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

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available HA Rollover: September 12 – 26 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent CU*Answers HA (high availability) rollover event performed September 12th to 26th for the CU*BASE core processing environment.  In this report, you will find details about the exercise, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and… Read more »

Oct 15, 2021

Reminder: HA Rollback This Weekend

Reminder: HA Rollback This Weekend

This is a reminder of the high-availability rollback event that will be occurring this weekend.  The rollback process will begin Sunday, September 26th at 3:00 AM ET. During this time, there will be a period of approximately 60 to 90 minutes that will include an interruption to the following services: CU*BASE/GOLD, CU*Talk audio response and… Read more »

Sep 24, 2021

Reminder: Network Maintenance Scheduled for this Weekend, September 18 & 19

Reminder: Network Maintenance Scheduled for this Weekend, September 18 & 19

As previously announced, CU*Answers will be performing planned Network Maintenance from 11:00 PM ET on Saturday, September 18th until 6:00 AM ET on Sunday, September 19th.  During that time, teams will be taking steps to upgrade the firmware on all core network switch appliances that connect systems at the primary production center in Kentwood, MI…. Read more »

Sep 14, 2021

Rollover Event This Weekend – Updates to be Posted on CU*BASE Alerts Page

Rollover Event This Weekend – Updates to be Posted on CU*BASE Alerts Page

Don’t forget: this weekend, we will be testing our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The rollover will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, September 12th with the rollback scheduled for 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, September 26th. During the rollover process, there will… Read more »

Sep 10, 2021

Maintenance Period Scheduled for September 18 & 19, During Upcoming HA Rollover

Maintenance Period Scheduled for September 18 & 19, During Upcoming HA Rollover

As previously announced, CU*Answers will be performing our next high-availability (HA) rollover from Sunday, September 12th to Sunday, September 26th.  A two-week HA rollover has been scheduled so that network maintenance can be performed at the primary data center without impacting CU*BASE. *Please note that Custom Training Edition (CTE) services will not be available during… Read more »

Sep 9, 2021

Reminder: The Next HA Rollover is Coming September 12th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

Reminder: The Next HA Rollover is Coming September 12th – 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 Sunday, September 12th. This rollover will occur over a two-week period, enabling support teams to perform planned network maintenance at the primary production data center without… Read more »

Sep 2, 2021

Reminder: The Next HA Rollover is Coming September 12th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

Reminder: The Next HA Rollover is Coming September 12th – 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 Sunday, September 12th. This rollover will occur over a two-week period, enabling support teams to perform planned network maintenance at the primary production data center without… Read more »

Aug 24, 2021

The Next HA Rollover is Coming September 12th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

The Next HA Rollover is Coming September 12th – 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 Sunday, September 12th. This rollover will occur over a two-week period, enabling support teams to perform planned network maintenance at the primary production data center without… Read more »

Aug 13, 2021

[The Pulse] 2021 Business Continuity Plan (mid-year revision) Now Available

[The Pulse] 2021 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 2021 CU*Answers Business… Read more »

Jul 29, 2021

[The Pulse] 2021 Disaster Recovery Test Results Now Available

[The Pulse] 2021 Disaster Recovery Test Results Now Available

2021 Disaster Recovery Test Results Now Available Test Period: June 14 – July 1 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent ‘bare metal’ disaster recovery test performed by teams at CU*Answers to restore CU*BASE from tape backup.  In this report, you will find details about the exercise, including challenges observed, lessons… Read more »

Jul 20, 2021