The Hard Road – Protect yourself from going bust

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Covid-19 deaths in Russia almost DOUBLE in single day: Parliament clears path for state of emergency

By Jonny Tickle

The latest figures mean Russia has now recorded 2,337 known Covid-19 infections, with 121 patients recovered. While cases are beginning to multiply, the country still remains an outlier in European terms. Other large states, such as Italy and Spain, have been hit much harder by the outbreak, with even the likes of Ireland, Luxembourg and Norway, with comparatively tiny populations, more badly affected, so far.

The rapid increase in cases has been matched with the introduction of increasingly strict measures by the authorities to contain the spread of the disease. As part of the fight against Covid-19, Russia is currently observing a national week-long paid holiday.

Meanwhile, in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, as well as in over 40 other regions of the country, a mandatory stay-at-home regime has been introduced for all residents. The rules, first introduced by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who also heads the nationwide coronavirus response task force, state that everyone must stay inside at all times, with exceptions only to buy food, medicine, walk pets, dispose of trash, or travel to work that is deemed essential.

On Monday morning Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked Russia’s regional heads to consider introducing similar restrictions in the capital. Many areas of the country have since complied.

“A regime of isolation is introduced for all age groups, with the exception of cases when emergency care is needed, or where you need to go to the store for food, or to travel to work […] and other really good reasons,” Mishustin explained. “In the current situation, this will help to protect yourself and your loved-ones. I ask the leaders of Russia’s Federal Subjects to pay attention to the experience of their colleagues and to work out the possibility of introducing such measures in their regions.”

On Tuesday, Russia’s parliament adopted a law to expand the powers of the government and its right to announce a state of emergency. If declared, this would give authorities the ability to establish mandatory rules of conduct for citizens. The relevant agencies say that it will increase the nation’s ability to effectively fight the pandemic. However, speaking to radio station Echo of Moscow, political scientist Andrei Kolesnikov has warned that, while the legislation can be “explained by the needs of the moment,” in the long term it will give the government “much more substantial capabilities to suppress human rights.” He expressed a worry that, once the pandemic is controlled, this new law will be used to turn Russia into a police state.

Most of the new infections were recorded in Moscow (387), with Saint Petersburg being the second-hardest hit (48). The new cases include diagnoses in two Russian regions – remote Magadan and southern Astrakhan. Of Russia’s 85 federal subjects, 73 now have confirmed cases of coronavirus.

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How to protect yourself if your cloud provider goes bust

Most people have experienced the negative aspect of “buyer beware” for themselves or when purchasing for their company. How can you minimize being left high and dry if a company you do business with goes bankrupt or becomes insolvent? The old adage that a customer “Always prepare for the worst and hope for the best” remains true.

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In a 2020 Forbes article, it is estimated that 47% of marketing departments will have 60% or more of their applications on a cloud platform in two years. The three major growth investment areas are database (57%), e-mail (54%) and business applications (ERP, CRM & industry-specific apps) (49%).

The Good: What’s so great about cloud computing?

In simple terms, Cloud computing involves outsourcing various computer or Information Technology needs. Benefits include reducing costs because large in-house servers do not need to be purchased and maintained. It requires fewer IT professionals on staff. Finally, it supports customer growth without investing heavily in additional resources. For small and large companies, cloud computing offers a quick and cost-effective way to do business.

The Bad: What’s risky about the cloud?

The biggest risks to customers are service interruptions and outages that all cloud-based companies experience. The biggest risk in using a cloud provider is if they turn off the lights and go bust.

For example, if a cloud provider files for bankruptcy protection or becomes insolvent, customers will immediately rush to get their data out. At a minimum, a cloud company will provide a short window of a few weeks for customers to extract their data. On October 1, 2020, Nirvanix, a US-based cloud storage provider, filed for bankruptcy protection and gave customers two weeks’ notice before shutting down.

Five precautions to take if your cloud provider goes bust

1. Do your due diligence

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to do your due diligence before you select a solution provider. It goes without saying to use a cloud provider that is financially strong and well known. Get a few referrals from happy long-time customers is also helpful. Ask questions, based on worst-case scenarios especially if the cloud provider is handling a critical part of your operations.

2. Carefully review your contract terms of service

Review worst-case scenarios like bankruptcy clauses in your contract. For example, expect to see provisions that provide a window of time in weeks or months that a customer can recover their data. With premium packages, there may provisions to provide a copy of a customer’s data if the cloud provider ceases operations. Others provisions may include migrating data to another service before shutting down or making source code available to customers through a third party escrow, allowing customers to use their own in-house servers. In a statement to customers, Nirvanix said they made an agreement with IBM to assist customers during the transition. They advised customers of higher speed connection that increased data transfer rates from the Nirvanix server to their servers.

3. Prioritize cloud applications and data by importance to business

It is recommended that your company prioritize applications and data by degree of importance to your company’s daily operations. For example, if your company is running a crucial enterprise application in the cloud daily for operations, a copy of this application should be available at another location. This may be located at the company’s premises or at another cloud provider. The important thing is to have a disaster recovery plan that is tested monthly.

4. Read your SLA agreement carefully

All cloud providers offer SLAs or service level agreements that guarantee a certain amount of uptime. However, SLAs must be carefully reviewed to ensure a customer’s systems are designed in such a way that they are reimbursed for downtime. For example, large cloud providers like Amazon require specific configurations for multiple availability zones to be in placed within their cloud for an SLA to be active.

5. Ensure data retrieved from your cloud provider is readable.

According to Noah Broadwater, who has 10 years of experience with cloud services, a big problem for customers who get their data out of a cloud platform is that the data is not readable. Many cloud providers use a proprietary file storage platform, which means the end user does not have access to certain cloud-based applications that make the data readable. The effort spend to extract data is wasted if it cannot be read outside the cloud provider.

In an interview with Networked World, Broadwater advises, prior to entering into a contract, that you negotiate an escrow account with the vendor to have the latest version of the software in a locked account. If the cloud provider goes bankrupt and the customer cannot access the vendor’s cloud, then the customer can access to the software code to be placed on their servers. While, this costs more to setup, both parties are protected in a worst-case scenario.

Cloud computing continues to grow in popularity. There are downsides in using cloud providers if proper precautions are not followed early. While every disaster case cannot be covered, many worst-case scenarios should discussed and carefully reviewed before entering into a contract with your next cloud provider.

Protecting yourself when a client goes bust

Jul 4, 2001

This can happen to anyone, as I just heard on the national news 30 minutes ago. A I had done a bit of work for in the past came back last week with a voluminous rush job. I stayed up late to get the thing finished, selling myself short of sleep as my client was working hard to get the project together to \”sell\” it to their client. Looks like I will have to write this one off as a bad debt.

Once the has paid Transpac (who \”switched off\” the access to cyb . See more

This can happen to anyone, as I just heard on the national news 30 minutes ago. A I had done a bit of work for in the past came back last week with a voluminous rush job. I stayed up late to get the thing finished, selling myself short of sleep as my client was working hard to get the project together to \”sell\” it to their client. Looks like I will have to write this one off as a bad debt.

Once the has paid Transpac (who \”switched off\” the access to cyberspace of their client sites as they had not paid the bill), its employees, honoured its dues to the taxman and other state organisms, just peanuts will remain, and even then pro rata will mean it comes down to peanut crumbs.

So what can you do to best protect yourself for that fateful day?

– get XX % upfront from unknown, and/or potentially dodgy clients

– get XX % upfront for ANY job over a certain amount (that you are willing or able to loose)

– try to avoid being too dependent on one or several big clients

All of this is easier said than done, particularly when you are starting out. It can hit you hard if it\’s a major contract for you and you have banked nothing at all. And with the wonderful worldy web, the work whizzes in and out with clients going through the turnstiles without ever putting their hand in their cyber pocket until the work has been received, chewed up and spat out in some wonderfully modified format. It\’s not always easy to obtain an advance, but when you can, it\’s great. At worst they can refuse, at best, they say yes, and they often do! Further problems may come into play if your domestic tax laws require you to pay tax on work billed out, rather than receipts. Thankfully for the liberal professions here in France, it\’s on receipts so no risk there. Just wasted time and effort, not to mention the work I turned down to do this one. Never mind, it was bound to happen one day! Any other hints on protection?

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-06 01:56 ] &#x25B2 Collapse

Monarch denies financial trouble but how can you protect yourself from firms going bust?

The airline has denied its in trouble but you can protect yourself from travel firms, incase they do go bust

  • 28 Sep 2020, 18:12
  • Updated : 28 Sep 2020, 18:15

MONARCH has been forced to deny that it’s in financial trouble this week.

The airline has rebuffed speculation that it is about to go bust, saying it is “trading well” and all flights are “operating as normal”.

Over the weekend its Twitter feed became inundated with queries from customers about its financial stability.

The budget airline reassured customers by saying it is on the brink of announcing a significant new investment in the next few days.

Yesterday, it emerged that the airline needs to renew its Atol licence – the scheme which compensates travellers in full if a holiday company collapses – this week, otherwise it must stop selling package holidays.

What would your rights be if Monarch went bust?

At the moment Monarch is covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s Atol scheme, meaning customers are guaranteed a refund is company goes bust.

This licence is, as mentioned above, up for renewal this week.

Holidaymakers who booked their travel before Friday’s deadline would still be protected, regardless of whether its licence was renewed.

How can you protect yourself from a travel company going bust?

Not all flights or holidays are Atol protected. However, if it is the company should tell you when you make a booking – either by emailing your certificate or sending it in the post.

You can check if a company has an Atol licence on the CAA website. If you’re unsure then you should check with the company before you book.

If you book flights with a credit card (and pay over £100 but under £30,000) then you will be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.






If the worst did happen then you’d have to chase your card provider for a refund.

If you paid by debit card then you may be covered under Chargeback – this means your card company would chase the collapsed firm for the cash.

The rules on this vary vastly, but you’d usually have at least 120 days to make a claim to your bank.

Yesterday, the Sun Online revealed that many people are unaware of Chargeback time caps, as MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis warned that thousands could miss out on claiming back cash after Lowcostholidays collapsed earlier this year.

Unfortunately, travel insurance may not be very much help. Policies do not usually cover you in the event of a travel firm failing.

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