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Banking

Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan for Banks

Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan for Banks 1

Banks and financial institutions are constantly expanding their online presence to meet customer needs. From simple tasks like checking account balances to complex services such as money transactions, customers can do it all in a few steps on their computers or smartphones. However, this advancement in technology is also accompanied by a significant rise in cyber attacks on banks.

According to Security Magazine, the banking industry has experienced a 1,318% year-on-year increase in ransomware attacks in the first half of 2021. Therefore, to avoid financial loss, downtime, and losing critical data following a cyber attack, banks are recommended to adopt a disaster recovery plan. 

This blog post offers an overview of a disaster recovery plan as well as lists some of the essential features that should be available when developing a disaster recovery plan for financial institutions and banks.

What is a backup and disaster recovery plan? 

A backup and disaster recovery plan is a set of safety procedures that allow organizations to get their infrastructure up and running again after a cyber attack or hardware failure. Any backup and disaster recovery plan should include a well-structured approach to guide IT, administrators, through the process of re-establishing normal access to data. 

In the case of banks, the backup and disaster recovery plan focuses on the actions to be taken to restore essential bank operations and services as quickly as possible. The plan may include a set of best practices and policies that banks should follow closely to achieve a healthy recovery. Also, the inclusion of a robust and comprehensive third-party backup solution like NAKIVO Backup & Replication helps in keeping a bank’s data safe and recoverable at any time.  

Why do you need a backup and disaster recovery plan?

Depending on the impact of the disruptive event that hit your bank, you could face temporary or permanent access to your network and operation management system. This ultimately leads to downtime, financial loss, and reputational damage. The implementation of a disaster recovery plan is crucial in ensuring business continuity, credibility, and compliance.

Business continuity

A well-implemented disaster recovery solution helps your business maintain continuity and avoid downtime. A well-thought-out backup and disaster recovery plan ensures that an organization can easily and quickly resume its operations after a disaster without experiencing any sizable damage or financial losses. 

Credibility

Experiencing downtime can create long-term negative effects on an organization’s reputation and drive current and potential customers away. 

Compliance

Downtime can create compliance problems. Legal issues may arise from data loss or downtime. Therefore, mitigating this risk of a disruptive event is worth the time and effort needed to implement a robust backup and disaster recovery plan. 

What should a Disaster Recovery Plan for Banks include? 

A backup and recovery disaster plan for banks offers a comprehensive range of actions that any bank should take to prevent and successfully recover from a disastrous event such as a cyber attack, hardware failure, power or network outage, and human error.  

Here is a list of essential features that should be included in a backup and disaster recovery plan for banks:

Threat Awareness

Banks and similar financial institutions should be mindful of the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. Thousands of new malware instances are created on a daily basis and every single one of them could pose a danger to a bank’s IT infrastructure. 

A bank employee’s negligence or lack of awareness of cyber security practices may lead to disastrous consequences. For example, if an upper echelon employee opens a phishing link in an email sent by an untrusted source, crucial information may be compromised. This could lead to a security breach resulting in huge financial losses. 

Training employees to avoid the risks of malicious attacks is an important first step towards establishing an effective disaster recovery plan for banks. Through proper cybersecurity training, employees should be able to identify phishing emails and other social engineering techniques as well as understand the effects malware can have on a bank.

Updating security software

To protect their infrastructure from the most recent malicious threats, banks should keep their security software updated. Security applications such as antiviruses rely on databases to combat most forms of malware. An antivirus with an updated database should help detect the latest threats and take immediate action to contain them whenever possible. 

Backup and recovery

Backing up your data is the most important part of a disaster recovery plan for banks. A bank’s data must be protected at all times in the case of a cyber-attack, power outage, hardware failure, natural disaster, or human error. There are a few measures banks can take to ensure that their data is safe and recoverable at any time.

Backup and recovery test: Banks should periodically run backup and recovery drill tests to make sure that the backup solution they opted for is reliable and effective. That also helps IT, administrators, in being fully prepared to act quickly in case of a last-minute backup.

Multiple storage locations: Banks should always keep multiple copies of their crucial data off-site. This helps in preventing data from getting damaged in case of a malicious breach and hardware-related failures. Banks hold large amounts of data and the process of moving data to different locations can be complicated. However, a robust third-party business data backup solution like NAKIVO Backup & Replication seamlessly backs up your data so you can quickly recover any file at any point in time. 

Data restore: An important consideration for all backup and disaster recovery solutions isn’t just how often your data gets backed up, but the speed at which you can restore your data. Every minute of downtime is money lost. For example, you need to be able to access your primary data center as quickly as possible after a cyber attack to resume normal operations.

Wrapping up

A backup and disaster recovery plan for banks primary goal is to ensure continuity. The features included in a backup and disaster recovery plan should help your bank or financial institution maintain high-security standards. In the case of a disruptive event, the actions listed in a backup and disaster recovery plan should help keep your data safe and get you back in business in little to no time.

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