In 2005, Hurricane Katrina paralyzed many banks in Florida and Louisiana for days. It took some time before people in the worst-hit areas could access their accounts and withdraw money. To prevent such a severe interruption from happening again and minimize the risk of data loss, the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) has since reinforced its guidelines on the implementation of disaster recovery plans in the finance sector.
To meet the FFIEC’s requirements, banks and other financial companies must focus on three concerns:
#1 Ensuring compliance
As a regulated industry, the finance sector is under constant, heavy scrutiny to ensure the security of its clients’ assets and private information. Regulations pertinent to disaster recovery include Dodd-Frank and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, both of which demand that transaction records be preserved for future audits. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, on the other hand, requires the implementation of stringent measures for storing, accessing, and retrieving data.
With technologies like web-based spreadsheets and cloud computing, it seems as though ensuring compliance is only a matter of finding the right applications or cloud service providers. But to take full advantage of these innovations and their benefits, you need to partner with a managed services provider (MSP) that is familiar with the finance industry’s regulations.
For instance, your MSP partner can help you set up redundant systems that create copies of your data and store them in secure locations. This prevents data loss and ensures that your records are available for audit even after a calamity.
#2 Protecting data while in transit
Cloud technology allows you to transmit data to multiple secure servers in different geographical locations. Because of this, your data remains intact and safe from any localized disaster in your area. But your disaster recovery plan must take into account not just where your data ultimately lands, but also what happens as it travels between your office and its storage location.
Data is at risk of being intercepted, stolen, or lost while in transit. Because of this, your disaster recovery plan cannot be considered complete if it does not take cybersecurity into consideration.
Your partner MSP can help you identify security measures and design protocols with the express goal of protecting company information at every stage of access. These include using fiber optic networks (because they are harder to hack than copper cables) and secure networks for all transactions. Your MSP can also help you set up an encryption system that renders your data unreadable — and unusable — to hackers while it travels to and from your office.
#3 Maintaining continuity
With the 21st century’s emphasis on speed and the presence of social media, your company’s reputation could suffer a huge blow if you can’t keep up with your customers’ demands. Even after a natural disaster, ransomware attack, or major equipment breakdown, your company must be able to bounce back and return to serving your customers at the soonest time possible.
This is where the right MSP truly shines. Besides creating backups of your files, your MSP must be able to provide 24/7 remote support, so that any issue that arises — whether it has to do with your company’s equipment or software — is addressed promptly, anytime. More importantly, constant monitoring means that any issue is detected and fixed before it can interrupt your service.
In creating and implementing an effective disaster recovery plan, you need to partner with an MSP that understands the finance sector. We are familiar with your needs and challenges, so we can help you design a disaster recovery plan that works for your business and meets industry regulations. Contact us today to get started!