Financial companies seek cloud strategy for secure relationship

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Cloud technology is being adopted across a wide range of industry sectors and financial companies are no exception. But a new report from the Cloud Security Alliance suggests that many of them are still looking for the right strategy.

The survey targeted executives from banking, insurance and investment firms around the world. Whilst it found that cloud computing is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the financial sector, many respondents still don't have a firm strategy.

Among the findings are that 61 percent of respondents admitted that a cloud strategy was in the formative stages within their organization, with 39 to 47 percent planning to use a mix of in-house IT, private, and public clouds, and 18 percent planning to use private clouds.

None of the respondents had plans to be hosted mostly in a public cloud. Worryingly though the results of the survey also showed that the higher the electronic channel transaction base among a firm's customers, the less tough the policy with only three percent of these types of organizations indicating having a strict cloud policy in place.

"The results of this report are insightful into understanding how the financial services industry is progressing in terms of cloud adoption and how cloud providers can best serve their interests and needs," says Jim Reavis, CEO of the CSA. "We hope that cloud providers and financial institutions can use this as guidance to help accelerate the adoption of secure cloud services in the financial industry".

Increased transparency and better auditing controls are something 80 percent of financial firms want from their cloud providers, even more than better data encryption (57 percent). On motives for moving to the cloud, respondents indicated that flexible infrastructure capacity was at the top of their list (68 percent), followed closely by the need for reduced time for provisioning (63 percent).

The most popular services and features being adopted when moving to the cloud include CRM (46 percent), application development (45 percent), and email (41 percent). Backend services (20 percent) or virtual desks (14 percent) are low priorities.

The report also looks at compliance regulation requirements when moving to the cloud. Top of the list here is data protection (75 percent), followed by corporate governance (68 percent), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) at 54 percent, and national regulations on 47 percent.

The full report How Cloud is Being Used in the Financial Sector is available to download from the CSA website.

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