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

Rescheduled: Next HA Rollover Coming April 18th

Rescheduled: Next HA Rollover Coming April 18th

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.  Previously announced for Sunday, March 7th, the next HA rollover has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 18th. As a reminder: instead of the typical one-week rollover, this rollover will occur over a three… Read more »

Feb 26, 2021

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 7th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 7th – 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, March 7th. Instead of the typical one-week rollover, this rollover will occur over a three week period as we perform system maintenance on PROD.  The… Read more »

Feb 5, 2021

FREE! CU*Answers Recovery Test Reports Available to Your Credit Union

FREE! CU*Answers Recovery Test Reports Available to Your Credit Union

At CU*Answers, we take Business Continuity and Information Security very seriously.  We’ve invested in technologies such as high availability and redundant data communications, which allow us to minimize downtime.  We test the technology and recover procedures regularly, including live, high-availability rollover events at our secondary data center. Digital copies of our Recover Test results are… Read more »

Feb 3, 2021

[The Pulse] 2021 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2021 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2021 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 »

Feb 1, 2021

CU*Answers assists credit union in flexing their incident response skills

On January 8, 2021, CU*Answers facilitated a virtual tabletop exercise for credit unions in Taylor, MI as part of the training and testing program for the Incident Response Plan. Participants began with an overview of Incident Response and the similarities to Business Continuity Planning. From there the exercise shifted to a walk-through of the Incident […]

Jan 22, 2021

CU*Answers offers “Components of the CU Information Security Program” education course

On January 13, 2021, CU*Answers presented a complimentary web-based educational course for credit unions to assist them in building, implementing, and testing a risk-based information security program. Titled, “Components of an Information Security Program”, participants were guided through the stages of developing a program from risk and technology assessment, asset inventory and classification, controls selection […]

Jan 22, 2021

Let CU*Answers Help Design Your Business Continuity Plan!

Let CU*Answers Help Design Your Business Continuity Plan!

The CU*Answers Business Continuity Team continues to invest in high availability and recovery strategies to ensure that the products and services you count on us for are available when you need them. Implementing strategies and responding when uncertainty happens requires a well-designed and thoroughly tested plan, helping you to continue serving your members, even when… Read more »

Dec 1, 2020

Is Your Credit Union Looking to Review Cybersecurity Compliance?

Is Your Credit Union Looking to Review Cybersecurity Compliance?

October is national cybersecurity awareness month!  While a robust cybersecurity plan is integral to the year-round business functions of financial institutions across the country, this month presents additional opportunities to re-evaluate your current program and consider changes you can implement to strengthen your security posture. AdvantageCIO offers a Cybersecurity Compliance Bundle designed specifically to address… Read more »

Oct 23, 2020