17 August 2009

Business Resilience: Beyond Readiness...

The continuity of your telecom operations is an operational risk that in many cases is underestimated until a significant business disruption occurs. When telecom is down, this means a combination of voice and data services that serve your business enterprise may not be available. The resilience of both the voice and data communications is the holy grail of continuity of operations and disaster recovery professionals on a global basis.

Business Resilience and the ability to effectively anticipate or absorb the impact of an incident, whether man made or as a result of a natural phenomenon differentiates your suppliers. When is the last time you tested your Tier I service supplier for a mission critical business process to determine the ability to keep their voice and data services running during a time of crisis? And maybe more important, is your own enterprise Incident Command system survivable so that you can provide voice leadership to your "Incident Commanders" where ever they may be located?

Until now, telework, disaster recovery and business continuity professionals have primarily been limited to expensive, hardware-based, or location-specific solutions that remain inherently vulnerable. TeleContinuity’s end-user driven and “virtual” service solution is predicated on turning the traditional disaster recovery and business continuity model on its head. Instead of focusing on protecting centralized telecom infrastructure and equipment-based assets; pre-planning for employee relocation; and location-specific solutions designed to enfranchise only a select number of key executives -- TeleContinuity assumes the entire telecom capability of the enterprise is wiped out and that all employees and key executives are individually scattered to a myriad of undetermined locations.

Unencumbered by the traditional telco infrastructure mentality or by the business agendas of telecommunication hardware or IP equipment vendors, TeleContinuity’s founders synthesized the best design elements of PSTN, Internet, and dynamic call center technologies to create a seamless, ubiquitous, and fully resilient outsourced services solution. There is no equipment to buy. We do not touch the customer’s PBX. A customer does not need to change their carrier relationship.

Additionally, TeleContinuity can provide your organizations all the capabilites that they need on a daily basis so that you can work remotely from any location with access to the infrastructure that makes your data and voice applications usable.

Telecontinuity is just one good example of how to make your organization more business resilient. As we approach the middle of the Hurricane season here in the U.S., you can understand why having energy to power systems is an important aspect of most COOP discussions. This simple yet valid argument for back-up power has been going on for a decade or more. Yet not until the last several years as Iraq, Afghanistan and other places that have been the result of some of our most horrific displays of "Mother Nature's" wrath on domestic urban infrastructure has energy innovation become commercialized.

White Door offers a proprietary line of portable towers systems fueled by non-traditional power sources. These self-powered towers can be rapidly deployed to satisfy physical security and communications requirements in areas where conventional power is not readily available or too expensive to deploy.

Utilizing alternative energy power sources including solar panels, wind turbines and hydrogen fuel cells, the towers have been designed to power communications and security systems for both long term and short term requirements. Completely independent of the power grid, they eliminate the costs of trenching and physical bandwidth provisioning, are flexible to place and relocate, and easily upgraded because they utilize COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) integrated security and communication systems. These mobile trailer-towers offer an effective, reliable and energy efficient platform to power mission critical applications anywhere in the world.

White Door provides resilience to the warfighter, first responder or the corporate enterprise in their quest for alternative power and communications capabilities. When it comes to planning for the next Hurricane Katrina or the "Tip of the Spear" overseas operations readiness, resilient business organizations need to implement robust planning, exercises and systems to be able to overcome the operational risks that are before them.

Power blackouts are the catalyst for many risks to the critical infrastructure including Transportation, Internet, Voice commmunications and even those services that you take for granted like pumping gas at the local petrol station or emergency services at the local hospital. September is DHS Preparedness Month in the US and the focus is once again on the physical readiness of our nation.

There is however another facet of readiness that is slowly getting attention across the landscape of data systems blackouts, such as the mission critical applications we utilize almost everyday such as Online Banking and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) for voice communications. Cyberspace as we know it is so embedded into most of the mission essential aspects of business today that our readiness factor needs to go well beyond redundant power supplies and battery back ups for power. Cyber-Readiness is a key component of any organizations plan to stay resilient in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) and other cyberspace exploits that disrupt our operations.

Federal prosecutors on Monday charged a Miami man with the largest case of credit and debit card data theft ever in the United States, accusing the one-time government informant of swiping 130 million accounts on top of 40 million he stole previously.

Albert Gonzalez, 28, broke his own record for identity theft by hacking into retail networks, according to prosecutors, though they say his illicit computer exploits ended when he went to jail on charges stemming from an earlier case.

Do you think you're spending too much time with your team planning and training? You haven't. Success in your organization doesn't happen because everything goes according to the plan. It happens because you were prepared when things go wrong. The organizations whose team has planned for every possible scenario and trained together in live simulations will become the most successful in their strategy execution. Their missions will be accomplished on time and within budget.

Incidents of different severity and frequency are happening around you and your organization every day. Would your employees know what an incident looks like let alone know what to do next to mitigate the risk to them and the organization?

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