The OGO Blog

5 Considerations for Building Credit Union Disaster Recovery Plans

Building credit union disaster recovery plans isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are numerous difficult logistical problems to address, and they’re all important. We’ll try to distill some of the more pressing issues into a “top 5”for this article.

If you’re building your credit union disaster recovery plan now, or if you’re revisiting it, this article may help. However, if you’re still in the early stages, or if you just want a better understanding of how credit union disaster recovery works, this blog may be a better starting place.

Preparing for Disaster… Recovery

The following are 5 important considerations for you credit union’s disaster recovery. This list is not exhaustive, but it should serve as a good starting point. Devoting extra time and effort to these issues should give your disaster recovery plan the skeleton it needs to hold your credit union up when everything else is trying to tear you down.

1.     Location, location, location

Your most basic consideration when developing your credit union disaster recovery plan should be where you store your data.

If you store your data too close, such as by putting it in one of your credit union branches, will work only for small-scale issues. Disaster such as system failures and floods can be solved by storing data outside of your primary location, but remote storage won’t cut it for larger disasters.

For events such as hurricanes, wildfires, or earthquakes, you’d be better served by a very remote data center or the cloud.

2.     Connectivity is king

If you need to move a lot of data around, connectivity will help. High connectivity also ensures that you have the capacity to continue serving your members while you play disaster recovery artist.

Key connectivity issues are speed, redundancy, and alternative methods of connection. For instance, if you have a fiber network, consider increasing redundancy with a wireless backup.

3.     Test, test, one-two, one-two

Once you’ve gone offsite and secured fast, redundant connectivity, your next step is to test the system. This is the fun part: you get to see if your credit union disaster recovery plan works.

If you don’t test the system, you run the risk of putting together a house of cards rather than a disaster recovery plan. Testing your plan will reveal any flaws or areas for improvement. It can also show you where you’ve succeeded, so you can see where your strengths lie.

We recommend testing your credit union disaster recovery plan annually at the very least.

4.     Go Speed Racer, go!

One thing you should definitely keep track of during testing is your recovery time. Keeping track of recovery time objectives (RTOs) help you better understand the timeline for recovery.

Measuring your RTOs helps your credit union and members understand what’s being done and by when. Also, as long as you’re testing your disaster recovery plan, you might as well test it against something. Timing your credit union disaster recovery can help you streamline the process and increase efficiency over time.

5.     Training Day, part two

None of the above steps will do you a lick of good if nobody knows how to enact your credit union disaster recovery plan. Your employees should know where their data is stored, what kind of connectivity you have, and each business unit’s RTO.

If only one or two people know howto act in a disaster, your disaster recovery plan won’t work well. That goes double if no experts are present at all.

Train everyone. It’s critical.

Next Steps for Credit Union Disaster Recovery

If you’re not sure where to start preparing for the worst, follow the links below for more useful business continuity and disaster recovery planning tips.

To learn more about how down time impacts your credit union, or to get your own Financial Impact Analysis from downtime, click here.

Or read our other related blogs below:
Does My Credit Union Need a Disaster Recovery Solution
3 Tips for Credit Union Disaster Recovery Planning