Women in Leadership – 2018

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We are launching our first ‘Women in Leadership’ programme for students in 2018.  The programme will identify female students – with an interest in leadership – and guide them through a series of events and activities to accelerate that interest, ambition and potential.

We will be incorporating input from our employer networks, from female representatives across a diverse range of backgrounds within the region and Leeds Beckett colleagues who have successfully completed the HE Aurora programme aimed at developing aspiring female employees within the university.

Aims of the programme


We have a number of aims for the programme, outlined below:

  • To inspire our students and raise aspirations through the sharing of examples of females in the workplace from a variety of organisations and backgrounds;
  • To develop and apply knowledge of leadership theory – drawing on research, case studies and personal reflection;
  • To make connections – through opportunities to network;
  • To learn from others – through 1:1 mentoring and the chance to work shadow within an organisation.

The programme starts as a pilot – with a launch in semester two of the academic year 2017-18 (February 2018) and will continue until the end of semester one of 2018-19 (December 2018).  This is timed to encourage current first and second year students to be then be preparing applications for placement and graduate opportunities in Autumn 2018.

Programme overview 


Student will participate in a range of events, activities and workshops over the course of a six-month period.

Event Date & Venue Overview
Launch Event 20th Feb – 5-7pm

City Campus

  • A senior female leader from within Leeds Beckett will officially open the event.
  • Panel session – this will include a number of inspirational women in industry

: to discuss their personal career journeys

: share their thoughts on what makes an effective leader

: offer advice on what female students can be doing whilst at University to prepare themselves for a leadership role in the future.

The event will include an open ‘Question & Answer’ session to the panel, and will be followed by drinks and networking.

Insight in to Leadership – Training Event 26th Feb This will be an internally run event.

  • Students will explore theory behind effective leadership and use case studies to apply this theory in practice.
  • They will also reflect on their own leadership styles and experience – identifying areas of strength and development.
Introduction to Mentoring and Building Confidence 6th March This will be an internally run event.

  • Students’ will be introduced to mentoring – what it is and how to make the most of the opportunity to be mentored.  It will include expectations exchange and goal setting.
  • As part of this session we will also be looking at confidence and through a range of activities look at a range of tools and techniques to develop self-confidence.
Speed Networking  19th March – 4-7pm

City Campus

  • Students will have the opportunity to network with a variety of female industry professionals who are currently working in leadership roles across a range of sectors.
  • They will work around the room in small groups, with 10-minute conversations with each representative.
  • A number of representatives taking part in this stage will also be part of the Mentoring programme that follows.
Meet your Mentor w/c 16th April This will be the formal launch of our mentoring programme

Selection on to the programme


Students will complete an application process to be part of the programme.  This will include outlining their reasons for applying, their commitment to the programme and their personal goals for the programme.

  • Up to 25 places available
  • Open to any degree background
  • Open to students in their 1st or 2nd year of undergraduate study

Your involvement 


Integral to the success of this programme, is the input from individuals and organisations who have a passion for progressing the ‘Women in Leadership agenda’.  Summarised below are the elements of the programme that we are seeking external support on:

Event/Activity Commitment and preparation
Speed Networking 
  • Representatives to participate in the session.
  • Ahead of the session – sharing a short bio of themselves to enable students to prepare questions before the day
Mentoring – and work shadowing
  • Representatives to act as a mentor for a student on the programme.
  • The mentoring would take place between April and November – with up to 4 sessions.  These interactions can take place in a number of ways to accommodate schedules including face-to-face; telephone, email or video.
  • A day’s work shadowing within the organisation – the opportunity for students to gain first-hand insight of the workplace – would be a further enhancement to the mentoring experience where this is possible to facilitate.
Case study examples and leadership definitions
  • We’d welcome any examples you are able to share with regards case studies on the topic of leadership and any definitions of leadership and leadership behaviours used within your organisations.



If you have any questions regarding the programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Maria Dobrzanska – Careers Consultant

m.dobrzanska@leedsbeckett.ac.uk / 0113 8127729


Katie Cliff – Employer Engagement Consultant

k.e.cliff@leedsbeckett.ac.uk / 0113 8129376 / 07785 433992


Thank you, in advance, for your support

FalconStor Software Product Summary

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As part of FalconStor’s new initiatives, we are committed to continually informing you about our latest engineering activities and providing insight about our product evolution.

During the past few months, the FalconStor Engineering department has been actively working to provide updates to our products to improve quality, security, performance, and usability, so that we can continue to provide the innovative, enterprise-level products that you have come to expect from us.

FalconStor offers a variety of products and data services. Storage servers and host agents provide data protection, recovery, management, and mobility. Backup and deduplication servers provide virtual tape library (VTL) emulation, backup, and data deduplication using a single instance repository. The FreeStor Management Server (FMS) provides a Web portal for a consolidated view and management of storage server, agents, and VTL backup servers.

In this communication, we are highlighting some of the major enhancements and updates that have been recently delivered for our products and data services in the following areas: competitive certification, performance, quality and security, and usability.

Competitive Certification
FalconStor prides itself in always following the market evolution of third-party hardware and software products to ensure that our products can support the latest updates. Support for the latest operating systems and hardware allows us to continually stay in line with market trends.

  • Support Windows 2016 for DiskSafe, RecoverTrac, VSS HyperTrac, SAN Disk Manager
  • Support Windows 2016 Hyper-V for RecoverTrac and HyperTrac
  • Support VMware ESXi6 for RecoverTrac
  • Support Microsoft SQL Server 2016 for MSSQL snapshot agent
  • Support XEN and Hyper-V hypervisors for virtual appliances running storage and VTL backup services
  • Support updated IBM Dynamic System Analysis (DSA) and HP System Health Application and Command Line Utilities on physical appliances
  • Enhance and expand QLogic support with firmware updates and 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA support
  • Update network bonding and alert logic, and LSI MPT SAS drivers for Linux 7 changes
  • Support Veritas NetBackup 8.0/8.1 with FalconStor OpenStorage option (FSOST)
  • Support VTL parallel replication for NetBackup Auto Image Replication (AIR)
  • Rebrand storage servers for new OEM versions

FalconStor consistently strives to reduce limits, increase scalability, and improve speed in all of our products.

  • Allow the size of OST LSUs to be increased on VTL backup servers
  • Reduce takeover time when the IO module fails on a storage server
  • Improve data pattern checking on thin devices to reduce CPU usage
  • Improve transaction lock management in an IO Cluster to accelerate group TimeViews
  • Give a lower priority to the email alert process in order to provide enough system resources for IO handling in an IO Cluster
  • Improve TimeMark status checking to reduce CPU usage during replication of a large consistency group
  • Enhance performance of random small I/O to a device with a CDR resource for continuous data replication
  • Enhance mirror synchronization when the mirror was marked as in-sync when it was created for a brand new device
  • Improve mirror performance for random I/O on large devices of 2 TB

Quality and Security
As part of FalconStor’s commitment to product quality and reliability, we continually review customer feedback and product concerns discovered in the field along with regularly monitoring of the list of security vulnerabilities detected in the operating systems and third-party software used with our products.

Address security vulnerabilities:

  • More than 100 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs)
  • Spectre and Meltdown hardware issues on Linux 6 kernels
  • Samba security vulnerability
  • Multiple Apache Tomcat security vulnerabilitiesProvide updates for storage servers:
    Enhance IO Cluster:
  • Manage device path switching and preferred node changes for a device with Instant TimeView Copy or when data is being written to a TimeView
  • Add error handling for commands coming from a client cluster to both active and stand-by paths
  • Revise memory allocation to handle heavy large I/O
  • Perform connection status check only for relevant nodes in an IO Multi-Cluster
  • Remove a race condition that occurred when rescan was performed while there were pending I/O commands
  • Maintain continuous data replication for a virtual device assigned to an ESX client
  • Ensure thin disk data consistency when there are overlapping sectors with all-zero data sectors and automatic expansion after creation of a new device
  • Ensure TimeView creation after resuming the associated CDP journal and fix formatting to ensure data availability of a VSS TimeView after restarting the server
  • Revise QLogic Fibre Channel target to reduce the maximum number of requests to avoid a full queue situation and reset the number of pending commands when I/O stops
  • Ensure validity of physical segment layout for a service-enabled device (SED) with a mirror
  • Validate client IDs when creating a client group
  • Update REST APIs for snapshot resource policy changes on replica devices and communication with the failover partner server using all available network devices
  • Update the CLI commands for TimeView creation using the first available TimeMark and CDR mirror creation using valid resource IDs and manage
  • Web portal operations for a mirror device created by a CLI command
  • Update SNMP to ensure correct disk pool size, used size, and available size are returned for storage pools and release SNMP AgentX cache when a timeout occurs
  • Differentiate between OS and server patches in order to report the correct server patch level
  • Purge old records in server event logs
  • Offer the option to overwrite the OS disk during system recovery
  • Maintain Storage Cluster Interlink (SCI) bonding configuration during upgrade
  • Update DiskSafe Windows to ensure disk analysis is paused during snapshot operationProvide updates for VTL backup servers:
  • Revise transaction lock and timeout settings to ensure remote tape copy operation in different conditions
  • Handle race conditions for memory access between tape operation jobs
  • Handle encryption keys while deduplication data disks are being loaded
  • Check replication window for unique data replication and support tape replication from previous builds
  • Ensure stacked tape information is retrieved correctly
  • Validate OST backup requests from Solaris clients and OST authentication when strong password and encryption options are enabled
  • Update the FUSE library to handle the deletion of files with hard links on NFS shares
  • Handle escape characters in the configuration file when adding a VTL server to FreeStor
  • Update that the CLI command to promote a replica from replica servers
  • Ensure that the VTL check utility can handle a large number of tapesProvide updates for the FreeStor Management Server:
  • Remove all obsolete login sessions when one login fails
  • Display the correct serial number and GUID for a device when an Instant TimeView Copy is in progress

FalconStor continually looks to improve the ease of use and customer experience with all of our products.

Provide updates for the FreeStor Web Portal:

  • Allow group replication to be disabled even when the target server cannot be reached
  • Allow forceful removal of a virtual device from a group on the replica server when the source server is not available
  • Manage hostname resolution for emailing alerts
  • Do not generate daily alerts for a near-expiration license
  • Revise the physical device update tab to offer valid options
  • Ensure only TimeMarks belonging to a host client are displayed in the client monitor view
  • Allow update of a general rule for a network device for the administrator of an exclusive server
  • Update Java Management Console to process the snapshot notification option for a consistency group, check patch order during rollback, and apply an OS patch
  • Update DiskSafe Windows to allow selection of thin mirrors for protection of multiple devices
  • Provide migration from legacy VTL backup servers to FreeStor backup servers
  • Add Fibre Channel target group information in X-rays of storage servers
  • Add installation and database log files in the FMS X-ray

Huawei announce new £3bn five year commitment to the UK

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Huawei Technologies has announced a major new commitment to the UK with a promise of procurement over the next five years of £3billion. On 1st February, Madam Sun Yafang, Chairwoman of Huawei met with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May in Beijing, and reaffirmed the company’s long-term commitment to the UK. Huawei, which is a key investor in Europe, has announced that the company will procure a total of £3billion in the UK over the next five years, helping UK companies to increase exports to China.

This new commitment builds on the pledge made by Huawei in 2012 to invest and procure £1.3billion in the UK over the five years from 2013-17. Huawei announced today that this target was significantly exceeded, and Huawei has invested and procured £2billion in that period. The company now employs more than 1,500 people in the UK in 15 offices, including its head office in Green Park, Reading.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “Thanks to the drive and innovation of UK business, backed by this Government, trade between the UK and China is already at record levels. This visit is an opportunity to further showcase the best of British and boost jobs and prosperity throughout the UK.”

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “Huawei’s £3 billion announcement is yet another significant vote of confidence in our world-leading tech industry and I’m delighted to welcome their increased commitment to the UK. With 90% of global growth forecast to come from outside the EU, my international economic department is working to ensure Britain continues to benefit from the vast opportunities available as we leave the EU.”

Madam Sun Yafang, Huawei Group, Chairwoman said: “Huawei values long-term partnership. The UK was one of the first international markets we entered, when we opened our first office there in 2001. We have now been working with our major customers in the UK for more than twelve years, helping to build a better connected UK. Over the coming years we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our customers and partners to help keep the UK at the very forefront of the digital age.”

Long-term customer partnerships
Huawei has worked with both BT Group and Vodafone Group for over 12 years, and these customer partnerships are central to the company’s success in the UK. Huawei has two joint innovation centres in the UK, one in Ipswich with BT, and one in Newbury with Vodafone. Huawei plans to continue making a significant contribution by exploring vital future technologies, including 5G, alongside its customers at these centres in the years ahead.

Research presence in the UK
Huawei has a strong focus on R&D and has three Research & Development (R&D) sites in the UK: the Centre for Integrated Photonics in Ipswich; Neul in Cambridge; and a centre in Bristol. Huawei’s ongoing cooperation with UK universities has seen the company work with more than 20 different universities on over 100 individual research projects over the last five years. The company will continue to grow its investment in R&D and collaborate with UK universities over the next five years, with plans for an expanded range of topics to research and more university partnerships.

WPA2 KRACK security vulnerability

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You may have been made aware of a recent wireless exploit that breaks the security of Wi-Fi connections.  We have put together guidance below which we hope is useful:

This Monday a number of vulnerabilities was found the WPA2 protocol will impact all organisation using secured wireless. The WPA2 protocol is used to setup the secure communication between wireless devices and the access points they connect to. This vulnerability will impact you if you are using WPA2-PSK (password) or WPA2-Enterprise (username/password).

As the vulnerability impacts the protocol used with WPA2 this will affect all wireless vendors unless a software update has been deployed. The research was embargoed so we have seen a number of vendors pre-issue patches before the announcement of this issue. Please refer to your manufacturers website for more information.

There is currently no mitigation for this vulnerability. Software updates will become available over the coming days, for those with automatically updating systems (typically cloud based) this should happen automatically. Others will need to manually update your wireless LAN controllers, this may require a support contract to be in place.

The attack will enable an attacker to gain full access to your secured wireless network as well as inject malicious packets and snoop on any encrypted traffic. Physical proximity will be needed to the wireless network however due to wireless network propagation this may not require the attacker to be within your premises.

The skill level required to execute this attack is currently not know as the full research will not be released until November 1st. We would advise customers to update their systems, using manufacturer tools, before this date as it is likely this exploit will be incorporated into wireless attacking toolkits which will reduce the skill level required to utilise.

There are Stars amongst our team

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On Friday 21st July, C-Ways once again attended the annual STARS Apprenticeship Awards in Scarborough, having been nominated in the following categories; Small Business of the Year, Business Administration Apprentice of the Year, IT Apprentice of the Year and the Judges Special Apprentice Award.

We are thrilled to announce that we were successful in all categories, with Louis and Liam coming runner up in the Business Apprentice and Judges Special Apprentice categories respectively, and Dan winning the IT Apprentice category. The company as a whole also took home the Small Business of the Year award, after a surprise nomination. Overall, we are extremely proud of everyone who was nominated, well done guys!

Genetec Release New SharpOS Firmware Version

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Genetec SharpOS 10.2 SR2 and 11.4 SR1 Now Available

In the aftermath of the WannaCry ransomware attacks, Genetec sent an update on the potential vulnerabilities with older Sharp 2.0, Sharp 3.0, SharpX, and SharpXS devices, inviting concerned customers to contact C-Ways in order to apply precautionary measures against cybersecurity risks posed by WannaCry. Since then, Genetec have been working hard to provide new updates that address the vulnerabilities that were exploited at that time. Read More