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Crises Control News & Blogs

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Best practice #5 – Crisis communications that is fit for purpose

In the previous blogs in this series on best practice in BC planning, I looked at identifying and mitigating the risks to your corporate environment, scenario planning, creating incident plans and supply chain resilience. The next step in your BC planning should be to make sure that your crisis communications channels are fit for purpose.

Data gathered by information technology research company, Gartner, into the use of emergency notification systems shows that across all sectors, actual use of such systems was far greater than planned. The research shows that 67% of organisations made use of their emergency communications systems every year for traditional business disruption emergencies such as IT, communications and power failures, against only the 4% that they had anticipated that they would use it. And 51% of organisations made use of their systems for operational crises, such as office closures and equipment maintenance, against the 15% that had envisaged doing so.

UK SMEs lack awareness about risks posed by GDPR

New research suggests that owners and directors of SMEs based in the UK are less likely to identify risks that could impact their business than small company owners in Germany and France. And the lack of awareness is greatest over the risks posed to small businesses by the EU GDPR.

The research, collected from 1,000 SMEs in the UK, France and Germany for the Gowling WLG Digital Risk Calculator, reveals an over-optimistic picture amongst UK business owners compared to their European counterparts.

Across the board, the UK business owners consistently self-identified up to 25% fewer risks for each risk area. The risks covered by the calculator include:

Tall buildings are vulnerable to safety threats, but technology can help provide the answer

Buildings and the safety of the people inside them are a growing cause of concern for our society. Buildings are getting taller and more complex and the range of risks to which they are exposed seem to be expanding. Flooding in downtown Manhattan, skyscraper fires in London and Dubai, terrorist attacks in numerous locations.

Of course many of these risks are not new at all, but the vulnerability of people living or working inside the buildings is certainly growing as they reach towards the sky. Many different types of building are at risk, commercial offices, private and public housing, and even entertainment venues.

Building managers for the more high profile locations, office buildings in the City of London and Manhattan, or sports stadia around the world, are used to operating risk registers that assess and attempt to mitigate the range of threats posed to their buildings and people. But now the managers of bars and restaurants, local authority housing and all types of entertainment venues also have a job on their hands.

What keeps you awake at night? Data, generator and the regulator!

As the owner or director of a small business, what keeps you awake at night?

Almost certainly at the top of the list is the thought that your trading operations might be interrupted. Perhaps by a cyber attack that denies you access to all of your customer data, so that you cannot contact them. Or perhaps by an event such as a fire, flood or power outage shuts down your online or customer store retail operation.

In either event you know that the trading interruption is going to cost you big money. You will lose revenue from your retail trade, incur the cost of restoring your operations and, long-term, suffer the possible loss of customers to your competitors.

Crises Control nominated for Cloud DR and Continuity Product of the Year 2017

I am delighted to announce that Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution, has been shortlisted for Cloud DR and Continuity Product of the Year in the inaugural Computing Cloud Excellence Awards 2017.

Developed in 2014 by Transputec for its own clients, Crises Control was so successful that they took its development up a level, adding to its user experience and incorporating a number of features unique in the field, before launching it onto the open market.

This latest award nomination confirms Transputec’s long-established reputation as a pioneering innovator in the field of cloud services, alongside a nomination for another Transputec developed product, SHIELDIntelefile for Most Innovative Cloud Service or Product of the Year.

Make sure you can relax on the beach this summer

Summer has arrived and with it the summer holidays. Kids are off school and the long summer stretches out in front of us. The beach, lake and mountains await and with them the opportunity to put down that laptop and ignore the e-mails whilst you sip a frozen cocktail in the swimming pool.

Sounds great doesn’t it, except that it is not true. Unless you have amazing self discipline, or you simply forgot to pack your smart phone, you will be unable to resist the temptation to have a quick peek at your e-mails every so often. And, once you have seen something interesting, then you will be literally unable to stop yourself intervening with an authoritative message from wherever you are in the world. Our always connected world has its drawbacks as well as its advantages!

Even worse, there may actually be a work event that requires the attention that only you as MD, Director or Vice President can give it. Perhaps an employee misconduct issue, or a data breach, a health and safety event or a critical IT failure. Like it or not (you probably do like a bit too much!), sometimes you are irreplaceable.

Crises Control launches integration with ThreatSpike in response to ransomware attacks

Leading business disruption incident management platform, Crises Control, has joined forces with cutting edge behavioural monitoring tool, ThreatSpike, to provide an end-to-end cyber attack alerting system, in response to the recent wave of ransomware attacks.

These two SaaS products are a natural fit for each other. They both address the urgent need for solutions that help businesses them to mitigate the threat of cyber attack on corporate IT networks. ThreatSpike will uncover, protect from and prevent such attacks. Crises Control will alert the security or IT team immediately to cyber threats as soon as they occur, thanks to its integrated trigger alert capability.

ThreatSpike is a cutting edge behavioural monitoring tool that identifies unusual or suspicious behaviour inside a corporate IT network. It has a number of functions which directly address the ransomware threat. Firstly, it will immediately alert system administrators to the appearance of malware on a network.

The Mother of all............... Parliaments

Oh good Lord! Who would believe it? It's almost beyond parody! Surely not! This cannot be true! The great and good in the land have been hacked!

After spending millions on Committee's, new departments, investments in the national police service, and national security Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Peers, their Civil Servants and support staff have had their computer systems hacked. One Honourable Member has reportedly said that "It could be highly embarrassing". He should smell the coffee - IT IS highly embarrassing.

They have warned us, created videos, run advertisements, sponsored and held conferences. They have witnessed the hacking of Google, the NHS, the banks, TalkTalk, Tescos and a myriad of other bodies corporate, national and international and they have tutted and wobbled their heads. They have spent time and energy identifying the mote in other organisations' eyes but missed the beam in their own.

Best practice #4 – How resilient is your supply chain?

In the previous blogs in this series on best practice in BC planning, I looked at identifying and mitigating the risks to your corporate environment, scenario planning and creating incident plans. The next step in your BC planning should be to consider your supply chain resilience.

In our ever more interconnected world, where we rely not only on third-party suppliers of materials and utilities, but also cloud-hosted data storage, outsourced IT help desks and many other outsourced services, our supply chains are becoming ever longer and more remotely spread. This trend brings with it many business benefits, such as access to highly trained professionals on demand. But it also leads to increasing risks of dependency on these stretched supply chains.

The BCI Supply Chain Resilience Report 2016 contains some interesting facts. 70% of respondents to their survey had experienced at least one supply chain disruption in the last 12 months. 41% of disruptions occurred at the Tier 1 level and, in spite of this, 66% of respondents did not have full visibility of their supply chains. 68% of companies affected by a disruption event suffered from loss of productivity, 37% lost revenue, 40% received customer complaints and, worst of all, 38% sustained damage to their brand reputation.

Major incident readiness is a duty for public authorities and private business

London is waking up today to the news of yet another tragedy and disaster on our doorsteps. A 24 story block of flats in Notting Hill, West London has been gutted overnight by a massive blaze, and there are many people injured and unaccounted for. Fatalities have been confirmed by the London Fire Brigade.

The tragedy will have life changing consequences for hundreds of people in the flats themselves, lost loved ones, lost homes. They will be impacted for years to come. But the impact of the fire is also being felt by hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in West London.

Smoke from the fire can be seen for miles around, the building itself is in danger of collapse and a major artery into London from the west, the A40, which is only a few hundred yards from the location, is completely closed. A number of underground lines that run close to the location have also been suspended during the morning rush hour. This all adds up to massive disruption for the hundreds of businesses in west London whose employees need to get into work this morning.

Crises Control launches new emergency notification solution

In the wake of the continued terrorist attacks in London Bridge, Manchester, Brussels, Paris, and many other places, Crises Control has launched a new Emergency Notification Solution. This will address the needs of security and safety professionals who have a duty of care to their employees, students, customers and other visitors to their business location or campus.

Following the recent UK attacks, we have been inundated with requests from customers who have been forced to consider how they would respond to events of the type we have tragically seen in Manchester and London over recent weeks.

In response to these requests for help, we have launched our new Emergency Notification Solution to meet the specific needs that customers have to notify, locate and assist employees, students, customers and others who might be affected by a critical event on or near to their premises.

Think the unthinkable, before it happens to you

On 7/7 2005 the first incident on the underground system, at Aldgate, was reported as a power surge. Within thirty minutes that report had been revised and it was acknowledged as the explosion of a bomb. Three other explosions followed in close succession.

One weekend, road workers put a jack hammer through the power supply to New Scotland Yard. It was quiet and most offices were empty, all continued as normal with the back-up supply. On the Monday morning the employees returned, on went the computers, copiers, kettles and all manner of electrical equipment. Seventeen minutes later the back-up generators failed and darkness returned.

Crises Control business continuity platform listed on G-Cloud 9 with partner UKCloud

Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution has just been listed on the latest government Digital Marketplace through the G-Cloud 9 framework, making it available to all public sector organisations. This means that public sector organisations can save time and cost on their procurement process by relying on the terms of use agreed under the framework.

Crises Control is an innovative award winning cloud based EMNS app combined with a sophisticated business disruption incident management platform, delivered through a mobile application, with a number of unique features of direct relevance to the public sector market.

Our cloud hosting partners are UKCloud, providers of a public cloud for the exclusive use of UK Public Sector organisations. They are dedicated to helping their customers gain value from the agility and cost savings of using a sovereign, assured cloud platform.

Cyber security is threatening our critical national infrastructure

This country has invested tens of millions of pounds in cyber security measures. We have a National Cyber Security Centre; Security Programme; Crime Unit; Security Strategy; Skills Centre; Security Academy; Security Alliance. Not to mention the activities of our various police forces and the National Crime Agency and, given the activities of Friday 12 May, GCHQ and the security agencies will have been working overtime.

Hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in the name of "Cyber Security". We were told that these electronic foot soldiers were protecting the Critical National Infrastructure, preventing, detecting and resolving crime. In short, keeping us safe from both criminal and state sponsored intrusion.

And yet for all this investment it was a twenty two year-old freelance hacker, working with his own equipment in a small bedroom in his parents’ house, who apparently detected the weakness in the WannaCry ransomware and took action to halt it in its tracks and prevent further hundreds of thousands of computers from being corrupted.

BCI research confirms that social engineering is a top cause of cyber incidents

Research commissioned by Crises Control from the BCI for their annual cyber resilience report 2016 confirms much of what we already suspected about the changing nature of the cyber threat and the way that cyber criminals have found new ways past corporate perimeter security.

66% of respondents to the survey reported that their companies had been affected by at least 1 cyber security incident over the last 12 months. The costs of these incidents varied greatly, with 73% reporting total costs over the year of less than €50,000, but 6% reporting annual costs of more than €500,000.

The increased difficulty of breaching perimeter security and the increased human resources available to cyber criminals has combined to produce a new point of attack. This is focused on the weakest link in the corporate security chain, which is now human beings rather than technology.

Crises Control shortlisted for innovation in the BCI European Awards 2017

I am delighted to announce that Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution, has been shortlisted for the prestigious BCI European Awards, in the Continuity and Resilience Innovation 2017 category.

This is recognition of the hard work and design excellence that we have put into making Crises Control an innovative and unique solution in the field of business continuity planning. Our aim is to simplify the business of managing disasters and disaster simulation at a cost that every business can afford.

Fresh from winning the title of Most Innovative BC Product of the Year 2016, Crises Control has confirmed its reputation as the leading innovator in the crisis notification and response field with the recent release of two innovative new modules on its platform and a new Business solution aimed at the SME market.

Five ways in which you can cut down disruption to your business

More than 550,000 small businesses in the UK have been forced to halt trading due to a disruption in the last two years, according to 2016 research by small business insurer Direct Line for Business. The average cost of keeping a small business afloat while unable to trade for two weeks is estimated to be £8,775.

Of those companies that have had to cease trading due to business disruption, the period of shutdown lasted, on average, more than three months. This will be of particular concern for the one in five small businesses that claim that they would not be able to survive if they had to cease trading for more than a month.

Reduction in profit (48%), reduction in revenue (42%), loss of customers (39%) and putting personal money into the business (32%) were found to be the most common impacts of an interruption in trading on small business owners.

A 2013 study, by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), found that organisations without a business continuity plan in place had lost more revenue, more new business opportunities and more customers due to business disruption events than those with a plan.

Crises Control launches innovative new modules and Business solution

Fresh from winning the title of Most Innovative BC Product of the Year 2016, Crises Control has confirmed its reputation as the leading innovator in the crisis notification and response field with the release of two innovative new modules on its platform and a new Business solution aimed at the SME market.

The new Crises Control Task Manager Module is a leading edge task manager function that allows the delegation and tracking of completed tasks and the creation of complex task work flows using predecessor logic. This task manager has been created from scratch by the in-house development team at Crises Control parent company, Transputec.

The new Crises Control iSOP Wizard is a truly unique and pioneering module that has the potential to disrupt the BC planning market globally. The wizard module allows Crises Control customers to quickly create their own bespoke BC action plans, drawing on industry specific best practice and high value content from existing source material contained within the platform. Future versions of the module will allow for community sharing and rating of the content, reducing cost to the customer and spreading best practice.

Crises Control parent company awarded ISO 27001 certification

We are very pleased and proud to announce that Transputec Ltd, the parent company of Crises Control, has been awarded its ISO 27001 certification, at the very first attempt. Crises Control recognises the importance that its customers attach to information security, which is why we have sought to implement the highest standards of data handling security, as identified by ISO 27001.

ISO 27001 is the most widely recognised and internationally accepted information security standard. It identifies requirements for a comprehensive Information Security Management System, and defines how organisations should manage and handle information in a secure manner, using appropriate security controls.

Crises Control shortlisted for Business Continuity Awards 2017

I am delighted to announce that Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Business Continuity Awards 2017, in the Cloud Based Services Category.

This is recognition of the hard work and design excellence that we have put into making Crises Control an innovative and unique solution in the field of business continuity planning. Our aim is to simplify the business of managing disasters and disaster simulation at a cost that every business can afford.

Crises Control

We are very pleased to have the Crises Control Service, a quicker notification time allows maximum time for proper preparations, which minimizes life safety concerns and mitigates impact to our bottom line.
Jason Jackson
Jason Jackson
Director
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