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Don’t Let Security Concerns Keep You From the Cloud

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Written by: CDW Financial Services

For financial services organizations from banks to credit unions to capital markets firms, the cloud remains a cost-effective and sensible option to store and manage the vast amounts of data required for day-to-day operations, compliance requirements and gaining a competitive advantage. In fact, the cloud has become so ubiquitous that 71% of financial services execs say they will invest more in the cloud this year.

Benefits of the cloud include improved IT performance, better management of email, and support for cloud-based unified communications and collaboration tools. Yet, despite the cloud’s many advantages, today’s heightened state of cyberattacks has made it more difficult — and more critical — to secure financial data there.

If your firm is considering the cloud but you’re still wary of the potential security risks, fear not. There are reasonable security measures that can ensure your data and applications are safeguarded. Start by asking yourself these four questions about your data. The answers will highlight any potential security issues before you migrate to the cloud.

  1. How risky is it? Carefully consider the data (potentially) being moved to the cloud. The more sensitive the data, the riskier it is to store it in a cloud architecture.

  2. How will it be used? Determine who will use the data (customers, members, employees?) and who will have access to it (external vendors?). Widely used applications — email or unified communications, for example — are good candidates for the cloud, but applications used only by internal employees are better stored in a private cloud environment.

  3. How will it be transferred? Frequent, high-volume data transfers can complicate cloud deployments. Also, public clouds require additional overhead (such as encryption) to secure the traffic. It may make more sense to keep certain data and applications at the institution’s own facilities.

  4. How often should it be available? If data must be available all the time, with no scheduled outage windows, public cloud architecture is a good fit. Multiple clouds with different Internet service providers may also be a good option to support business continuity.

If cybersecurity fears are keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. We found that 53% of bank managers say frequency of cyberattacks is on the rise. But security concerns shouldn’t prevent your organization from taking advantage of the cloud. Check out our latest white paper,Protecting Financial Services Cloud Data and Applications,” to learn more.

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