Nottingham Building Society beefs up back-up

See also: CIO Profile of Nottingham Building Society's Jack Cutts

Nottingham Building Society has brought a backup upgrade forward in response to highly publicised data security failures in the high street banking industry, such as the IT glitches at RBS.

The building society had slated the upgrade from tape to disk for next year, but brought the migration, from LTO3 tape backup to a disk-based system from Symantec deployed by system integrator Esteem, forward by around 12 months.

According to Nottingham Building Society technical architect Tim Anderson, the move was green-lighted after a review of the company’s data management procedures, prompted primarily by a shrinking backup window.

He told CIO UK that data volumes are currently growing by about 20 per cent, in line with industry norms. Email data has increased fourfold over the last two years. Consequently a move to a more efficient backup system was required, especially as support for the existing system was going to be withdrawn by the end of next year.

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The disk system allows the company to encrypt data more efficiently and de-duplicates data, optimising the use of backup storage capability.

Anderson said the company backs up around 7Tb of data every day, but 90 per cent of the volume is duplicate data to what is already stored on the system, which can hold a maximum of 72Tb. All backup data is encrypted.

Public trust in the data management policies of UK high street financial institutions is arguably at an all-time low at the moment with IT glitches at RBS, governance transgressions at Barclays, fraud at Lloyds and allegations of money laundering at Standard Chartered.

Although there is no suggestion that Nottingham Building Society’s security policies are anything other than robust, the upgrade could not have come at a better time.

Anderson explained that the recent review of security policies revealed that a potential security failure would cost the building society £2.5m in terms of fines and lost customer goodwill.