Whether natural or man-made, disasters have become a common occurrence in our modern world. A major storm, flood, fire or cyber- or terrorist attack could wreak havoc on a community bank’s operations.
Of particular concern is the loss of critical data that could result from a natural or man-made disaster. Therefore, it’s important that your bank implement adequate data backup procedures that will enable you to restore your systems as fully as possible after a disaster strikes.
The good news is that it’s no longer difficult or expensive to secure off-site backup of the data housed on your bank’s computers and other systems. There is a wide variety of different backup options available, including cloud-based backups that can replicate your data on a continual basis.
When it comes to data backup and continuity planning, unfortunately there’s no such thing as 100 percent data security and restoration. Therefore, your bank should approach data backup from a strategic cost-benefit perspective. You must determine your level of risk tolerance when it comes to data loss — or in other words, how much potential data loss are you willing to live with?
Nightly backup is generally the minimum level of backup a community bank should consider implementing. In this scenario, a bank could potentially lose a full day’s worth of data. At the other end of the spectrum, nearly continual backup service can restore your data to within 15 minutes.
The more continual your data backup and replication, the more expensive your backup service will be. So the decision should be made by management, with input from IT — not the other way around.
The biggest mistake a community bank can make is to assume that disaster always strikes somewhere else. Take steps now to ensure that sufficient data backup procedures are in place to match your bank’s level of risk tolerance.