http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/174449.html By Michael Bartlett, Newsbytes SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, U.S.A., 12 Feb 2002, 8:40 PM CST The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center caused a significant amount of damage to America's telecommunications infrastructure. According to a new study, protecting the network has become a high priority in the months following the attacks. The study, by research firm Cahners In-Stat/MDR, called Sept. 11 the "biggest catastrophe" ever to hit the nation's telecom infrastructure. According to Henry Goldberg, a senior analyst with In-Stat, three service providers were "hit hard," while a fourth - AT&T -suffered significant damage to its local network capabilities in Manhattan. "Verizon had the most severe damage, Genuity lost a POP, a point of presence, and Equant also was hit," said Goldberg. "Verizon's West Street central office was heavily damaged. Walls were broken, dust and dirt got into equipment, it had a loss of commercial power supply, and debris made some equipment inaccessible." "Verizon told me it will take $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion to restore things to where they were before Sept. 11," he added. Many large companies are reevaluating disaster recovery plans after seeing the damage the attacks caused, said Goldberg. "They don't believe their previous plans are necessarily adequate in this new environment." The federal government is also getting involved. According to Goldberg, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is a part of the Department of Commerce, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are two agencies spearheading the drive to review security procedures for the telecom networks. "There also is the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC), which is chaired by Joseph Nacchio, CEO of Qwest," he said. "However, the government is limited in what it can do, because companies are hesitant to disclose information in public." Telecom companies have changed many things since Sept. 11, said Goldberg. Before the attacks, the emphasis was on consolidating operations into fewer places to increase efficiency. Post-attacks, companies don't want one location's failure to bring down traffic, he said. "Verizon had a heavy concentration of traffic in one place - its central office in Manhattan. Now, they are diversifying so all the switching equipment is not in one place," he explained. Telecom companies are also implementing extensive new security procedures at their central offices, Goldberg added. "Equant is paying more attention to routing when obtaining capacity from third-party carriers," he said. "Genuity never anticipated an entire POP could be destroyed. Now, they are making sure they have redundancy in routes and POPs. The redundant paths go through different POPs." Another reaction to the attacks is the rise of "business continuity services." Goldberg said these "portfolio" services are offered by telecom service providers as a way for companies to not have all of their data and infrastructure in one vulnerable place. Business continuity services include virtual private networks (VPN), firewalls, intrusion detection, external hosting, storage and Internet data centers, he said. "The application hosting would take place in the provider's secure centers, offering back-up hosting and storage," said Goldberg. "Service providers say customers are expressing interest in these services after Sept. 11. SBC offered these services before the attacks, but now AT&T and Verizon do as well." In-Stat/MDR is at http://www.instat.com - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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