Nobody wants to think about problems, let alone disasters of any type, and especially those that can wipe out data or crash large-scale computer systems. Yet, focusing on these realities is exactly what credit unions must do. Whether initiated by natural disasters, hackers or user error, IT problems can, do and will happen.
For a credit union, initial disaster itself is only part of the problem. Without a strong IT disaster recovery plan in place, even greater disasters can result. Such a plan should be considered essential to keeping members happy, mitigating risk and even staying in business. Following are some of the benefits to a credit union of developing a disaster recovery plan.
Probably one of the most important things for a member or customer of any financial institution is access to their banking information, anytime, anywhere, all the time. Consumers today want and expect to be able to view and manage their financial data on a true 24/7, 365-day basis, even in the face of a disaster.
Along with continuous access to data, members want and need to know that their information is secure. Credit unions cannot always prevent problems from happening, but they can very much control how they respond to problems. The lack of a ready-to-go-at-anytime plan puts member data at risk of loss and puts credit unions at risk of loss of members.
Credit unions can face serious repercussions from regulatory entities if they do not appropriately guard sensitive and private member information. A disaster recovery plan is not only an essential way of complying with regulations, but also of exceeding those regulations and mitigating risk.
The process of developing a disaster recovery plan yields detailed data about a credit union’s IT infrastructure and processes. Armed with this information, financial institutions can often identify areas in which they can streamline workflow and save money. Moving from physical servers to a cloud-based infrastructure is one decision that can result from seeing the full scope of a network via the disaster plan.
The complete itemization of every element of a credit union’s IT operations can help during a disaster and at other times as well. Employee theft can be prevented more effectively, for example, because an institution will be able to track every item’s existence and location at all times.
Much work is needed in order to set up a full-scale IT disaster recovery plan for a credit union. However, the payoffs are more than worth the investment.
Late 2012 brought Hurricane Sandy to the shores of the east coast. This catastrophe made a huge impact on the New York area, causing people to lose power for days. Another consequence of this outage was the effect on the credit union branches in the area. Many members lost access to their accounts, and more than 14,000 did not get their usual paycheck deposits in time to pay bills. Truth is, these disasters can strike anytime, which is why it’s vital to be prepared.
Robert McGarvey of the Credit Union Times stated shortly after Hurricane Sandy that “every credit union needs a disaster recovery plan.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why disaster recovery is something that has been our focus from the very beginning. When we started developing our latest core processing software, we did it with the mindset that disasters are always an unexpected event, so the only way to be fully prepared is with an adequate disaster recovery system.
We knew that a DR system needed to be reliable, yet realistic in the face of disaster. Our CUProdigy system provides access to CU information within 45 minutes from any computer that can get an Internet connection. Once connected, every keystroke is replicated in five locations in real time. Between these backup sites, at least one location is more than 100 miles from the credit union, ensuring the safety and protection of your information.
To us, providing this type of reliability and dependability in a core solution is the only way to protect your credit union from those unexpected events. In the event that your credit union is disrupted, you and your members can rest assure as they can continue to make transfers, receive direct deposit, or make a change to their account. Since all of our backups are accessed through the browser, setting up a temporary teller station at a secure location is quick and easy. This type of security is what builds trust to members.
CUProdigy is in the unique position to help Credit Unions ‘Advance Beyond’ by providing a core processing platform that puts the member experience first. CUProdigy empowers credit unions with a comprehensive solution that is both robust and scalable.