February 11, 2004

To enhance the security awareness of the nation's banks, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has awarded a $2 million contract to the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS/ISAC).

The award will help FS/ISAC to provide secure collaboration, additional data feeds regarding threats and vulnerabilities, alert confirmations, new analytical capabilities, and performance metrics. "Our research convinced us that the FS/ISAC must make significant investments to upgrade its technological infrastructure if it is to serve the entire sector and deliver a product that would elicit ongoing, private-sector support," remarked Brian Roseboro, Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance.

With the help of third-party service provider SAIC (San Diego), the FS/ISAC allows bankers to anonymously share information about both cyber- and physical threats. Indeed, that's where "the industry will get the immediate bang for the buck," says Breffni McGuire, senior analyst at TowerGroup (Needham, Mass.)

But in order to maintain a healthy banking system, the industry can't just receive timely alerts-it has to act upon them in a timely fashion.

That's where the industry-owned Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC) comes in. FSSCC representatives from various industry groups will help to coordinate sector-wide initiatives in specific market segments within financial services.

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