your vendors from a business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) perspective is hot, hot, hot these days. For example, the federal government put out specific Risk Management Guidance for national banks in October of 2013. In a nutshell, the guidance says, “You’d better make sure your vendors have it together if you’re doing business with them, and it’s on you either way!” Now, this is not new; don’t get me wrong. People have been shouting about the need for business continuity up and down the supply chain – any supply chain – for decades. After all, if one of your key vendors experiences a disruptive incident, it can directly impact your business. And that’s bad for everyone. … Read more

3 Ways To Improve Your BC/DR Exercises

BC/DR exercises

Disaster recovery testing has been around for more than 30 years but, unfortunately, most companies are exercising their disaster recovery and business continuity plans and capabilities like it was still the 1970s. No evolution. No improvement. No relevance to actual disaster scenarios. For the sake of continuity, resiliency, recoverability, agility, and all the rest of those good words, we’d better change the way we exercise our business continuity plans so that we can be ready when a REAL disaster comes along. Here are three ways to do exactly that. Exercise strategically. Traditional exercises tend to have three major problems: 1. They exercise repetitively. “Let’s exercise what we exe … Read more

Using Test/Dev For Disaster Recovery: Like Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

Using Test/Dev for DR? With the plethora of viable alternatives today, there is no reason to continue robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The debate about whether to use Testing and Development infrastructure (Test/Dev) for disaster recovery (DR) is like global warming: for every opinion on one side, there is an opposing opinion on the other. Where companies stand on the matter often depends on what their agenda is. For example, hardware and software vendors write most of the publicly-available white papers, so by default they can't be considered unbiased in most cases. Gartner and other analysts have written fairly good white papers on this subject, but they too, are often influenced by professional relationships and sometimes don’t consider or understand the capabilities of less known (but very reputable) service providers … Read more

Actifio: An Exciting New Partner for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery

Sungard Availability Services' new relationship with Actifio will allow you to experience data protection and disaster recovery in one complete package

I have been in the IT trenches for some years now, and from this vantage point I have been able to see clearly how data protection and disaster recovery (DR) are tightly bound. The problem, however, is that many (possibly even most) companies do not recognize this interrelationship. They treat “backups” and “disaster recovery” as two distinct initiatives: solving for them separately, in different ways, and in isolation from each other. I am here to plead that “all good disaster recoveries start with a good copy of your data.” Think about it: a disaster destroys/corrupts/blocks/or otherwise messes with your data. So the first thing you need for recovery is a good copy of your “pre-mess” da … Read more

As Good As IT Gets 6.11.14: The Best IT- Cloud Computing – Security Blogs This Week

IT blogs

You can thank us later for reminding you – but, don’t forget Father’s Day this coming Sunday. If you are anything like me, you are scrambling to find something - anything but a tie - that will demonstrate your affection for your Dad in a way befitting his manliness. And, if you are anything like me, you are stuck. Thank goodness there are people out there who knew we would be in this predicament. PC Mag and both have some cool ideas for Father’s Day gifts. Check out these links if you need some inspiration: • 10 Father's Day Gifts to Help Dad Feel Young and Cool • Top Tech Father's Day Gift Ideas After a quick review of the gadgets on these lists, I wouldn’t blame any fathers ou … Read more