The Security–Business Nexus
Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder
Chapter 11: The Evolution of Contingency Planning: From Disaster Recovery to Operational Resilience
Till Guldimann Since September 11, 2001, the word ‘disaster’ has become inextricably linked to terrorism. Renewed attention is given to recovery after a catastrophic event to ensure ﬁnancial services ﬁrms can get back up and running quickly, and to minimize systemic risks. This attention is crystallizing the need for a new perspective on the challenge of disaster recovery. The fact is that ﬁnancial services today are managed and delivered through an amalgamation of networks – tightly intertwined and electronically linked – and the network’s vulnerability is a source of increased concern. We have become dependent on the network, and therein lies the real threat to ﬁrms and the ﬁnancial system as a whole. The old paradigm was redundancy: backup, backup, backup; the new one is resiliency: keep your operations humming and ensure your node on the ﬁnancial network remains ‘on-line’. The contingency challenge has shifted from disaster recovery – cleaning up and getting back to work after a cataclysmic event, to operational resilience – designing your enterprise to operate eﬀectively right through a disruption. This new vulnerability is not a consequence of terrorism; rather, it is driven by the relentless application of technology to the business of ﬁnance. Technology has transformed ﬁnance, and generated substantial new risks for every market participant because technology is vulnerable to natural disasters, to terrorist attacks like 9/11, and to cyber-terrorism, the rapidly emerging epidemic of computer bugs, worms and viruses. Based on data from Swiss Re, Figure 11.1 shows while natural disasters continue to take their toll...
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