The potential damage that storms can cause underscores the importance of disaster recovery solutions, especially for local community banks and credit unions. When Hurricane Irma hit Georgia in September 2017, many were left without power for an extended period, including Southern Bank & Trust’s main branch in Clarkesville, Ga. This presented a significant challenge for the bank because its main server is run from that branch. The bank’s other full-service branch in Blairsville, Ga. (along with its loan production office in Dahlonega, Ga.) still had power but were unable to run while the server was down. The bank needed a way to access its server from Blairsville and Dahlonega to continue to serve its customers.
Managing Disaster Recovery
When the staff at Southern Bank & Trust learned the severity of the power outage in their town, they made the difficult decision to declare a disaster, and as a customer of Safe Systems, leveraged the company’s Continuum Disaster Recovery Service to respond to the situation. Continuum is a fully managed and secure data replication and failover solution designed to help community banks and credit unions adhere to regulations and ensure business critical data and applications are available in the event of an unplanned business interruption.
Using Continuum, Safe Systems established a site-to-site Virtual Private Network (VPN) between the branch in Blairsville and the Continuum site hosting the recovered servers to get operations back up and running quickly. Displaced employees could remotely access the network, and the bank was able to leverage Continuum for two full days until power was restored at all branches and the production servers were powered back on.
A Trusted Partner
Working with Safe Systems’ Continuum service, Southern Bank & Trust was able to avoid a complete shutdown of all of its branches. The bank’s staff knew the importance of serving their customers and providing them with access to their money, even during a disaster, and Continuum allowed them to achieve that.
“Safe Systems’ experience and guidance helped us keep things in perspective,” said Brenda Speed, Senior Vice President at Southern Bank & Trust. “When something like this happens, it affects every line of our business, and Safe Systems provided us with the resources we needed at every step of the way. They are familiar with our network, our products and our business values, truly making them an important part of our team.”
To learn more about how Safe Systems helped Southern Bank & Trust, download our case study.