Sheltered Harbor is a voluntary industry initiative undertaken by the US financial services sector to enhance the sector’s resiliency, and to provide additional protections for consumer account information. Its goal is to extend the industry’s capabilities to securely save and restore account data in the event of a loss of operational capability.
The need for Sheltered Harbor arose from successful cybersecurity simulation exercises between public and private sectors known as the “Hamilton Series.” These exercises, executed under the auspices of the US Treasury Department, highlighted the need for additional protections for consumer accounts. Leading financial institutions, industry trade groups and large processing service providers created the Sheltered Harbor initiative to improve resiliency and responsiveness for a scenario in which a financial institution loses its operational capabilities.
Over one hundred subject matter experts from those institutions collaboratively designed a solution that is expedient, reliable, secure and relatively easy to implement. That solution is now available to all participating institutions in the form of The Sheltered Harbor Specification.