Business Continuity

Signs of drought in Cape Town, South Africa

Ongoing Drought Threatening Water Supply in Cape Town, South Africa

Concerns are growing over a worsening drought that is leading to severe water shortages in Cape Town, South Africa. Local officials warned in January 2018 that Cape Town could reach "Day Zero," when the city's water resources are depleted, as early as April 21, 2018; however, various measures are expected to be implemented to mitigate the shortage before this date. The local government began instituting basic water rationing Jan. 8 and has a six-step, phased approach for such restrictions that will likely be implemented as water scarcity increases.
Measles virus.

European Measles Epidemic: Regional Outbreak in Decline, but Romania Continues to Bear the Brunt of Disease Activity

Measles transmission is continuing to decline across the region, though risk of infection remains highest in Romania. Greece is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, primarily in southern areas. Regardless of country of destination, health experts recommend that expatriates, students, and business travelers ensure they receive a booster immunization against measles, which remains a significant risk in the region.
Satellite image of Southern California wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana Winds: The Perfect Ingredient for Extreme Fire Conditions

Firefighting crews in Southern California are hard at work battling destructive wildfires that ignited Dec. 4-6 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As of Dec. 7, nearly 190,000 residents in both counties were ordered to evacuate ahead of the fast-moving fires. Four large fires of note - the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire, Creek Fire, and Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County - have burned a combined 46,943 hectares (116,000 acres). While personnel are working to restrict fire growth, containment of these major fires is still in its early stages. Since Dec. 4, weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have hampered the success of firefighters. The US National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a Red Flag warning for both counties, meaning that conditions will be ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread. Strong winds, known as Santa Ana winds, are the leading cause of the recent wildfire outbreak.
Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

When examining the nuclear tensions in the Korean Peninsula, it is essential to separate rhetoric from reality. It is easy for the US to threaten North Korea with a preemptive strike against Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. It is also very easy for Kim Jong-Un to speak of a devastating war against the United States and its allies. However, it is much more difficult for either North Korea or the US to carry out these threats without inviting retaliation from the other side. Assuming the essential strategic rationality of both the US and North Korea, neither country is likely to purposefully initiate military action.
Risk Business: How geopolitics and compliance are intertwined

Risky Business: How Geopolitics and Compliance are Intertwined

Global organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the need to effectively manage regulatory and compliance risk, to understand local business practices, to be fully informed on regulations including corruption legislation, and to fully investigate the practices of both the business itself and partnering organizations. Those that fail to address risks to global integrity, and fail to perform due diligence on the people and companies with which they choose to partner, face significant financial losses in the form of fines and other legal costs, along with a disparaged brand that impacts future customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.

Responding to Crisis Effectively

In crisis, efforts toward the planning, training, and coordination of resources enable an organization to surge toward the protection of its assets and operations during disruption. While there may be an effective plan to address these changes, monitoring is a critical component. Without this capability, changes in the risk profile could unknowingly surge beyond the capabilities of proactive mitigation strategies.

Forecasting Risk: How to Maximize Assessment Efforts Using Minimal Resources

Many organizations commit significant resources to forecast a market's growth potential. Before investing in a company, it is likely we would review a summary prospectus of their potential earnings. We also look to the National Weather Service for a forecast to determine our resource needs for a weather-dependent activity, days or possibly weeks, in advance. So why, given the need to conduct effective and efficient risk analysis beyond picking low-hanging fruit, is there such a limited effort to forecast risk? 
crisis-planning

How Much Crisis Planning is Enough?

 Long ago, I was given some sage advice prior to briefing proposed Crisis Planning improvements to the executive team. My boss said, Remember Mike, whatever you're talking about, you're talking about money. This truism is an unrelenting one. In tandem with day-to-day operational constraints and limitations, the threat of an event evolving into a crisis consistently challenges an organization's management team to walk a tight rope between adequate mitigation efforts and fiscal need.
crisis-management-team

Building a Successful Crisis Management Team

Widespread instability and growing threats to vital organizational interests are indelible on the canvas of the foreseeable future. As no two events are identical, no plan can anticipate or address every possible circumstance. In response, many organizations staff a Crisis Management Team and assign roles and responsibilities. However, implementing this effort alone is inadequate to address the dynamic nature of crisis.

Building a Global Security Operations Center vs. Outsourcing

Building a Global Security Operations Center (GSOC), versus outsourcing the activity to a third-party provider, can create substantial controversy around the conference room table. The best way to offset this is to frame the discussion by documenting key points. This provides the data necessary to move the process forward. Let’s look at four major areas in defining the scope and aiding decision-making...