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Top 5 Challenges Financial Services Face in Moving to the Cloud

 

January 12, 2016 | DevOps | joanna mastrocola

The transition from on prem to the cloud can feel like a cumbersome task. Often, the tools we used before don’t work and we worry about the security of data that is not longer stored on premise.  Despite the challenges we often face during the various stages of migration, it seems pretty apparent that the cloud is here to stay, as businesses who have made the shift are extremely happy with the end results.

The transformation, however, seems to plague some industries more than others; financial services being one of those fields. Financial services is one of the most highly regulated industries, having to adhere to strict security and compliance regulations. However, the desire to cut costs, move quickly, scale easily, and have data readily available means that migrating to the cloud is key to staying ahead of the competition. So, what are these problems and how can you solve them?

 

 

Here are the top 5 challenges and solutions for financial services moving to the cloud.

1. Compliance

Remaining compliant in a highly regulated industry is key. When moving to the cloud, it is crucial that the entire team is on the same page and completely understands what regulatory requirements they must meet.  Make sure that each stakeholder is part of this conversation and approach it as a group effort, rather than a burden on any one team. 

2. Integrations

When making the shift to the cloud, you want to be able to continue using the tools you had before. Making sure these tools are properly secured in your new environment can be a challenge. So, how do you keep using the applications you love without compromising security? Find a solution that integrates with your current tool chain. This way, your team doesn’t have to waste time learning how to use new tools that they don’t like and can spend more time innovating with the systems they know and love.

3. Availability

With all of the new security measures and place, and internal changes happening in the organization, you want to make sure that secrets are readily available across all platforms so developers can continue to innovate quickly and efficiently. This highly available structure means quicker time to market, which is ideal for your financial institution. 

4. Security

Since financial service organizations deal with highly sensitive data, and often have confidential internal processes, they need to be sure that the information they store in the cloud is safe. Therefore, it is key to give everything in your application and identity. Once you do this, create a well defined policy that all internal stakeholders can agree to. This policy should be dynamic, not static, so that it can be changed and improved as the organization shifts and grows. Prioritize which people and code, based on their role, have access to which secrets. 

5. Audit/Reporting

Now that you have your defined policies and new security measures in place, you want to make sure you have a way of relaying that information to the people who need it. A well defined audit trail and easy to read user interface will ensure that, no matter what, you have the reports you need to show exactly what is happening in your infrastructure, in real time. With a clear UI, your entire team will be able to quickly and efficiently search for and create the reports they need, no having to waste precious development time hunting for the right security report. 

Given the sensitive nature of the data accrued, financial institutions must adhere to some of the strictest regulations. For financial organizations that want to utilize all the benefits the cloud has to offer, including faster time to market, cheaper cost, and more optimized processes, understanding the 5 challenges and solutions outlined above is crucial to maintaining security while profiting from these advantages.

 

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