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Sheltered Harbor

Sheltered Harbor banner

Sheltered Harbor is an industry initiative to add an additional layer of resiliency to your business continuity and disaster recovery strategy.​ It combines proactive, secure data storage with a quick, cooperative recovery plan to get your bank through a major catastrophic event faster than on your own.

​By storing your bank’s data in Sheltered Harbor’s industry-standard format, a peer bank or processor can restore account information and keep your business up and running—resulting in virtually uninterrupted services your customers can depend on.


To join the Sheltered Harbor community or for more information, visit


 Why Sheltered Harbor?


Participating in Sheltered Harbor is inexpensive, smart, and proactive.

  • Keeps customers' trust during a catastrophic event
  • Gets you back to market at top speed
  • Puts your institution one step ahead of cyber threats or attacks
  • Follows a method of data storage designed with regulatory exams in mind

 Who's Doing It?


A subsidiary of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-IAC)—whose members include banks, credit unions, brokerages, processors and financial trade associations—Sheltered Harbor is the organization that verifies the secure data storage system is properly implemented by each participant. Sheltered Harbor’s cooperative model helps unite the financial services industry against their largest common threat—ensuring a more stable financial system.

Banks, brokerage institutions and core providers are encouraged to participate. Currently, Sheltered Harbor includes:

  • ~68% of US retail bank accounts
  • ~55% of US brokerage accounts



 Is my financial institution required to join Sheltered Harbor?


Sheltered Harbor protection is voluntary. While there are no current regulations that require the extra protection of consumer accounts, industry leaders have determined that it is prudent to do so. ​


 What does it mean to be 'Sheltered Harbor Ready'?


​To be 'Sheltered Harbor Ready', a participating institution must confirm that it has completed their implementation of the Sheltered Harbor account protection (data vaulting) process in accordance with the specification, and regular data vault logging must be in place. The Sheltered Harbor Specification provides participating institutions with detailed information required to be Sheltered Harbor compliant for retail banking and brokerage accounts.


 How expensive is it to implement the Sheltered Harbor Specifications?


It’s simple! The technologies required are readily available, files formats match industry standards and operations fit into current best practices. Early adoptions have demonstrated that the implementation expense is relatively low for most institutions, and operational expense minimal.​


 What is the membership fee?


Sheltered Harbor is a not-for-profit, industry-led effort. Participation in Sheltered Harbor is open to U.S. financial institutions, service providers and industry associations. Fees will depend on the size and type of institution. More information on fees is available at​


 If I use a service provider for core processing, do I still have to join Sheltered Harbor?


​Yes, membership is required to receive the Sheltered Harbor protection and 'Sheltered Harbor Ready' designation.

​For more frequently asked questions, visit

​Questions? Contact ABA's Heather Wyson​ for more information.

Sign Up for .Bank Updates


​Sheltered Harbor
12020 Sunrise Valley Drive,
Suite 230 
Reston, Virginia 20191
(347) 797-1230

 Additional Resources