Data is vital to all financial firms. You don't need me to tell you that data needs to be accessible, recoverable and secure. The average financial firm has a large amount of data and it is all high value. So, looking after that data needs to be a primary business objective.
If a disaster (either physical or digital) takes that data offline, financial firms will lose business. In a highly competitive sector, loss of trust and loss of production caused by the loss of data is not an option.
There are many threats to a business's data. An article by ITSP Magazine says, "Financial services firms fall victim to cybersecurity attacks 300 times more frequently than businesses in other industries."
What is disaster recovery?
From the IT point of view disaster recovery forms part of a business continuity plan. The disaster recovery portion focuses on what happens after a 'disaster' strikes a business. A 'disaster' includes cyber attacks, system failure, property damage and actual natural disasters. It's anything that causes your business to stop working. Disaster recovery helps in designing strategies that can restore hardware, applications and data quickly so a business can continue to work.
A key part of disaster recovery is being able to recover your data, and that is why disaster recovery is so important to financial firms. Unprepared businesses can be overwhelmed by the operational loss and its aftermath. A report by the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council (DRP) showed that one hour of downtown can cost a small business as much as £6,073 ($8,000) and mid-sized businesses up to £56,180 ($74,000).
Why is disaster recovery so impactful in finance?
The demands of regulations from the Government and keeping secure from cyber attack, mean considerable resources should be dedicated to disaster recovery. Adaption of digitalisation means up-time and availability are key to the day-to-day running of a finance firm. I have picked out 4 key reasons why disaster recovery is so important to the financial industry.
1 Rapid data recovery
Disasters can come in all shapes and sizes but regardless of how they occur a rapid recovery of data is paramount. If you are using outdated backup software, then it will take hours or even days to recover all your data. That time can cost your financial firm thousands of pounds and most of your customers.
It gets worse as well. If you are not using an off-site backup or cloud backup, then any damage done to your business property could mean you lose all your data. For good. That can mean the end of your business. At InfoTech we use the best back up solutions provided by industry leaders like Datto and StorageCraft. It's vital to back up your data but if you're using the wrong system, it will severely damage your business.
2 Protecting sensitive data and maintaining compliance
You know only too well that the financial services industry is heavily regulated, especially since the introduction of GDPR. Compliance regulations will require you to preserve certain data for long periods of time. That data needs to be protected and recoverable if anything bad happens to your computer systems. Financial firms are higher targets for cyber attack because of the value of their data. That data needs to be secured from any form of cyber attack but if the worst does happen (and it is impossible to be 100% secure against cyber attack) you need to be able to recover the data.
Disaster recovery is all about making sure you can recover your data when things go wrong. Even if something doesn't go wrong your business still needs to be prepared, so that it stays compliant. I mentioned the potential costs to a business earlier and they don't include the fines and other punishments that could be handed out for failing to be compliant.
3 Maintain business operations
Financial firms can maintain the old thinking of restoring data after a disaster. Today's business continuity technology means it is possible to maintain operations even when disaster strikes. By recovering data almost instantaneously, you can reduce downtime and impact down to almost zero.
Not only will that save your business a lot of money it will also give you a massive edge over your competitors. In the case of a shared disaster, the first business back up and running can swoop in and pick up all the customers of the competitor that is still down.
4 Customer confidence
Financial services are built on trust, lose a customer's trust and you will lose their business. Whilst being hit by a disaster may not be your company's fault, your customers won't care. Being able to recover all of your data quickly will help you maintain your customer's trust.
Trust is a big issue for financial firms as they continue to fight against cyber attacks and cyber fraud.
In a recent Financial Times interview, Scott Borg, director of the US Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit research institute, warned that sensitive financial information has been “regularly stolen” by cyber criminals who use it to play the markets. Stories like that can erode the trust of customers of all financial firms, so make sure you are doing all you can to protect and be able to restore your data.
No one needs to tell a financial firm the importance of data but what they might need help with, is how to best protect it and more importantly, recover it. In the modern world cyber attacks are increasingly common and even the best defences can be breached. Disaster recovery has taken on new importance and every business should have a disaster recovery plan.
InfoTech Solutions has been helping businesses with business problems like disaster recovery for 20 years now. Using experts can help protect your data and help you recover it when your system goes down. The speed at which that data is recovered can have a huge bearing on whether your business survives a 'disaster' or not.