FSSCC warns that "work at home" may strain emergency telecommunications

Published 29 November 2006

Banking and securities industry is extremely reliant on the nation’s communications networks, but remote labor may bring down an already injured system

This space is often filled with reports about work-from-home models of business continuity. As a general matter, companies that create systems to permit remote access to company servers are more likely to survive a disaster as ones that do not, and such an approach saves the cost of having to rent an off-site office until the original one is back in action.

Yet even work-from-home has consequences, consequences the financial industry — which is more reliant than others on telecommunications capabilities — is just starting to wrestle with. According to the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security (FSSCC), which met recently to discuss the issue, there is sufficient bandwidth to accommodate increased traffic during an emergency, but there could be considerable trouble making “first mile/last mile” connections to the national system. To help solve the problem, the FSSCC will assist the National Communications System refine its models used to determine emergency system needs, with recommendations forthcoming soon afterwards.

Ensuring the resiliency of the nation’s financial sector cannot be accomplished in isolation,” said George S. Hender, Chairman of FSSCC. “Whether planning for a pandemic or any other type of business disruption, coordination between the financial services industry and those sectors upon which we depend for power, communications, and basic operations is crucial.”

-read more in this organization news release