Executive Briefings

Should Your Company Have a Foreign Policy in Addition to a Risk-Management Strategy?

It would be impossible to think about events of the past 12 months without having at least a few qualms over systems, data and employees, especially those outside the U.S., and the possible effect of local unrest, epidemics, earthquakes or other hazards. Indeed, in a 2010 survey of the 100 largest technology companies, 55 percent of executives reported worrying about "natural disasters, war, conflicts and terrorist attacks." When the same executives were again asked that question in 2011, that percentage rose to 81 percent.

In this increasingly global and interconnected world, it's easy to see why they're concerned. Power outages, weather events, political unrest or even something as mundane as a ship dragging its anchor over a fiber-optic cable can disrupt your operations in unexpected ways. Data centers could go offline. Data stored in remote locations could become unavailable, as could your supply chain. You could lose contact with offshore service providers due to interrupted communications. Software-as-a-service applications could go offline. And although cloud-based infrastructure is mostly hosted in the U.S. now, that's expected to change in the next few years, posing even greater risks.

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It would be impossible to think about events of the past 12 months without having at least a few qualms over systems, data and employees, especially those outside the U.S., and the possible effect of local unrest, epidemics, earthquakes or other hazards. Indeed, in a 2010 survey of the 100 largest technology companies, 55 percent of executives reported worrying about "natural disasters, war, conflicts and terrorist attacks." When the same executives were again asked that question in 2011, that percentage rose to 81 percent.

In this increasingly global and interconnected world, it's easy to see why they're concerned. Power outages, weather events, political unrest or even something as mundane as a ship dragging its anchor over a fiber-optic cable can disrupt your operations in unexpected ways. Data centers could go offline. Data stored in remote locations could become unavailable, as could your supply chain. You could lose contact with offshore service providers due to interrupted communications. Software-as-a-service applications could go offline. And although cloud-based infrastructure is mostly hosted in the U.S. now, that's expected to change in the next few years, posing even greater risks.

Read Full Article