What went wrong in the days before Super Storm Sandy?

“Not only were many firms unsure about whether their galoshes were waterproof,” Bart Chilton, the regulator at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said, “they hadn’t even tried them on.”hip-waders-400x300

Chilton’s sharp-tongued critique is in response to the apparent lack of disaster preparation in the days prior to the Super Storm Sandy.

Chilton is still hot about the ability of Hurricane Sandy to take the New York Stock Exchange to its knees. Unable to shift their servers to an emergency backup platform, the NYSE stayed dark because several trading firms had never tested their recovery strategy or their connectivity with the data backup system.

“Now that we have this stark and frankly frightening example to work from, we’d be negligent not to move quickly to make sure that our emergency systems are comprehensive and fully tested,” says Chilton. He added his intent to urge financial firms and federal authorities to coordinate action plans in the face of future calamities. His suggestion is to call for the creation of a private-public task force that would convene in advance of crises like hurricanes. Chilton said the group would mandate technology testing protocols, spell out guidelines for operating in a crisis and potentially sketch a timetable for recovery efforts.

Chilton’s agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is tasked with ensuring the open and efficient operation of the futures markets — so you can understand why this was such a black eye for the CFTC.

And on the heels of CFTC’s other recent foray into the spotlight with the investigation into MF Global and their supposed improper transfer of roughly $1.2 billion in customer money to pay its own bills. CFTC is actively examining MF Global’s then Chairman and CEO Jon S Corzine for accelerating the firm’s $40 billion demise. (Corzine is a former New Jersey Governor and New Jersey Senator).

While the precipitating reason for Chilton’s galoshes rant is disturbing, it’s also a cornerstone moment for our company who’s foundation of data protection is frequent testing. The Global Data Vault point of differentiation from many of our peers is that Global Data Vault conducts quarterly testing of our customer’s systems – precisely so a Super Storm Sandy can’t take them out of the running for several days. Our silver lining of the whole North East mess is that the galoshes are now part of the data protection conversation.

If you have questions about the readiness of your galoshes, contact us today.



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