Extending your disaster recovery plan beyond a battery powered radio

This week at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, Ted Koppel was a keynote speaker, discussing his latest book “Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.” It was a fitting discussion for credit union executives given not only the importance of disaster preparedness within our industry, but the major importance of banking and finance to our country’s survival.

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon…And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

Can you imagine a discussion with your examiner about your disaster recovery plan where you point out that you are prepared while holding up your transistor radio?

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