The Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security (FSSCC) announced today the formation of a Research and Development Committee to identify areas where research initiatives can help meet the strategic needs and priorities for critical infrastructure protection within the sector.
On behalf of FSSCC, this new Committee will guide future R&D efforts to raise the sector's resilience against events that could disrupt the normal business of financial services, such as terrorism, cyber attacks or natural disasters.
The first order of business for the Committee, whose charter was approved on Oct. 27, will be to create an Agenda to approach R&D on three broad tactical fronts:
- Partnering with the academic community, to establish the research priorities that offer the most promising opportunities for strategically significant projects within financial services that will further the industry's business continuity goals;
- Rallying support among various industry trade groups and FSSCC's own member network, coordinating the sector's resources to target those R&D projects that will foster best practices, with the most return-on-investment and broad-based benefits for the entire sector; and,
- Working with the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Homeland Security, to provide independent analysis and assessment to support the government's selection and funding of R&D projects, specifically those projects devoted to protecting banking and finance infrastructure.
"We want to provide the industry, the researchers and academics, the technologists and the entrepreneurs with a better understanding of the needs of our industry sector, sharing insight into the opportunities and requirements for improving financial infrastructure protection as the members of the sector see them," said Donald F. Donahue, Chairman of the FSSCC and Sector Coordinator for Banking and Finance. "By coordinating support for R&D across our member network, we believe we can help to identify the most promising opportunities for research, and also help enlist financial institutions that might be interested in participating in this type of research, providing test data and deploying results for use across the industry."
"Ultimately, we hope researchers will be able to point to the needs and opportunities in our Agenda document to make their pitches for government funding even more compelling," he said.
"FSSCC has done a terrific job at organizing the financial sector's efforts to improve communication and collaboration on business continuity," said D. Scott Parsons, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. "They offer a model of success for other industry sectors."
"The R&D Committee will help to pinpoint security priorities of a critical nature for the financial sector, and we will look to the Committee to articulate the very specific and unique needs to protect the safety, soundness and resilience of the sector," Parsons continued. "We look forward to continuing to work closely with FSSCC. Their efforts have made a real difference in increasing the resilience of the financial services industry."