Reported by: banking|Updated: October 19, 2018
Organizations within the financial services sector continue to shift toward cloud-based services and infrastructure in order to expand their digital capabilities and address today’s consumer demand for greater convenience, mobility, and simplicity. As banks and other financial institutions continue this digital transformation, the benefits of cloud adoption extend far beyond happy customers and investors. In fact, data shows that by shifting their back-office functions to the cloud, banks can achieve savings between 30 to 40 percent.
This kind of savings potential, coupled with third-party cloud IT maintenance, makes the shift toward the cloud enticing.
As financial services institutions continue to embrace this shift, we’re seeing the sector—along with many others—increasingly adopt the public cloud and implement multi-cloud strategies in order to add a level of redundancy to their cloud service usage. This severance gives financial services organizations the capabilities to meet consumer expectations, reduce costs, and avoid unnecessary lock-in with cloud vendors.
However, as these multi-cloud environments enter the forefront of the modern financial services network infrastructure, they’re introducing cybersecurity threats that can have a serious impact should there be a successful breach.
In the financial services industry, regulations like India’s Data Localisation and Data Protection Bill, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) have been enacted to help protect financial and personal data. However, the valuable data that require such strict regulation also make it a lucrative target for cybercriminals. In order to maintain effective security posture that extends into the cloud, financial institutions need the capability to merge their siloed cloud security controls into one comprehensive information security infrastructure where consistent security policies can be enforced and easily managed.
Multi-Cloud Cybersecurity Risks in the Financial Services Sector
While cloud services and applications have introduced a variety of benefits for the financial sector, naturally, cybercriminals have begun to look at the shift toward cloud services as an opportunity to exploit new and unique vulnerabilities. Just like the influx of disparate physical network elements during the early 2000’s forced IT professionals to address an increase in network silos, so too is the shift toward cloud-based solutions.
One of the biggest challenges multi-cloud environments have introduced to the security posture of financial institutions is the isolated cloud environments found within networks. With every new cloud-based application, infrastructure, or software service added to a network, the number of potential entryways into the organization’s network that cybercriminals can exploit increases. With these disparate multi-cloud environments comes a variety of obstacles for IT personnel responsible for securing cloud siloes, including:
Addressing Multi-Cloud Security
As financial services organizations continue to adopt more cloud-based capabilities into their networks, each siloed cloud needs to be properly integrated into a unified Security Fabric. By unifying siloed multi-cloud environments with additional virtual and physical network elements, cybersecurity personnel within the financial services sector can gain broad visibility and protection across the attack surface, while gaining the capabilities for rapid advanced threat detection and automated threat response and breach mitigation.
Additionally, it’s important that IT professionals maintain a number of best practices when actively securing multi-cloud environments, specifically:
Financial services organizations are increasingly adopting public cloud and transitioning toward a multi-cloud environment to better meet the demands of consumers and streamline business processes. As a result, this shift has introduced a new generation of siloed network elements that leaves IT personnel struggling to manage effective security posture over the disparate, multi-cloud environments.
Additionally, the threat of cloud-based malware means that in order to effectively secure both cloud solutions and network integrity, network elements need to be combined into a unified security fabric that can secure endpoints and clouds, while adding effective segmentation across the physical and digital network elements.