Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Safety at Home

December 13, 2017 - Although we are concerned with safety throughout the year, at the holidays we are especially diligent that our families are safe. For this reason, we offer these articles to guide you and your family safely through the season. And remember that many of these tips can apply to the workplace as well.

These 12 tips cover a range of holiday activities. (Item #1)  Ready to brave the holiday crowds? First, learn how to keep your kids safe when you go shopping. (Item #2)  Follow these top five safety tips for the holidays so you can enjoy your holidays free of stress and worry. (Item #3)

If you're traveling this holiday season, ensure your home is secure with these tips. (Item #4)  You can make your holidays happier and safer by following these five simple tips for consuming alcohol in moderation throughout the season. (Item #5)  Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Testing and Training Your Business Continuity Plan

December 6, 2017 - How will you know if your plan will provide the intended outcome if you don't test it to see what happens? Some say the most valuable outcome of a test is failure, because from failure you can learn where the faults are and you can make corrections. At the very least you should be able to run the test and identify any weaknesses. These articles address the need for testing and for training your people what's required to their roles.

Regardless of how you implement training and testing, there are specific elements that must be covered. (Item #1)   Testing and training are critical elements of your plan. (Item #2)  There are various methods you can use to test your plan and train users. (Item #3)

Taking a moment to think about how human error arises in businesses might well yield a list like the following. (Item #4)   Disaster recovery testing is highly valued among standards and DR/BC organizations, but these tests are only effective if you perform them correctly. (Item #5)   Just because all the relevant information has been catalogued doesn't mean you can actually recover whatever it is your Plan says you can. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Winter Weather

November 29, 2017 - You just never know what weather surprises Mother Nature has in store for the winter, so it's best to be as prepared as possible for whatever challenges arise. We all are familiar with some of the problems... blizzards that prevent employees from getting to work (or getting home); power losses that can span days; frozen pipes, flooding or other building damages; and more. If you haven't thought about what you might be facing this winter, these articles can help you figure out where your planning runs short and what you can do about it.

What are the challenges data centers face during the winter weather? (Item #1)  Snowpocalypse, bombogenesis, and the polar vortex... oh my! (Item #2)  Advance preparation can help to mitigate winter weather impacts on your operations and business continuity. (Item #3)

Here are the steps you can take now to prepare for extreme winter weather and mitigate the risks for your business. (Item #4)  Here you find critical information and preparedness tools to assist in protecting your business and the most critical element of your business - your people. (Item #5)  Your winter plans should include the ability to prepare as much as possible in advance with an emergency mass notification system. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Flu and Business Continuity

November 15, 2017 - Flu season is creeping up on us and that means employees home sick or slowed down at the office by flu symptoms. There does not seem to be any flu pandemic on the near horizon, so at least we don’t have that to worry about this year, but experts seem to think that a pandemic is coming (It is about 100 years since the Spanish flu epidemic killed millions worldwide). We need to ensure that we have plans in place to help prevent the spread of flu in the workplace. But we also need to be thinking long-term and look at how we should update our business continuity plans to help us deal with whatever is ahead.

Experts say the “big one” is coming. (Item #1)  The building is fine but most of your employees are out sick; do you have a plan for this? (Item #2)  What happens if we have a bad flu season and employers find themselves struggling to maintain business as usual? (Item #3)

While there is no specific flu pandemic threatening at the moment, a serious outbreak of even run-of-the-mill winter flu can threaten your business. (Item #4)  Here are five ways to prevent the flu from spreading at your office. (Item #5)  No matter what your role, you can pitch in to keep the flu on permanent vacation this season. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Holiday Parties

November 8, 2017 - With Christmas less than 50 days away, many employers' thoughts turn to holiday parties. At first glance, you might say, "What do holiday parties have to do with business continuity?" But think about it... many of the holiday activities both in the workplace and outside it can create risky situations (food poisoning, sexual harassment, drunken driving) that might end in liability for your company. And liabilities can endanger your bottom line. This week's articles were chosen to help you avoid potentially litigious and unsafe situations.

You can help minimize the risks associated with holiday parties by following these five tips. (Item #1)   Does alcohol drinking mix safely with work events? (Item #2)   Here's what some creative companies are doing to celebrate the holidays with their employees. (Item #3)

Employers must be sensitive to the religious beliefs of their employees and create more flexible celebrations to include all of them. (Item #4)   if you're not treating your holiday party as a serious risk management responsibility, you're asking for trouble. (Item #5)   Sexual misconduct has no place at office holiday parties and can have grave consequences for individuals and organizations. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

After a Disaster...

November 1, 2017 - Most of us have planned carefully for all the things that can go wrong and have plans in place to mitigate the effects of various disasters. But have you thought about the period after the disaster is over? Do you know what you are going to do to overcome the challenge of insufficient funding while the business gets back on its feet? What about recovering records? And getting employees back to work if the workplace is gone? This week’s articles might help you consider what must be done right after the disruption but before things are back to whatever passes for normal at that point.

Here are 10 recovery actions you must take after a disaster. (Item #1)  Here are three things your business can take care of now to prepare for a natural disaster and get back up and running quickly.  (Item #2)  There are some steps you can take to help start the recovery process after a disaster. (Item #3)

One important thing to consider when doing business disaster planning is how to store and recover your business records. (Item #4)   Given these three imperatives --- ethical, compliance, and E&O liability --- and the mounting threat of extreme weather, what should professionals do to strengthen their existing business continuity plans? (Item #5)   To avoid or lessen downtime in today's modern world, businesses need to prepare in ways that involve both human and technological response. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Business Continuity Planning

October 25, 2017 - By now, you no doubt have a business continuity plan. When, however, did you last review it? Update it? We have to remember that a BCP is not a static thing; it is a dynamic plan that has to change with changes in the organization. If you haven’t reviewed your plan lately, this week’s articles can help you incorporate newer threats into your old plan.

Here's how to create a business continuity plan that gives your business the best chance of surviving a disaster. (Item #1)   Change management is an important piece of business interruption prevention and helps ensure security risk does not drift up during projects and day-to-day activities. (Item #2)   With the dynamic nature of BC in mind, how often should your organization review its business continuity plan? (Item #3)

Poor planning is definitely a big part of why organizations fail at business continuity, but the easy answer is that they’re simply overwhelmed by the challenges. (Item #4)   Paying a ransom is not the way to deal with a ransomware attack; instead, comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery planning provides the best solution says Paul Barber. (Item #5)   All businesses need to have a robust cybersecurity plan in place to prevent attacks and protect their data and systems, but it’s also important to have a strategy in place to respond to a breach. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Crisis Response & Communication

October 11, 2017 - When dealing with communicating in a crisis, the first concerns should be to respond quickly, accurately and consistently. Obviously, the best approach is to have a plan to work from before the crisis hits. This will shorten your response time and enable everyone to hit the ground running. It's also important to ensure that everyone knows what's going on and what to say or not say in any situation. Take a look at these articles to see if your plans for crisis response are everything they need to be. 

Not sending complete and accurate information can hinder employee safety by creating confusion regarding exactly what is happening. (Item #1)   Here are some lessons learned from real-world crisis response. (Item #2)   This is what good communications after an incident looks like, looking at some real-world examples and emphasizing the importance of being transparent during a crisis. (Item #3)

Effective crisis response plans include these ten elements. (Item #4)   There are some things to be learned from the way Equifax handled communication about its breach. (Item #5)   What you say immediately after a crisis is important, so step in and make it known where your business stands during a crisis, even if it is just to acknowledge that a crisis has happened. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cyber Security Awareness

October 4, 2017 - October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This is especially relevant after the recent hack of Equifax and other large companies. What are you doing to help make your employees more aware of cybersecurity practices? Do you offer regular training? Take a look at these articles, all of which are focused on ways to increase employees’ awareness of and participation in cybersecurity.

With workplace cyber attacks on the rise, industry experts are pressing businesses to train their workers to be more vigilant than ever to protect passwords and sensitive data and to recognize threats. (Item #1)   Security is everyone’s job; we need to deputize people for cybersecurity. (Item #2)   To most immediately increase an employee's ability to recognize attacks, organizations should consider security awareness training solutions to develop cybersecurity skills. (Item #3)

Here are some cyber-security tips for small business from the FCC. (Item #4)   Take a look at what password practices are putting you at risk, what trends are cropping up today, and how you can keep your accounts and data safe. (Item #5)   Here's some expert advice on how to make cybersecurity training more effective and protect your business. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fire Preparedness

September 27, 2017 - October is National Fire Prevention Month, and Fire Prevention Week this year is the week of Oct. 8. This year's theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!" More than likely, fire risk and prevention are part of your business continuity plan, but, if you haven't covered everything you should, this week's articles can help you improve your plan.

The simplest tasks can become difficult in stressful crisis situations; ensure everyone in the organization knows what to do in a crisis. (Item #1)  Here are some fire safety tips to help your business prevent disaster. (Item #2)  Do you know what to do to lessen the likelihood of an office fire breaking out — and how to react if one does? (Item #3)

Fire presents a significant risk to businesses; it can kill or seriously injure employees or visitors and can damage or destroy buildings, equipment, and stock. (Item #4)  Sure you have fire extinguishers, but do your employees know how (and when) to use them safely? (Item #5)  The fire's over, the damage is done… now what? (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Emergency Notification Systems (ENS)

September 20, 2017 - In any emergency, information is critical. How to deliver that information is something companies continually struggle with -- social media, the cloud, etc. One choice is an emergency notification system, which also could be used as a mass communication medium in non-emergency situations. If you have one, maybe it needs updating. If you don't, here's some information on why you might want one and how to integrate it into your organization and your business continuity planning.

The ROI of an emergency notification system begins with the belief that protecting employees and others from harm should be a priority. (Item #1)  Here's some help to sell an ENS within your organization. (Item #2)  How do you know if you need or need to upgrade a mass notification system? (Item #3)

There are multiple reasons and benefits for why you should have your own emergency notification system in place before the next disaster strikes. (Item #4)  Not every action can be pre-defined yet many can; the best way to figure out what can be automated and what needs a human touch is to assess your environment. (Item #5)  If you are confused about emergency notification systems available, this site will let you compare them against each other. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Recovering from a Data Breach or other Cyber Attack

September 13, 2017 - If your company has never had a data breach, consider yourself lucky. These days, such breaches are nearly inevitable and can cause considerable damage to your bottom line (at a cost of about $214 per compromised record and customer turnover) and your reputation. In order to survive such a breach, it's critical that you know what to do afterward. You can recover, but your best bet is to have a recovery plan and to follow it. These articles can help you determine what you should -- and shouldn't do -- after a breach.

Legal and technology experts shared their insights on how owners can best recover from a small business data breach. (Item #1)   Data breaches happen. Though not ideal, you can recover. Here's how to deal. (Item #2)   With a cyber-attack, an inevitable part of running any business, companies that do not have a policy in place for a post-attack recovery could face serious consequences. (Item #3) 

Being prepared and acting quickly are vital to helping your company recover from a cyber attack as effectively as possible. (Item #4)   This post focuses on the techniques to combat data breaches while containing the damage in extreme cases. (Item #5)   Here's what companies should avoid doing once they realize their systems have been breached. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Workplace and Domestic Terrorism

September 6, 2017 - More and more, terrorist threats come from within rather than outside our businesses or our country. Homegrown domestic terrorists have planned and perpetrated acts of violence that we need to be able to defend against. Have you planned how to detect, survive and recover from a terrorist act? No? Well, now is the time. These articles can get you started on planning or updating your current plans.

Despite the fact that preparedness diverts time and resources from other activities, there are overwhelming reasons why businesses must address this issue now. (Item #1)   The most important thing during an incident is to make sure that people are safe; your priority is the maintenance of human life, not just the continuation of the business. (Item #2)   A terror attack could certainly happen here; how are you preparing? (Item #3)

How can you check to see if you might be hiring a terrorist? (Item #4)   Read about the value of listening to and training your employees and how it could help you prevent a tragedy. (Item #5)   What should you do to protect your employees, your organization, and its stakeholders from a terrorist attack? (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Employee Issues & Outcomes

August 30, 2017 - We all have seen how issues with some employees have resulted in shootings and other disruptions in the workplace. There have been eight workplace killings so far in 2017. Every employer should be invested in preventing such incidents and also in preventing issues that can land them in court for harassment and other problems. Hiring and firing have their own issues and can lead to problems down the road. Also, tracking employees online might cause issues. This week's articles provide some hints on how to deal with these issues and, hopefully, to avoid trouble.

Every organization has problem employees; how do you deal with yours? (Item #1)   What's your policy for documenting employee issues? (Item #2)  These are the most common employee issues and a few tips on how to manage them. (Item #3)

Here are some tips on avoiding employment land mines. (Item #4)   Are you prepared to deal with threats of violence in the workplace right now? (Item #5)   Here are some issues with tracking employees' online activities. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

National Preparedness Month

August 23, 2017 - September, which is unbelievably just around the corner, is National Preparedness Month, which encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. This year's theme is "Disasters don't plan ahead. You can." In addition to making sure that your business continuity plan is up-to-date, you can and should encourage your family, friends, and employees to educate themselves about preparedness. Some of this week's articles can help.

This information from the CDC will help ensure you are prepared to take action in an emergency. (Item #1)   Make sure your business emergency kit has at least these items. (Item #2) provides a list of what you should have in your disaster kit -- and don't forget after the disaster. (Item #3)

The first responder to a scene could be you; this video training could help you save a life. (Item #4)   Share this information on how to prepare for and deal with an active shooter incident. (Item #5)   Share this information with your employees, family, and friends to help them become more prepared. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Online Reputation Management

August 16, 2017 - Per the quote in this issue, while most people will look you up online, they won't go further than page one of the results. So if you have negative results on page one, you probably need to do something about them because all that other positive stuff on pages two and following won't matter. You might be able to do some reputation repair yourself or you might need the services of a specialist. But make no mistake about it -- something has to be done. This week, we offer articles that talk about how to DIY as well as what online reputation services can do for you.

Don't wait until your online reputation is a mess to do something about it. (Item #1)   Even if you have never had a strong online position, the people you are doing business with -- now or in the future -- are almost certainly checking up on you online with a fine-toothed comb. (Item #2)   The single critical -- even erroneous -- article is now a greater threat than ever and will glean even greater traction than before in an otherwise positive profile. (Item #3)

It's important to manage your online reputation properly. (Item #4)   If you need help with your online reputation, here are 50 companies that might be able to assist you. (Item #5)   There is a lot that online reputation management can do for a business, but here are three top misconceptions. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Business Continuity Planning

August 9, 2017 - The state of business continuity is continually evolving, but is your business's plan also evolving? Have you updated it to consider things like ransomware attacks? Have you included sufficient detail on contingency planning? And what plans have you made about service providers? Are you even focusing on the right things in your planning? Perhaps it's time to take a new look at your plan and consider some of the new dangers we face in the digital era as well as some new approaches to planning.

No matter the specific nature of your business, it's important to have a specific disaster recovery plan implemented so that when the worst does happen, you'll be ready. (Item #1)    Paying a ransom is not the way to deal with a ransomware attack; instead, comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery planning provide the best solution. (Item #2)    To adequately prepare for workforce continuity during any business disruption, incorporate these five success factors. (Item #3)

Here are some of the things that are overlooked in business continuity planning. (Item #4)    Without a well-thought out and crafted business survival plan, the consequences for owner's employees, customers, and most importantly, family and estate can be devastating; how can life insurance help? (Item #5)    The current approach to business continuity, which generally focuses on 'what could happen', has significant limitations; this article explains why this is the case; and suggests a better, more positive, method. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cyber Issues

August 2, 2017 - As this issue's quote indicates, cyber security is no longer just the purview of the IT department. Everyone in the organization - from the C-suite down - is responsible for some aspect of this problem. These articles look at cyber security from various viewpoints and even provide information on adding cyber scenarios to your business continuity exercises. Try it!

Companies everywhere are looking into potential solutions to their cyber security issues. (Item #1)   Fostering a culture of cyber security focuses on strengthening employees' understanding of security issues. (Item #2)   Protecting your company online begins with ensuring your employees are prepared to assist in keeping your computers and networks safe. (Item #3)

It is time make cyber security a priority for every C-suite. (Item #4)   Here are some lessons learned from practical experience of running cyber exercises. (Item #5)   While insider threats in cyber security are often associated with malicious users, in truth, employees are inadvertently causing corporate data breaches and leaks daily. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cloud Computing

July 26, 2017 - In a matter of years, cloud computing has become an option for many companies and for many reasons. Yet there are still only a fairly small percentage of folks who have parked their data in the cloud. Is it right for your company? This week we look at a number of issues that might affect your decision, from strategies to data risks to what to do if your provider goes bust to how to select that provider in the first place.

From cost containment to hybrid strategies, CIOs are getting more creative in taking advantage of the latest offerings and the cloud’s economies of scale. (Item #1)   There are at least six reasons where it would indeed be appropriate to avoid considering the use of a public cloud service, and instead, only store certain data in privately controlled data centers. (Item #2)   A recent survey identified the top cloud computing risks that concern IT professionals; the top three center on the threat of unauthorized access and security. (Item #3)

Cloud computing has become a staple of most enterprise computing environments, but CIOs are still sweating over whether to use one or more infrastructure-as-a-service provider. (Item #4)   The biggest risk in using a cloud provider is if they turn off the lights and go bust. (Item #5)   Here are some things to consider in order to select the right cloud service provider. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Workplace Violence

July 19, 2017 - If you follow the news, it's clear that violence in the workplace is becoming all too frequent. It arises from many causes and threatens employers and employees alike. This week's articles provide helpful information on workplace violence, its causes, and ways to mitigate it. Read on and think about how you can decrease the likelihood in your workplace.

This article about workplace violence answers these questions for the health and safety of your employees. (Item #1)   Here is our perspective on the five top trends we see impacting a growing focus in the United States – in both the public and private sectors - in this vital area. (Item #2)   Although 89 percent of the companies in this survey reported using evaluation activities to measure workplace violence program effectiveness, smaller companies used these tactics less often. (Item #3)

The leading cause of death for women at work is homicide, and 33 percent of women killed at work are killed by a current or former intimate partner; what's an employer to do? (Item #4)   No company is immune to workplace violence; here are some strategies to reduce it. (Item #5)   To reduce incidents of workplace violence, experts recommend employers conduct vulnerability assessments and training that will assist employees in identifying questionable behaviors. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Testing & Exercising Your Business Continuity Plan

July 12, 2017 - We think everyone is aware by now that a written plan is nothing more than that... words on paper. Until you test/exercise it, it will be nothing more. Maybe some of your assumptions are wrong or maybe employees don't really understand what they need to do. Key people could be out of town when you need them; who picks up the slack? Only exercising the plan will show you what works and what doesn't so you can do something to improve it. This issue could help.

Having a business continuity plan is good, but exercising it regularly is equally important. (Item #1)   An exercise and testing program is necessary to ensure that all staff have a good understanding of their responsibilities as defined in the Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery Plan. (Item #2)   How should organizations respond to the question 'Can I really rely upon my entire workforce to support a recovery?' (Item #3)

Here is how to ensure that employees of your small business know what to do within the BC plan. (Item #4)   We'd better change the way we exercise our business continuity plans so that we can be ready when a REAL disaster comes along. (Item #5)   Here are five common reasons why BC plans fail. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


June 28, 2017 - How do you handle risk in your organization? Do you do an assessment before you write or review your plan? After your plan? Are you a risk avoider? Take a look at this week's articles for some info about risk and how to handle it.

The way you choose to deal with identified risk has a number of impacts on time, money and resources for an organization. (Item #1)    But in order to implement and continuously manage enterprise-wide risk management, there is a critical need for closer integration of two typically distinct roles within the organization--business continuity management (BCM) and risk management. (Item #2)    Here are some tools to help teach you how to prioritize risk. (Item #3)

Emerging risks are difficult to measure and lead to massive losses as they are marked by a high degree of uncertainty. (Item #4)    When it comes to business continuity, developing a strategy is often the focus of efforts; but what actually counts is execution. (Item #5)    These are the real risks that every organization needs to consider. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Safety and Security in Workplace Emergencies

June 21, 2017 - Everything you read focuses on a couple of things about workplace emergencies: be aware and be prepared. Communication is important, as are drills, training and the development of emergency procedures. This issue covers all these things and more and provide food for thought about the status of your emergency preparedness.

The advent of cyber security threats and more competitive work environments has pressured businesses to place a greater emphasis on the safety and security of their organization. (Item #1)   Your security team’s knowledge of the building, your safety and security procedures, and familiarity with your tenants, positions them as a key player. (Item #2)   There are a number of possible examples of emergency procedures for your workplace. (Item #3)

Having an effective emergency contact system is one tool that can help in a crisis; what can hurt is if employees have been complacent about their safety training. (Item #4)   To help you lead safely at work, here are seven very important thinking points. (Item #5)   This OSHA publication covers what to consider in planning for workplace emergencies. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Meeting & Event Planning

June 14, 2017 - When the going gets tough... meeting and event planners step up! It's what you do, right? We know that there's no such thing as a perfect meeting and event, so it's always good to refresh what you know and increase your arsenal to handle problems and disruptions. Try these articles for some additional perspectives.

Here are some common reasons why virtual meetings go wrong.  (Item #1)   Know the real costs of corporate meetings and events, and realize that a dollar saved may actually be $100 lost. (Item #2)   Here is a list of the top five things that frequently go wrong at events and what action you can take in order to mitigate them. (Item #3)

Aside from falling on your sword, what should you do when something goes wrong, and someone needs to be held responsible? (Item #4)   These 10 commandments might make your meetings better. (Item #5)   Here's how to find, evaluate, and prep your speakers. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Identity Theft

June 7, 2017 - Identity theft now costs businesses billions of dollars each year, and it's on the rise. No business seems to be immune, from sole practitioners to large corporations. This week we look at exactly what identity theft is and what you can do to prevent it. Check out the articles below for some of the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.

In terms of potential losses and damage to victims, business identity theft could easily be considered consumer identity theft's bigger, meaner, and more evil twin. (Item #1)  There are actions that every small business should take—all of which involve being vigilant in monitoring and protecting your business identity as rigorously as you seek to protect your personal identifying information. (Item #2)   For the self-employed and owners of very small businesses, whose time and energies are devoted to growing the company, data security often falls in priority; it shouldn't. (Item #3)

Failing to file seemingly minor forms can leave entrepreneurs vulnerable to crimes that can destroy their credit, their reputation, and even their businesses. (Item #4)   How can business taxpayers minimize the chance of becoming a victim of identity theft? (Item #5) can guide you through ways to prevent and recover from identity theft. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

National Safety Month

May 31, 2017 - June is National Safety Month and a good time to think about safety in your workplace. These articles cover workplace injuries, active shooter preparations, fire, medical and other emergencies. If you haven’t visited the topic of workplace safety in a while, June is a good time to do so, and this issue can help.

Protecting employees by eliminating or controlling hazards through engineering or work practice controls should be everyone's goal, employer, and employee alike. (Item #1)   If a mass shooting occurred at your workplace, would your workforce know what to do?  (Item #2)   Check out these tips for dealing with emergency situations in the workplace. (Item #3)

Do you know what to do to lessen the likelihood of an office fire breaking out -- and how to react if one does? (Item #4)   How can an AED help keep my employees safe? (Item #5)   Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mass Communication Systems

May 24, 2017 - Ever since the shootings at Virginia Tech, mass communication systems have been evolving into tools that can help save lives and businesses. What is your method of communicating to your employees about a disaster or disruption? If you don’t have some kind of system, you should take a look at this week’s articles that discuss these systems and how to choose them.

The author discusses how organizations can use employee communications platforms to identify who is affected, communicate instructions quickly, and receive quantifiable responses from those who might be at risk. (Item #1)   Here are just a few ways you can promote your ENS that you can mix and match to ensure your recipients are aware of the new service and the benefits to them. (Item #2)   Ensuring employees know what to do to rebound and then effectively communicate with customers, partners, suppliers, etc. is critical in any business continuity plan. (Item #3)

Here is some helpful advice about selecting and evaluating mass communication vendors. (Item #4) Here are several best practices to help garner voluntary internal participation for your mass notification program. (Item #5)   Let’s take a quick look at some of the ways a mass notification system can enhance evacuation procedures. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Other Severe Weather

May 17, 2017 - Even though it seems that hurricane season 2016 just ended, 2017's season started in the eastern Pacific a couple of days ago and the central Pacific and Atlantic seasons will begin June 1. While predictions indicate a less active hurricane season, we need to remember that only one storm can wipe out a business or a community. How are your preparations coming? These articles may help you solidify your plans.

A business continuity plan is a contingency that allows business to keep operating, even if it is on a limited basis, in the wake of an unforeseen disaster. (Item #1)   As hurricane season approaches, the challenge is for organizations of all types to plan ahead for operational and employee resilience, in order to ensure employee availability and functionality during periods of critical need. (Item #2)   Scientists say there is a 42 percent probability of at least one major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. coast this season, with a 24 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast. (Item #3)

You need to determine which hazards could affect your company before you spend money on insurance that will cover each and every potential hazard. (Item #4)   With a more active than normal tornado season predicted, what steps have you taken to ensure the safety and security of your organization and its constituents during tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather situations?  (Item #5)   This post examines the effects flooding has on security, especially as it relates to a company's business continuity and the supply chain. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Legal and Ethical Issues and Business Continuity

May 10, 2017 - You are no doubt familiar with many of the numerous laws and regulations for business continuity and disaster recovery planning. All of them, in some way, impact your BC and DR planning and may also result in liability to a company not in compliance. In addition, now we need to consider ethical conduct and integrity planning to avoid additional liability. This week’s articles may be able to guide you through some of the legal and ethical dangers.

The legal issues involved in corporate contingency planning are some of the most misunderstood and confusing aspects of the entire process of creating a disaster recovery plan. (Item #1)   While most corporations have invested in broad-based business continuity plans to address a variety of risks, few have measured these plans against potential liabilities that may result from how they respond to major disasters. (Item #2)   Prudent businesses must plan to manage integrity continuity by assessing their vulnerability to ethical disasters, taking proactive measures, and preparing their organizations to mitigate and survive when such scandals break. (Item #3)

There are many misconceptions about the legal requirements for disaster recovery planning. (Item #4)   Prudent businesses must plan to manage integrity continuity by assessing their vulnerability to ethical disasters, taking proactive measures, and preparing their organizations to mitigate and survive when such scandals break. (Item #5)  It’s nearly certain that businesses addressing or involved in homeland security incidents will face the potential of legal liability. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Business Continuity Awareness Week 2017: Cyber Resilience

May 3, 2017 - This year Business Continuity Awareness Week occurs between March 15 and 19, and the theme is cyber resilience. The BCI's Cyber Resilience Report revealed that two-thirds of organizations had experienced at least one cybersecurity incident during the previous year, and 15% had experienced at least ten. So this week we'll focus on cyber resilience so you can think what you will do to raise awareness of business continuity and the importance of cyber resilience? (Item #6 has a link to download posters to display throughout your workplace.)

Perhaps you'll want to do this cyber resilience review from US-CERT. (Item #1)   Check out these seven steps of cyber resilience from a Cisco white paper. (Item #2)   Proper cyber security resilience requires proper planning and proper testing. (Item #3)

A cyber-resilient law firm should have the capacity across the business to maintain their core purpose, operations, and integrity in the face of cyber attacks and cyber security breaches. (Item #4)   In response to the challenges of cyber resilience, the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently published an exclusive cyber-risks tool-kit marking it as a one of a kind innovation tool in the cyber resilience landscape. (Item #5)   These posters can be posted in your workplace to let everyone know how they can improve cyber resilience. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Business Continuity Plan Testing and Training

April 26, 2017 - How often do you exercise your business continuity plan? Have you ever done so? Most experts recommend testing and exercising (if you read Item #5 you'll see what the difference is) at least once per year for the entire plan. If you're not doing that, here's a question for you: What will you do if any part of the plan doesn't work as conceived? Will your people have the ability and confidence to go with the flow and work their way past the broken parts? The only way to know is to try out the plan and see what happens. You'll find help in this issue.

You can read the transcript or listen to the podcast on training for the unexpected. (Item #1)   Can management rely on a business continuity program if employees are unaware of their response and recovery strategies? (Item #2)   Even the best plans fall apart without proper implementation so success in plan execution increases exponentially with testing. (Item #3)

Business continuity drills are the key to detect, address, and strengthen that weakest link. (Item #4)   What are the different benefits of testing vs exercising your plan? (Item #5)   Business continuity plans need to be exercised to strengthen their weaknesses, to improve their overall health, and to improve their sense of wellbeing. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Getting Management Buy-In

April 19, 2017 - The buy-in and support of executive leadership are critical to the success of every effort. Whether you're just establishing a business continuity or disaster recovery plan or changing or adding to it, you know that you have to convince top management to support it. How do you do that? This week's articles discuss the many aspects of getting management buy-in.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the nature of the business continuity plan development process and regulatory requirements demand a more integrated participation level by management. (Item #1)    how do you sell the plan and get the management buy-in that is so critical to business continuity? (Item #2)    Try these five steps for building executive buy-in of your organizational resilience management program. (Item #3)

When you're seeking management approval, there are four potential benefits of business continuity programs you should consider. (Item #4)    Getting the C-suite's attention is difficult---to say nothing of support and buy-in. (Item #5)    There is little point attempting to be crisis-ready when the core individuals responsible for managing a crisis will not know what to do. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Social Media and Business Continuity

April 12, 2017 - Social media has been around quite a while now, and its use continues to grow. How does your company handle social media? Is it an important part of your business continuity plan? Do you encourage employees to use it or worry about the risks? Since it's not going away anytime soon, the time is definitely here to determine where social media fits into your BC strategy and how you're going to use it to best advantage. And don't forget that there are benefits AND risks of using social media in your business.

What's the secret to future-proofing your social-media strategy? (Item #1)   Small businesses should grab these five social media trends to consign old practices to the dustbin, embrace battle ready methods to win customers. (Item #2)   Social media can be a powerful tool in a business continuity management program arsenal. (Item #3)

Understanding how to monitor social media communications and interactions will enable you to both assess the risk and reap greater rewards through richer engagement. (Item #4)   Use technology to manage social media processes and embed corporate governance into the data management process to avoid the risks of social media. (Item #5)   Should employers be looking into their employees' social media habits/posts at work? (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Communication in the Digital Post-Truth Era

April 5, 2017 - The Oxford Dictionaries recently named "post-truth" as their international word of the year. What does this mean for communication, crisis communication and reputation in this post-truth era? How has crisis communication changed and, interestingly, how has it not? While there are challenges, most experts agree that the basic principles of communicating in a crisis are still important. Read on and see what you think... have you changed the way you're handling crisis communication today?

The real challenge for communicators are the longer-term, structural trends around the democratization of publishing and real-time hyper-connectivity. (Item #1)   The term "fake news" has been made popular in the past six months, but it's always been around; how do you protect yourself? (Item #2)   When it comes to communicating in a crisis, hope is not a strategy. (Item #3)

It is tempting in a communications crisis for a firm to shut up shop and proffer little or no comment, or worse still, to attempt to misinform the public in order to save face. (Item #4)   Crisis communication is changing, but its principles remain the same. (Item #5)   What's different about navigating crisis communications in today's environment. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Workplace Violence

March 29, 2017 - April is Workplace Violence Month, a good time to think about our own violence risks. Workplace violence is often in the news, usually in the form of shootings, but workplace violence runs the gamut from bullying to physical violence of all types. It usually underreported for one reason or another. It can be caused by almost anything... an argument at home, a reprimand from a boss, a restraining order, etc. Awareness and alertness on the part of management are two ways to spot potential violence, but employee training can also help identify the risk. This week’s articles look at various strategies to identify and deal with this ever-escalating problem.

Victims of workplace bullying are suffering in silence and perpetrators are safely and legally continuing the abuse. (Item #1)   This article about workplace violence answers your questions for the health and safety of your employees. (Item #2)   We have to consider that any employee served with a restraining order should be treated as a reason to take workplace security precautions. (Item #3)

Reducing the risk for workplace violence begins and ends in the workplace with a company's leadership. (Item #4)  Workplace violence mitigation requires ongoing attention and senior management commitment in personnel security. (Item #5)   Most companies go to great lengths to protect employees from danger, such as fire drills, safety equipment and extensive courses of safety instruction that encompass standard corporate procedures. With respect to workplace violence, however, most companies are unprepared and vulnerable. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Meeting and Event Planning

March 22, 2017 - Wherever groups of people gather, there exists the potential for disaster or disruption. There are plenty of examples in the news every day to underscore this truth. So, when you have a large important meeting coming up, are you doing everything you can to help prevent something from mucking it up? This week's articles look at everything from helping attendees stay healthy and attentive to how deep to delve into venue security. We hope they will encourage you to take a fresh look at your meeting plans.

In the current environment, what's an event planner to do? Plan for disaster with these best practices. (Item #1)   Have you heard the one about the women in high heels running down a hotel lobby with stolen flat-screen televisions and a blue Rubbermaid bin full of event supplies? (Item #2)   With potential threats constantly evolving, everyone must be informed & cooperative for meeting security to work. (Item #3)

Do you know what precautions you should take to protect meeting content and proprietary information? (Item #4)   Check out these top 10 healthy meeting tips. (Item #5)   IAEE and ESCA have announced a collaboration with DHS to develop guidelines and standards for event safety and security. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


March 15, 2017 - There are many reasons that your business might be required to shelter-in-place, including chemical spills, terrorist attacks, flooding, tornados, biological contamination, etc. Do you have a plan for sheltering in place? Supplies and equipment to keep people safe and comfortable for several hours or a day?

What is the difference between shelter in place and lockdown, and when is it appropriate to do each? (Item #1)   When conditions outside get tough, where will building occupants go? (Item #2)   Here's what every landlord needs to know about shelter-in-place orders. (Item #3)

If you perceive any threat in your area that would include a chemical, biological, or radiological hazard, you need to put together a Shelter in Place Kit. (Item #4)   All Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. (Item #5)   Here are some sample shelter-in-place procedures to help you plan. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Reputation Management

March 8, 2017 - It would be most unusual if no one has yet posted anything bad about your company or organization online. In today's social media climate, everybody has the ability and the platform to tell the world what they don't like about you. And make no mistake... they will do so. Your reputation is at stake and you need to be prepared to deal with the negative that's bound to show its ugly head sooner or later. This issue sheds some light on how to develop and carry out a reputation management strategy.

No matter the size of your business, they (prospects, customers, clients... anyone and, potentially, everyone) are talking about you. (Item #1)   how can companies guard their online reputation as effectively and efficiently as possible? (Item #2)   Online reputation management involves placing new content online that pushes old or unwanted content lower in search results. (Item #3)

Everyone has an online footprint and it can make or break your success. (Item #4)   Right or wrong, what is being said online can have a major influence on what others think about you. (Item #5)   Check out some of the best reputation management tools around. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Insider Threats to Business Continuity

March 1, 2017 - Most organizations today have programs in place to guard against external threats. But insider threats, whether malicious or unintentional, are not always easy to identify and may be more difficult to protect against. Large and small companies are at risk, and there are things both can do to help prevent security breaches by insiders. This issue can help.

Here's why you need a proactive approach to protecting information assets from authorized users with malicious intent. (Item #1) This article discusses practical steps that organizations can take to protect data and systems from insider threats. (Item #2) More than 50 percent of data breach incidents in 2014 can be attributed to insiders. (Item #3)

While the most modern type of insider threat is often borne by electrons via fiber-optic cable, it is by no means the only type of insider threat. (Item #4) Businesses spend both time and money to protect data from hackers; but what about the security threats posed by insiders? (Item #5) Security lapses don't always involve IT staff or employees with valid user credentials; they can also include business partners, suppliers and contractors, as well as third-party service providers. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Facility Management and Business Continuity

February 22, 2017 - As a facility manager, you have a lot on your plate every day. You have to be a combination juggler, enforcer, and clairvoyant among other things. When it comes to business continuity, your list of roles increases yet again. Facility management and business continuity have a lot of synergies, and you have a part in both. We hope this week's articles can help make your job(s) a bit easier and provide some ideas on how you can work to improve the business continuity of your organization.

One of the most important potential partnerships, and one BC professionals frequently overlook, is facilities management. (Item #1)   Facility Management should play a crucial role in Business Continuity – they manage the 2nd largest and most consequential business "assets" (after IT) on which day-to-day business operation rely. (Item #2)   IFMA and RLE Technologies have released a report on facility management perspectives on emergency preparedness and business continuity in North America. (Item #3)

Emergency response training helps managers and departments respond to and recover from disaster. (Item #4)   Here are seven ways you can increase your organization's resilience to changing conditions. (Item #5)   Learn how to deal with protesters outside and inside your building. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Records Retention

February 15, 2017 - When's the last time you reviewed your records retention policy (if you have one)? You should have a policy/process for records retention and should review it at least annually. This issue discusses why records retention is critical and can help you determine which records to keep and for how long, how to handle a retention schedule, and other issues of interest.

These three rules can help you stay on top of your record management responsibilities. (Item #1) Do you need to develop document retention standards and procedures for your Business Continuity Program?  (Item #2) Preservation of vital records is a pillar of any Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery plan. (Item #3)

Here are seven common mistakes of record retention—dare we call them deadly sins?—and strategies to avoid them. (Item #4) This article can help answer your questions about email retention. (Item #5) Here's some help to determine which documents to shred and which to keep and for how long. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cyber Security

Feb 8, 2017 - We hope there isn't anyone walking around thinking they are immune to cyber attacks because it just isn't so. As we've said before, it's not if, it's when. But how do you protect your organization? This week's articles offer information and some suggestions on how to improve your cyber security... and recognize that insiders can cause more vulnerability than outsiders.

If you consider all these crazy trends, blips in the news about attacks, and the patterns -- from password re-use to the rise in usage of end of life systems -- predicting the future for cyber security is really not that outrageous. (Item #1)   The role that insiders play in the vulnerability of all sizes of corporations is massive and growing. (Item #2)   Finance leaders now have a leading role to play in data security. (Item #3)

Here's an overview of everything you need to know to protect yourself from cyber attacks. (Item #4)  To help you protect your business, here are 13 small-business-friendly cyber-security solutions to get you started. (Item #5)   This article's purpose is to share the defense department's approach to cyber attacks so that business leaders can apply it in their own organizations. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Data Privacy

Feb 1, 2017 - Are you doing the best job possible to manage your users' privacy? Yes, your data is likely secure but privacy is another matter. The dangers to data privacy often are more likely to come from your authorized users -- employees, vendors, etc. This issue looks at data privacy and discuss what we should be doing to maintain that privacy.

The difference between security and privacy is critical, and it's when we confuse them that we reveal more information than we intended. (Item #1)   The collection and manipulation of Big Data can result in real-world benefits, but it also can lead to big privacy problems. (Item #2)   Here are some key areas where planners need to be concerned with private and personally identifiable information when creating, updating, and testing disaster recovery plans. (Item #3)

In the digital economy, our personal information is the New Money to pay for services. (Item #4)   With organizations collecting increasing amounts of data, customers and the governments that represent them have evolving expectations about the transparency surrounding data collection, and the laws that govern the usage and reporting of it.  (Item #5)   Companies are increasing technology investments to protect against external data breaches, but employees pose a bigger threat than hackers. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Risk and Business Continuity

Jan 25, 2017 - Risk assessment and management are critical to the creation and success of business continuity plans. Through the years, there has been a lot of discussion about which should come first, which is more critical, whether they are integrated, etc. This issue focuses on risk and its role in the entire business continuity process.

When Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis are placed together, these two processes combined can easily tell how hard a potential disruption can impact a business, as well as how quickly and how damaging it can be. (Item #1) Here is an overview of four key criteria that are essential for effective risk management. (Item #2) The board should start by reviewing the process that is being used to identify risks... not just a legal/compliance risk assessment but one tied to other matters, such as business continuity planning, crisis response plans, and even basic fraud. (Item #3)

Risk assessment and business impact analysis are key stages in disaster recovery planning, but where do they fit into the DR planning process? (Item #4) Being ready for risk is the key to any successful BCM plan; while many disruptions are unplanned, you can still weigh the risks and probability of events. (Item #5) Involvement in risk assessment and BCM fits very much with the strategic role of HR. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Business Continuity and the Cloud

Jan 18, 2017 - Does your business continuity plan leverage the advantages of the Cloud? If not, perhaps you should consider if it should. While there are some security issues to consider when moving to the Cloud, there also are many benefits that may be derived. Take a look at this week’s articles to see if a move to the Cloud might help strengthen your business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

An emerging viable tool for disaster recovery is the cloud. (Item #1)   Business continuity may be taking on a new flavor as the cloud gains prominence. (Item #2)   New disaster recovery as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions designed for the public cloud have changed the business resiliency game. (Item #3)

No insurance policy will help employees continue working if they don’t have access to business-critical applications. (Item #4)   The next generation of firewalls can be used as effective business continuity tools (Item #5)   The jury is still out on whether using cloud-based services increases or decreases the likelihood of business interruptions. (Item #6)

If you are interested in more info about Cloud Computing and some things to consider about it, you can review the July 27th issue of the NewsBriefs at

For the full issue, click here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Crisis Management

Do you know what you would do when/if faced with a crisis that could impact your reputation and your bottom line? If you answered no, then we urge you to hurry up and develop a crisis management plan. Item #3 this week talks about one company's successful handling of a crisis, while other articles look at who didn't handle things well. We can learn from both situations and improve our own plans.

How ready are you for your next unscheduled controversy? (Item #1)   Immediate and full disclosure is the proven method to successfully defuse crises and resolve them favorably. (Item #2)   Why do some organizations come out of a crisis with an enhanced reputation while others may not even survive as a business? (Item #3)

A recent study suggests that improving crisis messaging could have to do with social media and how your reputation is determined online. (Item #4)   Wells Fargo's recent crisis offers a picture of how not to handle a crisis. (Item #5)   Here are seven crisis management lessons from the Wells Fargo Scandal. (Item #6)

For the full issue, click here.