An important measurement of security and reliability of CDS’s services is the ability to recover quickly from a business interruption and get back to full functionality. Through its robust business continuity and disaster recovery programs, together referred to as CDS’s business continuity management (BCM) program, CDS continues to test its ability to fully recover from an interruption to the operation of its services and systems. The testing program continues to evolve to provide a high level of confidence that service interruptions will be at a minimum if a disaster occurs.
In addition to having a full back-up data centre which replicates our production data centre for technology resiliency, CDS’s critical business operations are split between its regional offices to provide redundancy if one of the sites cannot continue to operate. To further increase its continuity of operations, CDS has contracted with a world-standard business continuity provider to supply dedicated offsite workstations in a secure facility. This work environment is configured to support critical functions from each business unit in the event of an emergency.
Even with a proven continuity of service record, there can be significant implications of a system interruption given the interrelationships among Canada’s key financial systems. As such, CDS participates in a joint business continuity planning working group with the Canadian Payments Association and the Bank of Canada to co-ordinate our business continuity plans to help ensure that Canada’s critical financial systems are not compromised in emergencies.
CDS’s BCM strategy
A contingency architecture exists to maintain service continuity, with as little impact as possible on participants and customers. The architecture comprises policies and plans, which are available to all staff and are regularly updated.
A set of documented processes are followed if CDS experiences a significant outage. The documented business continuity plans relate to the business side of recovery and complement the corporate technology disaster recovery plan (DRP) and problem management process. The goal of these plans is to ensure CDS can fully recover from any interruption to the operation of its services or systems, and to minimize service interruptions to our participants and customers if a disaster occurs.
BCM at CDS incorporates:
- Business continuity plans (BCP) for each business unit
- The disaster recovery plan (DRP) for the data centre, systems and telecommunications networks
- The crisis management plan (CMP) for enterprise-wide co-ordination of emergency response, strategic decision-making and direction of BCP and DRP execution.
Business unit plans are updated regularly to help validate the assumptions, facilities and arrangements identified. Plans are tested at least semi-annually and are updated as a result of improvements identified during the walk-throughs.
The DRP is in place to enable CDS to resume its critical business activities if the production data centre is unavailable. The goal of the plan is to recover all systems within pre-specified recovery time objectives (RTOs) and within specified recovery point objectives (RPOs).
Regular reviews with Information Technology (IT) and business departments are undertaken to ensure the disaster recovery plan is current. Updates to technology or processes are incorporated into the plans, as are required changes identified through live testing.
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