When it comes to compliance standards in the financial services industry, it can get complicated. You’ve likely seen recent additions or changes to the SEC, FINRA and FFIEC’s standards, specifically around business continuity management.
Remaining compliant when it comes to business continuity management ensures that your organization is making a commitment to keeping its employees, clients and assets safe and secure.
And what is the biggest threat to financial organization’s safety and security---cyber attacks. Statistics show that the mean hourly cost of a downtime is $1.7 million dollars1 and the annual cost of a ransomware attack is $1 billion2. Recent events have come to show that even the largest of organizations are not exempt from the work of data hackers. The Equifax breach was one of the worst cyber attacks from 2017.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that cyber threats get all the attention when it comes to business continuity management. In fact, the influx of cyber related threats is what prompted an increase in business continuity regulation.
What is There Beyond Cyber?
While cyber risk compliance is a great starting point, when it comes to effective business continuity planning, you need to be prepared for any threat on organizational resiliency. Have you considered how the following threats could impact your financial service operations?
1. Unplanned Outage
Whether it is a brief server downtime or a natural disaster that shuts you down for several weeks, an unplanned outage that impacts the accessibility of client data could hurt major business functions. What if you can’t log in to secure a trade on behalf of your client? What if your client can’t access critical reporting data needed to make a business decision? What if an account holder couldn’t see their account balance or transfer funds. These events could not only result in financial losses, but a loss of customer trust and confidence or a breach in service contract.
2. Disgruntled Employee
Keeping your employees safe and secure is a major responsibility for both virtual and remote workplaces. A focus should be placed on monitoring and protecting colleagues from disgruntled employees. Think about if you’ve ever seen employees who are unhappy or show signs of anger or resentment caused by personal or professional reasons. This can lead to violence and damage to themselves, others and your business operations. These individuals could maliciously derail company accounts or systems or they could hurt themselves or another colleague in an active shooter scenario. It’s up to organizations to not only identify ways to flag and address potential problems before they arise but also set plans in place for a worse-case-scenario.
3. PR Crisis
Your organization may have a dedicated public relations and communications team to handle any public responses to crisis, however business continuity planning is a critical step to identifying any potential issues before they arise. If you have an employee under investigation for insider trading, a senior leader makes inappropriate comments or have a client make a major complaint, this can hurt your brand reputation and future growth.
What Comprehensive Business Continuity Planning Looks Like
These are just a few of the many potential risks your financial organization could face. Simply meeting compliance standards for just cyber may be the easiest way to address regulatory requirements, but not dedicating the time and resources to your planning can result in some major gaps. Look to a comprehensive business continuity planning software that can help you not only meet compliance standards but help you protect what matters most.
Want to make meeting compliance standards pain-free? Check out our free tip sheet: “Financial Services: 6 Pain-Free Ways to Keep Up With Business Continuity Compliance.”
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
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.