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Data Backup and Disaster Recovery for Banks
Data disasters happen and maintaining regular procedures during and after the event is crucial for the success of banks. For every minute their system is down, these businesses will not only lose money, but also the trust and confidence of their clients. Unfortunately, many affected companies will shut down permanently due to the expensive damage inflicted by breaches, lost data, and client walkouts.
To prevent this, banks must have a BCP (Business Continuity Plan), which outlines the processes and procedures the organization must follow during a disaster-natural, digital, or low-profile.
How Banks Back Up Data
A business' BCP often includes a DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan), which outlines the steps that the organization must follow in order to both prevent and recover from a data disaster. The quicker a business can recover from a disaster, the better.
A financial institution that doesn't have a BCP or DRP holds the wellbeing of their community at high risk, but luckily, banks are held to a high standard and are required to have a DRP-if they don't, they can be fined and have their FDIC insurance rates hiked.
Disaster Threat Reduction
In 2015, the United States Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) issued new cybersecurity regulations that require financial institutions to have a DRPs and BCPs to prevent massive losses during a disaster or data breach. Since financial institutions like banks rely on digitized records daily, they require a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to help them secure sensitive information and resume normal operations.
Unique challenges like these are why banks must update and maintain airtight DRPs. For a quick, easy, and inexpensive recovery, here are a few best practices that banks can use to attempt their own, independent bank Disaster Recovery Plan.
Analyze All Possible Threats
Digital threats can come in any shape or size from hackers and data breaches, to natural disasters and climate complications. Banks should be prepared for both direct and indirect damage caused by weather anomalies. Earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes are all physical threats that should be taken into consideration when developing a DRP at a financial institution. By running a comprehensive threat analysis, a bank can better establish what kind of protection they may need to secure and protect their data.
Banks should update and improve their cybersecurity measures regularly to ensure that their data remains safe and secure. Encrypting backups for storage is a great way to prevent hacking, but it's critical that the physical security risks are also addressed. For example, closely managing server room employee access is a proven, internal security measure. Controlling personnel clearance can prevent the manipulation of sensitive banking data and recovery safeguards.
Run Tests Regularly
Banks should practice their backup and recovery procedures regularly to ensure effective functionality. Should a disaster occur, being left without a tested bank Disaster Recovery Plan can be devastating. This is why banks must be absolutely sure that critical, sensitive, and important data can be recovered and secured so hackers cannot take advantage of downtime. Depending on the nature and severity of the disaster, downtime can range from minutes to months, so financial institutions must integrate a long-term strategy into their DRP so they are able to hold out until networks are repaired.
Maintain Proper Compliance
To develop an effective Disaster Recovery Plan for a bank, managers must follow compliance regulations such as Dodd-Frank and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which requires the retention of extensive digital records for audits. By meeting PCI DSS compliance, businesses can effectively protect against fraud before, after, and during disaster scenarios. If a bank is not familiar with these regulations, they can hire a third-party organization to navigate them.
Store Securely in Multiple Locations
Ensuring that data is protected before, during, and after an outage, weather disaster, or breach, is crucial for maintaining a worthwhile BCP. Therefore, it is in the best interest of financial institutions to store their data at another location in a geographically diverse area. For example, if a bank in Louisiana is flooded during hurricane season, it would be advantageous to have its data backed up at a data center in Nevada. This can be a tall ask for smaller financial institutions-like independent banks-so they may choose to hire a third-party facility to house their sensitive information securely at a protected location; Net2Vault is one of the many data backup technologies used by banks. Transporting recovery data to one of these other locations isn't an easy task, though. Data should only be transported via fiber-optic networks-they're harder to hack and breaches can be detected easier.
Invest in Net2Vault
Maintaining bank servers in internal, secure, controlled environments, with well-managed personnel requires quite a bit of time and money; some banks may not find this cost-effective. To make matters worse, backups stored on-site are more susceptible to loss or theft during data disasters of any kind. That's where we come in.
At Net2Vault, not only are our systems stored in Sungard's SSAE 16 Type II, ISO & PCI DSS certified data centers, but we also have data centers in three key North American locations, which ensures that all backups are safe, secure, and replicated at all three. If one data center is damaged, a bank's data will remain accessible at the two other geographically diverse locations for as long as needed. Your data will remain in its native NetApp format so that it can maintain its original access control layers and LUN structure. When data needs to be recovered, our DRP system allows for seamless access with minimal downtime.
Talk with our experts about how our backup and disaster recovery services can be an integral part of your banking disaster recovery planning, keeping your data safe and accessible.