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.



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
January 13, 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

Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union includes core processor in business continuity tabletop exercise

For those credit unions looking to take their business continuity program to the next level, including key vendors and service providers in recovery testing and exercises is a win-win scenario. That was the experience for the team at Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union (located in Alpena, MI) when they partnered with CUSO and core processor, […]

Jan 16, 2020

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