Redundancy the Google Way, Having a Disaster Recovery Plan

By Preston Packer |

Jun

30

The sheer size and scope of Google are astounding. The estimates are that the software needed to run all of Google’s Internet services (Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.) spans 2 billion+ lines of code. The uptime of Google Cloud Platform’s storage service, which experienced 14 minutes of downtime in all of 2014, according to CloudHarmony, was a 99.9996 uptime percentage. So one thing is for sure at Google: They have sound reliability from the ground up...to the cloud!

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Does Disaster Recovery Keep You Up at Night? Maybe It Should.

By Preston Packer |

May

12

There are multiple ways to go on the offensive against cybercriminals. Creating firewalls and installing antivirus software aren't the only solutions to protecting your credit union data. There are also system failures and outages that can pose significant threats.  Without a solid disaster recovery plan in place, it becomes survival of the fittest.  Those that can withstand the blow and recover fastest have the greatest odds of long-term survival.

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Is Your Credit Union Protected from a Ransomware Attack?

By Preston Packer |

Apr

07

The headlines seem to be consistently on the scroll: “Ransomware Attacks on the Rise” or “Company X Held Hostage by Hackers.”  What’s disturbing with these headlines is that what started off as a consumer problem is now hammering at businesses. What’s even more disturbing is that most security experts agree that it’s almost impossible to recover data that might have been encrypted in a ransomware attack without access to the decryption keys, or to a backup copy of the affected data so companies are forced to pay up to get their data back.

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Extending Your Disaster Recovery Plan Beyond a Battery Powered Radio

By Preston Packer |

Feb

23

This week at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference, Ted Koppel was a keynote speaker, discussing his latest book "Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath." It was a fitting discussion for credit union executives given not only the importance of disaster preparedness within our industry, but the major importance of banking and finance to our country's survival.

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5 Cybersecurity Strategies from the White House

By Preston Packer |

Oct

22

October marks the 12th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  This is an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.  And one former White House CIO has some information to share with you: She says that defensive strategies stop just one-third of threats and you should go "Go on the Cybersecurity Offensive."

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Don't Get Left in the Dark: Disaster Recovery Tips You Need to Know

By Preston Packer |

Oct

15

It's hard to imagine every possible situation that could cause a disaster that would affect your operations.  So planning for every contingency is unrealistic.  If a disaster occurs, your environment will be chaotic with or without a plan.  But having that organized disaster and business continuity plan ahead of time will prep staff to help ease through the chaos with a smoother and more predictable response.  Credit Union Times reiterates the need for disaster planning that is compliant with FFIEC guidelines by offering the following tips that we're sharing today.

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Cyber Attack Preparedness for Credit Unions

By Preston Packer |

Jul

23

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently released advice about ways that financial institutions can identify and mitigate cyber attacks that compromise user credentials or use destructive software, known as malware. In addition, the FFIEC provided information on what institutions can do to prepare their cybersecurity to respond to these threats.

Cyber attacks have increased in frequency and severity over the past two years. The attacks often involve the theft of credentials used by customers, employees, and third parties to authenticate themselves when accessing business applications and systems. Cyber criminals can use stolen credentials to commit fraud or identity theft, modify and disrupt information system, and obtain, destroy, or corrupt data. Also, cyber criminals often introduce malware to business systems through e-mail attachments, connecting infected external devices, such as USB drives, to computers or networks, or by introducing the malware directly onto the business systems using compromised credentials.

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How Much Should You Worry About (And Pay For) Disaster Recovery?

By Preston Packer |

Sep

16

I was reading an article on disaster recovery the other day on one of our guest blog sites from a company that provides credit union IT Compliance support. On our blog, FLEX Connexions, we talk about DR in terms of the credit union core, which of course is an absolute.  But CU's should have a Disaster Recovery Plan that reaches into the branch staff and members beyond the core.  

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5 Issues a Credit Union May Face in a Disaster

By Preston Packer |

Jul

15

Nearly one third of credit unions have had to use their Disaster Recovery Plans

Occasionally we are reminded of the value of having a Disaster Recovery Plan.  In fact, a survey by NAFCU recently found that 32.1% of credit unions responding had to put their disaster recovery plans into action.  Sometimes it is due to some heavy storms that hit an area (see our blog from last month, "When Disaster Happens: One Small Credit Union Tells All"), while other times it is due to human error.  Whatever the case, a DRP is required for compliance, and a good DRP is encouraged for security.

Today we are sharing some words of wisdom from fellow bloggers at enCompass Group, an IT Support company for credit unions.  In their blog from a few months back, "5 Reasons a Foot of Snow can Bury a Credit Union," they presented 5 possible issues you may encounter in the face of a disaster... and enforces why having a Disaster Recovery Plan in place is a requirement:

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When Disaster Happens: One Small Credit Union Tells All

By Preston Packer |

Jun

10

MiddConn Federal Credit Union is a small credit union that services members from a large building that is susceptible to power outages. “Every time a storm comes through Middletown, our power goes out,” said Barbara Thorpe, CEO. “It might be off for a few seconds or minutes, but it always happens.” After-storm procedures became routine for Barbara and her team and as their system continued to reboot the stress of a full system crash minimized. Finally, a major storm hit during late summer on a Wednesday night into Thursday morning. When Barbara returned to MiddConn in the morning at 8 a.m. the system would not turn on and panic set in. (Download the full testimonial HERE)

It is moments like these that the hard work you put into creating a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan, and the due diligence in choosing vendors for your credit union core and IT systems that are capable of handling disasters, pays off. 

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