Disaster recovery can mean different things to different people. Ask anyone who’s gone through an unexpected (and disruptive) event, and the circumstances are always a little bit different. Transpose that to the institutional level, where recoverability and preparedness are mission critical, and it puts that much more emphasis on planning.
So what’s the first step in disaster recovery for a bank or credit union? We’ve recently explored that question in developing Safe Systems’ latest eGuide, How to Build Your Institution’s Disaster Recovery Program. The following is an excerpt from that report focusing on the role of the business impact analysis as a first step in DR:
The Business Impact Analysis
A business impact analysis (BIA) is the formal procedure of identifying all of a financial institution’s critical business processes and then prioritizing them for recovery. For example, what steps are required to recover teller functions? How do those functions compare to loan servicing or other departments? The BIA creates a timeframe mechanism to define acceptable levels of service after an outage, and more importantly, where to start recovery efforts. The financial institution accomplishes several items as part of the BIA:
- An alignment of specific IT initiatives with the strategic goals of senior management
- Establishment of a shared objective of the expectations of the board and senior management for all functional units throughout the organization
- Creation of a specific benchmark that will serve as the target for future testing
The final, crucial step in the business impact analysis is the review of interdependencies to show how the various parts and pieces – be it hardware, software, or personnel– impact the institution’s various products and services. Once the most critical interdependencies have been identified, recovery resources can be prioritized to provide redundancy for those that are most common among the greatest number of processes. For example, it is common to have several departments that need network access (PCs, servers, Internet access, printers, etc.).
Before you purchase any technology in the name of disaster recovery, first take a look at the full page report. In addition to the business impact analysis, we also look at testing and gap analysis, as well as some of the technology behind disaster recovery for banks and credit unions.