Kathleen Aris, CMP
SunGard Availability Services Inc.
Considering Global Threats
Anna M. Bathon, CBCP
Bank of America
By JEAN ROWE, MBCI, CBCP, CDCP & HATTAN SHAMI
Theresa G. Crawford, CBCP
In our world of business resilience, we are often so focused on planning for response and recov- ery we may not take the time to look at global risks on our planning horizon. Consideration should be given to the effects of globalization on our collective business resilience planning
efforts. Globalization is not just about the interlocking of the world’s economies, it’s also about other
risks that cross borders. Gone are the days when we
simply planned for our neighbor making us a victim
of collateral damage. Any organization can become
collateral damage as a result of global threats.
What are some of the effects of globalization on
business resilience? Consider global risks related
to physical security, the environment, health,
transportation, information security, and communications for starters. A local or regional risk can
have far-reaching impacts because of globalization. Is your organization at risk when considering
the global horizon risks?
Many experts believe global warming and climate change is the most critical risk to international
security. They believe future climate changes will
continue to further global warming and sea levels
to rise. This has led to an increase in extreme
weather events. Many areas that may be affected
are unprepared for these extreme weather events.
Is it possible you might need to investigate
what climate change adaptation projects are being
addressed in your part of the world now? Is your
government working to build a resilient community? Will it impact your response and recovery
efforts? Since climate change and disaster risk
mitigation are being tackled piecemeal on a global
basis, what is being done in your location(s)?
The most obvious global security risk that
comes to mind is terrorism. Terrorists communicate easier and travel around because of the direct
impacts of globalization. The reality is that terrorism can root itself just about anywhere with
advances in the 24x7 inter-connected economies
and using communications and advances in technology. The exchange of technology has allowed
specifically the financing of security threats such
In addition, technology advances have offered
better ways for organized crime, political terrorists, drug smugglers, and others to further their
agendas. The power of the Internet, which we
rely heavily and technology’s power to communicate around the world in a split, also makes those
who rely on it a target. No one likes to think they
are vulnerable to information security breaches
and have operations impacted. However, as long
as globalization of economies continues and the
world is interconnected through technologies, the
threat of cyber crime will only increase.
What’s a practitioner to do now? Consider what
used to be in the scope of responsibility of the business continuity practitioner 20 years ago compared
to today. How have you integrated your efforts
with your information security team to address
Environmental issues such as disease and sickness cannot be ignored in the planning process.
Deadly pandemics can spread quickly by transportation modes; there is increased human mobility
and interaction around the world.
As global security risks have increased related
to climate change, so has the impact of natural
and man-made disasters. There is much data surrounding natural disasters to show the increase is
definitely on the rise. As for a man-made disaster,
one need not look further than the most recent economic crisis started by developed economies that
used unprecedented scales of debt and leverage.
The economic crisis has highlighted that the nature
of security and its recovery is truly global.
Globalization focuses on economics and security – the two components seem to be intrinsically
tied forever. On a global level, we are all held hostage to these unpredictable risks and impacts. The
consequences far outweigh the benefits for governments and organizations to share information, governance, and resources. Globalization impacts are
intrinsically tied to the building of resilient businesses and communities.
Jean Rowe is currently a member of the business resilience office
for Verisign Inc. in Reston, Va. Prior to joining Verisign, she managed
the global business continuity programs for the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.
Hattan Shami is currently a Ph.D. candidate in global affairs focusing
on global finance at Rutgers University. His past experience includes
administration and finance secretary at The Royal Embassy of Saudi
Arabia, Washington, D.C., and credit risk manager at The National
Commercial Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Cole H. Emerson,
MBCI, MBCP, CPP
Cole Emerson & Associates
Robert Giffin, CBCP, CISA
Timothy P. Ging
IBM Business Continuity and
Colleen K. Huber, CBRM, CBCP
Great Lakes Educational Loan
Louise Lachapelle, M.Sc., CBCP
Desjardins Financial Group
J. Frank Lady III,
CBCP, CISSP, PMP, ITIL(F), CRISC
Bank of America
Peter Laz, MBCP
Dr. Tom Phelan
American Public University’s
School of Public Safety and Health
Jean Rowe, MBCI, CBCP, CDCP
Ken Schroeder, MBCP
Sue Simpson, CBCP
Contingency Planning Association of
the Carolinas, Inc.
MBCP, FBCI, CISA, ITIL
David H. Ziev,
MBCP, MBCI, ITIL