Terrorism and the International Business Environment

Terrorism and the International Business Environment

The Security–Business Nexus

Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder

This book was born from the editor’s conviction that a wide set of contributors should provide the economic and corporate sectors with guidelines, developed from rigorous research and case studies, to analyse those adjustments made necessary through international terrorism, as known since September 11th 2001. It argues that corporate asset protection and accurate business risk assessment is vital to the longevity, and resilience of business.

Chapter 11: The Evolution of Contingency Planning: From Disaster Recovery to Operational Resilience

Till Guldimann

Subjects: business and management, international business, politics and public policy, international politics, terrorism and security


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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