Cloud is slowly gaining popularity within the financial sector, but many companies have been slow to adopt it…

Cloud is slowly gaining popularity within the financial sector, but many companies have been slow to adopt it and put in place a proper strategy for cloud. Unsurprisingly, the main concerns are over the security of cloud systems.

A survey recently conducted by Cloud Security Alliance revealed that 61 per cent of respondents had a cloud strategy in the formative stages in their company. 47 per cent of those said they had plans to use a combination of in-house IT, public and private cloud. 18 per cent planned to use private clouds. None of those surveyed had plans to primarily use public cloud.

The survey also revealed a link between use of electronic transaction channels and cloud policy. The more an organisations customer base used electronic transaction channels, the less strict the 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,” said Jim Reavis, chief executive of the Cloud Security Alliance. “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.”

Financial service firms are keen to see more transparency and more control of auditing from their cloud providers, this was desired even more than improved data encryption. The top reason for those moving to the cloud, according to the survey, was flexible infrastructure capacity. This was closely followed by the need for reduced time for provisioning. The top services and uses of cloud amongst those surveyed was CRM, application development and email.

When looking at compliance requirements when moving to the cloud, top of the list was data protection at 75 per cent, corporate governance at 75 per cent and PCI-DSS at 54 per cent.

“The responses overall showed a very active market for cloud services in the financial services sector,” said Chenxi Wang, vice president, cloud security and strategy at CipherCloud, which sponsored the report. “Cloud has made solid in-roads in this industry with many firms looking to harnessing the power of cloud. There’s plenty of room for growth, particularly for providers who can fill the void for the auditing and data protection controls that are at the top of respondents’ cloud wish list.”

The survey also looked at how finance, insurance, security and government decision makers take action within their organisations. From standardising cloud services, to identifying which policies will have most impact, to understanding how best to educate users.

Over 100 professionals were surveyed, with organisations varying in size and from locations across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions.

While financial organisations have been slower to adopt cloud services, it’s clear that they are catching up and starting to reap the rewards of these new services. If you would like to know more about how cloud can benefit your organisation, financial or otherwise, give us a call or email and we will be happy to discuss the best tailored solutions for your business.

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