Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing destruction of infrastructure in some areas has elevated the material risks for credit unions, including the irretrievable loss of critical databases.
In response, the USAID/WOCCU Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project offered to backup and store data for its Ukrainian partner credit unions at a facility outside the country, as recommended by the government. This will help preserve critical information the credit unions will need to restore operations at a later date.
Under martial law, preserving critical data became highly important for credit unions and Ukraine’s two United Credit Unions (UCUs), which serve as central financing facilities.
Typically, credit union data is stored on servers at credit union offices or in data centers located in Ukraine. The servers are vulnerable to physical damage by attacks, which puts all of the data at risk. Additionally, most databases are not backed up, and those that are still remain vulnerable to cyberattacks.
As the war intensified beyond eastern Ukraine, the CAP Project took the initiative to protect that data by:
1) Securing access to servers in a reliable EU data center for interested credit unions to safely store their data. This will protect them from loss in the event of destruction of physical servers or other storage devices (such as USBs or disks).
2) Supporting both UCUs to set up remote workstations in the server space of the EU-based data center and accessing needed technical support to configure and teach them how to use those dedicated servers. In this critical way, the CAP Project enabled UCUs to ensure the continuity of their core banking systems and operations even under martial law, which is critical for maintaining liquidity for member credit unions today.
A total of 33 credit unions received access to the cloud data storage, with both UCUs receiving access to dedicated servers in the EU data center, as well as the technical support needed to install the applied software to work with their core banking systems.