NEW YORK — Uptime Institute launched its new Standardized, Comprehensive Infrastructure Risk Assessment for Financial Sector Institutions (SCIRA-FSI). SCIRA-FSI is a breakthrough professional services offering by Uptime Institute, that assesses critical IT environments across enterprise data centers, multitenant data centers, and public and private clouds to identify and mitigate physical and operational outage risks.

In response to recent high-profile FSI outages and increasingly complex hybrid IT architectures, over 30 financial supervisory authorities in Europe, in conjunction with the European Banking Authority, have implemented regulatory requirements designed to encourage more effective risk management practices. These require regulated FSIs to periodically assess outage risks across their complete data center estate. This focus by regulators and governments on minimizing FSI outages is rapidly spreading across the globe, with similar requirements from the Bank of England & Prudential Regulatory Authority, Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the United States, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, among others.

The growing regulatory requirements for the FSI community and the accelerating adoption of more complex hybrid IT infrastructures has demanded a response. To meet this need, in early 2020, Uptime Institute established a group of FSI Program Design Partners consisting of over 20 global FSIs to build a standardized approach to assessing digital infrastructure risk, in order to identify, minimize and mitigate outages across their enterprise-owned and third-party infrastructure service partners’ data center estate.  SCIRA-FSI is the result of this “ecosystem collaboration,” which will help FSIs comply with emerging regulatory requirements while optimizing resource efficiency and streamlining the costs and administrative burden of conducting prompt due diligence, audits, and compliance reviews.

“Any outage is a painful and expensive incident,” said Ali Moinuddin, managaing director for Europe at Uptime Institute. “However, financial services outages can be extremely costly and can result in financial penalties and sanctions for noncompliance. In addition to lost revenue, reduced productivity, and customer and investor dissatisfaction, there is the specter of fundamental, if not potentially irreparable reputational damage. Our new SCIRA-FSI program gives FSIs a way to thoroughly assess their entire data center estate and identify and mitigate digital infrastructure outage risk. As regulatory pressure mounts in Europe and beyond, FSIs are compelled to increase their understanding of systemic vulnerabilities and minimize outage risk to support all critical business services and improve operational resilience.”

SCIRA-FSI is based on Uptime Institute’s analysis of over 20 data center and commonly applied financial sector standards, internal assessment protocols shared by its program design partners, common FSI infrastructure risks gathered from its Abnormal Incident Report database of 8,000 data points on the root cause of outages, and experience working on over 250 FSI projects across the globe. 

Upon completion of a portfolio-level SCIRA-FSI program, clients receive a detailed report on the current physical and operational risks of their hybrid digital infrastructure along with actionable recommendations for resolving them. This not only aids FSIs 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.