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

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

CU*Answers publishes gap analysis report for spring high-availability rollover test

On April 7, 2020, CU*Answers published and announced the gap analysis report detailing the results of the spring high-availability rollover test performed from March 8th through March 15th. During the rollover event, live production for CU*BASE is redirected from systems at the primary data center in Grand Rapids, MI, to identical systems at the secondary […]

Apr 14, 2020

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: March 8 – 15 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed March 8 – 15.  In the report, you will find details about the exercise, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the rollover process. HA Rollover Results… Read more »

Apr 7, 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

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 »

Apr 20, 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