Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to join Sheltered Harbor?

Participation is open to U.S. financial institutions of all sizes including banks, credit unions, brokerages, asset managers, industry associations, and service providers.

Sheltered Harbor’s vision is to expand to other asset classes and geographies over time.

Are financial institutions required to join Sheltered Harbor?

Sheltered Harbor is a not-for-profit, industry-led initiative. Participation is voluntary. We can best protect our customers, ourselves, and the entire U.S. financial system when every financial institution joins

Regulators support the initiative. Please see the FFIEC Cybersecurity Resource Guide for more information.


How do I get the Sheltered Harbor Specification?

The Specification, as well as many resources to help with implementation, is available only to participants.

Join today.

How much does it cost?

Participation fees to join Sheltered Harbor are minimal. Implementation costs vary by size and complexity of institution as well as infrastructure, operations and skills base.

Click here for annual participation fees.

How hard is it to implement Sheltered Harbor?

While effort required varies according to size and complexity as well as pre-existing infrastructure, operations, and skills base, Sheltered Harbor is not especially difficult to implement. Smaller institutions have declared their first Sheltered Harbor milestone in as little as three months, while it takes longer for large, complex institutions.

The key factors are prioritization by top leadership and building a cross-functional team to manage the process. Your team should include operations, technology, information security, risk management, audit and compliance, and other relevant departments.

We’ve developed many resources to help you get Sheltered Harbor Certified as quickly as possible, which you can access as soon as you join:

  • Guides for every step of the process
  • Forums for support and collaboration
  • Training through webinars and live events
  • Reference Architectures to see how others have implemented
  • Technology Solutions such as encryption software (additional fees may apply)
  • Alliance Partners to help build the right plan for your institution

How can I get help implementing Sheltered Harbor?

In addition to the resources available to all participants on our content portal, we have entered into alliance partnerships with advisory and assurance firms to help you plan and implement the standard.

We are also currently developing a solution provider program to help with technology and implementation tools. We will update as they come online.

If I use a Service Provider for core processing, do I still need to join Sheltered Harbor?

Yes.  If you use a Service Provider for core processing and elect to use their Data Vaulting Solution, you still need to join Sheltered Harbor to receive the services. You also need to develop your own Sheltered Harbor Resiliency Plan in order to achieve Sheltered Harbor Certification.

The following providers are currently developing Sheltered Harbor Vaulting Solutions: 

If you do not see your provider, please contact them directly. They may have joined Sheltered Harbor, but not yet made public announcements. If they haven't joined Sheltered Harbor yet, either ask them to do so or send us a note with their contact information and we will reach out to them about joining the initiative.


How do I contact someone for more details about Sheltered Harbor?

Check out our Fact Sheet for answers to many questions.

Don't hesitate to get in touch for more information.

Email us at

Phone: +1 (347) 797-1230

Mailing address:  12120 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20190