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
March 27, 2020

A Note from CU*Answers Regarding Our Large-Scale Pandemic Plan

A Note from CU*Answers Regarding Our Large-Scale Pandemic Plan

With media escalating awareness of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, several credit unions have reached out to CU*Answers asking about our large-scale pandemic plans. Our team would like to share our response with the CU*BASE credit union network. Planning and preparing for disruptive events, whether the result of a natural, man-made, or technology incident, is the… Read more »

Mar 17, 2020

Is Your Staff Ready for the Next Disruption or Security Incident? We Can Help.

Is Your Staff Ready for the Next Disruption or Security Incident?  We Can Help.

A credit union can invest in technology, write comprehensive contingency plans, and check all of the compliance boxes – but if effective response and recovery is not part of regular day-to-day activities, business disruptions can catch you by surprise, last longer than they should, and increase the level of frustration for you, your staff and… Read more »

Mar 3, 2020

Last Chance to Test Connectivity Before this Weekend’s Scheduled HA Rollover

Last Chance to Test Connectivity Before this Weekend’s Scheduled HA Rollover

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Perform your connectivity test before this weekend! Don’t forget: the next scheduled HA rollover will begin this coming Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 AM ET.  At that time, CU*BASE core-processing will be redirected from our primary production data center to systems at our high-availability (HA) data center.  We will continue providing… Read more »

Mar 2, 2020

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Don’t forget: our next High Availability Rollover is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 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 will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, March 8. We will… Read more »

Feb 24, 2020

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Don’t forget: our next High Availability Rollover is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 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 will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, March 8. We will… Read more »

Feb 17, 2020

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 8th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 8th – 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 the morning of Sunday, March 8. What’s unique about this HA rollover is that we will be operating live on a new HA server installed back… Read more »

Feb 7, 2020

CU*Answers holds 8th annual Continuity Awareness Day

On January 22, 2020, CU*Answers held its 8th annual corporate “Continuity Awareness Day”. This all-staff event is an essential component of their business continuity and incident response programs. “This year’s theme is ‘Planning and Responding to Disruptions in a 24/7 Business Environment,’” said Jim Lawrence, Vice President of Business Continuity. “Every planned system maintenance task, […]

Jan 29, 2020

January 28 is Data Privacy Day – View Resources Available from CU*Answers

January 28 is Data Privacy Day – View Resources Available from CU*Answers

January 28th is observed as Data Privacy Day for all industries, including credit unions, to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices.  Much attention has been gained by the frequency and scope of recent data breaches and by privacy concerns on social media platforms. This attention to data privacy is paving the… Read more »

Jan 28, 2020

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2020 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 »

Jan 28, 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