Homeland Security - Reducing the Vulnerability of Public and Private Information Infrastructures to Terrorism: An Overview [Updated December 12, 2002]   [open pdf - 116KB]

"This report assesses the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks on public and private information infrastructures in the context of critical infrastructure protection, continuity of operations (COOP) planning, and homeland security. Analysis of the effects of the terrorist attacks suggests various "lessons learned." These lessons support three general principles. The first principle emphasizes the establishment and practice of comprehensive continuity and recovery plans. One lesson learned in this area is to augment disaster recovery plans...A second lesson is the need to back up data and applications. Without a comprehensive backup system that captures more than just an organization's data files, a significant amount of time can be lost trying to recreate applications, organize data, and reestablish user access...The lesson of decentralizing operations can be applied to the structure and location of an organization's operations...Another lesson in this area is to ensure the ability to communicate with internal and external constituencies. In the event of an emergency, the demand for information skyrockets. An organization not only needs to communicate with employees regarding actions and procedures, but also with the citizens and customers to whom it is responsible for providing goods and services. The third principle involves the institutionalization of system redundancies to eliminate single points of weakness. In this context, the lesson of employing redundant service providers is applied primarily to telecommunications services...Another related lesson learned is the use of generic replaceable technology. In the event of a catastrophe, the ability to replace equipment quickly with easy-to-find products that do not require comprehensive customization, can contribute significantly to how quickly an organization's operations can be functional again." - Excepts from Summary

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31542
Public Domain
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