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By Theresa Carey  |  Posted 2004-12-01 Print this article Print

The guide includes the following recommendations for financial institutions, and states that they are essential for achieving resiliency:
    • Know your mission-critical functions (and dependencies) and understand your acceptance of business risk.
    • Know the extent to which your continuity of mission-critical business operations relies on the diversity, recoverability, redundancy and resiliency of your telecommunications requirements.
    • Identify mission-critical services and functions that pose the highest risk to the institution if they are disrupted.
    • Analyze and assess vulnerabilities and threats to mission-critical services. Threats exercise vulnerabilities and include natural disasters, malicious actions, cyber-attacks and exploitation of single points of failure.
    • Understand how specific diversity, recoverability, redundancy and resiliency requirements affect your institutions ability to continue operations.
    • Understand that standard contracting with multiple telecommunications service providers alone may not provide the necessary diversity, recoverability, redundancy and resiliency.
    • Establish a trusted relationship with your telecommunications service provider (or system integrators/managed service providers) by conducting the necessary due diligence and oversight to detailed service engineering and established documentation of service-level agreements, to assure requirements are clearly stated. Structure contracts to address these needs on a continuing basis, and include regular metrics.
    • Take advantage, where eligible, of U.S. government-sponsored programs that permit the financial services sector to use recovery and response tools such as the Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP), Government Emergency Telecommunications Services (GETS) and Wireless Priority Services (WPS).
    • Understand that emerging high diversity, recoverability, redundancy and resiliency services may cost more than standard services.
    • Continue to assess emerging telecommunications and alternate transport technologies to determine whether they could provide services to further assure the necessary levels of diversity, recoverability, redundancy and resiliency are achieved.
Click here to read the entire guide, which is a 59-page .PDF document. The appendices include a comprehensive list of questions that should be addressed by any financial institution that relies on telecommunications to do business—which covers the entire industry.
Other BITS-sponsored papers and presentations can be found here. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on financial applications and services for the enterprise and small businesses.

Theresa is the Editor of's Finance Industry Center. She's been writing about financial technology issues since 1990 for a wide variety of publications, including PC Magazine, Newsweek, Fortune, and Fortune Small Business. She is also a Contributing Editor to Barron's and writes their 'Electronic Investor' column.

Theresa received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.S. from the University of Santa Clara. She also has a private pilot's license. When she's not at her computer, she coaches a local high school volleyball team, plays softball and volleyball, and takes part in many Cal Alumni Band events. She lives in Northern California.


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