Here is a two-day case study of a black-bag team of security consultants performing a security test (CIO-sanctioned). I've read similar cases, but none as thorough or blood-chilling. A little out of scope for this blog but - highly recommended.
…innovative technologies, especially information technologies, have contributed critically to enhanced flexibility. A quarter-century ago, for example, companies often required weeks to discover the emergence of inventory imbalances, allowing production to continue to exacerbate the excess. Excessive stockbuilding, in turn, necessitated a deeper decline in output than would have been necessary had the knowledge of the status of inventories been fully current. The advent of innovative information technologies significantly shortened the reporting lag, enabling flexible real-time responses to emerging imbalances.
Deregulation and the newer information technologies have joined, in the United States and elsewhere, to advance flexibility in the financial sector. Financial stability may turn out to have been the most important contributor to the evident significant gains in economic stability over the past two decades…
Conceptual advances in pricing options and other complex financial products, along with improvements in computer and telecommunications technologies, have significantly lowered the costs of, and expanded the opportunities for, hedging risks that were not readily deflected in earlier decades...
These increasingly complex financial instruments have contributed to the development of a far more flexible, efficient, and hence resilient financial system than the one that existed just a quarter-century ago. After the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000, unlike previous periods following large financial shocks, no major financial institution defaulted, and the economy held up far better than many had anticipated.
If we have attained a degree of flexibility that can mitigate most significant shocks--a proposition as yet not fully tested--the performance of the economy will be improved and the job of macroeconomic policymakers will be made much simpler.
In my more than eighteen years at the Federal Reserve, much has surprised me, but nothing more than the remarkable ability of our economy to absorb and recover from the shocks of stock market crashes, credit crunches, terrorism, and hurricanes--blows that would have almost certainly precipitated deep recessions in decades past. This resilience, not evident except in retrospect, owes to a remarkable increase in economic flexibility, partly the consequence of deliberate economic policy and partly the consequence of innovations in information technology.