The Importance of Business Continuity for Financial Services Firms
As a financial services firm, your clients depend on your guidance to help them make the most out of their fiscal decisions. These relationships require trust, often built over time. What would happen if that trust were threatened? How long could you keep your clients at ease if they were unable to retrieve information or make withdrawals? What would happen if someone’s identity was stolen and you couldn’t access their information to stop it? In the financial industry, downtime can be detrimental to your ability to do your job - entire systems can fall victim to ransomware. Individual identities are stolen. Being able to deliver continuous service is crucial to your reputation and business’ livelihood.
Here’s How Your Financial Services Firm Can Benefit from Strategic Business Continuity Solutions:
The Difference Between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Business continuity describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A true business continuity solution will protect data on-premises and in the cloud. Whether data is on servers or in SaaS applications, it needs to be backed up. Business continuity goes a step further and offers you the ability to restore your data, which we call disaster recovery. Solutions that leverage the hybrid cloud can guarantee a quicker restore time as well. Why? Local backups are great to keep data stored on local devices, but if something happens to that device, then what? A hybrid cloud backup solution takes an initial backup on a local device, and then replicates the backup to a cloud server.
Backing Up Your Business Data
While you may be taking some precautions, such as securing and backing up your sensitive data, sometimes that’s not enough. There is a common misconception that data is safe if backed up once a day, but this outdated practice is no longer sufficient for several reasons:
If you forget to perform the backup or the backup process fails, you’re not protected.
If you only back up your files once a day, you’re left vulnerable to the loss of an entire day’s work.
If you don’t properly validate your backup files, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when you actually try to use those files to restore your company’s operations.
If you only back up your files on-site, you could lose them too—leaving you with no way to meet client requests.
If you only back up your raw data, rather than all your application and server configuration files, it could take several days to restore your practice —because you will also have to rebuild your servers, operating systems, applications, etc.
Assessing Your IT Vulnerability
If your company identifies as a business that doesn’t have the IT resources to effectively recover from a major outage, make sure you’re weighing all of the factors around the costs of downtime. Business continuity management reduced the average breach by $280,000, and companies with incident response teams and extensive testing saved over $1.2 million. To ensure your continuity efforts are up to par:
Outsource your company’s IT needs to an expert who has experience in the financial industry.
Don’t sacrifice quality to save money when purchasing hardware. It will benefit you (and your bottom line) to have strong technology in the long run.
Perform timely hardware and software updates, maintenance and backups.
Establish, review and maintain system security of all practice technology.
Any company that has not recently re-assessed its backup and disaster recovery procedures should therefore do so in order to conform to these industry-standard best practices. Ready to upgrade your data backup strategy? Reach out for a free consultation, or to talk about Datto's Cloud Continuity with one of our cloud experts.