ASIS International Founding Member of Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council, LLC

Council Created to Help Protect America's Financial Infrastructure

Alexandria, Virginia, UNITED STATES

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 14, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- ASIS International (ASIS), along with 22 financial services trade associations, and financial institution utilities and exchanges, gathered last week to announce the legal formation of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council, LLC (FSSCC). ASIS is a founding member.

The FSSCC is resolved to ensure the safety, certainty and continuity of our capital markets in the face of terrorist threats, war, and possible disruptions in the future.

The Council focuses its activities on four primary areas:

-- Effective and rapid information dissemination of threat and incident information to and from the government through the industry's Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS/ISAC)

-- Crisis management and response coordination to enable communication across the sector in the event of a regional or national disaster

-- Outreach and organizational engagement to ensure all institutions within the sector understand the industry's critical infrastructure and homeland security objectives and responsibilities.

-- Knowledge sharing and best practices to leverage existing work, which can be shared across the sector to improve security and business continuity practices that protect the financial services infrastructure.

"As the preeminent society for security management, ASIS understands that protection of our financial institutions and networks is fundamental to our economy and to the lives of Americans," said Michael Stack, ASIS' executive director. "We are proud to have been involved with this initiative since its inception in June of 2002."

Jack Lichtenstein, Director of Government Affairs for ASIS, explains that "as the security representative on the council, ASIS will work to ensure that the group has access to the best possible information and advice from the nation's top security experts in the banking and financial services sector."

Rhonda MacLean, director of Corporate Information Security for Bank of America, chairs the council. She has served as the coordinator of the council since her appointment by the Treasury Department in May of 2002.

The council will work closely with the Treasury, the financial services lead agency for financial services critical infrastructure protection, through its Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC).

"The nation's financial infrastructure is critical -- it is the engine of our free-enterprise economy," said Michael Dawson, deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury. "As the President has recognized, we must protect it through private-public partnerships. The council plays the central role in coordinating this partnership. I am grateful for the council's leadership."

 Founding members of the council include:
 America's Community Bankers
 American Bankers Association
 American Council of Life Insurers
 ASIS International
 Bank Administration Institute
 Consumer Bankers Association
 Credit Union National Association
 Fannie Mae
 Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, LLC
 Financial Services Roundtable and BITS
 Futures Industry Association 
 Independent Community Bankers of America
 Investment Company Institute
 Managed Funds Association
 NASDAQ Stock Market
 National Association of Federal Credit Unions
 NACHA -- The Electronic Payments Association
 The Clearing House 
 Securities Industry Association
 The Bond Market Association
 The Options Clearing Corporation

ASIS International (ASIS) is the preeminent organization for security professionals, with more than 33,000 members worldwide. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing educational programs and materials that address broad security interests, such as the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits, as well as specific security topics. ASIS also advocates the role and value of the security management profession to business, the media, government entities, and the public. By providing members and the security community with access to a full range of programs and services, and by publishing the industry's number one magazine - Security Management -- ASIS leads the way for advanced and improved security performance.