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Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet

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Authentication Issues for Financial Services

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The Changing Role of Strategy

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Insights | White Papers

Interisle is focused on resilient systems, networks, and organizations. Our knowledge base spans a very wide range of subjects that inform our system-level approach to resilience. The publications listed on this page capture some of the conclusions we've reached after thinking about these issues for a long time.

The Internet is not so much a thing than a phenomenon, a fortunate outcome of a series of historical decisions that enabled technological innovation while introducing new communications models that have proven to be transformative for industry, the economy, and society. But some of the decisions made by the FCC over the past 15 years have resulted in what is at least a perceived, and possibly material, risk to the continued vitality of the open Internet. The FCC has lacked a clear understanding of how the Internet itself works, and thus some of its proposals to preserve its openness risk doing more harm than good. The best way to protect Internet openness is to prevent it from being compromised by monopoly service providers while, at the same time, not strangling it with excessive regulation. This delicate but essential balance can be achieved by well-informed appreciation of the way in which the Internet functions as a voluntary and largely self-regulating federation of public and private actors, applying formal regulation only where necessary to safeguard the principle of openness. We thus propose "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet", restoring a layered approach, which would apply common carrier regulation and open access to the lower layers of access networks, not to the Internet itself.

Studies of Internet Service Provider (ISP) interconnection arrangements have been performed from many different perspectives, including the technical architecture of exchange points, the business and economic models that underlie peering and transit agreements, and the interaction between market-driven interconnection arrangements and public policy (at both the national and international levels). The Interisle white paper "Interconnection and Peering among Internet Service Providers" provides an historical context for, and concise summary of, the evolution of ISP interconnection-how it originated, how it developed, and how it is practiced today. It describe the way in which the self-organized and self-regulating structures that govern today's global Internet-including the arrangements that enable ISPs to connect their networks to each other-have evolved naturally, over a period of roughly 35 years, according to principles that are deeply embedded in the Internet architecture.

"Authentication" sounds like a straightforward exercise-to determine, to some level of assurance, that a party is entitled to a specific set of credentials (i.e., a procedure or mechanism to test an entitlement claim)-but in practice, especially for financial transactions, it is anything but. The Interisle white paper "Authentication Issues for Financial Services" presents a model for placing authentication in context; examples of modern authentication problems, such as "identity theft", the role of biometrics, the non-repudiation myth, and consumer/merchant authentication; some real-world requirements; and an assessment of who wins and who loses as financial transaction system authentication mechanisms evolve.

Enhancing business resilience is not just about ordering extra communications lines or even about building backup data sites. It's the result of applying a consistent, strategically grounded and analytically sophisticated approach to a number of technical, organizational, and process issues. Far more than just an "insurance premium" against disaster, the process of creating resilient business and technical architecture can be a critical catalyst for positive organizational change (e.g., cost reduction, process improvement, and increased customer focus). This Interisle whitepaper on Fostering Business Resilience introduces the concepts and gives key details.

We think that strategy is not about how to define a single, unchanging vision for the future, but rather is a way of thinking about how to deal with the future—it's more about a process to guide decision-making than about a specific document to which people can (though they often don't) refer. This Interisle whitepaper discusses The Changing Role of Strategy and presents Interisle's practical recommendations for modern management teams.

 

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