--> Gill Blog: September 2006

Gill Blog

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Remote BCP Using VPN

Our latest article connecting remote work to business continuity has just been published in the innaugural issue of the Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning in London (more details to come). Yes, it is indeed gratifying to know that the message we have been pushing for some time now - i.e. how telework plays a key role an integral part of business continuity - is being recognized, but as it does, it requires that we drill down to more granular levels of detail that force us to offer specific solutions.

One topic that has garnered a fair bit of discussion is how is it that organizations that deal with very sensitive data can risk putting this data out over networks that run the real risk of being hacked? The answer is increasingly being found in private networks. I came across this press release this morning that really drives the point home:
A new remote access business continuity plan, based around SSL VPNs, is being launched in the UK by SSL VPN vendor Array Networks and its new value added distributor Wick Hill.

The Array Business Continuity (ABC) Flex Plan allows workers to access business critical applications and resources on the corporate network anytime, anywhere, when circumstances prevent them getting into the office. This may be due to natural disasters such as avian flu, terror threats or other business interruptions such as transport disruption, bad weather, or seasonal events (e.g., student registration).

By no means does this represent the one killer app that will revolutionize the space, but is presented to illustrate what is sure to become a growing area.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kimveer Gill a Disaster Waiting to Happen

The 25-year-old man who opened fire at a Montreal college yesterday has a very common surname, Gill, that has attracted a lot of attention to Gill Blog, which is not related to Kimveer Gill.

Media attention has focussed on the gunman's blog postings on, which apparently contains numerous photos and comments that, in retrospect, should have been taken very seriously by authorities with regard to weapons displayed.
The blog, posted on an online hub of goth culture, paints a dark portrait of the 25-year-old man published reports have identified as the trenchcoat-wearing gunman who opened fire on students at Montreal's Dawson College Wednesday, killing one and injuring 19 others.

Gill's image gallery, which contains more than 50 photos, depicts the young man in various poses holding a Baretta CX4 Storm semi-automatic rifle and donning a long black trenchcoat and combat boots.

Kimveer Gill, who is known to other users on the website as Fatality666, describes himself as Indian, 6-foot-one, who was born in Montreal on July 9, 1981, and refers to himself as the "Angel of Death", a disturbing moniker.
The shootings recalled Marc Lepine's murderous rampage at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique school on Dec. 6, 1989, when he opened fire and ended up killing 14 women.

[Police Chief Yvan] Delorme said the lessons learned from the Montreal Massacre about the need to co-ordinate emergency services and act promptly helped save lives.

"Before, our technique was to establish a perimeter around the place and wait for the SWAT team," he said. "Now the first police officers go right inside. The way they acted saved lives."

While such incidents are not classified at "terrorism" by law enforcement authorities, it seems that rapid response teams that are geared up for terrorist attacks are better prepared to handle random acts of violence by mentally disturbed individuals without any apparent political motivation.

The latest shooting has also triggered memories of the 1999 Columbine massacre in the United States, where two teenagers killed 12 other students and a teacher, before killing themselves.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be Ready Camp for Kids

When one hears of Huntville, Alabama, the big news often centers on the Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

This week, as part of the federal Homeland Security Department's National Preparedness Month, Space Camp hosted "Be Ready Camp" where 80 area sixth-graders helped triage and evacuate the victims of a mock disaster.
Since Monday, the students from Huntsville, Madison and Madison County schools have been learning about the importance of having a family emergency plan and what to put in a preparedness kit.

The students are also visiting fire stations, the Madison County 911 headquarters and the Emergency Operations Center, among other tours.

The real focus of Be Ready Camp is to teach the students about individual, family and community preparedness," said Tracey Ayres, communications director for the Alabama Department of Homeland Security in an interview with The Huntsville Times.

Ready Kids is the web-based experience for children presented online by the federal DHS at

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Dust At Ground Zero

In her first appearance on 60 Minutes, Katie Couric reports how the dust at Ground Zero affected first responders.
In all there were about 40,000 people who worked on the pile — a collection of firefighters, policemen, construction and utility workers. One of them was 30-year-old New York City Police Det. James Zadroga. When the planes hit the World Trade Center, he drove straight to ground zero and stayed for weeks. His father, Joseph Zadroga, says he remembers that shortly after that his son started getting sick.

"Every morning he would wake up and he said he would be coughing and hacking, and this black stuff would come up out of his lungs," Det. Zadroga's father remembers. "And he just didn't know what was happening to him. He couldn't figure out what was happening to him."

If you missed it, you can read the story and watch the video clips at the 60 Minutes website, including an interview with Christine Todd Whitman, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Five years later, Ground Zero is "The Hole in the City's Heart" described in great detail in a 24 page feature article in today's New York Times.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wireless In Toronto

The big news that got all the mainstream media attention this week was the long-awaited launch of Toronto Hydro Telecom's One Zone wireless network in Toronto's downtown core. Toronto joins a handful of other cities in Canada and around the world, including San Francisco, Philadelphia and London, England, that are setting up such a network.
"This is a watershed moment that will put Toronto on the leading edge of the telecommunications industry nationally and globally," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "It sends a strong signal to investors, researchers and other business partners that we see Toronto as a hub for innovation, investment and continued prosperity."

One Zone™ will be free to all users from September 6, 2006 until March 6, 2007. After that time, three different packages will be offered:

1. A pre-paid monthly subscription priced at $29per month
2. A daily rate including 24 consecutive hours of use priced at $10
3. An hourly rate at $5

For more locations where free wireless access is provided at key hotspots in Toronto check out The WT Blog at Wireless Toronto, a not-for-profit group dedicated to bringing no-fee wireless Internet access to Toronto. Did you know that Yonge-Dundas Square is an Internet hotspot?