Robin Koffler, Managing Director - Commercial at power solutions expert Advance Galatrek, is claiming that many banks and financial institutions are so worried about so-called 'hot topics' such as online security and network intrusion that they are failing to consider more fundamental issues such as business continuity. And Koffler believes that an obsession with high profile issues is diverting funds from core requirements, including the need to ensure that banks remain open for business in the event of a power failure.
"At the moment, the banks are too concerned with headline topics such as intrusion detection. And, while I appreciate that there are certain situations where you would need to monitor unauthorised traffic into your network, I feel that issues such as these are detracting from more basic business concerns, like losing critical data in the event of a power outage. And, let's face it, power quality problems are capable of causing untold damage to both hardware and computer held information," states Koffler.
"Financial institutions need to realise that the cost implications of a system outage can be considerable. Just a few power interruptions during the year will occupy significant staff time, as servers as well as back and front office systems require re-booting. Data also needs to be checked, to make sure it wasn't corrupted by the mains failure, and any anomalies must be corrected immediately. All this takes time, and that costs money in terms of lost productivity," he adds.
"Worse still is the long term debilitating effect that power abnormalities such as surges, sags and brownouts have on costly and mission critical equipment," says Koffler. "Even though a typical power surge may last just a few milliseconds, it can have devastating consequences for highly sensitive electronic equipment, reducing component life and leading to data corruption and, ultimately, equipment failure. Unfortunately, many organisations operating in the banking sector seem to be unaware of the implications of this type of malfunction, and the costs inherent in dealing with the consequences."
Koffler argues that, because banks are being distracted by attention dominating headlines including hacking attacks and network security breaches, they have diverted resources away from other serious IT issues. "What's needed is for banks to revisit elementary problems, such as what contingencies are in place when the power fails - and, make no mistake, it will do at some time. They must get back to recognising that power protection is a necessity, like insurance," he cautions.
"By investing in reliable power quality management equipment, financial institutions are able to save thousands in administrative time and resources, not to mention replacement IT costs. Decent UPS and voltage spike & surge suppression devices will protect critical data by maintaining business continuity. And that, in turn, will help maximise profit and shareholder value," concludes Koffler.