Sunday, June 30, 2019

Antidote to Ransomware Attacks: A Virtual Organization COOP Force

The New Virtual Organization World

It's a New Principled and Civilized World, It's Virtual, and It's Organized






What is the average cost of a ransomware attack?    No one can really give you that answer for the simple reason that you are dealing with a moving target. 

Hackers are not only getting more sophisticated but, as time goes by on a minute by minute basis, they are also getting more confident as well as bolder and brazen with their monetary demands.   
After going through the internet with a fine-tooth comb,  I was able to come up with a lot of numbers from various years which ranged anywhere from USD $40,000  in 2016  to  $4 million  in 2019  for Medium  to  Large Enterprises (MLE).    
The more successful they become, the more likely their success will serve to incentivize many others to join their ranks.    As they grow in numbers and sophistication, it is a foregone conclusion that they will seek to evolve ("formally organize") in order to become a real Potent and  Formidable  Virtual  Force to deal with;  in effect, transform into The REAL Deep State.

So, if you are a Medium to Large Enterprise,  what is the solution?

Contact the Police?   After hearing about the tremendous number of Police Departments worldwide which had no choice but to pay a  ransom, it's obvious that calling the Police Department to ask them to investigate is completely out of the question and, in fact, a laughable proposition.

Next In Line would be your country's equivalent of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). However, that being said, there is one problem with that: 
Your country's  FBI equivalent is NOT immune from such ransomware attacks (although it's highly unlikely that they would ever publicly admit it).  Furthermore, they just don't have the human resources to deal with this sort of threat on such a large scale.  That is completely different than going after a bunch of hackers, petty thieves, criminals, spies and intelligence operatives operating in the Dark Web.  The best that they can do for you is to advise you NOT TO PAY.   After that, You're On Your Own.       
Moreover, as these hackers evolve over a period of time,  it's not a matter of "if," but "when," they will eventually become that Potent and  Formidable  Virtual  Force :: The REAL Deep State :: thus becoming unstoppable


The typical FBI Sting Operation will be nothing but Child's Play for them.   Even if a few of them were to be caught and made an example of because of their stupidity, something which is guaranteed to happen, the sheer volume and almost unlimited amount of both human  and financial resources that this Potent and Formidable Virtual Force would have at its disposal would make any law enforcement effort seem as trivial and insignificant as killing one roach which happened to be lurking around in the middle of the night after you turned on the lights.

Perhaps It's Now Time to Seek Help from your country's equivalent of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) or  NSA (National Security Agency).    Well, you can forget about these James Bond  movies.  The CIA and NSA have and can acquire the Talent to deal with these threats, however, they have the same problem that your country's FBI is facing:
The sheer volume and almost unlimited amount of both human and financial resources that this Potent and Formidable Virtual Force would have at its disposal would make any attempt to deal with them on a significant scale a quixotic adventure.  In an ideal or perfect world, the most that your country's CIA and NSA could ever do or accomplish is to develop the ability to successfully fend off attacks targeted against their very own systems.  As a matter of fact, even right now this very minute and second, it is virtually  IMPOSSIBLE for them to come to the rescue of all these businesses. Even if they could, they certainly wouldn't want the hackers to know how much they know and what their capabilities are. As stated earlier, You Are On Your Own.
Now That You've Exhausted all practical solutions to this problem,  if you believe that it's now time to get your Congress or Parliament involved, well, they can have as many congressional hearings and pass as many new laws and resolutions as their little hearts desire, however, the end result will be the same.   They themselves are NOT immune to these hackers.   You Are On Your Own.

Here Comes the Fallacy.  What this means is that, for every single major organization in the world, when faced with this dilemma and such overwhelming odds,  they tend to believe that they themselves are powerless to do anything about their situation and that it's now time to outsource the solution to an external team of experts and gurus.  In essence,  Leave Their Problem In the Hands of the Experts and Gurus;  thus becoming prey to a new class of predators who will promise them the world.     

Here Comes the Truth.    Just because You Are On Your Own  does not mean that you are helpless and powerless.   There is a solution.   This solution calls for your organization to do exactly what the FBI, CIA, NSA  and your Congress or Parliament is doing right now this very second:   they are busy fending for themselves with their very own internal and formidable team of Cybersecurity  Experts and Gurus.    

And So Should You.   But With One Twist.   It must be a Force which can go toe-to-toe against the foregoing Potent and Formidable  Virtual  Force :: The REAL Deep State.

Build your very own Virtual Organization COOP Force :: your very own internal and formidable team of  Experts and Gurus :: without having to hire a whole new team of cybersecurity personnel.   
If you are now Ready and Willing to Cross That Bridge, then This Article provides you with a very compelling case for immediate action as well as exact details on how to proceed.


Let Us Manifest!




About Author:  Pierre Coupet, Q of VOM and Founder of VOMI (Virtual Organization Management Institute), VOMI Virtual Organization AcademyVOMI Global Think TankVirtual Organization Recruiter and Virtual Organization Jobs :: Founder of the modern Virtual Organization Management and Virtual Organization Recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997 :: Founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives :: Architect of The New Virtual Organization World and the "Futuristic City-State Enclave Based on a Civilized World Financial System" :: Curator of the following Collections:   The New Virtual Organization World | Memorable Quotes of Pierre Coupet  |   Official Global Ambassador  |  Official Global Ambassador AGENT

Request Personal Contact Info:: Online or via CHAT

Stock Photo:    Image from Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2019.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter. VOMI Global Think Tank.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be  reproduced without permission.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Corporate Housing in California for Virtual Organization Leadership Executive Program Participants

The New Virtual Organization World

It's a New Principled and Civilized World, It's Virtual, and It's Organized






Effective January 1, 2020  VOMI will begin to accept Corporate Housing Reservation for ALL Corporate, Government and Public Policy Executives from other countries (outside the United States) who prefer to come to Southern California in order to participate in either the 90-Day Virtual Organization Leadership Executive Training, Assessment and Certification  program offered by Virtual Organization Recruiter  or  the  Virtual Organization Leadership Executive Designation Program offered by VOMI  in partnership with Virtual Organization Recruiter and VOMI Virtual Organization Academy,  subject to the following conditions:

1.   Travel Arrangements to the United States NOT included.  The sponsoring organization or government must handle all necessary visa, travel and transportation arrangements for their Program Participants with all appropriate transportation providers, local authorities, and US government agencies

2.   Strictly Optional.   Corporate Housing Reservation  is not offered as part of the 90-Day Program enrollment nor is it required in order to participate in the program.   That is strictly optional and is only provided for Program Participants coming to the United States who prefer to stay in Southern California along with their colleagues.

3.  There is a Minimum 6-Month Waiting List.    All applicant organizations and governments will be placed on a Minimum 6-Month Waiting List.   Otherwise, the sponsoring organization or government will have to handle their own housing and transportation arrangements for their Program Participants upon their arrival in the United States.

4.   Minimum of 100 Fully Enrolled Executives.   Corporate Housing Reservation must be for a Minimum of 100 Executives who are fully enrolled.  "Fully Enrolled" means that all program participants have met all enrollment requirements, have been formally admitted into the program,  and payment in full of the Total Program Registration Fee has been received by either VOMI or Virtual Organization Recruiter prior to the Corporate Housing Reservation date.

5.   No Individual Reservation Is Allowed.   Reservation must be made by the sponsoring organization or government and Payment In Full for Corporate Housing must be received for ALL executives within either 10 days of invoice receipt or 30 days of the reservation date, whichever is sooner. 

6.   Payment In Full for Corporate Housing Is Required Prior Travel to USA.   Payment IFull for Corporate Housing covers all of the following for the entire 90-day period:
  • FREE Airport pick-up and drop-off - for both arrival and departure.
  • A private room in a two-story home in a suburban residential area 
  • Fully furnished room and home with all the amenities
  • Daily maid service  
  • Central heat and air conditioner
  • Swimming pool
  • All utilities (Light, Gas, Water, Waste)  
  • Digital entertainment (cable TV, Netflix, HBO, etc.)   
  • A FREE Brand New Laptop Computer  
  • Wi-Fi High-Speed Internet Access - 400 Mbps downstream | 25 Mbps upstream  
  • 24-hour home security and remote monitoring
  • FREE Group Transportation via Luxury Van or SUV  to a selected leisure or entertainment destination in either Northern or Southern California (only on weekends for up to 15 executives on a first-come, first reserved basis).
7.  No Refunds or Cancellations are allowed under any circumstances.    However, a credit will be applied toward future housing reservations within 5 years from the date of violation of cancellation clause.

8.  Corporate Housing Reservation Location.   In order to prevent any attempt to submit a  Corporate Housing Reservation application prior to enrollment in the Leadership Program,  the link to the Corporate Housing Reservation page will be provided upon confirmation of an organization's Virtual Organization Leadership Executive Program enrollment and receipt of full payment of the Total Program Registration Fee.  

9.  NEXT STEP.   Click Here to CHAT if you have any questions.   Or join our Circle of Influence in order to either submit an online inquiry, provide some feedback or express your interest in this program.


Let Us Manifest!



About Author:  Pierre Coupet, Q of VOM and Founder of VOMI (Virtual Organization Management Institute), VOMI Virtual Organization AcademyVOMI Global Think TankVirtual Organization Recruiter and Virtual Organization Jobs :: Founder of the modern Virtual Organization Management and Virtual Organization Recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997 :: Founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives :: Architect of The New Virtual Organization World and the "Futuristic City-State Enclave Based on a Civilized World Financial System" :: Curator of the following Collections:   The New Virtual Organization World | Memorable Quotes of Pierre Coupet  |   Official Global Ambassador  |  Official Global Ambassador AGENT

Request Personal Contact Info:: Online or via CHAT

Stock Photo:    Image from Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2019.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter. VOMI Global Think Tank.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be  reproduced without permission.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

With Gratitude: My Last Post On Linkedin

The New Virtual Organization World

It's a New Principled and Civilized World, It's Virtual, and It's Organized






Today marks my last day of publishing articles and posts on Linkedin.   In so doing, I want to highlight many of the positive things that I benefited from during my involvement on Linkedin;  which explains why Linkedin emerged as the envy of the social network community, and the elite destination for business, academia, government and public policy executives worldwide.

When I initially joined Linkedin 13 years ago (October 5, 2006),  my primary motivation was to introduce social networkers  (specifically business executives)  to the virtual organization management discipline.   I naturally (and wrongly) assumed that  they were sophisticated enough to understand the promise of the virtual organization management discipline and thus would be most receptive to what Virtual Organization Management Institute had to offer.   

After all, with the advent of social networks and their wide acceptance by the general population over a period of 13 years (1993 - 2006),  I saw that trend as the start of a long march on the road toward a world of Virtual Organizations, and that it was not a matter of "if," but "when" we will all get there.

Thus, I saw Linkedin as the ideal breeding (and resting) ground of a good number of relatively sophisticated business executives who could become  "Early Adopters" of the virtual organization management discipline.   Frankly, I thought that was a no-brainer.

Fast forward to 2019:   26 years after the birth of the World Wide Web and 13 years after joining LinkedIn,  we are nowhere close to living in this world of virtual organizations I call:  The New Virtual Organization World.   We are still living in a 99.99%   Brick and Mortar World.    Talking to or using any other means of communication to communicate with 99.9999% of corporate executives anywhere in the world about "Virtual Organizations" is akin to going to planet Mars and trying to communicate with Martians in English.   Good luck with that!

As much as I hate to admit it, The Fault Is Mine!    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.   It's NOT because these executives are stupid.  It's because I leaped over one period of the evolution process (the "Virtualera) which leads toward this world of virtual organizations.   

Instead of going from a Social Network era ---> Virtual era --->Virtual Organization era,   I was trying to help them make a transition from a Social Network era  --->Virtual Organization era.  No different than completely bypassing  the Personal Computer Revolution era and trying to help people make the transition from an Industrial Society era directly to the World Wide Web era.    

Just imagine the confusion and nightmare of introducing the world to both the Personal Computer and the World Wide Web at the same time.   Back in the 90's, I can personally attest to the nightmare of trying to introduce both the Personal Computer and the Internet to many of my clients who had never touched a personal computer.    (Like an idiot, I tried to do both at the same time and failed miserably at it.   The  end result of my efforts is that, unintentionally, I was very successful at making many potential clients feel like a bunch of idiots.  Whereas my competitors focused on people who were already PC users and had demonstrated a great deal of interest in the internet.)       

The point being,  as a virtual organization purist and founder of the virtual organization management discipline, I was so much in love with the immense and awesome possibilities of virtual organizations and the prospect of  The New Virtual Organization World,  that I made a conscious decision to skip the (crude and very primitive) Virtual era and go straight to the Virtual Organization era. 

No different than the mistake Nikola Tesla  made after introducing to the world the electricity that we all take for granted today.   Instead of gradually introducing his other inventions to his financial backers and the world, he proceeded to work at breakneck speed on the technologies that made possible the modern world that we all live in today. (It is estimated that Nikola Tesla  had obtained over 300 known patents throughout his lifetime.)   Technologies which were way beyond the comprehension of his financial backers who eventually walked out on him.  (I am only giving you the fairy tale version of why his backers walked out on him.  There is much more to it than that.)   

Therefore, anytime you think of radio, television, telephone, cell phone, directed energy weapons, etc.,  Nikola Tesla is the one that made it all possible.  It would not at all be an exaggeration if he were called "the founder of the modern world."   

Thus the reason why, starting January 2016, I launched over half a dozen Virtual era initiatives that are designed to address my overzealousness.  One of our most important virtual era initiatives is our new Official Global Ambassador program at VOMI Global Think Tank. These global ambassadors are 100% Brick and Mortar Executives with absolutely no knowledge of the difference between "virtual" and "virtual organization." They operate strictly in a virtual environment. No attempt to offer "virtual" or "virtual organization" training is made to them for the simple reason that it would be much worse than trying to herd a bunch of cats. 
In fact, with respect to most potential Official Global Ambassador candidates, call it a miracle or the Second Coming of Christ if you are able to get them to follow the "most basic instructions on how to proceed"  that are included within the official global ambassador invitation.  Call it the world's greatest achievement if they manage to show up on time for the initial videoconference.  I am talking about mostly high level executives from some of the largest companies and most prestigious international organizations in the world.  Asking them to follow basic videoconference protocols such as scheduling a point-and-click On Demand Videoconference and observing a minimum amount of decorum during the conference (i.e., no dog licking their face, singing birds, hair flying all over the place, people walking and talking in the background, street traffic noise, children crying, etc.) and the need to turn on their camera is a nightmare on Elm Street. 
These are the very same people who will not hesitate to quickly request a 15-minute phone call or teleconference for a quick introduction as well as to find out what my needs are and to offer me some free consulting advice and coaching on how to market and scale my "Virtual Organization" business.  One VP of a global Australian company who was being considered for the Official Global Ambassador opportunity even told me that he managed a global virtual team and was a Virtual Expert at Leading In Absentia (don't laugh, it's the truth). 
The point that I am making is that,  for anyone who is accustomed to a very disciplined and highly professional life in a Virtual Organization environment, the Virtual crowd out there is, at best, a very Wild Bunch and, in reality, nothing but a Horror Show and Nightmare On Elm Street.  Thus the reason why I sought to bypass them in the past. 

As well, getting them to read and understand a Very Simple Article which describes in detail the function of an Official Global Ambassador and "What's In It for Them" is the equivalent of asking a pre-schooler  to solve a trigonometric equation.   Not even one individual has ever responded to me in the affirmative when asked if  he/she knew what the position and compensation entailed as described in the aforementioned article.   In the current Twitter era that we live in, asking anyone to read a long document which contains one or more links to other articles and documents is just too much to ask. 

Just filling out the Official Global Ambassador Application is a chore.  The part about providing just two (2) personal references will either include the candidate's name in both locations;  or will include my name as one of the two (2)  personal references (I am not kidding or trying to get a laugh, that's the "honest to God truth"); or will elicit the following  question:  "What do you want me to put in the part about personal references?"

These are the very same people who would apply for a permanent, full-time salaried position and not hesitate to provide me with up to half a dozen personal references (most of which are fake) along with their resume without us asking for references at the onset.    Anybody in the recruitment business will know exactly what I mean by that.

But from a personal and professional standpoint, I would be totally ashamed and embarrassed at such conduct.  I have 100's of people who would be delighted to provide me a personal reference for such a prestigious position.   If I felt uncomfortable about providing any personal references, I would not bother to fill out the application at all and would just gracefully withdraw my name from consideration.  (After all, you don't want to burn bridges in the corporate world.) 

Moreover, if I had any reservations about an organization, I would never bother to say "I accept your invitation" in the first place,  let alone fill out an application or schedule a videoconference.  Nor would I want to have my name listed on that organization's website in any way, shape or form regardless as to whether or not they wanted me to provide any personal references.

For the most part, these individuals are current social network contacts who had previously contacted me at one point or another during the past 13-15 years regarding being a part of their network and had expressed a cursory to strong interest in learning more about  articles I had written on the subjects of  "How to Virtual Organize" Social Networks,  "Content Monetization Strategy" for Social Networks,   Virtual Organizations and/or Virtual Organization Management Institute. 

This Official Global Ambassador program is designed to build a bridge between the Virtual world and the Virtual Organization world. Unlike the former VOMI Global Think Tank and Advisory Board, this position is much, much more than just a "window dressing" advisory position for "virtual organization impostors" who want to associate their name with the most prestigious name and organization in "The New Virtual Organization World" without making one iota of effort. Thus the reason why I no longer allow the names of Official Global Ambassadors to be publicly listed on a dedicated page on the VOMI Global Think Tank website.   They are only provided with an actual link to their own brief bio page on the site.

That's a very direct way of saying that VOMI et al does NOT derive any benefit from having the name of an Official Global Ambassador on our website and that THEY are the ones who get to benefit from such association.   The prestige lies in being associated with VOMI Global Think Tank instead of the other way around.   As well, the compensation that we offer "to those who are the real dealis totally unheard of anywhere in the world and cannot even be compared to that received, if any, by your typical fake, phony, or window dressing advisors  who only lend their name and so-called prestige on somebody else's website in order to give that organization a little boost of credibility so it can attract investors and talented professionals.

As well, over the past 22 years,  in addition to being the founder of VOMI and the virtual organization management discipline,  I have personally written hundreds of articles and thousands of postings pertaining to virtual organization management, virtual organizations, virtual organization recruitment, virtual organization internships, virtual organization fellowships, The New Virtual Organization World, principled leadership, principled geopolitical leadership, and Human Evolution.  Therefore, VOMI et al has absolutely NO need for any personal or corporate endorsement from  any "Brick and Mortar" executive or organization in order to gain any sort of credibility in the  Virtual Organization space.

What Are These Positive Things That We Learned on Linkedin?

Although on the surface it seems that I was ranting and raving and disgusted about my experience on LinkedIn over the past 13 years, nothing could be further from the truth.    In fact, it is the exact opposite.   I greatly benefited from the experience of dealing with a microcosm of the world's leading business professionals and executives on LinkedIn.

It forced me to go back to the drawing board and review my previous assumptions about the reality of life for business professionals on social networks and what makes them tick.  It helped me to  revise my projections of where on the "Virtual Organization" timeline they are in real time instead of  looking at things through rose-colored glasses. 

They have helped me to revise the 2-year "virtual organization management" curriculum at VOMI and caused us to focus instead on soon-to-graduate secondary school students as well as independent students.  They helped us to form a new entity (VOMI Virtual Organization Academy) which offers a 100% experiential 90-Day Virtual Organization Leadership Executive Training, Assessment and Certification program that is strictly designed for mid-level management to senior corporate executives;  and helped us to go back to our Executive Recruitment  roots by forming a new entity (Virtual Organization Recruiter) which focuses strictly on the recruitment of Virtual and Virtual Organization Executives (the only virtual organization recruitment firm in the world).

And once we realized that, if we left it all strictly in the hands of the corporate world and governments in order to implement these virtual and virtual organization initiatives,  the current pace of evolution from the Social Network era to a Virtual era was bound to take, at a minimum,  another  20-25 years;   and add to that number another 20-25 years in order to make the transition from a Virtual era to the Virtual Organization era.    By which time,  I would have already crossed over into the spirit world (heaven or hell, take your pick).   

Thus, I decided that it was high time that we, ourselves, at VOMI et al grab the bull by the horns and begin in earnest  the implementation of these virtual and virtual organization initiatives;  a gargantuan effort at coordinating the building of these Virtual Organizations and  their infrastructure.   

Thus the reason why we created the following consortia:    1) The New Virtual Organization World  Consortium2) Virtual Campus Dormitory Consortium;  and  3) Virtual Residential Community  Consortium.   

And to accommodate a minuscule number of CEOs (titans of industry and Innovation-Focused Founders)  who may have a great deal of interest in wanting to know more about The New Virtual Organization World but are not yet ready to jump in with both feet,  we formed a very small and elite fraternity and sorority of a maximum of 20 members worldwide - League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives -  who will have direct access to me for one full day on a monthly basis,  meeting face-to-face as part of a very informal group in a relaxed, collegial and quasi-entertainment environment.

And there is more.   What we learned from trying to recruit "brick and mortar" executives on LinkedIn (as well as on other social networks and internet job boards) meant that we had to create our very own Virtual Organization Jobs  board, the only career site in the world that strictly caters to "virtual organization executives." 

Nothing New For Me To Learn, Time To Move On

As you can clearly see, after 26 years of social networking, including 13 years on LinkedIn,  there is really nothing new left for me to learn on LinkedIn or any other social network about the demand for virtual organizations.   Leaving things in the hands of  the Corporate World, Academia and Government is an exercise in futility and, at a very minimum, would set back our efforts by another 40-50 years.  That is definitely NOT an option.

This means that, at the present,  our hands are not only full but also time is of the essence.  Henceforth, any amount of involvement on Social Networks is deemed to be counterproductive and counterintuitive. 

I will, however, continue to maintain the LinkedIn account.   Should any of my existing contacts, or any visitors of my social profile, want to either contact me directly; get involved in whichever capacity I have already outlined; or just want to be kept abreast of any new developments as they occur in real time,  I invite all of you to  Click Here for immediate attention.   I will keep your name on the list of people who have a genuine interest in what we are doing.    As well, I invite you to bookmark the VOMI Blog site in order to stay updated on the latest articles about The New Virtual Organization World.

Otherwise, I will NOT be logging in to my account on a consistent basis, therefore, any messages that you leave for me on the LinkedIn messaging system may take a good 6 months to a year for me to finally view and respond to.   As well,  do not bother to send me a Linkedin connection request  since it is highly likely that I may not be able to respond at all to any of them, thus leaving you with the wrong impression that your connection request may have been rejected - which can never the case since I have always made it a point to never reject an invitation.  

Let Us Manifest!


About Author:  Pierre Coupet, Q of VOM and Founder of VOMI (Virtual Organization Management Institute), VOMI Virtual Organization AcademyVOMI Global Think TankVirtual Organization Recruiter and Virtual Organization Jobs :: Founder of the modern Virtual Organization Management and Virtual Organization Recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997 :: Founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives :: Architect of The New Virtual Organization World and the "Futuristic City-State Enclave Based on a Civilized World Financial System" :: Curator of the following Collections:   The New Virtual Organization World | Memorable Quotes of Pierre Coupet  |   Official Global Ambassador  |  Official Global Ambassador AGENT

Request Personal Contact Info:: Online or via CHAT

Stock Photo:    Image from Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2019.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter. VOMI Global Think Tank.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be  reproduced without permission.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Is Your COOP Strategy Out of Date Or "We'll Cross That Bridge When We Get There"?

The New Virtual Organization World

It's a New Principled and Civilized World, It's Virtual, and It's Organized






COOP is the acronym for Continuity Of Operations Plan.

Does Each Department in your organization have one?  Do any of the Critical Business Units have one?   Does your entire Business Location have one?  Does your Entire Organization have one?

If you have many business locations, ditto the aforementioned questions for each location.

As a leader, executive or manager,  is that something worth losing any sleep over or is that somebody else's problem?   Is that strictly a Human Resources,  Emergency Management & Disaster Recovery Team (that you may formally be a member of on paper) or the CIO's problem? 

Let's face it, at least 90% of  Small Businesses have NO Continuity of Operations Plan.   And for the 10% that do have one, it's only on paper or in digital format.   It's the sort of bridge crossing that no one wants to be reminded of.   Instead,  most people prefer to cross that bridge when they get there.

Well, what about Midsize Businesses to Large Enterprises?   Whether or not your country's federal and state governments mandate that they have a formal Disaster Recovery Plan, as is the case here in the US, only about 30-35% of these organizations actually conduct realistic yearly disaster recovery exercises.   And, in many cases, these disaster recovery plans tend to be woefully out-of-date.

However, that being said, there is a difference between Continuity of Operations Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan.   Some experts in the field contend that Disaster Recovery is a subset of Continuity of Operations, however,  I beg to differ.

Difference Between Continuity of Operations Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan

In principle,  a Continuity of Operations Plan is equivalent to what I call, "Living a Safe and Healthy Lifestyle."  Which means, you do all the safe and healthy things that you need to do in order to make sure that you don't end up getting involved in a serious accident or getting sick; thence wind up going to the hospital for examination, medication, surgery or amputation - and convalescing.   And should anything happen to you that is beyond your control, you have put in place processes, systems and people who are able to carry on in a smooth and seamless fashion during your absence or incapacitation as if nothing ever happened to you.

Thus, the question for every single organization should be:  Regardless of what happens out there in the outside world that is beyond our control, how can our organization make sure that we can continue to operate without any sort of major interruption, if any?

Whereas a Disaster Recovery Plan is equivalent to what I call, "A Personal Guide to Best Doctors and Hospitals."  It focuses on all the things that you need to do AFTER you get sick or involved in a serious accident; gives you a list of the best hospitals and doctors;  and gives you an idea of how fast you can recuperate so you can go home and/or get back to work.

In that case, the question for every single organization is:   Should a disaster occur, regardless as to whether or not it were beyond our control, how fast can we recover and get things back to normal?

Alignment of Team Members Mindset to Plan Mindset Is Essential

To wit, the Continuity of Operations Plan mindset takes a holistic approach to business operations and focuses on prevention and mitigation of interruption, and business continuity.  As the old Ben Franklin saying goes,  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whereas the Disaster Recovery Plan mindset focuses on the restoration of systems and services after a disaster.

Therefore, in order to achieve plan convergence, a prerequisite for effective plan implementation, it is critical that the Mindset of Team Members is properly aligned with each Plan Mindset.  Otherwise, you will wind up with  Continuity of Operations Plan team members trying to implement a Disaster Recovery Plan  - and Disaster Recovery Plan team members trying to implement a Continuity of Operations Plan.

An Even Bigger Issue:  Today's COOP Strategy Needs to Evolve

The problem with every single organization's Continuity of Operations Plan is that they are designed by "Brick and Mortar" Executives for "Brick and Mortar" Organizations that are in the midst of a  World that is in the process of making a slow, albeit major and long overdue, transition to a World of Virtual Organizations:  The New Virtual Organization World.

That means, your COOP strategy must also take into consideration the issues, threats and vulnerabilities that your organization faces in this "Virtual World" as well as the opportunities that this Virtual World makes available to your organization in order to mitigate, manage, or even inoculate your organization from these threats.   

What are these threats and are they something new?    Well, these are virtual, virtual  infrastructure, physical infrastructure,  environmental,  technological,  technical, financial, information, personnel safety, insider and governance threats to every single business unit as well as to the existence of your entire organization.    These threats  have been around and/or germinating since the beginning of the Web.  What makes things so urgent today is the fact that their manifestation and effects are now in full bloom and radiating throughout both the virtual and "brick and mortar" landscape;  there for all to see, feel and understand. 

That means we can no longer pretend that these threats don't exist or that's something that we can put off for another day, week, month or year(s) while we deal with other more pressing issues, thinking "We'll Cross That Bridge When We Get There."    We are all standing right there in front of that bridge and turning back is not an option.

Crippling Threats to GOVERNMENT and BUSINESS Infrastructures Worldwide

For Example,  hacking today is no longer confined to nerdy kids looking for a thrill or claim to fame by launching DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks or infecting your computer with viruses and trojans that slow down or crash your computer.  Nor is it confined to the domain of run-of-the-mill criminals looking to make a quick buck.

Today, hacking has gotten so sophisticated that it is now used as a Hybrid Warfare tool by not only  Governments (e.g., the recent attack on Venezuela's electric power grid which plunged the country into the dark ages and sent Healthcare and Healthcare System Providers and all other Critical Business and Government Infrastructures into a tailspin)  but also by every single major criminal enterprise or terrorist organization in every single country around the world.
Even the most sophisticated intelligence agencies from the most powerful countries in the world are not immune from these threats. 
Moreover, during the years 2017 and 2018 alone, over 30 city and county governments  in the United States  reported  being subject to Ransomware Attacks by criminal organizations which crippled their computer systems for lengths of time which ranged anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months.  Even local Police Departments and Schools throughout the world wound up paying ransom in order to get their systems back online.
You can just imagine the sheer number of city and county governments which opted not to report  such attacks for public relations purposes. 
And the year 2019 promises to be a boon year for ransomware attacks by criminal organizations worldwide.     From Lake City, Florida - $460,000 ::  Riviera Beach, Florida - $600,000 :: Atlanta, Georgia :: Baltimore, Maryland :: Denver, Colorado :: Albany, New York :: Fisher County, Texas :: Genesee County, Michigan,  etc.    (Not even the FBI, CIANSA or any other law enforcement or intelligence agency in the world could help them.)  

As for businesses, one major European company Norsk Hydro which refused to pay ransomware is reported to have incurred over USD $57 million in expenses in order to restore their systems.   Even the CEO of JP Morgan Chase Jamie Dimon has admitted that their organization spends over USD $600 million a year in  cybersecurity expenses in order to protect their systems from cyber threats. 

Where do ALL these malicious hackers (nerdy kids, criminals, criminal enterprises, terrorist organizations, and intelligence agencies) reside?  In a Virtual Environment....in the Cloud.  Where does the heart of  ALL of our Critical Infrastructure reside?  In a Virtual Environment....in the Cloud.  Where can ALL of our Critical Infrastructure be accessed?  In a Virtual Environment.....in the Cloud  and in a Brick and Mortar Environment.   Where can the damage to ALL of our Critical Infrastructure  be caused?  In a Virtual Environment.....in the Cloud  and in a Brick and Mortar Environment.     

As the recent attacks on the power grids of Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Ukraine and  Russia  clearly demonstrate,  an attack on the heart of  a Country's Critical Infrastructure is no longer the stuff of science fiction or just some  hypothetical situation in case of a long predicted Armageddon by religious zealots.  Nor is it confined to the domain of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack due to nuclear explosions at high altitudes over a country;  or a DEW (directed energy weapon) attack on a country's facilities; or a straight out Nuclear War.     Nor is the likelihood of such attack nothing but Fear Mongering by a bunch of preppers trying to sell MRE's (meal ready to eat), guns and ammunition,  and nicotine sticks. 

This Is As Real As Real Can Get.  The future is here.

Time to Take Off the Blinders

Do you now see the problem that your organization faces in the above scenario?

Every single malicious actor or nefarious organization (from nerdy kids to criminals, criminal enterprises, terrorist organizations, government intelligence agencies) who can wreak havoc on your organization in both a Virtual Environment and Brick and Mortar Environment  resides in a Virtual Environment....in the Cloud.   It's their home turf and this is where they are most comfortable and extremely agile.  That means their presence and actions are not limited to a particular  building location, geography, topography, region, or country.   They live and breathe in a Virtual Environment .... in the Cloud.   

They do not have to prepare Hacking Attack or Hybrid Warfare Plans to be stored away somewhere in the Cloud  and to participate in quarterly or yearly drills in a Virtual Environment.    The Virtual Environment is their home turf,  this is where they live and breathe,  instead of just a place where they have to prepare for and practice once or twice a year.

In light of the aforementioned, can you say the same thing about the Key People from Critical Business Units throughout your organization who are entrusted with the responsibility for - or have been delegated to implement plans relating to - Emergency Management,  Disaster Recovery,  and Business Continuity Of Operations?    

The point being, when it comes to Business Continuity of Operations and Disaster Recovery,  no amount of drills in a Virtual Environment, if any,  can ever be enough in order to meet the critical challenges that your organization faces in today's Virtual World.   As well, this is NOT something that your organization can outsource to some other organization. 

And as much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, this is no longer about your country's version of  FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency),  CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or DHS (Department of Homeland Security)  coming to the rescue in the event of  Earthquakes, Catastrophic Floods, Hurricanes, Pandemics, or Acts of Terror.   Nor  is it about your existing Business Continuity of Operations Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan which are primarily designed for "Brick and Mortar" Executives in "Brick and Mortar" organizations.   

Why is that, you might say?   That's because ALL these agencies - including the FBI, CIA, NSA,  and  any other law enforcement or intelligence agency -  which are themselves "Brick and Mortar" organizations run and staffed by "Brick and Mortar" executives and personnel,  will NOT be immune or exempted from any All-Encompassing Attack on a Country's Critical Infrastructure.  You will all be in the same boat!     

Their only option
(these alphabet government agencies) will be to  seek refuge in these DUMB's (Deep Underground Military Bases) in the West and other parts of the world that are completely disconnected from the power grid we all depend on. 
That means your business, organization, institution or city will be left to fend for itself in any sort of worst-case scenario.   Ask the mayors of the cities of Baltimore, Maryland and Atlanta, Georgia what I mean by that.   
Imperative Need For A Virtual Organization COOP Strategy:  A Virtual Organization COOP Force

Hence the need for you to also develop a Virtual Organization COOP Strategy for your very own  organization. 

A strategy which requires the building of a Virtual Organization COOP Force for your very own business, organization, institution, city and country.    Such force will consist  of  Key People From ALL Departments and Critical Business Units throughout your organization who will also live and breathe in a 100% Virtual Organization Environment. 

A new breed of Virtual Organization Leaders who have been highly trained in all aspects of how to function, operate, thrive, excel, manage and LEAD in both a "Virtual" and  "Virtual Organization" Environment in accordance with the virtual organization management discipline pioneered by its founder since 1997 (see Virtual Organization Leadership  Executive Training, Assessment and Certification  for Midsize and Large Enterprises).   
VOMI (Virtual Organization Management Institute), in partnership with Virtual    Organization Recruiter and VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, is the ONLY  organization in the world which offers - and is qualified to offer - such virtual organization leadership training and certification.   
That means, these individuals must be recruited from ALL existing Departments and Critical Business Units throughout your organization.  Initially, they don't have to be nor are they required to have any existing IT or cybersecurity background in order to be selected. 

Ideally,  though not a requirement, their training will begin at the same time so that they will all gain first-hand virtual organization leadership experience collaborating with each other so that,  when they return back to their organization upon completion of their training, they will at least have a solid foundation of virtual organization leadership and collaboration experience that they can build upon.

Upon completion of their initial Virtual Organization Leadership Executive Training, Assessment and Certification, they will then be assigned to your organization's newly created Virtual Organization COOP Force; at which point they will begin to receive extensive and continuous IT and cybersecurity training throughout the entire length of their tenure on the force.

This Virtual Organization COOP Force  must be Microcosm of your entire "brick and mortar" organization.   It must operate in parallel with your organization instead of being just an appendage or extension of an existing department or business unit.   Its hierarchy must be completely independent of the brick and mortar hierarchy.   Its entire Virtual Organization Infrastructure must be completely disconnected  (not just firewalled) from your organization's "brick and mortar" infrastructure;  yet, it must have the capability to tap into your organization's infrastructure in a one-way fashion so that it can both monitor and access it at anytime whenever the need arises. 

The reason is simple:   Regardless of what happens to your "brick and mortar" organization's virtual or Cloud infrastructure,  your Virtual Organization COOP Force's Infrastructure will not be affected and its Daily Activities can  continue unimpeded.   That is what I call "Real" Business Continuity OOperations.   As well, this will allow your organization time to implement its existing "brick and mortar" Emergency Management Plan.
     
Confidentiality Is a Must.   The list of personnel assigned to this Virtual Organization COOP  Force must NOT be made public to all personnel throughout your organization.   Only Individuals Who Have a Need to Know their doppelganger  or a specific member(s) of the COOP Force can have access to the identity of such member(s).    As well, the name of the Leader of this COOP Force must NOT be publicly listed in the public directory listing of the organization as well as in any Hierarchical Organizational Chart of either the COOP Force or the brick and mortar organization. 

Why is that, you might say?   The point being, why advertise to the world that you have an impregnable and impenetrable fortress?  That's an open invitation to everyone to try to storm your fortress and prove you wrong.   As well, you want to avoid altogether or, at the very least, substantially mitigate the effects of any sort of attempts to conduct widespread, highly coordinated, sophisticated and extensive infrastructure attacks and Human Compromise Operations on your organization's "brick and mortar" and virtual organization infrastructures and associated personnel.

To Whom Should The Head of the Virtual Organization COOP Force Report To?

Yikes!  I knew that question was coming.  Thus the reason why I decided to provide an adequate response which should soothe everybody's nerves as well as please all the primary stakeholders and powers-that-be within your organization.

Let's face it, regardless of the type, size and structure of an organization or business unit, silos of interest and turf wars are a fact of life in the corporate world - as well as in government;  thus can be expected. 

However, that being said, the individual who gets to occupy this position, whatever you want to call it -  for discussion purposes, let's call it, "Chief, Virtual Organization COOP Force" -  is unique in so many respects that s/he can ill afford to participate in company politics or get drawn into turf battles and internecine wars which can only have a detrimental effect on the purpose and mission of the Virtual Organization COOP Force.  Here are the reasons why:

First and foremost, the composition of this COOP Force is drawn from every single department and Critical Business Unit throughout your entire "brick and mortar" organization. 

That means, imaginary  COOP Force member,  Senior Financial Analyst Jack Suleiman,  who was recruited from the "brick and mortar" Finance Department must be able to continue to cooperate and maintain cordial relations with his former colleagues as well as serve as a focal point of contact  between the COOP Force and such department.  Ditto for all other members of the COOP Force.

The net effect of such COOP Force composition means that the Chief, Virtual Organization COOP Force gets to establish on a daily basis, either personally or through his staff, an excellent rapport and strong relationships with each and every major  Department and Critical Business Unit throughout your organization.   That means s/he gets to represent and advocate on behalf of ALL silos and turfs throughout your organization; thence doesn't have a dog in anybody's fight.

As well,  due to the sensitivity, tremendous power, responsibility and influence of this position,  s/he cannot afford to either be, or be perceived as being, beholden to any single individual, department or business unit throughout the entire organization. 

Therefore, I can now answer your question:   He should only report to a Virtual Organization Infrastructure Protection and Security Committee of the Board of Directors, consisting of a minimum of three (3) members - one of whom must be the current Head of Emergency Management and the Heads of  two other  Most Critical Business Units in the organization. 

His appointment must be approved and ratified by the Search Committee of the Board of Directors.  However, his removal  (not appointment) from that position must be by unanimous vote from ALL the members of the Virtual Organization Infrastructure Protection and Security Committee.   The Chairman of the Board of Directors must specifically be restricted from membership on these two committees.   These checks and balances are a must in order for the Virtual Organization COOP Force to fulfill its mandate free from internal or external interference or any sort of human compromise operations.

In Conclusion

For the sake of brevity (you can laugh a little), many details regarding the implementation of such Virtual Organization COOP Force for Midsize and Large Enterprises have been omitted from this document.  Nonetheless, I hope I was able to convey its essence and the urgency of now for concrete action  (see Virtual Organization Leadership  Executive Training, Assessment and Certification  for Midsize and Large Enterprises). 

As well, the foregoing information also applies to a tremendous number of Innovation-Focused Startups and many other small businesses who could benefit from this strategy, albeit on a much smaller scale (see Virtual Organization Leadership  Executive Training, Assessment and Certification  for Small Businesses).     

A very strong case can also be made for many City, County, State, Provincial, and Federal Governments worldwide (see Virtual Organization Leadership  Executive Training, Assessment and Certification  for Governments).   


Let Us Manifest!


Related Article:   Antidote to Ransomware Attacks: A Virtual Organization COOP Force



About Author:  Pierre Coupet, Q of VOM and Founder of VOMI (Virtual Organization Management Institute), VOMI Virtual Organization AcademyVOMI Global Think TankVirtual Organization Recruiter and Virtual Organization Jobs :: Founder of the modern Virtual Organization Management and Virtual Organization Recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997 :: Founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives :: Architect of The New Virtual Organization World and the "Futuristic City-State Enclave Based on a Civilized World Financial System" :: Curator of the following Collections:   The New Virtual Organization World | Memorable Quotes of Pierre Coupet  |   Official Global Ambassador  |  Official Global Ambassador AGENT

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Copyright 2007-2019.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter. VOMI Global Think Tank.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be  reproduced without permission.