Floods in Thailand and the impact on your Orlando business

Guest Blogger – Ed Correia, President & CEO, Sagacent Technologies, Inc.

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After a six week shut-down, Western Digital’s hard drive plant in Thailand has been pumped dry and has resumed production – sort of. This plant has been responsible for 60% of the company’s hard drive production. While the six feet of water that had been filling the plant is now gone, only some of the manufacturing processes have resumed. However, some of the company’s hard drive manufacturing functions will likely not resume again until February or March of 2012!

As you may recall, the amazing flooding in Thailand has affected the whole computer industry in a major way as much of the world’s hard drive production is centered there. Since the flooding began on October 15th many of these manufacturers have been under several feet of water. The result has been the loss of income for hundreds of thousands of Thais (the Western Digital plant alone employed some 37,000 workers) and a big cut in general hard drive availability to both computer manufacturers, reseller’s (like Sagacent Technologies) and consumers alike. In many cases, we (Sagacent) have been struggling to fill the typical end of year surge in computer and server purchases and quite frequently seen a doubling and tripling of hard drive costs – if we could find them.

However, there is another lesson to be learned here, and it relates to our own businesses. While the flooding that caused all of this was certainly unexpected and unprecedented in recent times, it was nonetheless in the list of Sagacent’s ‘top 5 things’ that I warn my clients to be prepared for from a business continuity and disaster preparedness stand point. Western Digital’s production has suffered a significant hit at a key point in their year. They are expecting to incur special costs of between $225 million and $275 million as a result of this disaster. How would your business fare if it were flooded – or some other disaster impacted (1) total productivity for six weeks, (2) partial productivity for months to come, and (3) it had to incur huge costs in order to become productive again?

It should make you think. And it should make you sit down with your key management and trusted advisors and say, “how would we deal with x happening and what would we do about it?” That is where Business Continuity Planning begins.

– Ed Correia

 

Feds Want Super Cyber Security

Do you have regulators from three or four different federal agencies auditing your network security compliance every single year? If you do, you must know how tiring it is and not to mention, costly too! Because it saps their budgets, regulatory compliance has become a burden for CIOs and CISOs lately. Take for example a speaker at the SINET Innovation Summit in Boston last week who said his agency spends 40% of its budget on complying with regulations. It’s more for others! But thanks to recommendations from a congressional task force set up by House Speaker John Boehner in June, you will be able to cut back the number of annual audits to just one, meaning you’ll be able to save more time and money!

The congressional task force recommends a super standard that would incorporate cyber security mandates issued by disparate agencies into a single set of standards that would satisfy all their requirements.

So what other recommendations has the congressional task force made? Read on to find out:

  • The government should have someone else do the investigation of cyber attacks. That’s the only way it will ever be able to get the big picture. For this, the task force recommends that an organization (which is separate from the government) be set up; it should gather data on cyber attacks for government and private groups for the government to tap into when it needs a picture of ongoing cyber activity threatening critical infrastructure. The organization would also respond to ever changing threats in a timely manner, something that the government is too slow to do. In other words, the role of the government should be limited. Similar thoughts were expressed at the SINET Innovation Summit.
  • There should be a set of incentives that encourage businesses to do the right thing to defend their networks against cyber attacks. The task force’s report recommends that incentives such as reducing data-breach liability, tax credits, insurance breaks and tying government grants to cyber-compliance be considered. Extending or expanding tax credits such as the current research and development credits so that it includes cyber-upgrades is yet another possible incentive. While giving out grants to businesses, Congress could require compliance with minimum cyber security protection standards if the grants pertain to national security, law enforcement and critical infrastructure.
  • Congress should look into whether insurance companies could encourage better cyber security among policy holders. The task force didn’t seem to know how insurance companies handle this, though. But it did recommend finding out.
  • Further regulation may be warranted in cases of industries that control critical infrastructure, but the new requirements be kept light. Businesses directly involved in these critical areas should contribute to developing these additional standards, according to the report. Plus, if businesses comply and are breached anyway, their liability should be reduced by virtue of compliance.
  • Investigating into whether it makes sense for businesses to report more cyber-incidents than they are required to under current laws with the goal “to improve both law enforcement response and protection of critical infrastructure.” Rather than just reporting incidents in which personally identifiable information such as credit card numbers are stolen, businesses might also have to report when intellectual property was stolen.
ASysTech works with Orlando business to ensure that all their business and personal information is completely secure. Speak with us today about our IT security services.

Blackberry Outages Hit Orlando Business

Attention Blackberry users:

It has come to our attention that RIM, the maker of Blackberry devices, is experiencing a network outage resulting in service interruption to Blackberry users.

From the RIM website ( http://www.rim.com/newsroom/service-update.shtml ) :

Wednesday 12th October – 9:45 (GMT-5)
BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this morning. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.

Thank you…

Rick Hardin and the team at ASysTech

Are you going to download iOS5 for your iPhone?

The iOS 5 mobile operating system (for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices) is finally here. Apple has, right on time, released the software update that promises 200 added features, some of which we’re going to discuss here. But before we do that, let us tell you that this is an x.0 release meaning there could be bugs in there and unless you’re sure you don’t want to go back (you won’t be able to go back to an earlier OS), we suggest that you wait for a few days and see how things turn out. Another point to keep in mind or rather, to have in mind is your password to iTunes. If the iTunes backup of your device is encrypted, it’s necessary that you have the password to recover your device after loading iOS 5. Well, that’s that.

So, all set to go? Then here we go:

Notification Center: If you’ve used iOS previously (you probably have), you must remember how annoying the modal notification system was. It just popped up a single message on your screen that you couldn’t do anything about and could not access ever again. But it looks like the folks at Apple have been hearing us complain; with iOS 5, you’ll now have a place for all those messages and it’s called Notification Center. Easily accessible with a single swipe from the top of your screen, Notification Center isn’t the only notification-related changes you’ll see in iOS 5. You’ll be able to see new notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen and view notifications from lock screen. You may also slide the notifications app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app.

iMessage: This feature, which works over mobile networks and Wi-Fi, lets you send and receive unlimited text, video and photo messages with other iOS 5 users (without a text plan!). Plus, it tracks messages with delivery and read receipts and also boasts of group messaging and secure encryption.

Newsstand: This one’s just like iBooks but it isn’t your ordinary iBooks. It automatically organizes magazines and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen, displays the cover of the latest issues and has background downloads of new issues.

Twitter integration, iCloud, WiFi Sync, PC Free, Photo Improvements and much more: Forget about a third party Twitter-client, Twitter is now directly integrated into iOS. And then there’s the iCloud integration in iOS 5 too! With iCloud, you get 5GB of storage space for free AND a backup of everything you’ve bought from iTunes store safely.

Plus, you can also sync your iOS 5 device with a PC or Mac over a WiFi connection every time it connects to a power source. And what’s more? With PC Free, you can activate new iOS devices and download new updates without having to connect to a Mac or PC. As if this weren’t enough, there are photo improvements with added crop and rotate, red-eye removal, one-tap enhance and ability to organize photos in the album. There are lots of other improvements like Main improvements, Calendar improvements, Game Center Improvements and much more.

The iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 3rd generation, iPod touch 4th generation, iPad and iPad 2. If you’ve got any of these, go grab the iOS 5 today!

Great Things From Your Orlando IT Support Team

ASysTech Achieves Microsoft CAP!

ASysTech has fulfilled all the eligibility requirements for being a Cloud Accelerate Partner for Microsoft 365. What does that mean for you? As a Microsoft Orlando Gold Partner, we have the opportunity to be one of the first to try out new and upcoming services related to the Cloud and then pass on customized Microsoft Online Service packets, savings and knowledge on to you — like with the Office 365 free trial invitation that we recently customized specifically for our clients that will let you take advantage of the 25 user licenses Microsoft Office 365 Trial (Plan E3).

ASysTech Now Able to Perform Security Penetration Scanning

Penetration scanning is going to allow us to evaluate the security of your computer system or network. How? We can simulate an attack coming in from a malicious outsider (someone that has no business trying to access your network) and even from a malicious insider. Also known as a pentest, the scanning will conduct an active examination of the system to check for any vulnerabilities that could come about from poor or improper system configuration that can include both known and unknown hardware or software defects. It will also ferret out operational weaknesses that may be in process. Talk with us about all your Orlando computer security requirements.

MBA Backup Basics

For those of you that have executive notebooks or small servers, our Managed by ASysTech (MBA) managed service plan is tailored to fit Central Florida businesses. Now you can experience the same managed backup features that the big corporations have, at a fraction of the cost. With heightened security like military-level protection, storage and in-transit encryption, and duo-facility storage, you have the best of the best from ASysTech. Other features like fast restoration, Microsoft Exchange Support, and a system that operates as a compliance-ready digital archiving solution, provide you with the assurance that your data will be protected to the utmost. No longer do you have to worry when you’re on the go.

ASysTech is here to help you with all of your Orlando IT Support. Talk with us today.

Happy Columbus Day From Your Orlando IT Support Team

Are You Celebrating Columbus Day?
Do you know what day, Monday, October 10, 2011 is? Yes, it’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada, but more than that, it’s Columbus Day, a federal holiday in the United States where Americans celebrate the discovery of the New World of the Americas by Christopher Columbus. You know, if Christopher Columbus hadn’t been Italian, there might not even be a Columbus Day. Thanks to the Italians in New York City, we have this important day now. You see, it came about because they were the ones credited for organizing the first celebration of America being discovered all the way back in 1866, October 12th to be exact.
Are you celebrating Columbus Day this year? The Italians continued their observance of the day the following year — so in 1867 — as well as many more cities that picked up the practice and held parades, banquets, and dances. As a matter of fact, in San Francisco the Italians were recognized as calling the day “Columbus Day” on October 12, 1869.
The Americans aren’t the only ones that celebrate Columbus Day though. Take a look at this — Latin America celebrates Día de la Raza, the Bahamians celebrate Discovery Day, Spaniards celebrate Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional and people in Uruguay celebrate Día de las Américas.
So just who was this guy Christopher Columbus? Picture these characteristics – perseverant, adventuresome, explorer, colonizer, navigator, handsome (hmmm, I don’t really know about that one), scholar, a pioneer, social climber, self-promoter, domineering and ruthless — the point is that we Americans have a lot of reasons to be grateful to Christopher Columbus. Without him, there would be no Columbus Day.
Just think; we all have just a little bit of Christopher Columbus in us because we have many of his same characteristics, don’t we? So are you celebrating Columbus Day?