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The main goal of a backup is to be able to recover data that has been lost either by accidental deletion, physical disk failure, or some other corruption. The secondary reason for a backup is to create an archive copy and thereby be able to restore previous version of a file. Keep in mind this, often overlooked, fact: The backup software and tape drive you use today need to be available and functional for as long as you plan to keep your data, should you ever need to actually restore your data. Replication – Within IT, and especially when discussing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, replication refers to the act to sending an exact copy of live data to another system or location. Replication can be synchronous or asynchronous – With synchronous replication, the data is sent to the other system or location in real time and the other system acknowledges the receipt of each piece of data.
Replication can be used to send backup data or live system data to a secondary failover location.
Business Continuity – While Disaster Recovery aims to allow an organization to recover its IT systems and data within a specified time frame that may be hours, days or even weeks, Business Continuity encompasses much more than just IT. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is usually developed from a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) that, depending on the size and complexity of the business, may take weeks and months to complete.
DR is an important subset of BC, but DR is event-based and IT specific, whereas BC is a continual, ongoing process that encompasses people, buildings, supply chain, crisis communications, transportation, security, public relations, etc., etc. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001, federal and state personnel provided response, recovery, and remediation under trying circumstances, including unprecedented demand on their capabilities to analyze environmental samples. In response, EPA formed the Homeland Security Laboratory Capacity Workgroup to identify and implement opportunities for near-term improvements and to develop recommendations for addressing longer-term laboratory issues. These certifications qualify our team to work in, around and supervise employees during clean-up operations required by a governmental body and OSHA whether Federal, state local or other entities involving hazardous substances that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites as well as Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard. Commercial buildings, private and public facilities, processing plants and industrial sites affected by disasters have a need to out-source the technical components of their loss. When any electrical equipment has been infiltrated by water whether by flash flood or long term flooding, or has been sprayed, splashed, hosed, extinguished or has standing water in, on or around it, or housed in high humidity conditions or is sweating and or at the dew point it must be professionally assessed. Indeed, it’s almost like getting an entirely new iOS device — not just for all the new features Apple has built into it, but because they’re all designed to hew to a single design vision and hit that intersection Cook describes above. It is true that many people tend to use these phrases in conjunction to an event, typically used in a setting where everyone asks “What happened?” In actuality the definitions of these terms don’t vary, but the parameters, scope, and process of how these words are defined for the individual customer or client changes.
This is essentially true, though I have a problem with the term “backup solutions”.  A raw backup of any files would just be an exact copy of that file. What this post neglects to point out, however, is that in every backup solution, there is a recovery solution that has to tie into the process. Flash rusting and corrosion enhanced by flooding and drying can be adverted with proper mitigation protocols. Fast action is the key to being able to restore sensitive electronics, equipment and electrical gear. NEMA’s Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment, first published in 2004, contains excellent reference material to evaluate electrical equipment that has been exposed to water through flooding, firefighting activities, hurricanes, and other circumstances. The document provides a table summarizing recommended actions for various types of electrical equipment to determine whether they need to be replaced or reconditioned.
For the first time in the healthcare industry in the United States, business continuity planning and disaster recovery capability will become mandatory for all healthcare organizations. Currently, healthcare providers in the US are visited approximately every three years (pressure is being exerted to make this more often and even surprise) by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which grades the entire environment of care. Medical centers in the US, especially in California, have well documented and well practiced emergency response plans.
Definition of minimum acceptable level of service and detailed actions to get to that level. Voice communications recovery planning must be done related to the overall contingency plan as well as the specific critical business units. In the 1980s, an inter-agency cooperative effort was formed to develop a common organizational system which fire protection agencies could use in response to a very large incident, as well as smaller, day to day operations. In 1987, the Hospital Council of Northern California completed work on an adaptation of ICS to hospital emergency response functions. Responsibility oriented chain of command, which provides a manageable scope of supervision.
Wide acceptance through commonality of mission and language in both the public and private sectors. Prioritization of duties with the use of Job Action Sheets, position job descriptions which have a prioritized list of emergency response tasks that promote documentation of the incident.
Applicability to varying types and magnitudes of emergency events, a flexible program which can be expanded or scaled back to meet the particular needs of a specific crisis. Thorough documentation of actions taken in response to the emergency, which may improve recovery of financial expenditures.
The HEICS structure is a chain of command which incorporates four sections under the overall leadership of the Emergency Incident Commander (IC).
There should be an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and emergency management system in place that incorporates business recovery teams and the infrastructure necessary to support recovery.
The intensity and frequency of major natural disasters is increasing, from 100 per year in the 1970s to more than 500 per year today, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. From hurricanes to fires and floods, ice storms and earthquakes, natural disasters are on the rise, and in no field is it more critical to be prepared than healthcare. While major disasters are a critical risk, the majority of business interruptions are caused by unforeseen circumstances – singular events that can’t be predicted, such as fires, power outages, and server failures. This table is provided as a reference that can be used by both the health care staffing services (HCSS) firm and the reviewer. Eleven days before Valentine’s Day 2012, one of the biggest candy and confectionery holiday seasons of the year was seriously interrupted for our client by an early morning fire event. Another Pittsburgh favorite, Disaster Restoration Services of Pittsburgh (DRS), was called upon to help Sarris Candies with the restoration process. At 7:30 AM on February 3, 2012 DRS received a call from the client and their insurance broker to help provide assistance and responded immediately. To appreciate the sensitivities and stresses of the specific project it is important that the size and scope of the loss be understood as well as the impact on the business. The immediate and quick response by DRS and their subcontractor Electro-Mechanical Recertifiers, Inc (ER) to treat various pieces of production equipment saved the insurance carrier roughly $700,000 to $900,000 in equipment replacement. The client had a primary core goal to get into business with the shortest path to recovery.
Unforeseen Code upgrades and various changes to electrical and structural building components had to be dealt with. Joint approvals from the client and then the insurance company for selections, work approvals or extra charges can be a challenge and take valuable time to obtain. Original drawings were not always available and nor were stamped engineered drawings therefor engineering and architectural services had to be relied upon for current designs and subsequent client approvals and then submitted to local code officials. Having multiple parties of experts show up and constantly ask questions sometime meaningful and other times seemingly redundant and how to accommodate that is a daily challenge. Finding hidden damages and items that need repaired as exposed to meet code and then having the carrier determine the validity of the upgrade or the coverage for an item can be a stressful especially when you are tempting to fast track a project. Weekly meetings were held to review the work completed and the work in progress of the project.
DRS work with reliable engineers and architects that could produce drawings in a timely fashion to ensure proper cooperation with building code officials and the State of Pennsylvania’s Labor and Industry Department. Times Observer photo by Brian FerryElectronic recertificationDipesh Pokhrel of Electro-Mechanical Recertifiers uses compressed air and a vacuum to clean ammonium phosphate dust and other contaminants from a keyboard from Youngsville High School. The clean-up is in response to damages allegedly resulting from vandalism by three former YHS students. The initial estimate from the Warren County School District for this phase of the work was $238,000. The main problem in the school was the discharge of most of the fire extinguishers in the school and the resulting release of corrosive ammonium phosphate dust.
Each box is moved to the company’s mobile lab, ER-1, which is one of two trailers parked in the YHS parking lot. Because of the nature of the problem at Youngsville, those features will not be used on many devices there.
Instead, Electro-Mechanical personnel will use compressed air to remove particles from the outside of each device, while using suction to remove those particles.
Mice and keyboards are cleaned and every fifth one is tested beyond watching for errors when the CPU and monitor are tested. If the equipment works as expected, Taveras puts a green sticker on it – every piece.
The company handled several buildings in the New York area, including the JP Morgan Chase office, he said.
Mobile hepa filters and carts carrying the necessary tools are moved about the school to clean mounted projectors, wood shop electronics, the server cabinet, the intercom system, every device in the boiler room, and other stationary items. ER Electrician Ed McCarty is in charge of cleaning the building’s electrical distribution system, including the mains and panels.
Although ER personnel work in places that have suffered extensive damages, they are part of the healing process. The three students facing charges for allegedly causing the damage are scheduled for preliminary hearings Wednesday in Warren County Court. In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centeris forecasting an active or extremely active season this year. For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
Three climate factors that strongly control Atlantic hurricane activity are expected to come together to produce an active or extremely active 2013 hurricane season. NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. New for this hurricane season are improvements to forecast models, data gathering, and the National Hurricane Center communication procedure for post-tropical cyclones.
Also this year, Doppler radar data will be transmitted in real time from NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft.
The National Weather Service has also made changes to allow for hurricane warnings to remain in effect, or to be newly issued, for storms like Sandy that have become post-tropical. NOAA’s outlook for the Eastern Pacific basin is for a below-normal hurricane season and the Central Pacific basin is also expected to have a below-normal season. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical – Typically uses a chemical agent called mono ammonium phosphate.
Purple K Dry Chemical – Uses a potassium-bicarbonate-based dry chemical agent which is a nuisance and acts as a simulator to electronics causing over heating issues. Install a HEPA air scrubber to reduce, control and remove effects of airborne particulate circulating around the area of damage. Because dry chemical fire extinguishers are very corrosive especially to metal surfaces, those surfaces should be cleaned and treated first to naturalize and restore materials.
Clean, rinse and dry as well as bake as needed all technical contents in batch processing method using correct chemistry for each substrate.
Confirm proper operation after the commissioning of equipment and prior to handing over to the client.
Warning: We always test substrates for chemical reactivity, etching, softening of substrates and colorfastness.
From printed circuit boards, chocolate molds, carburetors to precision instruments of all types, Electro-Mechanical Recertifiers, Inc. Our method is safer, faster, less expensive and more effective than traditional hand cleaning, pressure washing or chemical treatments.
Non-toxic ultrasonic cleaning bubbles eradicate even microscopic grime in the tiniest crevices, outperforming conventional hand scrubbing with harsh chemicals.
Mobile cleaning lab and our industrial parts cleaning tanks are large enough to handle any job.
Our technicians have experience with cleaning expensive alloys, metals and composite materials of all shapes and sizes.
Using this method you’ll improve the quality of your products, increase production times, efficiency and decrease your impact on the environment. This plan is a detailed summary of the employee's duties in the unexpected event of a natural or any other kind of disaster. Most companies have a Disaster Preparedness Plan especially hospitals who would have to be fully prepared at all times for what they have to do to assist an enormous amount of patients flowing in the hospital all at once or within a small period of time. An Office Christmas Party is great way to show your employees or coworkers just how much you appreciate them.
Your small businessa€™s break-even point is the point where your total revenue received equals your total costs associated with the sale of your product or service or a even simpler accounting definition is the point where your business does not make a profit or suffer a loss.
Fixed Costs: These are expenses that would be the same even if you did not sell any of your product such as rent, insurance, etc. Contribution Margin: The amount generated after the variable expenses have been covered that will contribute toward the fixed expenses. The free Small Business Success eBook is 14 pages full of tips on how to accomplish small business success.
This is an easy way to track the new web pages with more free small business forms, certificates, flyers, brochures, etc. To properly conduct review and discussion with vendors and business partners, firms should have a series of questions and discussion points ready. Continuity Program Activities: This would include ensuring that the vendor or business partner regularly reviews and updates necessary plans and procedures. Disaster Recovery Systems: During vendor discussions and evaluations, ensure your business partners are identifying the location or locations where data is backed up. Business Continuity Procedures: Firms should discuss comprehensive continuity strategies and procedures with all third-party vendors.
Communication Practices: Firms should confirm with vendors or business partners that they have both an internal and external communication plan. Reviewing these four key areas with your vendors at least on an annual basis is important to ensure your continuity extends as areas of your business, including those managed by outsourced third parties. The subject of hedge fund operational due diligence is one that has risen to the forefront for both hedge fund managers and investors in recent years.
Historically, there has been a general lack of transparency within the hedge fund industry; larger funds, in particular, often balked at investor inquiries. Due diligence, as a process, did not gain significant importance until just a few short years ago.
Hedge funds managers and investors are now taking due diligence seriously and making conscious steps to maintain open communication and increase information-sharing. Operational excellence has become one of the most important factors to hedge fund investors today as they determine where to allocate their money. What service providers are you engaged with and how do you determine their quality of service?
Investors need to understand why hedge funds have made each of their operational choices, including when it comes to technology.
Investors have become much more aware of technology and how important a role it plays in the day-to-day operations of a hedge fund.
Hedge funds should be prepared to recover from both short- and long-term disasters and be prepared to outline their processes and procedures (in writing!) to investors.
Hedge fund operational due diligence is an opportunity and a marketing exercise – one that funds should undertake with educated personnel and a willingness to be open and transparent.
Many firms create a 10-20-page written information security plan that formalizes the definitions and policies that govern the creation, access, and deletion of confidential information and computing services. Regulatory Risks – Following the right security practices will enable you to achieve clean audits from industry and government regulators.
Personal Email – Even if your employee is following all of your processes and practices with work-related email, you could still be vulnerable if her private, personal email is breached or corrupted. By developing an internal culture of security, the organization does far more than deploy and configure bits and bytes. Show investors that you have a 3+ year budget for working capital without any performance fees.
Make sure to properly allocate expense and investment opportunities if you decide to launch a single investor fund or separately managed accounts. When it comes to seed arrangements, pick the right partner and put parameters around potential issues that could arise. Become familiar with the changing expectations on the cybersecurity front, from both investors and regulators.
The Cybersecurity Interpretive Notice applies to all membership categories--futures commission merchants, swap dealers, major swap participants, introducing brokers, forex dealer members, commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors. But whatever approach is taken, the Cybersecurity Interpretive Notice requires Members to adopt and enforce an information systems security program (ISSP) appropriate to its circumstances. Description of ongoing education and training related to information systems security for employees.
NFA recognizes that some Members may face a significant challenge implementing ISSPs by the March 1, 2016 effective date, and any programs that are adopted will be refined over time. Eze Castle Integration’s Cybersecurity Practice Team is available to create Written Information System Security Programs for firms. Operating capital may be limited in the first few years after your launch, so careful budgeting and long range planning will serve your firm well. Governmental oversight of the financial industry has evolved dramatically in the last decade.
Apart from registration, you should also determine if there are any legislative implications for your new firm.
Since 2014, cybersecurity preparedness is also a critical area of focus for regulatory bodies.
Cloud services offer more flexibility than traditional infrastructure models and, beyond cost-savings, can reap rewards for new launches.
Of course, one of the greatest benefits to using an outsourced cloud service is professional management and monitoring.
Beyond infrastructure safeguards, it is critical that firms implement policies and procedures to protect firm and client assets. While the list of considerations is surely long for new hedge fund managers, we've whittled it down to 10 Keys to Launching a Hedge Fund Successfully - a guide for new startups to use when setting off on their new journey.
Communicate – It is important to let your employees know as soon as possible that they will no longer be able to get to work. Technology – Technology has facilitated the ability for an employee to work remotely during a storm, but there are still some considerations to think through. Hunker Down –During severe storms employee safety should be at the top of the priority list. Set Workload Expectations – As an employee, a storm can be disruptive to their normal work day.
Updates – As a consistent theme throughout BCP, communication is key, and continued updates will keep the employee centered on their work and allow them to respond to changes quickly such as the reopening of the office building. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), El Niño conditions occur when abnormally warm waters accumulate in tropical latitudes of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. La Niña conditions occur when cooler-than-average waters accumulate in the central and eastern tropical Pacific and tropical rains shift to the west. The key to a successful business continuity plan lies in understanding the impact a disaster situation could have on a business and creating policies to respond to any such impact. The final critical element of a BCP is ensuring that it is tested and maintained on a regular basis.
Or contact Eze Castle Integration to speak with one of our certified business continuity planners about best practices or to learn about why leading hedge funds rely on Eze Business Continuity Planning Services. We spend a lot of time educating our clients about security best practices and encouraging them to implement comprehensive security policies and procedures to mitigate risk and protect both the firm and its employees. While companywide policies should reflect long-range expectations and corporate best practices, they should also include tactical recommendations that employees can follow to ensure they are complying with the company’s overall risk strategy. Provide information such as login IDs, passwords, social security numbers, account numbers, etc.


It is no surprise that the investment industry landscape is becoming more and more competitive. A comprehensive DDQ covers a wide range of topics, from assets under management to audited financial statements and investment strategies.
So, to help you get started, we have compiled the following list of some frequently asked DDQ questions.
Does the firm have established, documented service level agreements in place with its technology partners to ensure a stable computing environment? Is the policy regularly reviewed to determine whether the controls are operating as intended? Do the appropriate management officials approve the policy and any changes that may be made?
Does the firm’s IT staff (or technology partner) ensure appropriate access control to applications and sensitive company data? Is a solution in place to ensure mobile devices and laptops are secure in the event of loss or theft? Has the firm established a dedicated location to retain backup copies of all critical data? Has a secondary working location been established to which employees should report in the event of a disruption or outage?
Is a comprehensive disaster recovery solution in place to provide system redundancy and ensure protection of critical data in the event of a disaster or system failure? Has the firm determined its crucial recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs)? A component of Disaster Recovery that deals with the restoration of business system software and data, after the operating system environment has been restored or replaced. A pre-identified group of individuals that is reponsible for maintaining and executing the recovery process. A system of planning for, recovering and maintaining both the IT and business environments within an organisation regardless of the type of interruption. A collection of information on a wide range of areas from recovery assumptions and critical business processes to interdependencies and critical staff that is then analysed to assess impact a disaster may have.
The process of restoring and maintaining the data, equipment, applications and other technical resources on which a business depends. A disaster recovery hot site is a remote physical location where you can maintain copies of all of your critical systems, such as trading applications, data, and documents. A computer system or application that is essential to the functioning of your business and its processes. In the context of a primary and secondary site, the primary site contains the original data that cannot be recreated. The RTO is the duration of time and service level within which a business process must be restored after a disruption in order to avoid unacceptable losses. The RPO is the point in time to which a firm must recover data as defined by the organisation. A system of using multiple sources, devices or connections so that no single point of failure will completely stop the flow of information.
The identification and prioritisation of potential business risk and disruptions based on severity and likelihood of occurrence.
The secondary site contains information and applications that are built from the primary repository information.
If regular testing is a critical component of an effective DR solution, why do many firms fail to do so?
Here at Eze Castle, we strive to educate our clients on different testing methods so that they find an option that best meets their unique business requirements. As we continue to educate our hedge fund and investment firm clients on disaster recovery testing methods and the available options, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of clients that elect to implement regular testing procedures. A: Users should verify that they have the functionality needed to work successfully from the DR site during a disaster.
A: If a firm fails to test its DR systems, they run the risk of the DR site not meeting current business requirements during a disaster. Q: Will testing our disaster recovery site disrupt our production site (and therefore normal business operations)?
Since we frequently work with our hedge fund and alternative investment clients on developing comprehensive business continuity plans (BCPs), we feel it is important to review and test our own BCP procedures on a regular basis to ensure they will meet our most current business needs in the event of a disaster.
A BCP table top exercise is an informal brainstorming session used to encourage participation from business leaders and other key employees. Gather the firm’s executive team (and any other individuals within the organization that play a leadership role in the BCP activation process) in a conference room-type setting that is conducive to open discussion and interaction. To begin, the consultant or group leader should develop a hypothetical disaster scenario to use as an example. Once the scenario has been established, the members of the management team will break down what steps need to be taken (and in what order) to ensure all employees are safe and accounted for, communications are made to all necessary parties and the business remains operational.
A company’s ability to recover quickly from an unexpected disruption is directly associated with the quality of the preparations that have been completed prior to the event.
Sometimes people use jargon to be deliberately obtuse or perhaps make something simple seem complex. Virtually all computer users have lost or deleted files on their personal or work machines at some point. The number of versions of a file or the retention time of files is set within the data retention policies configured within the backup application or process. After a disk crash, system failure or physical disaster, all systems will need to be rebuilt and configured from scratch and only then can the data be loaded onto the systems. This is used only in very high capacity systems (credit card processing, stock market etc), has distance limitations (~60 miles) and will rarely be encountered at the customers we usually deal with. When the replication method is asynchronous, there is a delay (typically seconds to minutes) from when the data is written on the originating system until it is sent to the secondary system and no acknowledgement of receipt of the data by the secondary system is required. The key to understanding where replication fits in your DR or BC plan is that replication is a (more or less) live copy of the original data, so when the original file or folder is deleted or corrupted, that deletion or corruption is also replicated to the failover system.
The goal of Disaster Recovery is to get the IT assets of an organization up and running within a specified time parameter and with a specified limit to the amount of data lost. The goal of Business Continuity is the continual availability of critical business functions to customers and suppliers, and this goal is met by implementing standards, programs, and policies that are implemented on a day-to-day basis to maintain service, consistency, and recoverability. An organizations reaction to events we would not associate with DR, such as BP’s oil spill in the Gulf, the Bhopal accident in India, or a plane crash that takes the life of the CEO are covered by implementation of a proper BC plan. Each organization needs to look at its budget, how much lost data and downtime that it can realistically afford and make its decision accordingly. In reviewing these events, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified several areas where the country could better prepare itself in the event of future terrorist incidents.
The EPA Homeland Security Laboratory Capacity Workgroup consists of representatives from the Office of Research and Development (ORD), Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), Office of Water (OW), Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), Office of Environmental Information, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, and several EPA regional offices.
Machinery, electrical equipment and computers that are adversely affected need a fast track recovery plan. Water and the accompanying contaminates carried in through the roof rain water, firefighting suppression, rising flood waters and storm surge can cause immediate fire, explosion and shorting resulting in upstream and downstream damages to other system components, cabling and wiring as well as other equipment installed or electrically attached equipment. It’s a reconceptualization of the OS that aspires to unify Apple’s vision of hardware and software into a holistic experience, and it’s the result of the new era of collaboration at the company that began last year with the ouster of former iOS chief Scott Forstall and the elevation of Jony Ive to SVP of design.
So when we say “Recovery” or “Continuity” we have to drill down further to specify for whom this is referring to. But consider the fact that something this definition overlooks is the process and procedures involved in restoring from a backup. Without that piece of the puzzle, backed up data that can’t be legibly visible would just take up space. Some items may corrode from the secondary effects of the flooding just by being in non-climate controlled conditions and being exposed to high moisture meaning relative humidity has reached condensing levels or the dew point has beenexceeded meaning these items have been exposed much higher levels of humidity than designed and energizing them without a thorough analysis of the effects of corrosion may result in premature failure. It is voluntary for a healthcare organization to submit to a JCAHO inspection (a high grade confers prestige), but the JCAHO does not have enforcement power and also does not consider business recovery during the inspection. The cooperative plan, known as Firescope, produced a management system that has become standard operating procedure across the United States – Incident Command System (ICS). This work served as the cornerstone of the original version of HEICS (1991) developed by Orange County Emergency Medical Services. One facility in Virginia’s Clarion Health System, CRCH, was closed for 16 days as the result of a fire.
In some instances, documentation is required to demonstrate compliance with standards and elements of performance (EPs). At the time of the fire no one knew the extent of the loss and this took some time to grasp the damage.
First by providing initial emergency services and then working with their insurance carrier and consultants to provide a construction scope and estimate for the project.
We dispatched project managers and emergency crew members to provide for immediate site containment and electrical safety concerns.
Chocolate was melted on and in equipment, bulk chocolate destroyed, as well as numerous finished goods.
During the restoration process, reporters showed up at various stages, vendors arrived to help and clients who had not heard of the loss on the news had arrived for plant tours or ice cream parlor outings. They were very concerned about key staff leaving, extended rebuild times and the ability to phase in sections or areas of the buildings. Their experts included inventory specialists, forensic accountants, building consultants, salvage companies and engineers.
The new electrical codes as well as structural loads and fire code issues had to be addressed in the scope. We recognized our good standing with the client early on and embraced the partnership of working together to meet their goals and objectives.
Leading them to address all questions through a POC for the client or a project manager who can distribute the information to all parties helps manage the process and make it more efficient. This estimating and tracking of additional requirements and costs is important to the project’s success. At this time DRS would set goals for selections of materials and provide completion dates of certain tasks so Sarris Candies could prepare themselves moving forward. Architectual drawings and engineering services can be strenuous activity that stalls progress because the process must be fast tracked.
If necessary, the electronics can be dried in a heating cabinet or washed in the ultra-sonic acid wash.
In the case of computer CPUs, each case is opened and the same process applied to the interior. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. In July, NOAA plans to bring online a new supercomputer that will run an upgraded Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model that provides significantly enhanced depiction of storm structure and improved storm intensity forecast guidance. This will help forecasters better analyze rapidly evolving storm conditions, and these data could further improve the HWRF model forecasts by 10 to 15 percent.
This flexibility allows forecasters to provide a continuous flow of forecast and warning information for evolving or continuing threats.
NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season. Carbon dioxide extinguishers leave no residue and are commonly used in computer rooms and food storage areas. Switches, contacts, circuited boards, power supplies and ports must be preserved until they can be treated. We follow all cleaning compound label directions, and we never mix products unless specified in the label directions and batch tested first. More importantly, by using our affordable compounds of water-based soaps and enzyme solutions instead of spray solvents and toxic cleaning products, you’ll save the environment and 70% or more from harsh chemical use. What is the actual replacement cost versus restoration cost if quick uptime is not a factor? Do you have a business continuity or resumption plan for your IT recovery in the event of a disaster? Typically following well written plans will most likely result in the quickest recovery time possible. If not, then check the Five Tips for a More Successful Disaster Preparedness Plan below and download the free Disaster Call List for your small business.
Disaster Call List - In the unexpected event of a disaster you need a Disaster Call List available for your employees or designated person to be able to quickly communicate with other employees in each department to get them in the recovery site as quickly as possible. Step-By-Step Instructions - When your employees are in their recovery mode, many things happen at the same time and this causes confusion every time. Disaster Plan Drills - You will need to test your Disaster Preparedness Plan at least annually or if there was a major change to it; however, it's even better to do quarterly for your staff to become more familiar with the plan and then it will be more effective. Disaster Plan Must Be Current - It's crucial that your disaster plan is current and that a backup copy exists at the recovery site. We have a sample Medical Disaster Preparedness Plan available to use as a tool to create one of your own just click link below. Even though you are at work this does not mean you cannot have an action-filled festive celebration with lots of fun filled activities. If your firm has a comprehensive business continuity plan in place and you conduct regular BCP tests, you might think your responsibility ends there. Four critical areas you may want to review include continuity program activities, disaster recovery system details, business continuity procedures, and communication practices.
They should also identify recovery time objectives (RTO) related to that data and compare that desire with the RTO outlined within the existing plan. Service providers should be able to explain how, even in the face of various interruptions, they will continue to provide the contracted level of service stated in the contract. Additionally, firms should discuss the process that outlines how your fund would be notified if a disruption were to occur with your service. Following the review discussions, your firm's internal continuity team should meet and evaluate any deficiencies noted and determine the comfort level with any identified risks.
Prior to the economic downfall in 2008 and high-profile investment scandals made infamous by Bernard Madoff and others, hedge fund due diligence was viewed as an unnecessary assignment.
They figured there would never be a shortage of investors, so there wasn’t a need to spend extra time satisfying their needs. In the past, the responsibilities associated with hedge fund due diligence would often fall under the role of a CFO, CCO or other executive – someone who had very little time to devote specifically to due diligence.
There has, undoubtedly, been a significant increase in the number of due diligence inquiries by hedge fund investors, and the questions they are asking are much more relevant and involved - that rings true across business and operations functions, technology departments and the investment side of the business.
They want more information, more transparency and more assurances that fund managers have done their own due diligence in assembling and managing their infrastructure and overall businesses. Small-scale disasters, such as winter weather scenarios, and larger incidents like the Madoff scandal have initiated a real shift in the hedge fund industry and highlighted the need for hedge funds to have robust technology solutions in place and systems and procedures to keep them operational at all times.
During the due diligence process, they often ask to see systems at work, the processes through which data is transmitted and stored, and how testing procedures work. Explain the designs and processes of your operations, particularly when it comes to your technology. If you do not have an in-house IT staff, you can ask your technology service provider to do this for you. You will score points with investors if you are up front about everything and don’t attempt to hide anything. Hire a consultant to help you with this – it is the single easiest way to prepare for a real investor review. Test your disaster recovery system frequently (at least twice annually), and show the results to investors.
Investors want to see that funds are serious and that they value operations and technology as vital aspects to their businesses.
It does not begin when an investor comes in for a meeting and end when they walk out the door.
That can be everything from a definition of personally identifiable information (PII), a description of user access privileges and roles, or policies regarding USB thumb-drives. It commits to defining and following thoughtful, far-ranging policies to eliminate the needless internal vulnerabilities that often go unrecognized. Not only must emerging managers evaluate traditional deployment strategies, but consider current factors influencing the financial landscape. There was quite a bit of content discussed during the 1-hour event, so we’ve pulled out some key takeaways.
Target those who have a history of being receptive to founder share class and who may offer lower management and performance fees. Recognize where the private cloud has an edge: high-touch, industry-specific service and support, scalability and application integration, and security and compliance. Value is derived from knowledge of the application, knowledge of business, and having a dedicated support team. The NFA's Interpretive Notice to NFA Compliance Rules 2-9, 2-36 and 2-49 entitled Information Systems Security Programs requires Member firms to adopt and enforce written policies and procedures to secure customer data and access to their electronic systems. Executive-level participation and annual review of the information security program is expected. NFA expects to devote appropriate resources, such as providing additional guidance, to assist Members as they develop and implement their ISSPs. Don't forget to visit Hedge IT on Thursday as we reveal the last of our key considerations for starting a hedge fund. Hedge funds, private equity firms and registered investment advisers now operate in a world where they are beholden to regulatory bodies with growing expectations and requirements. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which redefined the registration requirements for hedge funds, also set forth new reporting requirements and standards for safeguards. With the prevalence of cyber threats and attacks, the SEC’s Office of Compliance and Examinations (OCIE) has incorporated cybersecurity into its examination targets. Firms can add users nearly instantly – a welcome benefit for startups looking to ramp up quickly. You can do this by conducting employee awareness training to keep all users informed and educated about the cyber environment and the threats that may arise. And be sure to come back to Hedge IT later this week when we'll be sharing an excerpt from our brand new whitepaper on the same topic! For example, what exactly will your employees need to fulfill their functions remotely and are they trained to do so? Therefore, if the storm seems to be impassable it is best to allow employees to work remotely.
In the United States, seasonal precipitation impacts are generally opposite those of El Niño. In addition to providing employees with security best practices they should follow, don’t forget to also include a list of actions they should not. Over the past few years, as regulations have changed and investors increasingly seek transparency, hedge funds are spending more time than ever preparing for the due diligence process. As this trend continues, investors are raising their expectations and looking towards hedge funds that display the highest levels in operational excellence. One major area of focus is the hedge fund’s IT and accompanying cybersecurity policies and procedures. Are steps being taken to ensure visitors do not have the ability to observe or access sensitive employee systems and documents?
Have appropriate training and documentation been established and shared with all personnel?
In addition to the IT infrastructure, it covers people, facilities, workplaces, equipment, business processes, and more. High availability can be implemented into a firm's IT infrastructure by reducing any single points of failure using redundant components. In working on the Eze Disaster Recovery team, I have heard a variety of reasons from clients as to why this is the case. Current technologies allow IT providers to overcome just about any objection users may have with regards to DR testing.


We often find that firms grow, evolve, and change their production environments as they develop and expand their businesses.
At Eze Castle, we typically recommend that users think about their daily workflow when testing to help ensure all critical applications and data are available in the event of an outage. Typically, DR solution agreements will include regular testing as part of the service package, and we strongly recommend all firms take advantage of this component.
However, the reality is that many disaster recovery solutions (including Eze Castle’s!) can be tested in a manner that avoids any disruption to the production environment. Even just a few moments of downtime could be extremely costly, so it is essential that firms implement sound business continuity procedures. To this end, Lisa Smith - one of our certified business continuity professionals - and her team recently conducted a BCP table top exercise with our management team here at Eze Castle. Read our complete Manager's Guide to DR and BCP for a comprehensive overview on hedge fund business continuty best practices. Scenarios may include a regional electricity outage, building fire, terrorist attack, violent storm, or the like. The group should identify realistic and unrealistic expectations and work together to bridge any gaps between leadership and the established BCP plans. Many organizations have regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, SOX, FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11, etc. Distance limitations and not a concern for asynchronous replication and it can be performed over a VPN connection on the public Internet as well as MPLS and Point-to-Point connections.
A critical area identified by the workgroup was the need for a list of analytical methods to be used by all laboratories when analyzing homeland security event samples and, in particular, when analysis of many samples is required over a short period of time. EPA’s Standardized Analytical Methods for Environmental Restoration Following Homeland Security Events (SAM) provides information for analytical methods to be applied during the “Site Remediation” phase.
ER Inc also provides technical and engineering consulting reports.  Call our toll free day or night for emergency services   877-378-4183.
In an effort to limit losses and expedite business resumption, ER has such a program in place.
Left untreated and to dry slowly causes oxidation of the contaminates present resulting in corrosion of base metals. As programs are basically just combinations of files that are packaged together and reliant upon each other.
Some applications require a specific start up sequence or a process and procedure involved in order for the data or application to work. Any deviation from the original source of where the data originated could be a point of contention of stability and liability. If energized during the event the affected equipment and machinery may have sustained damage to the circuit breakers, in-line fuses, motors and main fuses which may have “blown and shorted” from the initial onslaught of water infiltration. The upgraded device is consistent with new equipment standards and technological advancements without disturbing the primary enclosure, incoming and outgoing cable connections, or operating controls. It is not clear at this time which agency will be the enforcement arm of the federal government for HIPAA. Business recovery is different in that it considers what happens when the emergency response triage period of 24 or 48 hours is over.
They have patients to protect, keep safe and possibly move, and new ones to care for as a result of the disaster. In other situations, documentation may help the reviewer determine if requirements are met; however, the standards and EPs do not require the organization to have material available in writing. The February 3, 2012 fire had affected the main operation center of the 50 year old candy manufacturer.
Once the building was secure from the elements ,we were able to make building, equipment and inventory assessments jointly with the client to determine items affected and levels of damage. This was a very public business that had a great reputation and wanted to be back in business. In saving these moulds it was an estimated cost savings of $1.2 million dollars to Travelers Insurance. This need had to be first recognized and then addressed to keep this goal as a priority for our team. As is typical there were daily changes and some stumbling blocks but because we established a rapport and understood the client objectives they treated us like a true partner and team member from beginning to end of the project. There were 10 ER employees on site Tuesday; as many as 20 will be involved in the process at the height of operations. Very little residue is left however the event causes a blown down or release that moves operational dust and covers all surfaces with dust. Consideration for shipping, removal, proper disposal, conjuration, set ups and software installation costs as well as mapping, cabling and racking costs must be studied.
In order to make this process easier be sure to have a step-by-step instructions in your plan. You cannot just assume that everyone knows how to get to the recovery site or emergency communication centers. However, if the service providers that you engage with do not also have proper disaster recovery systems and business continuity plans and test said plans regularly, they are exposing your firm to serious risk and may be the weakest link in your continuity or recovery. This is important as it relates to recovery time, since it will outline at which point after a disaster you are expected to have access to critical systems and data. But as the hedge fund industry has evolved over the last several years, so has the need and desire for operational excellence.
You can also compile a comprehensive presentation or simply have an open question and answer session with your potential investors. Due diligence is an ongoing process that can continue to improve and evolve as investors and fund managers open the lines of communication and maintain an open dialogue. The bank believes hackers executed a hack that allowed $81 million to be taken from the bank’s foreign exchange account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And the way that starts to happen is through systemic and comprehensive training practices. Prepare an institutional set of documents up front if you are looking to attract institutional money versus high net money. They include risk assessment, governance, training, access control, vendor management, and information sharing. Additionally, firms must provide employees training during the onboarding processes as well as periodically during employment. For example, system safeguards such as data protection, disaster recovery measures and email archiving are requirements under Dodd-Frank. Having released two extensive questionnaires and several risk alerts focused on security, the SEC has made it clear to investment firms that they will be investigating the practices employed at firms and increasing expectations for the future. Startups have a variety of options when it comes to settling on their technology infrastructure.
Users can gain access to email, file services and applications from virtually anywhere, and built-in disaster recovery provides confidence that everything is protected from the inside out.
Users should understand how security threats may present themselves (phishing schemes, social engineering, etc.) as well as how they can become cybersecurity assets to your firm. Successfully operating a new startup beyond the first year is a feat many managers struggle to accomplish, therefore it's critical for emerging managers to gain a full understanding of the industry that awaits them and the hurdles they should expect to face. With these unprecedented levels of snow, New York City was forced to halt public transportation and implemented a mandatory restriction on private transportation as well. One must also consider licensing, infrastructure, security, and employee comfort as working from home will be a change for them.
If essential functions are unable to meet their workload demands from home, then temporary office space with redundant power is always an option. It is always important to review your business continuity plan and make sure employees are aware of their roles if an issue were to occur.
In the coming months, there is expected precipitation in Southern California, extending along the South coast. In today's landscape, however, investors and regulators alike expect and demand that firms implement preparedness plans for disasters and cyber-attacks. Take a look below and discover a vast range of security tips and tricks from email encryption to proper security measures for protecting computers and mobile devices.
One important way to ensure your firm meets these high standards is to complete a due diligence questionnaire (DDQ) that can be shared with potential investors. At Eze Castle, we frequently assist our hedge fund clients in completing DDQ questions on technology, and we often see the same types of questions popping up. In addition, a great resource for conducting due diligence on a hedge fund's service providers is the 200 question document published by the Alternative Investment Technology Executives Club (AITEC). Be sure to read our articles on the difference between DR & BCP and preparing for a worst case scenario. Additionally, we are hearing from a growing number of hedge fund clients whose investors now require them to test their DR solutions and report on the results from those tests. In turn, the DR site needs to evolve and change simultaneously in order to continuously meet business requirements. Results should be documented and provided back to your DR provider so that they can assist you with resolving any issues that may have arisen during the course of the test. Regular testing helps to capture the ever-changing requirements of a business, so that gaps or issues can be addressed in advance of a disaster.
After this successful meeting, we thought it would be valuable to share some insights on the BCP table top exercise process with our readers to spotlight the importance of this activity. The group covers all of the actions necessary to ensure employees are safe and accounted for and the business can continue to operate. Be sure to hash out all of the details of the scenario, including a hypothetical date and time, an assessment of the immediate impact of the event and how employees are being affected.
Having standardized methods would reduce confusion, permit sharing of sample load between laboratories, improve data comparability, and simplify the task of outsourcing analytical support to the commercial laboratory sector. Extensive experience with equipment restoration allows us to provide unparalleled response. However specific mitigation and emergency services steps must be taken to preserve this equipment.
A solution (if it is financially feasible) would be to have an exact duplicate of the originating system on hand. I think the right way of asking these questions would be “What is an acceptable time frame for recovery?
The second onslaught of damage to electronics is “ongoing and continues” even as the water recedes. Electrical wiring, motors, computers, motor starters, contactors and control cabinets received contaminates from the flood water (ground water and salt water from flooding is very contaminated) this water contains chlorides, sulfides, heavy metals, hydrocarbons and other biological inhibitors and environmental waste chemicals that are unhealthy, toxic and corrosive.
The business continuity plans that start implementation at the time of the disaster come to fruition while the triage period is happening, enabling the recovery of critical business functions and supporting information technology within the specified Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Conversely, the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that every dollar invested in disaster preparedness yields savings of $4–$11 in disaster response, relief and recovery. In those instances, the HCSS firm will demonstrate compliance with the standards and EPs by using other methods. The Sarris Candies corporate facilities are located just south of the city of Pittsburgh in the Washington County town of Canonsburg.
The fire damaged the plant including portions of the main production facility, the ice cream parlor, the retail store and the general business offices. The client was very personable and carefully worded all press releases and news interviews. The company started on Monday, July 22, and Project Coordinator Dan Rafferty expects the work to take three to four weeks.
These instructions needs to be reviewed by the members in your Disaster Plan Team to ensure accuracy, and the members in the team need to be from all different departments or at least the departments who would be involved during a disaster. Always include a second set of directions also in the event that the main route is impassable or congested. You don't want to find yourself going through the process of a disaster with an outdated plan.
I have them in categories so that you can just click on the form you want and it will lead you to that page. Lastly, it’s also critical that they provide employees with necessary training on these plans, both at the outset of the plan implementation and at least annually. If RTOs are unclear, you run the risk of being unable to work or access data or information you need, potentially disrupting clients and even violating contracts or regulations. Relay your concerns to the vendor to validate the deficiencies and understand if they are willing and able to take steps and correct them. Hedge funds should continue to take the time to understand where the real risks are within their businesses and work to instill confidence with their investors. It appears that the initial point of entry for the hackers was a spear-phishing email, potentially sent weeks before the fraud took place, which allowed the criminals time to remotely monitor and probe the bank’s networks without detection.
Regardless of the assets your firm is launching with, you will be expected to have sophisticated and comprehensive policies and procedures in place from day one to combat cyber threats. With the birth of cloud technology, firms can save on upfront capital expenditures and host their infrastructure in the cloud – providing flexibility within those startup budgets. A reputable cloud services provider not only provides world-class infrastructure and resiliency; it also assumes responsibility for the management and daily maintenance of your cloud environment. Investors also have high expectations, and before they will even consider allocating money to your firm, they want to understand what protections you’ve put in place to protect their assets. Jonas proved to be kind in the fact that the majority of the impact fell on the weekend but many firms can recall more disruptive storms occurring during regular business hours leaving many employees feeling stranded.
Temperatures are also expected to be warmer than average for most of the Northern parts of the country - a welcome gift for places like New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. This trend is putting more pressure on firms to participate in regular testing than ever before. By regularly testing their DR sites, firms can ensure all of these needs are met and they will be fully prepared to continue operations should a disaster occur. This requires less coordination with user groups, and therefore has minimal impact on the firm’s daily operations. Standardized methods would also improve the follow-up activities of validating results, evaluating data, and making decisions. Without the proper systems, applications, operating systems, hardware, or even situational environments: data will only be valuable in the environment it is created and used. I know of various high finance high stress corporations that swap out systems on the fly that are matched pairs.
Disaster Recovery and Business continuity do go hand in hand, but they can conceivably work independent of each other. As the water recedes the stainless, copper, aluminum and plain steel substrates of micro-circuitry and electrical components which have been covered in contaminated water continue to oxidize from the contaminates in the water as the oxygen hits the contaminated metallic surfaces which increases corrosion exponentially. In healthcare, business recovery planning by definition has an automated systems focus and works with the information technology dependent business functions in the planning process. According to FEMA’s Hurricane Ike Impact Report, the facility lost $276 million in revenue after Hurricane Ike as a result of closure of the hospital’s facilities and the resulting downtime of business operations. The cause of the fire was deemed electrical but had also affected a large section of the roof structure, the first and second floor production areas and smoke had infiltrated 60% of the building before being extinguished.
Bill Sarris and management staff of Sarris Candies as well as various insurance representatives and consultants for an initial and ongoing plan. This also required large amounts of our time and expertise to help the navigate their specific questions, document the damages and understand the insurance coverage and limits.
A flash drive is used to run PC Doctor software on all CPUs that fail to boot to determine if the problem is the setup or something more serious. Hard to replace, harder to recover and even harder to re-create- data is costly work product. If resuming business operations ASAP is a priority then restoration of IT systems makes sense!
If not, you can look for other vendors whose continuity practices reduce or eliminate any risks or concerns you may have. Disaster recovery, business continuity planning and cybersecurity preparedness should all be viewed as full business exercises, not solely technology ones. Be sure to enable your firm’s processes to comply with SEC recommendations including risk assessments, infrastructure practices, policy documentation, etc. With hackers savvier than ever and financial firms as known targets, it’s critical that firms establish a comprehensive approach to security to not only meet investor and regulatory demands but also to protect firm assets and mitigate business risk. To alleviate the stress incurred during winter storms, we sat down with our own Business Continuity Analyst, Matt Donahue, who creates, writes, and audits hedge fund’s business continuity plans.
As far as specific remote access technologies, Matt recommends Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Citrix or Outlook Web Access (OWA), depending on a user’s specific needs.
These tests do not need to be elaborate, for example, a work from home day or a call tree run through might suffice. To this end, workgroup members formed an Analytical Methods Subteam to address homeland security methods issues. We serve both union and non-union clients; working with strategic partners to bring together the most respected and experienced experts in the industry. Electrical powered gear, components and distribution equipment can be deemed safe as of a specific point in time. But in a scenario where the application and files needed “float”, making a backup could conceivably exist in the same physical area.
Do you have any leased items and anything that requires remote access or third party involvement?” Also “What amount of data can rely on to stabilize your company?
Any organization not showing due diligence in starting this process will be in noncompliance. Medical care can be provided without computers or technology of any kind in triage mode, but in a matter of days when the emergency response phase is winding down, dependency on information technology increases because the goal is to return to as close to normal operations as possible.
It was clear that the Sarris priorities were about retaining their employees during this time and filling their various customer obligations much more than profits. Time to replace with new computers, installations and networking can be done over time and phased in later as a planned project. If not forthcoming, you may open up your firm to serious regulatory and criminal prosecution. Your cloud services provider should act as your trusted technology adviser and, as such, give you the flexibility and time you need to focus on your investment priorities without worrying about security updates and patch controls.
Matt spoke with us about different BCP scenarios and provided tips to keep your firm operational during the worst of storms.
In California - a state tortured with drought in recent years - rain might, at first, seem like a positive. Building wiring can also be tested using Insulation Resistance Testing to NETA standards ensuring the building compotes and combined systems are safe.
There are many aspects that are involved in recovery that happen before and after system restoration. This legislative mandate has a strategic goal of reducing costs in healthcare by standardizing data processing, as a prelude to establishing a centralized clearinghouse for claims processing, similar to the financial industry. Imagine the difficulty in scheduling appointments over a diverse and geographically dispersed healthcare system without information technology.
If this is the only place your data is located then restoration can be extremely cost effective. Just as Business continuity may or may not be affected by a disaster (though typically it is, it’s not a constant actuality). The financial industry is highly regulated and audited for business recovery capability by both the federal and state governments. Typically, drought conditions impact vegetation and other natural defenses that hold surface soil and sediment in place, meaning floods and landslides could develop with heavy rains.



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