Credit card protection firm CPP currently operates 3.8 million live policies worldwide.
With so many customers relying on its services around the clock, business continuity provision is essential for the company that has its UK office in York. This office needed a highly secure, resilient facility to store customers’ confidential credit card details and an alternative workplace for its people in the event its own premises are unavailable.
CPP Group Plc is an international assistance business operating in the UK and overseas within the financial services and telecommunications sectors. It provides a range of assistance-based services including cover for lost or stolen credit cards and keys, identity theft and insurance of mobile devices, all of which provide peace of mind for customers. The company has over 30 years of experience in helping customers across the UK and Ireland, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, servicing 3.8 million live policies. Product names include Card Rescue, Card Protection, Identity Safe, Phonesafe and Travel Assistance, sold direct and via third parties.
Sungard AS Services
Finding a recovery solution that would meet operational requirements and support CPP's ability to demonstrate PCI compliance
When CPP leased one of its UK offices that had a secondary purpose as redundant office space, it injected urgency into the search for an external workplace recovery provider.Through its call centers, CPP manages thousands of customer calls every day worldwide so it needed IT and telephony infrastructure to support ongoing operations in the event of a business interruption.
As a publicly listed company, any downtime would not only cause CPP reputational damage but also have immediate financial consequences.As a result, CPP needed to find a datacentre that would meet its stringent requirements for resilience and security, as well as supporting Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.
Elland Technology Center and Workplace Recovery Suites
After researching the market, CPP found Sungard Availability Services’ Elland Technology Centre was the ideal solution. Conveniently located just one hour away from its UK HQ in York, the Elland facility combines a state-of-the-art, ISAE 3402-compliant technology center, and fully-equipped workplace recovery suites.
Resilience is built into the facility with access to multiple communication providers through several building entry points to allow diverse routing of communications. As for power, two separate mains feeds from the utility provider ensure N+1 power redundancy with diverse A and B supplies to every cabinet. UPS units are sited in two separate locations to eliminate any single point of failure. As an added precaution, 72 hours’ worth of fuel is stored on-site for diesel backup generators.
Simon Boardman, IT Security Manager for CPP, comments, “As we hold credit card details for millions of customers, PCI compliance is absolutely critical to our business. Consequently, the resilience of the Elland facility and Sungard AS’ understanding of PCI requirements were deciding factors. Being our work area recovery facility too we could work in it comfortably if we had to invoke.”
Physical security is ensured by security guards on duty 24/7, external and internal CCTV cameras that digitally record to disk and a proximity access control system.
The data center environment is equally strictly controlled with measures such as a minimum N+1 redundancy on the all-important cooling system. Temperatures are maintained at a continuous 22°C and an early warning system has been installed to alert Sungard AS to any deviations.
As we hold credit card details for millions of customers, PCI compliance is absolutely critical to our business. Consequently, the resilience of the Elland facility and Sungard AS’ understanding of PCI requirements were deciding factors. Being our work area recovery facility too we could work in it comfortably if we had to invoke.
The more testing we do, the more comfortable we feel and each successful test gives us the confidence to extend our disaster recovery capabilities further.
Assurance of continued operations for CPP, its customers and partners
CPP has developed a good relationship with Sungard AS’ technical specialists who are on-site around the clock. Simon Boardman, IT Security Manager for CPP, says, “Of course, all the Sungard AS guys are professionals and really know their stuff but I also like the friendly, relaxed relationship we have.” CPP currently conducts tests every six months but aims to ramp up to quarterly tests. “It keeps everyone’s minds focused on the importance of business continuity planning,” Simon Boardman explains. “The more testing we do, the more comfortable we feel and each successful test gives us the confidence to extend our disaster recovery capabilities further.”
The company, its customers and partners are now confident that in the event of a business interruption, confidential customer data would remain secure and recoverable, which gives them great peace of mind. Securing an alternative workplace from which key employees can work means minimal disruption to CPP’s ongoing operations and its ability to support new and existing customers, protecting shareholder value.