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Did You Know That...

1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.

Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history

Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones

Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown

Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel

Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert

Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry

Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"

More, Did You Know That


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Products - Services

Business Continuity: Is your Preparedness Suffering from the Current Economic Downturn?
Posted on Friday, August 29 @ 14:19:43 PDT by editor

Are Your DR/BC Processes being affected?

Due to the bleak outlook of the economy, many companies are taking a hard look at their expenditures to identify projects that can be eliminated or deferred. Hard pressed to make immediate budget cuts, the projects that are considered overhead, expendable or which do not generate revenue are the first ones to go. The Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) processes are some of the casualties creating unnecessary risk and unforeseen vulnerability.

This creates a fundamental problem for businesses, since they look at the DR/BC processes as projects that can be stopped and restarted at will, without implications and not as a continuous process as it should be.

At a time when reducing cost is the objective and consolidation an alternative, many organizations are resorting to virtualization of their IT infrastructures at breakneck speeds, in order to realize immediate benefits.

Virtualization technology provides numerous advantages; better space utilization, energy cost reduction, server hardware consolidation and improved availability of applications and services. It’s no wonder virtualization is sweeping its way through many companies like wildfire. There are great economic gains to be made and the ability to do more with less, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, in their haste to take advantage and realize immediate cost reductions, important processes like DR/BC and others (e.g. Change Control and Security processes) are being overlooked or postponed, to be addressed after the fact.

To the organization, there remain a myriad of business issues that are created in the process and requirements that have to be reckoned with. Most important are the risks and new vulnerabilities created by changing the environment and not keeping pace with DR and the BC plans supporting the business.

Additional issues and concerns:
• Data Security becomes an afterthought
• Change Management process is bypassed
• Not having an up to date DR plan and capability for IT
• Not having an up to date BC plan supporting the business areas
• Incompatibilities between DR and BC plans
• Main and alternate site incompatibilities
• Data backup and restoration issues
• Data kept for legal and other regulatory requirements etc.

Considering the risk to the business, a project of this magnitude and scope should not be initiated independently or without considering the long term implications to Business Continuity and Security. It’s like “Moving the elephant from one canoe to another in the middle of the river without the proper lifesaver“.

It is recommended that the consolidation and virtualization effort be performed accompanied by a proper identification of the vulnerabilities inherent with the change and that only a risk assessment can provide in advance, followed by an impact analysis (BIA) of potential disruptions and the review of current strategies to determine budget priorities and the development of new strategies.

The risk assessment and BIA should provide a good comprehensive idea of the programs that must be maintained and the impacts to your current DR/BC plans and strategy. Keeping them in synch is the best approach.

If you have consolidated, virtualized your IT environment and the DR/BC plans have been left behind, your work is cut out for you.

A risk assessment and a business impact analysis need to be conducted in order to identify the new strategies that will need to be implemented now that the environment has changed. The business continuity plan must be updated and a test of the new DR capability conducted to guarantee the viability of the new environment.

If you are converting your IT environment just for the sake of reducing costs and savings, without taking into consideration the BCP aspect, you may have a disaster in the making.

Postponing the updating and testing of DR/BC plans after conversion creates an even bigger risk. Since cutting down on costs was the main objective to begin with, now you have lost the continuity of the process and may not have the proper people resources to perform the assessment, the impact analysis, updating and testing to reduce or eliminate the vulnerability.

Going back to retrofit your plans may become a very expensive proposition.

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Business Continuity PlanningInformation Technology

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