Effective business continuity plans (BCPs) are essential for any business but especially critical for financial institutions. Though they vary from bank-to-bank (or credit union), the fundamentals of retail banking are the same – ensure the continuity of vital business operations, mitigate risk, and safeguard data and revenue. Let’s also not forget the need to earn and sustain customer satisfaction and confidence. Trust equals profits and investments. If there is a breach of that trust, the potential for an FI appearing unstable (and ultimately failing) is high.
So, how do you avoid this perfect storm? With a comprehensive, resilient, and efficient business continuity plan.
Fortifying the continuity of operations in your FI is critical and should be at the top of your risk management methodology. Consider these scenarios: a nefarious employee steals customer passwords and account information then goes on an unconscionable embezzlement spree. Your FI falls victim to a cyber-ransom attack, or a natural disaster takes out one or more of your main branches. Can your shareholders and customers rely on your FI to:
- Recover quickly and resume critical business functions despite internal or external threats?
- Protect and mitigate the loss of confidential data?
- Communicate with customers and shareholders in a timely fashion?
While you may have a BCP in place and are not too concerned with your ability to maintain critical business operations, do you know how to gauge the strength of your plan and are you testing its viability? Do you know if your BCP is compliant with current mandates? Don’t forget; regulations such as Appendix J and the revised FFIEC Information Technology Examination Handbook (as of November 2015) hold your entire FI (even your Board) responsible for not only your BCP but the oversight of your third-party vendors’ plans as well.
After reading this post, you’ll either feel confident about your BCP or not. The ability to comply with regulatory requirements, maintain critical business operations (regardless of the disaster impacting your FI), and keep your customers’ data and confidence in your organization secure is your ultimate responsibility. If you have any doubt, schedule your demo of our BCP solution (Ncontinuity) right now. Protecting your FI is worth 30 minutes of your time, isn’t it?