Banking industry confident about business continuity

The banking industry is most likely to place the highest importance on the physical security of IT infrastructure and has the highest proportion of fit-for-purpose IT environments, according to a European business continuity survey by Global Switch.

The banking industry is most likely to place the highest importance on the physical security of IT infrastructure and has the highest proportion of fit-for-purpose IT environments, according to a European business continuity survey by Global Switch.

Ninety-seven per cent of banks polled during the research said they were confident their mission-critical IT infrastructure was housed in a resilient, fit-for-purpose environment. Other industries asked the same question were less sure, with retailers coming in at 84% and other commercial organisations at 79%.

In addition, 93% of banks allocate a specific part of their budget to prepare and maintain the physical environment in which their IT infrastructure is located, compared with only 68% of retailers. The results from the banking sector indicate a high awareness of the impact that high quality physical environments have on business continuity.

Julian King, commercial director of Global Switch, says, "The banking community is to be commended for having such an enlightened view on the housing of its mission-critical infrastructure. It’s clear that having IT infrastructure in a facility solely designed for that purpose can only have a positive effect on the resilience of a business, and the results of this survey indicate that the banking sector has embraced this concept wholeheartedly."

A very likely factor in the banking industry’s attitude can be the consideration of regulations such as Basel II and Sarbanes-Oxley when assessing the resilience and security of IT infrastructure. Of those polled, nearly 70% of banks admitted compliance was a significant consideration compared to only 40% of retail operations and just over 50% of other commercial organisations.

Auditors and key stakeholders were cited as another reason many banks are keen to make sure their IT systems suffer minimal disruption, with 91% agreeing that interruptions would be of major concern to these groups and another factor for ensuring IT infrastructure is housed in a purpose-built facility.

King says, "The banking world is setting the standard for other industries by ensuring that its  mission-critical IT infrastructure is located in a fit-for-purpose environment. It’s vital that other industries take note of this as part of a comprehensive business continuity strategy by seeing that their IT is housed in purpose-built facilities that provide flexible, resilient, cost-effective and secure environments."

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