Business Continuity

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As a CUSO and cuasterisk.com network partner delivering products and services to 200+ credit unions nation-wide representing more than 2,000 concurrent system users supporting over 1.7 million members, CU*Answers is committed to being there when our customers and owners need us most. Whether it’s the software tools we build and provide that enable credit unions to successfully manage and market their operations or the online banking platforms our members use to reach their financial goals, the expectations are the same. The network and the information it contains must be secure and it must be available.

To accomplish this, CU*Answers adheres to strict continuity and recovery principles aligned with industry standards and guidelines, implemented and managed through a robust Business Continuity Management Program. Certified and experienced recovery teams actively monitor daily operations, anticipating incidents and threats with the potential for creating disruptions.

An effective Business Continuity Management program answers the following:

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At the heart of the program is a comprehensive written Business Continuity Plan (BCP) developed to maintain or resume business in the event of a disruption. The BCP includes both the technology recovery capability (also known as Disaster Recovery) as well as the recovery of the business units themselves.

Key components of the CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan include:

For questions about the CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan or to request a copy, please contact us.

 

Business Continuity Planning Process

Keeping the continuity and recovery plans accurate, complete and relevant in a constantly changing and ever increasing complex business and IT environment requires a repeatable process; one that includes the following steps:

  1. Needs Assessment and Program Initiation

    1. Identifies gaps between existing plans and policies and aligns strategies implemented with defined business goals and objectives.
  2. Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment

    1. Identifies critical business functions and the threats that warrant the risk of disruption.
  3. Continuity and Recovery Strategy Development

    1. Identifies cost effective controls and procedures to mitigate the likelihood of disruption and the impact to the organization.
  4. Recovery Plan Development and Implementation

    1. Documents the strategies and recovery procedures put in place to continue operations through or recover from disruptions.
  5. Plan Awareness and Training

    1. Educates staff of their roles and responsibilities prior to and during a recovery effort.
  6. Plan Exercise, Audit and Maintenance

    1. Validates accuracy and completeness of the plan and sharpens recovery skills through regular testing.

With defined goals and objective created at the onset, each step identifies key information that helps shape the program resulting in a strategy and plan that is both effective (provides for a timely recovery of critical business functions) and efficient (minimizes losses and allocates limited budget resources for technologies and controls that best address operational risk).

Contact a CU*Answers Certified Continuity Consultant today to learn how you can improve your credit union’s ability to adapt and respond to the next unexpected business disruption.

Creating a “Culture of Continuity”

Having a robust business continuity program requires support and participation at all levels of the organization. The most resilient operations are those that continually educate and train staff for emergency scenarios, effectively creating a “Culture of Continuity”.  Culture is the personality, philosophy, attitude, values, and behaviors that define an organization’s style, policies, and working environment.

Culture influences:

  • How decisions are made and carried out,
  • Resistance to change and innovation,
  • Degree of accountability and ownership,
  • Organizational strategy, and
  • How “things get done”.

At CU*Answers, “Culture of Continuity” is defined as:

“The organizational state of being in which all personnel inherently work to minimize the likelihood of downtime and improve responsiveness and recoverability as we perform day-to-day activities.”

The highlight of the CU*Answers awareness and training program is the annual Continuity Awareness Day with participation from all departments across three facilities.

Read a CU Insight article about our culture of continuity.

For the Credit Union

Developing, implementing, and testing continuity and disaster recovery plans can seem an overwhelming task requiring time, resources and skills not always available in every organization.  The impact of an outdated plan that is incomplete and no longer relevant puts your organization at risk with the potential for compliance issues, financial loss, member dissatisfaction and damaged reputation.

For more information, see the “Resilient Credit Union”.

The same talent, skills and expertise used to safeguard core-processing for the CU*Answers network is available to you. Our experience in the credit union industry can help guide your business continuity program so that it properly measures up to regulatory requirements (NCUA, FFIEC, etc.), standards and guidelines, peers in the industry, and professional best practices. To accomplish this, we offer the right mix of professional and managed services shown below to complement your exiting program or to help you build one. Contact a CU*Answers Continuity Consultant today to discover in-network solutions that best meet your business objectives.

   

See what Business Continuity has to offer!

Business Continuity products are now available to order in the store.

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Next Steps

CU*Answers offers professional and managed services to help you meet and exceed your recovery objectives. Contact a CU*Answers Continuity Consultant today to discover in-network solutions that best meet your business objectives.

Updated
October 16, 2019

A Note from CU*Answers Regarding Our Large-Scale Pandemic Plan

A Note from CU*Answers Regarding Our Large-Scale Pandemic Plan

With media escalating awareness of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, several credit unions have reached out to CU*Answers asking about our large-scale pandemic plans. Our team would like to share our response with the CU*BASE credit union network. Planning and preparing for disruptive events, whether the result of a natural, man-made, or technology incident, is the… Read more »

Mar 17, 2020

Is Your Staff Ready for the Next Disruption or Security Incident? We Can Help.

Is Your Staff Ready for the Next Disruption or Security Incident?  We Can Help.

A credit union can invest in technology, write comprehensive contingency plans, and check all of the compliance boxes – but if effective response and recovery is not part of regular day-to-day activities, business disruptions can catch you by surprise, last longer than they should, and increase the level of frustration for you, your staff and… Read more »

Mar 3, 2020

Last Chance to Test Connectivity Before this Weekend’s Scheduled HA Rollover

Last Chance to Test Connectivity Before this Weekend’s Scheduled HA Rollover

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Perform your connectivity test before this weekend! Don’t forget: the next scheduled HA rollover will begin this coming Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 AM ET.  At that time, CU*BASE core-processing will be redirected from our primary production data center to systems at our high-availability (HA) data center.  We will continue providing… Read more »

Mar 2, 2020

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Don’t forget: our next High Availability Rollover is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 Twice each year, CU*Answers tests our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The next HA rollover will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, March 8. We will… Read more »

Feb 24, 2020

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Don’t forget: our next High Availability Rollover is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 Twice each year, CU*Answers tests our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The next HA rollover will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, March 8. We will… Read more »

Feb 17, 2020

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 8th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 8th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

Twice each year, CU*Answers tests our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The next HA rollover is scheduled for the morning of Sunday, March 8. What’s unique about this HA rollover is that we will be operating live on a new HA server installed back… Read more »

Feb 7, 2020

CU*Answers holds 8th annual Continuity Awareness Day

On January 22, 2020, CU*Answers held its 8th annual corporate “Continuity Awareness Day”. This all-staff event is an essential component of their business continuity and incident response programs. “This year’s theme is ‘Planning and Responding to Disruptions in a 24/7 Business Environment,’” said Jim Lawrence, Vice President of Business Continuity. “Every planned system maintenance task, […]

Jan 29, 2020

January 28 is Data Privacy Day – View Resources Available from CU*Answers

January 28 is Data Privacy Day – View Resources Available from CU*Answers

January 28th is observed as Data Privacy Day for all industries, including credit unions, to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices.  Much attention has been gained by the frequency and scope of recent data breaches and by privacy concerns on social media platforms. This attention to data privacy is paving the… Read more »

Jan 28, 2020

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2020 Release Now Available   As your core data processor, we continue to invest in high availability and recovery strategies to ensure that the products and services you count on us for are there when you need them. Implementing those strategies and responding when uncertainty happens requires a well-designed and thoroughly… Read more »

Jan 28, 2020

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: October 27 – November 5 Now available for your review is the summary report of the unscheduled, emergency HA (high-availability) rollover event performed between October 27 and November 5, 2019.  In the report, you will find details about the unfolding circumstances that resulted in a failover and recovery effort… Read more »

Jan 17, 2020