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“Compliance.” For many businesses, this word is a synonym with stress, time consuming processes, uncertainty and pricy fines.

Compliance is a pain point for every business, especially the financial services industry, which is strapped with regulations from the SEC, FINRA and FFIEC (just to name a few). The impact that compliance has effects day to day business operations which can feel frustrating as it continuously evolves and changes.

Yet, compliance has one main goal: guiding organizations to maintaining ethical and safe business practices.  Most professionals would agree that they wholeheartedly support this fundamental goal. In fact, compliance is seen as a growing priority for senior leaders and business managers:

  • 98% of Senior leadership says they are committed to compliance and ethics
  • 20% of Boards of Directors that formed a separate compliance/ethics committee

So why does compliance get such a bad rap? It is because of the complicated processes, the tedious time required and underlying fear of the repercussions.

 Despite the frustrations and pressures, compliance standards are a fundamental component of your business continuity management. More and more financial industry regulations are being put in place and updated to require firms to create and maintain written business continuity plans (BCPs) relating to an emergency or significant business disruption.

BCP Requires More Than Compliance  

While compliance is a great starting point, when it comes to business continuity planning, you don’t want to take any chances. Comprehensive planning requires you to go above and beyond what is required. Here are a few reasons why:

1. It Becomes About Checking the Boxes

With business continuity planning, you need to think holistically. This includes addressing what enterprise-wide threats you are prone to, what operational functions need to be accounted for, what data needs updating and protecting, plus planning for the “unknowns.” When you’re addressing BCP with a compliance lens, it’s easy to just focus on what’s required and not what is truly needed.

2. Cyber Threats Are the Only Focus 

Cyber threats are on the rise and the financial industry is no exception to their damages. It makes sense why these risks are top of mind when the mean hourly cost of a down time is $1.7 million dollars1 and the annual cost of a ransomware attack is $1 billion2. But financial organizations can be targets of unplanned outages, acts of terrorism or adverse weather. Comprehensive planning beyond compliance makes sure you’re prepared for every type of threat.

3. You Miss Opportunities to Test

Effective business continuity testing consists of:

  • Training for managers, supervisors and team members
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities of all personnel during an event
  • Verifying all procedures and processes included in new and existing plans

 While most compliance standards require some type and frequency of testing, often it is the bare minimum. Exercising business continuity management should be completed on a regularly scheduled basis or whenever a plan has had significant changes made to it.

4. You Can’t Find Full Peace of Mind 

Simply meeting compliance standards may be the easiest way to address threats, but not dedicating the time and resources to your planning can result in some major gaps. Your organization has an ethical responsibility to not only keep your clients but also your colleagues safe. Make sure you’re not missing critical steps by taking the compliance-only route to find true peace of mind.  

Going Beyond Compliance

Going above and beyond compliance when it comes to business continuity planning doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  Look to a comprehensive business continuity planning software that can help you not only meet compliance standards but help you protect what matters most.

Need more convincing? Check out our free tip sheet: “Compliance is Not Enough in Financial Business Continuity Planning.”


  1. “High-Value Business Applications on x86: The Need for True Fault-Tolerant Systems,” Peter Rutten, IDC, May 2015
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation data, cited by CNN Money, 2016

Topics: Financial

Assurance Software

Written by Assurance Software

Assurance Software takes your company’s enterprise-wide business continuity and resiliency program to the next level. With Assurance as your go-to partner for continuity and resilience, you can confidently mitigate risk, manage recovery, and safeguard your employees, customers, operations and brands.

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