What Is Sheltered Harbor in the Banking World?

Sheltered Harbor is a non-profit organization meant to help banks and other financial institutions minimize the disruption to their operations in the event of cyberattacks. It works more or less the way one would expect. First, Sheltered Harbor works with a wide range of parties to figure out best practices for data recovery and related processes. It makes that information known to interested parties, thus making it that much easier for the latter to bring themselves up to standard. Then, Sheltered Harbor tests them to see whether they deserve its certification.

Why Is Sheltered Harbor So Important?

This is important because banks and other financial institutions come under frequent cyberattacks. For them, this matters because any disruption means mounting costs and lost revenues. The longer an incident lasts, the more painful the hit to their operations. A sizable proportion of businesses never return to work after a major cyberattack, though banks and other financial institutions are somewhat cushioned by their general size.

As for customers, a disruption means they won’t be able to access their products and services. Even worse, successful cyberattacks can compromise their private information, which can cause problems for them for years and years to come. Sheltered Harbor certification is a convenient way for them to distinguish financial institutions that take their cybersecurity seriously from those that fail to do the same.