The Resilient Credit Union

Much like achieving good health is to our body (result of decisions we make and actions we take every day), resilience is to the organization.  It’s built up over time. Just as a strong immune system helps the body fight off germs and viruses, a strong continuity and recovery program helps the organization resist and respond to threats that could disrupt normal operations.

Resilience  \ri–’zil-yən(t)s\ noun “The operational and technological readiness that prepares an organization to make day-to-day operations efficient and cost-effective,  and to resist, absorb and recover from or successfully adapt to adversity or a change in conditions.”

An operational risk is any incident or event that results in a partial or full disruption to one or more processes producing a measurable impact (loss).  Examples include power outage, server malfunction, service disruption, software error, security incident, severe weather, flooding and fire, to name a few.

These incidents can occur in many forms including:

  • Interruption of IT services or loss of data
  • Disruption in the workplace
  • Reduction in the workforce
  • Disruption of a service from a third-party vendor

The impact from these incidents can range from minimal (affecting only one product or service or a single branch) to major (affecting multiple products or services at all branches) across multiple disciplines (Operational, Reputational, Financial, and Compliance).  Regardless of the impact, organizations must be ready to respond. For each type of event or incident, the response must be quick and it must be effective. The only way to achieve this level of readiness is to plan carefully and to practice regularly.

Strict security, disaster recovery and business continuity requirements are a reality facing credit unions and financial institutions today. A static plan is not enough. Developing and implementing a Business Continuity Management (BCM) program that results in a repeatable process focused on continual improvement is the new standard. Resilience starts when business continuity stops being a series of separate activities, is embraced as a business process, and becomes part of day-to-day decision-making and operations.

The success or failure of the BCM program rests on the shoulders of the board and senior management.  As stated in the FFIEC IT Examination Handbook, they are accountable for the oversight and governance of the Business Continuity Planning process, which includes:

  • Establishing policy by determining how the institution will manage and control identified risks;
  • Allocating knowledgeable personnel and sufficient financial resources to properly implement the BCP;
  • Ensuring that the BCP is independently reviewed and approved (annually);
  • Ensuring employees are trained and aware of their roles in the implementation of the BCP;
  • Ensuring the BCP is regularly tested on an enterprise-wide basis;
  • Reviewing the BCP testing program and test results on a regular basis; and
  • Ensuring the BCP is continually updated to reflect the current operating environment.”

Resilience begins with defining the mission, setting the policy, rolling up our sleeves, and never looking back. The good news is that a field-tested roadmap (framework) has been developed to build and maintain a robust BCM program.


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
February 11, 2015

Let Us Help Design Your Business Continuity Awareness and Training Plan!

Let Us Help Design Your Business Continuity Awareness and Training Plan!

A credit union can invest in the latest technology, write a comprehensive recovery plan, and check all of the compliance boxes, but if effective response and recovery is not a normal part of the day-to-day activities and embedded in the corporate culture, business disruptions will catch you by surprise, last longer than they should, and… Read more »

Jan 8, 2019

[The Pulse] 2018 Statement Printing Recovery Test Results Available

[The Pulse] 2018 Statement Printing Recovery Test Results Available

ATTENTION ONLINE AND SELF-PROCESSING CREDIT UNIONS: 2018 Statement Printing Recovery Test Results Available At CU*Answers, we take our Business Continuity Program very seriously. We work extremely hard to design and develop the tools you need to best serve your members and succeed in the marketplace. And we work even harder to make sure that those… Read more »

Nov 29, 2018

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 »

Nov 15, 2018

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: September 23 – 26 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed May 20 – 23.  In the report, you will find details about the exercise and hardware upgrades, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the rollover process…. Read more »

Oct 26, 2018

Workplace Violence/Active Shooter

In today’s workplace, an act of violence/active shooter event is 18 times more likely than a fire according to the Department of Justice. What?!?! That is startling. What does that mean for me, for my organization? Well, it means that an active shooter situation is now a recognized hazard per OSHA and companies are realizing… Read more »

Sep 28, 2018

CU*BASE HA Rollback Updates for September 26

CU*BASE HA Rollback Updates for September 26

Remember that we will be rolling back late Wednesday evening, September 26.  Make sure someone is at your branches early the morning of Thursday, September 27 to check the connections before members start to arrive! Even if everything went smoothly for you earlier this week, when three different environments have to work together (yours, ours,… Read more »

Sep 26, 2018

CU*BASE HA Rollover Updates for September 23

CU*BASE HA Rollover Updates for September 23

We will be posting any/all issues related to the September 23rd HA Rollover event to the CU*BASE Alerts page, compiled into a single alert located here.  We will not be sending out any emails regarding individual issues for the HA Rollover.  If you encounter any issues between Sunday, September 23rd and Monday September 24th, please… Read more »

Sep 21, 2018

[The Pulse] Reminder: HA Rollover Scheduled for September 23-26

[The Pulse] Reminder: HA Rollover Scheduled for September 23-26

High Availability Rollover Scheduled Sunday, September 23 – Wednesday, September 26   During this rollover event, we will redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our primary production data center to systems at our high-availability (HA) data center. The rollover process will begin at 10:00 PM ET on Sunday, September 23. We will continue providing live production of… Read more »

Sep 18, 2018