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By Bluepoint Solutions
A one-time loss or theft of member data — including personal information and transaction records — could jeopardize your credit union’s reputation and permanently damage your relationship with members. A more severe data loss can actually put your credit union’s future at risk. When crippled by a process interruption, businesses that are unable to resume their normal operations within ten days are unlikely to survive a year. Yet many credit unions are vulnerable to such scenarios because they are dependent on antiquated tape backup and recovery solutions that are untested, poorly maintained, and — when actually needed — prone to failure.
While credit unions have modernized many of their critical processes such as document imaging, check capture, and cash letters, a continuing reliance on cumbersome and labor-intensive tape backup — a 40-year-old technology — leaves the door open to data loss and theft. Entrusting legacy tape backup to support increasingly digital and mobile solutions compromises credit union fiduciary duties.
How secure and dependable is the member data you have stored on a tape backup system? Use these five questions to evaluate the true level of data protection at your credit union.
A disaster — natural, human, or otherwise — is the worst time to discover that your tape backup and recovery solution does not work. Testing a recovery solution periodically before disaster strikes is a best practice that provides a high level of recovery assurance. But industry surveys state that only 28% of small- to medium-sized businesses have ever tested their tape backup and recovery, and more than 50% of the time, a full recovery attempt from tape will fail when needed.
Critical business data typically resides on robust file servers and application databases. But today, laptops and tablets often house critical files such as state banking compliance drafts or NCUA submissions and remote worksites often operate outside of main office storage systems. A prudent data protection strategy should provide recovery of servers, workstations, laptops, and tablets across all corporate locations. Tape backup, however, seldom provides this coverage. Instead, it only stores a fraction of data that is critical to a credit union’s operations.
Credit union operations have grown increasingly dependent on their key systems — especially when it comes to providing member service. The cost of downtime for small- to medium-sized businesses has grown significantly in the last two years, with industry survey estimates ranging from anywhere between $12,000 per day to more than $12,000 per hour.
However large your cost, each additional tick of the clock is expensive, especially as member service deteriorates. Yet offsite tape storage recovery is lengthy and includes vault access, physical transportation, manual restoration, and systems recovery. Consider the time it will take for the storage service to retrieve and transport tapes from the warehouse as well as for IT teams to manually reload, reboot, and restore the data.
The degrees of vulnerability with tape backup are numerous, and multi-step procedures often leave gaps in security coverage. Not only are tape backups physically fragile and subject to damage, theft, loss, and destruction, but human errors create significant additional vulnerabilities that are not immediately obvious. Nearly a third of data loss is caused by human error. Given the combination of the physical weaknesses of tape, the risk of human error, and the need to physically transport tapes between multiple locations, it is clear how tape backup systems can create significant risks for credit unions and their members’ data.
Tape backup costs directly and indirectly impact many parts of a credit union’s income statement. Direct costs from operating tape backup systems include annual support and maintenance fees, bi- or tri-annual replacement tapes, and transportation/storage. Indirect costs can be even greater and include labor costs in the IT department from weekly backups (averaging 2-5 hours) and quarterly testing (averaging around 1 day). In fact, it’s not uncommon for direct costs to reach $20,000 per year.
Additional indirect productivity costs may include lost work hours when overnight backups extend past opening time and impede the conduction of credit union business. Finally, there are the opportunity costs associated with the hours IT staff spends on cumbersome tape switches over lengthy backup windows and the highly-manual restoration process. Taking into account all of these factors, estimate the true cost of your tape backup solution.
Relying on tape backup systems exposes credit unions to significant security vulnerabilities and loads down IT and operational teams with extra costs and resource requirements.
Bluepoint Solutions has developed a proprietary ROI model based on industry benchmarks and credit union operational costs. This calculator will quickly and accurately calculate the total cost of ownership for your current data backup solution and compare it with the cost of upgrading your legacy system to a state-of-the-art on-premise or cloud backup solution.
Click here to assess the true cost of your current solution.
This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.
If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact our Callahan Media team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-446-7453.
June 24, 2013
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