Uptime Institute to help financial services organisations reduce infrastructure outage risks

Datacentre resiliency think-tank is launching a programme to help financial services organisations reduce the risk of outages happening within their hybrid infrastructure setups

The Uptime Institute is rolling out an infrastructure health and resiliency assessment service to help reduce the number of datacentre and cloud outages blighting the financial services sector.

The datacentre resiliency think-tank said the offering is designed to provide financial services companies with a comprehensive overview of the health of their infrastructure, with particular emphasis on supporting firms with hybrid setups.

As such, the Uptime Institute’s Standardised, Comprehensive Infrastructure Risk Assessment for Financial Sector Institutions (SCIRA-FSI) programme will enable organisations to assess their enterprise datacentres, colocation hubs, private cloud and public cloud environments to mitigate any outage risks.

“Any outage is a painful and expensive,” said Ali Moinuddin, European managing director for the Uptime Institute. “However, financial services outages can be extremely costly, and can result in financial penalties and sanctions for non-compliance.

“In addition to lost revenue, reduced productivity, and customer and investor dissatisfaction, there is the spectre of fundamental, if not potentially irreparable, reputational damage.”

The Uptime Institute cited the growing number of high-profile outages affecting the financial services sector as one of the reasons it decided to develop SCIRA-FSI. It also pointed to the fact that more than 30 supervising authorities in the sector are supporting regulations that are focused on minimising infrastructure downtime.

To this point, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee made the case in September 2021 for financial services organisations to have their cloud use scrutinised more tightly by regulators because of concerns about the sector’s growing reliance on a small number of public cloud service providers.

“Our new SCIRA-FSI programme gives financial institutions a way to thoroughly assess their entire datacentre estate and identify and mitigate digital infrastructure outage risk,” said Moinuddin.

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“As regulatory pressure mounts in Europe and beyond, financial services institutions are compelled to increase their understanding of systemic vulnerabilities, and minimise outage risk to support all critical business services and improve operational resilience.”

Work on the SCIRA-FSI began in early 2020 when the Uptime Institute gathered together 20 global financial services companies to garner their feedback how best to build a tailored, yet standardised, approach to assessing digital infrastructure risks within this highly regulated industry, the organisation revealed. 

“The SCIRA-FSI is the result of this ‘ecosystem collaboration’, which will help financial services institutions comply with emerging regulatory requirements, while optimising resource efficiency and streamlining the costs and administrative burden of conducting prompt due diligence, audits and compliance reviews,” said the Uptime Institute in a statement.

Financial services organisations that complete the SCIRA-FSI programme will receive a detailed report about the physical and operational risks posed to the health and safe running of their hybrid digital infrastructure.

They will then be provided with a set of recommendations to follow that will enable them to address any risks identified in the report, so they can proactively prevent outages and downtime occurring.

The Uptime Institute added: “This not only aids institutions in their efforts to proactively prevent downtime incidents, but serves as documentation for regulatory filing requirements to prove that a comprehensive risk management assessment has been completed for infrastructures that support important and critical business services.”

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