Community Banks Can Extend Their Internal IT Team with Help from IT and  Security Service Providers

Running the day to day IT network administration for a community bank is a full-time job. One of the biggest challenges is the need for constant management of multiple solutions with a limited number of people on the IT team.

The typical IT department at a small community institution has a big job with limited staff. Not only is the department expected to oversee all the administrative work of setting up and maintaining the bank’s IT network, but they are also expected to work with the security officers to ensure that every technology component that constitutes the network is compliant with regulatory guidance. The department is also responsible for monitoring an array of administrative concerns like antivirus status, patch compliance, and email security to name just a few.

Furthermore, when auditors or examiners come knocking, the IT department must be able to produce a paper trail proving that daily practices match written policies and procedures. Then comes the matter of internal oversight. The processes that make use of those technology components must also align with the institution’s high-level policies, and this is where an IT steering committee, senior management, and the board of directors come into play. In order to support strategic IT decision-making, IT managers must be able to neatly package and explain network health and technology compliance in reports aimed at this group who hold the ultimate responsibility for protecting customer data.

As these financial institutions plan for a future that is increasingly taking more banking services online and mobile, a modern community bank’s lifeblood is its technology!

To help augment internal IT resources many institutions are turning to IT and security service providers to act as an extension of their organization — seeking a true partner to work together to streamline technology needs. The right solution provider can help bridge the gap between a financial institution’s everyday network administrative functions and the big picture goals of IT compliance and infrastructure planning.

An IT and security service provider can help automate and control many of the IT network administrative functions that are so time-consuming for in-house staff. Automating patch management and reporting saves your bank IT resources a tremendous amount of time. Providing bankers the ability to actively monitor network information for diagnostic or security issues not only saves time and improves efficiencies, but also helps the bank extend its hours of support beyond the traditional 9 to 5 hours. Additionally, outsourcing these business processes can help fill the gap when the IT staff is out sick or on vacation, providing added peace of mind.

IT service providers who focus on the community bank market can also offer account managers who act as facilitators and trusted advisors to help guide technology committees and provide tools to address financial regulatory governance. These account managers have a wealth of banking IT expertise and commonly attend technology steering committee meetings, assist with IT strategic planning, facilitate the responses to pre-exam IT questionnaires, and conduct periodic self-assessments of the bank’s IT infrastructure. With this structured guidance, financial institutions can gain deeper technology insights, complete more comprehensive control self-assessments, and enhance strategic IT planning.

The right IT service provider should offer your bank full support for the demands of banking technology and IT regulatory compliance by delivering your institution a solution that encompasses the three spheres of IT policy, procedure, and documentation. At Safe Systems we understand the ever-growing complexity of community banks’ IT operations and enhanced regulatory requirements. By making the decision to partner with Safe Systems and introduce our NetComply service, your organization will benefit from time saving automation and an in-depth view of your IT network environment. We want to provide you with assurance that your institution’s IT network is functioning efficiently, optimally, securely, and, most importantly, is compliant with FFIEC regulations.

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