United States

RSM Joins Sheltered Harbor’s Alliance Partner Community

Aims to enhance data protection capabilities of U.S. financial services businesses



RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – is pleased to announce it has joined the Sheltered Harbor alliance partner community in both an assurance and advisory capacity.

A not-for-profit subsidiary of Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), Sheltered Harbor is the industry standard for protecting and recovering customer account data in the event that a catastrophic event like a cyberattack causes critical systems, including backups, to fail. It is currently open to U.S. banks, credit unions, broker-dealers, asset managers, and service providers of all sizes, and has a critical mass of industry adoption.

As a partner, RSM will help Sheltered Harbor participants prepare, plan, design, implement, operationalize, and adhere to the Sheltered Harbor standard for resiliency.

“We believe that our financial services knowledge combined with our focus on serving middle market clients puts us in a unique position to strategically advance Sheltered Harbor’s mission,” said John Brackett, national leader of risk advisory services at RSM US LLP. “With deep experience serving financial services organizations, we understand the challenging environment these organizations face. Managing risk is a significant component of any successful business plan, and we look forward to helping organizations pursue this certification.”

The Sheltered Harbor standard consists of three pillars:

  1. Data Vault – Institutions back up critical customer account data each night in the Sheltered Harbor standard format, either managing their own Vault or using their service provider;
  2. Sheltered Harbor Resiliency Planning – Institutions prepare the business and technical processes and key decision arrangements to be activated in the case of a Sheltered Harbor event where all other options to restore critical systems - including backups - have failed; and
  3. Certification – Upon successful completion of implementation, participants become eligible to achieve Sheltered Harbor Certification. Participants adopt a robust set of prescribed internal controls and perform professional audits to ensure compliance.

“With cybersecurity incidents on the rise, protection of data is paramount,” says Daimon Geopfert, national leader of security and privacy risk consulting at RSM US LLP. “Middle market leaders have recognized that they are a prime target, and they are seeking new ways to protect their businesses and customers. We are pleased to partner with Sheltered Harbor to support our financial services clients in the case of a catastrophic event.”

“We’re proud to join other industry thought leaders in Sheltered Harbor’s alliance partner community,” said Hussain Hasan, national leader of technology risk consulting at RSM US LLP. “We guide our clients on the most critical technology issues affecting their businesses, and believe it’s imperative that all financial services companies take proactive steps to maintain the security of their most valuable information assets, such as customer account data. By taking advantage of the Sheltered Harbor solution, financial services firms are not only protecting themselves, but are further strengthening the industry’s resiliency capabilities.”

“We look forward to working with RSM to help financial institutions adopt and implement the Sheltered Harbor standard,” said Sheltered Harbor CEO Trey Maust. “Our mission is to promote financial sector stability and preserve public confidence in the financial system in the face of an extended systems outage or destructive cyberattack. Mid-sized institutions are crucial players in our nation’s financial system, and RSM will be a key partner in achieving our goal of 100% industry participation in the initiative.”

Joining Sheltered Harbor entitles participants access to the standard, support content and experts to help with implementation, as well as the knowledge that the institution is being proactive in protecting its customer account data, its own business, and public confidence in the U.S. financial system. For more information about Sheltered Harbor, visit their website.

About Sheltered Harbor
Sheltered Harbor is the not-for-profit, industry-led standard for protecting and recovering customer account data if a catastrophic event causes critical systems - including backups - to fail. A subsidiary of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), its purpose is to promote the stability and resiliency of the financial sector and to preserve public confidence in the financial system in the face of an extended systems outage or destructive cyberattack. The Sheltered Harbor standard combines secure data vaulting of critical customer account information and a resiliency plan to provide customers timely access to their data and funds in a worst case scenario.  Financial institutions that successfully implement the standard become eligible for Sheltered Harbor certification. Sheltered Harbor is currently open to U.S. banks, credit unions, broker-dealers, asset managers, industry associations, and core service providers. Visit shelteredharbor.org for more information.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) is a non-profit corporation that was established in 1999 and is funded by its nearly 7,000-member firms headquartered in 50 countries with users in 72 countries. FS-ISAC is a member-driven organization whose mission is to help assure the resilience and continuity of the global financial services infrastructure and individual firms against acts that could significantly impact the sector’s ability to provide services critical to the orderly function of the global economy. FS-ISAC shares threat and vulnerability information, conducts coordinated contingency planning exercises, manages rapid response communications for both cyber and physical events, conducts education and training programs and fosters collaborations with and among other key sectors and government agencies. Follow us on Twitter @FSISAC, on LinkedIn or visit https://www.fsisac.com

RSM’s purpose is to deliver the power of being understood to our clients, colleagues and communities through world-class audit, tax and consulting services focused on middle market businesses. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business environment.

RSM US LLP is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with 48,000 people across 120 countries. For more information, visit rsmus.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and/or connect with us on LinkedIn.