A quick recovery is just as important as avoiding payment outages

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Mere months after it fell victim to a data breach that resulted in the theft of data from more than 100 million people, Capital One was back in the news recently after suffering an outage that blocked customers from accessing their accounts (and money).

Although the issue was resolved the same day, there was a period of several hours where customers were complaining about not receiving their direct deposits and not being able to pay bills or withdraw cash from an ATM.

Consumers are becoming less tolerant of downtime, especially when it’s inhibiting them from accessing their money. And now they’re taking their frustrations to social media, drawing even more attention and scorn. With more financial interactions being done online, it’s yet another reason why companies in the financial sector need to change their approach to IT resilience – especially since they’re prime targets for cybercrime.

Plus, there are other more circumstantial events that could interrupt IT operations, such as cloud outages, hardware failure, or even natural disasters.

Adhering to cyber-and data-backup best practices is important, but it will only go so far in most cases. For some financial institutions, being down for even a single minute can be incredibly costly. That’s why many banks are beginning to look at technologies that can offer continuous data protection and availability, which essentially eliminates the need to “recover” from an IT outage or cyberattack.

What these technologies do is use a journal-based approach to continuously replicate data at the byte level, rather than employ the traditional “snapshot” approach commonly found in most backup and recovery technologies.

By combining replication technology with the creation of frequent recovery points, IT teams can revert data back to a time just prior to the outage, regardless of cause, as if the incident never happened. This way, the “recovery” is nearly instantaneous. This approach can be used on physical systems or on virtual systems where the replica is in the cloud. Financial institutions can use these solutions to protect mission-critical applications that impact their operations – especially those that affect customers. Non-critical applications, like files, contracts, or marketing materials may not need this level of continuous availability.

Given the high demand of digital banking services and consumer need to have continuous access to financial information at all times, it’s no longer enough for financial institutions to have a “recovery” mindset. Instead, they must start thinking “continuous availability” with a journal-based approach. As online channels become more dominant in banking, reducing the risk for downtime needs to be a top business priority. So, now’s the time for CIOs and CTOs to evaluate their IT infrastructures, and the ways in which they’re executing data recovery.

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