Who Should Be On My Business Continuity Steering Committee?

steeringWhen designing or transforming business continuity programs, our consultants are often asked, “Who should participate on our organization’s business continuity steering committee?”  While the answer may seem simple and straightforward for some, too often steering committees contain the wrong combination of participants, the wrong “level” of individuals and/or a focus on the wrong objectives.  Without appropriate steering committee participation and thus the appropriate leadership, business continuity programs are far less likely to be aligned with business strategy and therefore less likely to be successful. Continue reading

BC Standards and Regulatory Requirements – What Are YOUR Thoughts?

microphoneAvalution Consulting developed a growing, yet comprehensive list of business continuity standards and regulatory requirements influencing the design, operation and continuous improvement of business continuity programs.  You’re encouraged to review this list, and provide input on any standard or regulatory requirement that might be missing.  If you see something that may be incorrect, or a description that requires additional information, let us know as well via email at [email protected]. Continue reading

FFIEC Updates the Business Continuity Standard for Banks

ffiec newIntroducing the New FFIEC Business Continuity Planning Booklet
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) is responsible for establishing the standards to which financial institutions are held.  This interagency group publishes individual booklets specific to various risk management disciplines.  In 2003, the FFIEC updated Chapter 10, Corporate Contingency Planning, based on the 1996 FFIEC Information Systems Examination Handbook, to reflect new technologies, business practices and the threat of terrorism impacting the availability of critical banking processes and technologies.  The 2003 version, or “Gold Standard” as many business continuity professionals refer to it, emphasized the importance of business process response and recovery, as opposed to a program focused almost exclusively on technology availability.  This marked a key evolutionary point in financial services business continuity planning. Continue reading

FFIEC Expands Pandemic Planning Guidance for Financial Institutions

stacy FFIEC perspective v2Introduction
For financial institutions waiting for more formal guidance from the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC) before planning for a pandemic, the time is here.  The FFIEC, an interagency council that prescribes uniform standards for the United States financial industry, recently followed up the industry’s “Interagency Advisory on Influenza Pandemic Preparedness” and NCUA’s “Letter to Credit Union 06-CU-06 – Influenza Pandemic Preparedness” with new guidance. Continue reading

Introducing BS25999

British Flag SmallDriven by recent industry demands for a common, generally accepted framework, British Standard 25999 originated as an attempt to provide an industry-wide process that was consistent in regards to business continuity analysis and response techniques.   The British Standard Institute met this demand by convening a committee of professionals with experience in several different fields of business from around the world.  It was this diverse group of professionals that developed a widely reaching yet actionable set of guidelines and processes. Continue reading

Business Continuity Standards Influencing International Financial Services Organizations

Global Finance SmallAs globalization blurs the lines between countries and expands business hours from 9 to 5 to 24/7, companies can no longer approach business continuity and risk management as a regional, or even national, endeavor. Instead, business continuity programs must enable organizations to communicate in multiple languages and deal with meeting the requirements of various regulatory agencies around the globe.

Avalution Consulting has a deep knowledge of international business continuity standards authored by the most influential business and financial authorities. The table below summarizes common elements found in five leading standards/regulations influencing global financial services organizations, as well as unique characteristics that should be considered by business continuity and risk management professionals. Continue reading

Take Your Continuity Program to the Next Level

Next Level SmallFinancial institutions, more than any other industry group, spend considerable resources on business continuity planning – and for good reason. Banks are a critical element of our economy’s infrastructure, and as a result, an ever growing body of regulations impose significant penalties for those who don’t comply. For many organizations, compliance, and its associated “satisfactory rating”, continues to be an elusive goal.

Based on our work with a diverse group of financial institutions, we have developed a common list of problems faced by many financial services organizations. Continue reading