Auditing and Testing

Technology is changing at a rapid pace. Continuity and recovery plans must keep up with these changes to remain current and relevant with today’s operations. Failing to do so puts the organization at risk during an outage. This requires continuous auditing and testing.

The Business Continuity Plan should be reviewed and approved by the board and senior management annually and revised when either of the following conditions are met:

  • Changes in potential threats or risks
  • Considerable changes in business operations, functions or processes,
  • Considerable changes in system or network architecture,
  • Audit recommendations, and/or
  • Lessons learned from recovery tests, training exercises, or actual events (planned or unplanned).

Copies of the CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan are available to in-network credit unions upon request.

Recovery Plan Testing

An active recovery plan test and exercise program helps to:

  • Verify completeness and accuracy of the plan.
  • Identify areas within the plan that should be enhanced or updated to improve the effectiveness
  • Provide training for recovery teams
  • Demonstrate the ability to recover and build confidence

Regularly testing our recovery plans provides the maintenance windows needed to give our systems a tune-up through hardware and operating system upgrades and replacement without requiring application downtime. Keeping our systems running on all cylinders increases availability when we and our clients need it most.

Results from each CU*Answers’ High Availability Rollover exercise and Disaster Recovery test are published in a report and available below for download.  In-network credit unions are encouraged to review each report and to include them in their board packet documentation.

CU*Answers High Availability and Disaster Recovery Test Reports

The following recovery test analysis reports are available for your review. We encourage you to include them in your next board meeting minutes. Please CONTACT if you have any questions regarding the reports or the CU*Answers recovery testing program.

CU*BASE/GOLD HA Rollover Reports

View our High Availability Rollover Schedule

It’s Me 247 HA Rollover Reports

Disaster Recovery (DR) Test Reports

Item Processing Recovery Reports

Statement Printing Recovery Reports

DataBP Recovery Test Reports

For the Credit Union

Creating a recovery plan without testing it provides a false sense of security. If it’s not tested regularly, you can’t be sure it will work when you need it the most. Postponing plan maintenance and recovery testing results in stale plans in the hands of untrained staff.

Methods of testing include:

  • Life safety exercises
    • (i.e., evacuation / shelter-in-place)
  • Plan walk–through / tabletop reviews
    • (i.e., review plan, conference/meeting room)
  • Scenario-based tabletop exercise
    • (i.e., simulation, conference/meeting room)
  • Alternate site exercise
    • (i.e., recovery at designated alternate site – hot site)
  • Standalone exercise
    • (i.e., single business unit or process)
  • Full end to end functional exercise
    • (i.e., recovery for functional area)
  • Comprehensive exercise
    • (i.e., recovery for entire organization – offline)
  • Integrated exercise
    • (i.e., mixed with production – online)

Planning and coordinating a testing schedule can seem overwhelming. A good place to start is with a Tabletop Exercise, designed to increase awareness, to inform staff of their roles and responsibilities during an incident or disruptive event, and to engage them in a team-building activity as they collaborate on a recovery effort.

An example of a tabletop exercise can be reviewed here. For this exercise, the CU*Answers Business Continuity Team and the Records and Information Management Team (RIM) worked together to simulate a Litigation Hold Scenerio. This provided an opportunity for the appropriate response team to “walk-through” the response plan and identify areas for improvement. To learn more about implementing a Records and Information Management Program at your credit union, visit the RIM page on the CU*Answers website.

For more information, see the Resilient Credit Union

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.

 

AdvantageCIO

Professional Services available include:

  • Business Continuity Planning and Resilience Testing
  • Information Security Risk Assessment
  • Comprehensive Information Security Program (CISP)
  • Staff Security Training
  • IT Examination and Audit Preparation
  • IT Strategy Consulting
CU*Answers Network Services

Managed Services available include:

  • Network Management and Monitoring
  • Continuous Data Protection (CDP) including off-site data storage
  • Virtual Branch / Virtual Office
Updated
April 3, 2020

3 Down, Just One More to Go! Final Stage of Rollover on Sunday

3 Down, Just One More to Go! Final Stage of Rollover on Sunday

Don’t forget: this month, we will be performing multiple rollovers including CU*BASE/GOLD and Online Banking.  In the past, these rollovers have been performed independently.  However, this month we will be performing the rollovers together.  While we are live with CU*BASE/GOLD production from our High Availability (HA) data center in Yankton, SD, we will also be… Read more »

Sep 17, 2020

Don’t Forget About the Online Banking Rollover Tomorrow Morning!

Don’t Forget About the Online Banking Rollover Tomorrow Morning!

Don’t forget: this month, we will be performing multiple rollovers including CU*BASE/GOLD and Online Banking.  In the past, these rollovers have been performed independently.  However, this month we will be performing the rollovers together.  While we are live with CU*BASE/GOLD production from our High Availability (HA) data center in Yankton, SD, we will also be… Read more »

Sep 14, 2020

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 begin performing multiple rollovers including CU*BASE/GOLD and Online Banking.  While we are live with CU*BASE/GOLD production from our High Availability (HA) data center in Yankton, SD, we will also be performing a live rollover of our ItsMe247/ItsMyBiz247 servers to our secondary data center to further test the resilience of… Read more »

Sep 11, 2020

Don’t Forget About the Online Banking Rollover Tomorrow Morning!

Don’t Forget About the Online Banking Rollover Tomorrow Morning!

Don’t forget: this month, we will be performing multiple rollovers including CU*BASE/GOLD and Online Banking.  In the past, these rollovers have been performed independently.  However, this month we will be performing the rollovers together.  While we are live with CU*BASE/GOLD production from our High Availability (HA) data center in Yankton, SD, we will also be… Read more »

Sep 8, 2020

Save the Date: ItsMe247 and CU*BASE GOLD Rollovers Scheduled for September

Save the Date: ItsMe247 and CU*BASE GOLD Rollovers Scheduled for September

During the month of September, we will be performing multiple rollovers including CU*BASE/GOLD and Online Banking.  In the past, these rollovers have been performed independently.  However, this fall we will be performing the rollovers together.  While we are live with CU*BASE/GOLD production from our High Availability (HA) data center in Yankton, SD, we will also… Read more »

Aug 31, 2020

CU*Answers publishes mid-year revision to Business Continuity Plan

On August 5, 2020, CU*Answers announced and published a mid-year revision to their Business Continuity Plan for review by credit unions on the CU*BASE platform to document changes made during the preparation and response to the pandemic outbreak and government stay-at-home mandates across the country. “As a credit-union-owned CUSO and core processor, our clients place […]

Aug 17, 2020

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan (mid-year revision) Now Available

[The Pulse] 2020 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 2020 CU*Answers Business… Read more »

Aug 5, 2020

CUSO offering free educational webinar on changing how credit unions approach business continuity planning

On July 21, 2020, cooperative CUSO CU*Answers will present a free web-based educational course for credit unions covering the steps necessary to create a relevant and comprehensive Business Continuity Plan. New for this presentation are considerations for pandemic planning and mobilizing the remote workforce learned during COVID-19 and government stay-at-home mandates. This webinar is one […]

Jul 17, 2020

Don’t Forget the Human Element

It is important for all businesses big and small to have a Business Continuity plan/program to plan for those events that disrupt business as usual. One important concept to remember is that even though there is a plan for the business, it revolves around people. The Business Continuity Plan is only as good as the… Read more »

Jun 4, 2020