The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 10-15-14

IT blogs

Bob Dylan said it best: “The times they are a-changin." With a new company falling victim to a breach nearly every week, combined with the advent of cloud technologies, it all leads to a ripple effect throughout the IT industry. In response, organizations are switching things up internally and with their offerings as they try to keep pace with the fast-evolving market. Let’s take a look at some of those changes in this week’s roundup! Quick News: JPMorgan, Russian Cybercriminals, and Consumers After all signs point to Russian cybercriminals for the JPMorgan hack, the folks at Bloomberg Businessweek are connecting the dots. In a recently published article they speculate that the large-scale … Read more

The Surprising “Weakest Link” In Disaster Recovery Success

Are your external communications threatening otherwise sound disaster recovery plans?

Your company is prepared. You have your disaster recovery (DR) plan written and available on an externally-hosted website. Your contracts are in place; your backups are verified and off-site. Your critical data is replicated to your DR provider. You have plans for all your people if the disaster impacts them and your facility. Bring on the zombie apocalypse: you are ready! Umm … maybe you’d better hope those zombies stay in their graves a little while longer. You see, when I consult with clients, I always ask a certain question … and it usually punctures their self-congratulatory bubble. Ready? Here it is: “Have you tested your external connections under disaster recovery conditi … Read more

DRaaS And The Cloud: The Why, What, And How Of Recovery Services

Man with cloud diagram

The network cloud has become a very popular place. All kinds of services can be found there. Now, add disaster recovery to the list. It turns out that cloud service features match customer requirements for backup and recovery solutions amazingly well. Stringent security and high availability in carrier-class cloud environments have been proven and accepted. So if you’ve been waiting on these features to look into cloud services for disaster recovery, the wait is over. Cloud Service Benefits Yes, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)—a subset of Recovery as a Service (RaaS)-- is booming because customers are feeling confident in the security and availability features in cloud inf … Read more

Wild Cowboy Stories From The IT Frontier

cowboy silhouette

For many years, I wore cowboy boots to work. It seemed appropriate … after all, as a senior architect, I often have to “herd” clients to help them develop solutions around availability of their most critical business systems and processes. In the process, I often tell a few tales around the IT campfire from the frontier of days past. The stories demonstrate to my clients that this is, in fact, not my first rodeo. Note: places, names, and timelines have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). “As a cowboy, you are only as good as your last round up.” Early in my career, I had a client with the on-site system administrator who was responsible for fileserver backups for the cor … Read more

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

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