Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mass Notification Systems

Whether you own or rent your facility, you have to protect your employees and others who use the building or who are simply visiting. How do you do this? Mass notification systems are the tool most organizations use today. The object is simple: notify a large number of people in the shortest amount of time. This week’s articles offer some insights into how these systems work, how you can put them into effect and even provide links to some providers of these solutions.

A mass notification system should not only be versatile enough to contact individuals regardless of where they are, but also able to reach out to pre-defined areas regardless of whom is situated there. (Item #1) The first step is to develop a notification plan, which serves as the basis for developing a mass notification system that delivers emergency messages. (Item #2) Here are some things to keep in mind when planning or upgrading a mass notification system. (Item #3)

When planning an MNS, keep in mind the importance of ensuring that the hearing impaired must get the same message and training as the hearing. (Item #4) This article contains information about the regulation of mass notification systems. (Item #5) Confused about what’s out there? Here are links to some available systems. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cyber Security Awareness

This week is Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW). Cyber security awareness programs impress upon users the importance of cyber security and the adverse consequences of its failure. Awareness may reinforce knowledge already gained, but its goal is to produce security behaviors that are automatic. The goal is to make "thinking security" a natural reflex for everyone in the organization. This week’s articles contain information that will help you protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information in today's highly networked systems environment.

An information security audit is one of the best ways to determine the security of an organization's information without incurring the cost and other associated damages of a security incident. (Item #1) Why is security awareness and training so important and what constitutes a security awareness and training program? (Item #2) Here’s how to implement a security awareness program in your organization. (Item #3)

Do you know what sorts of fundamental rights people have with respect to their data? (Item #4) There are seven steps chief information security officers can take to launch their organizations in the direction of Information Security compliance. (Item #5) What do you know about the Internet Kill Switch? (Item #6)

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Employee Issues

Everyone says it – our employees are our most important asset – but many employers don’t take the proper steps to either maintain the safety of that asset or to prevent legal problems brought by employees. You have to engage, not just inform, your employees. You need to ensure that proper background checks rule out people who could be a danger to your workforce. In addition to hiring, you need to know how and how not to fire people. This week’s articles focus on these important topics and can provide you with good hints and tips.

Employers face challenging issues relative to employee safety and security. (Item #1) Here are four reasons that IT executives charged with BC/RM/DR need to consider their employees heavily in their plan. (Item #2) Unless you've followed good practices to enable you to defend against termination claims, at-will employment status of your employees will do no more than look good on paper. (Item #3)

If you want to avoid legal action, then you should avoid making these employee termination errors. (Item #4)  Everybody needs HR, both in good times and not-so-good times; the business continuity planner is no exception. (Item #5) The business losses that can be reduced by background screening - including turnover, theft/fraud, and catastrophic events (and their resultant legal losses) - add up to over $1.5 trillion annually. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reputation Management

People are talking about you, and today’s search engines have the ability to unearth whatever they are saying. They are a tool that everyone uses – employers to check on potential employees, potential employees to check on potential employers, investors to check on a company’s employment health, potential members to check on organizations they may want to join. It’s critical, therefore, that every organization and individual know how to check their online reputation and to do it often. This week’s articles can help you do just that.

Unfortunately, perceptions – and your online reputation -- are not always based on fact, but on opinion, conjecture and rumors. (Item #1) If you don’t control your brand online, someone else will. (Item #2) In a world that grows more digital by the day, a new adage has emerged: "You are who Google says you are." (Item #3)

Online reputation management is becoming big business, as companies look to track what’s being said and measure the success of their social media marketing strategies. (Item #4) Proactive PR is important for online reputation management, because it means you are creating positive search engine results, which can keep negative search results from ever appearing. (Item #5) This post outlines – and provides links to -- some of the free tools available for monitoring your online reputation. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Business Continuity Testing and Exercising

The best way to measure your business continuity and disaster preparedness plan is to put it in motion and test it. This is a great way to show management, employees, clients and prospects that you have done all you can to ensure business as usual, no matter what. Most important, testing will let you know if your plan will work, and, for some companies today, testing is a compliance issue. Over time, you will have to test all the elements of your plan, but you don’t necessarily have to do them all at once. This week’s articles will help you discover what a good test should accomplish and how to go about finding out if you can count on your plan in a disruption.

Like so many things in life, in order to become proficient in any physical or mental process, it is necessary to practice. (Item #1) Business continuity and disaster recovery experts stress that business continuity plans and tests are essential for your IT disaster recovery environment, but why? (Item #2) Could you really recover using your plan documentation? (Item #3)

Here are six tips and three scenarios to get you started on a tabletop exercise. (Item #4) Through testing, you will reduce both recovery time and risks, ultimately protecting your business and the employees and customers who rely on you. (Item #5) Are you having a problem getting employees trained? (Item #6)

Learn all you need to know about testing and exercising your BCP. Read the complete issue at