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

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: March 12 – 13 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed March 12 – 13. You may recall that this rollover period was shortened due to an issue that surfaced for a select group of credit union branch locations, preventing them… Read more »

Mar 24, 2017

Sure is Windy

“Sure is windy outside” was a common phrase heard around the office on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Most chalk this up to water cooler talk, but to business continuity professionals it brings about anxiety. Are we going to lose power? Are we prepared to respond accordingly? Are we sure the generator will kick on, when… Read more »

Mar 22, 2017

[The Pulse] HA Rollback Scheduled for TONIGHT, 3/13!

[The Pulse] HA Rollback Scheduled for TONIGHT, 3/13!

High Availability Rollback Beginning at 10 PM ET, Tonight, 3/13 This evening, March 13, beginning at 10 PM ET and lasting until approximately 11 PM ET, our teams will complete the rollback to the production data center. This rollback, originally scheduled for Wednesday evening, has been moved forward due to an issue involving printer communications affecting… Read more »

Mar 13, 2017

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Scheduled for Sunday, March 12

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Scheduled for Sunday, March 12

High Availability Rollover Scheduled Sunday, March 12 – Wednesday March 15 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 PM ET on Sunday, March 12. We will continue providing live production of CU*BASE… Read more »

Mar 7, 2017

[The Pulse] 2017 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2017 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2017 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 31, 2017

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: December 10 – 18 Now available for your review is a summary of the unscheduled HA (high-availability) rollover, performed December 10 – 18.  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 View… Read more »

Jan 6, 2017