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Celebrate National Preparedness Month with these resiliency tips

Each September since 2004, the United States has observed National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (Off-site) and the Department of Homeland Security (Off-site), National Preparedness Month promotes organized planning in the event of an emergency or disaster. The campaign encourages families, communities and businesses to take important precautions and preparedness steps to avoid as much chaos as possible during an emergency, whether it be a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

At the Federal Reserve, we strongly believe in the importance and power of preparation. As such, we’ve made a number of preparedness resources available to support our customers before, during and after a variety of disruptions. Review the sections below for a few of the preparedness tips from these resources.

Natural disasters

  • Bookmark our Service Status application to review communications about potential service disruptions during a natural disaster.
  • Use the Find Your Contacts tool located on the Contact page to create a directory customized to your ABA. Print and distribute this critical contact information, telephone numbers for regulatory agencies and contingency instructions to your staff and senior management. Keep these important resources at hand in the event of power or internet disruptions.
  • Test your contingency back-ups, particularly those systems that are most critical for Check, FedACH®, FedCash® and Fedwire® Services.
  • During a storm, be prepared to utilize your organization’s secondary Virtual Private Network (VPN) device or Wide Area Network (WAN) connection to access FedLine® at a contingency site, if applicable.

Cyberattacks and phishing

  • As a reminder, in accordance with Operating Circular 5, all FedLine customers and their service providers must comply with Federal Reserve Bank security standards.
  • When possible, use technology to aid in the identification of phishing emails though the classification of internal versus external email sources.
  • Maintain contemporary anti-virus and anti-malware scanning software to offer additional protections in the event staff inadvertently click on suspicious links embedded in the body of an email.
  • Stay on top of the evolving phishing tactics and adjust internal policies and procedures accordingly.
  • Test your incident response team’s ability to defend your organization against a cyber-attack by registering for this fall’s Cyber Attack Against Payment Systems (CAPS) (Off-site), hosted by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC).

Business continuity guides

SOURCE: (Off-site)