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
July 14, 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

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: April 18 – May 9 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent CU*Answers HA (high-availability) rollover event performed April 18th to May 9th 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 »

May 20, 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, May 9th 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 It’s… Read more »

May 7, 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.  As a reminder: instead of the typical one-week rollover, this rollover will occur over a three week period.  The rollover will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, April 18th,… Read more »

Apr 16, 2021

Don’t Forget: the Next HA Rollover is Coming this Weekend!

Don’t Forget: the Next HA Rollover is Coming this Weekend!

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 has been scheduled for this weekend, Sunday, April 18th. As a reminder: instead of the typical one-week rollover, this rollover will occur over a three week period.  The rollover… Read more »

Apr 12, 2021

Reminder: Next HA Rollover Coming April 18th

Reminder: 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.  The next HA rollover has been scheduled for Sunday, April 18th. As a reminder: instead of the typical one-week rollover, this rollover will occur over a three week period.  The rollover will begin… Read more »

Apr 6, 2021

Reminder: Next HA Rollover Coming April 18th

Reminder: 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.  The next HA rollover has been scheduled for Sunday, April 18th. As a reminder: instead of the typical one-week rollover, this rollover will occur over a three week period.  The rollover will begin… Read more »

Mar 30, 2021

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