Look around today’s financial institution and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a department that technology doesn’t touch. Most modern institutions are highly interconnected and dependent on their network infrastructure. In fact, technology is the lifeblood of the modern financial institution.
There is another sometimes overlooked area where technology can facilitate the financial institution’s success – compliance.
It is a full time job for community bank IT professionals to make sure the network is running, email is working, applications are up to date and patched, and all users have just enough access to the network resources needed to do their jobs. This doesn’t even include the extra time spent with auditors, examiners, and the Board to ensure procedures are documented and actual practices align with compliance standards.
While outsourcing some of these processes can alleviate most of the day-to-day pressure of administering and maintaining IT for a financial institution, it doesn’t absolve an institution of the oversight and documentation requirements necessary to ensure secure, up-to-date, and compliant operations.
Instead of being a daily chore, network monitoring, patch management, and troubleshooting can provide the foundation for the institution to build a better compliance posture. How? Automation and documentation.
There are three things examiners look for in a financial institution – written policies, written procedures and documented practices. Most institutions have the right policies and procedures in place but often maintain inadequate documentation of the work being performed; thus, they can tell an examiner they are adhering to appropriate compliance measures, but are not able to show thorough proof of that through documentation.
A typical community financial institution may have multiple software products to manage software patches, monitor network resources, and administer security and antivirus tools that keep machines safe from threats. Each of these systems requires different steps be taken to pull reports and provide the documentation needed to ensure adherence to policies and regulations. When making improvements that will significantly improve an institution’s ability to produce the documentation examiners are looking for the IT staff has two choices – manually pull all the necessary documentation from disparate systems, or build an internal process to centralize and automate it. Either way, an institution needs a certain amount of technology to be able to pull this off.
A centralized IT dashboard and reporting system can pull data and documentation from multiple systems and assemble the information. The right solution can automate the reporting process for bank examiners and bring critical documentation to your bank’s management team’s fingertips.
All those various systems your IT staff has to manage become one. A centralized and automated reporting system helps break down the silos that can make working with different reports from different systems so time consuming and difficult. Ultimately, a centralized IT reporting system can not only reduce administrative overhead, but also help improve your bank’s compliance posture.
Partnering with Safe Systems to co-manage your bank’s IT infrastructure ensures your financial institution will have the right technology in place to meet IT compliance requirements. With the right policies, procedures, practices, and the documentation to prove it, your financial institution will have the best opportunity to meet your examiner’s expectations. With automated systems and a centralized dashboard from which to monitor processes and generate reports, IT administrators can proactively ensure their institution maintains a strong compliance posture.
At Safe Systems we understand the ever-growing complexity of community financial institution IT operations and the enhanced regulatory requirements these institutions must meet. By making the decision to partner with Safe Systems, 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.