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

HA Rollback Updates for November 5

HA Rollback Updates for November 5

This is a reminder of the high-availability rollback event that will be occurring early tomorrow morning.  The rollback process will begin at 2:00 AM and will last until approximately 4:00 AM ET.  During this time, there will be an interruption to all systems, including CU*BASE/GOLD, CU*Talk audio response, and It’s Me 247 online banking (a… Read more »

Nov 4, 2019

[The Pulse] It’s Me 247 Online and Mobile Banking Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] It’s Me 247 Online and Mobile Banking Rollover Results Now Available

It’s Me 247 Online and Mobile Banking Rollover: Report Now Available   Now available for your review is a summary report of the August 13-14, 2019 It’s Me 247 Online Banking rollover event.  This significant exercise was the first live production rollover performed for the online and mobile banking environments involving more than 300,000 members… Read more »

Sep 10, 2019

[The Pulse] Item Processing Services 2019 Recovery Test: Report Now Available

[The Pulse] Item Processing Services 2019 Recovery Test: Report Now Available

Item Processing Services 2019 Recovery Test: Report Now Available   For those credit unions who currently use CU*Answers for Electronic Check Processing (ECP), this report is for you.  During the week of August 12, 2019, teams at CU*Answers completed the annual recovery test by restoring the CheckLogic environment and performing daily check processing operations from… Read more »

Sep 9, 2019

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan (mid-year revision) Now Available

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan (mid-year revision) 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 tested plan. We’ve recently updated the 2019 CU*Answers Business… Read more »

Aug 1, 2019

What to do When Plan B Fails

The 2019 Polar Vortex and extreme winter weather with wide spread power outages throughout the Great Lakes area put many organization’s recovery plan to the test, including ours at CU*Answers. You develop and plan for interruptions, but what do you do when Plan B is not enough; when Plan B fails? Our primary data center… Read more »

Mar 22, 2019

[The Pulse] Emergency HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] Emergency HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: February 8 – 17 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed February 8 – 17.  In the report, you will find details about the rollover and recovery effort, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the rollover process…. Read more »

Feb 22, 2019

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2019 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 25, 2019

CU*Answers holds 7th annual Continuity Awareness Day

On January 23, 2019, CU*Answers held its 7th annual corporate “Continuity Awareness Day”. This annual event is an essential component of their business continuity and incident response awareness program. “Launching our awareness campaign each January sets the tone for the remainder of the year,” said Jim Lawrence, vice president of Business Continuity. “It sends the […]

Jan 25, 2019