Magazine article American Banker

Bankers Offered A Way to Assess Continuity Plans

Magazine article American Banker

Bankers Offered A Way to Assess Continuity Plans

Article excerpt

Six years after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington exposed glaring weaknesses in banks' data security and disaster recovery systems, a pair of research groups have developed a standardized approach that companies can use to benchmark their own readiness.

The Resiliency Engineering Framework is designed to be a tool for any industry, not just banking, according to representatives of the Financial Services Technology Consortium and Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, which developed the framework.

However, Carnegie Mellon sought out experts in the banking industry because their security and continuity practices are considered more advanced than in most other sectors, the representatives said.

Charles Wallen, the managing executive of the consortium's business continuity standing committee, said the industry has recognized the need for a collaborative approach, with banks working with one another on a wide range of potential problems that could affect the financial services industry - from fraud and computer failures to hurricanes and floods.

"There are a number of models and frameworks out there, but most of them are proprietary, and they lack the depth that Carnegie brings," Mr. Wallen said. "You're not going to solve the pandemic flu issue by doing it alone in your organization."

Rich Caralli, a senior technical staff member at the Carnegie Mellon institute's computer emergency readiness team, said the resiliency issue is different from issues his team has tackled in the past.

The institute has said its Capability Maturity Model framework for analyzing software engineering - an effort backed by the Defense Department - has produced results, but there is no guarantee that an approach like that will even work in disaster planning and security, he said.

"Security is perhaps the only area where the lack of a positive response is an indicator of success," Mr. …

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