The benefits of the cloud are obvious, but have you been hearing a lot of confusion and negative discourse about cloud security? In the past, we’ve made the argument that a lot of the fear of the cloud comes from a general misinterpretation of how it actually functions. Techies like to describe virtual systems as these organic, floating concepts that are designed for ease of access on thousands of global devices. While that portrayal is conceptually pretty, and vaguely accurate, it does a poor job of showing off the security and safety of the cloud environment.
A primary reason that financial companies turn to the cloud is to avoid needing to devote money and floorspace to a local server farm. Once those servers are off your physical property, it is easy to forget that they still actually exist. Contrary to the common description, financial records are not ‘floating’ around in space, waiting to be snatched up by anyone with the right password. Cloud-based documents are still housed in physical servers, protected by security measures that most companies would rarely think of. Instead of thinking about a cloud, think instead of a safe deposit box.
We’ll use the example of Data Analysis firm Axioma to help explain. Axioma outsourced 99.9% of their business processes to the cloud three years ago, and has not had a single data breach in all that time. What’s the secret? Bank Technology News interviewed the company’s senior director of risk analysis to find out what they were doing differently.
As for the “s” word in cloud computing — security — Jacobs says he covers it by carefully separating sensitive client data, which stays on the client’s premises within its firewall, from anonymized data that’s fed to the risk analytics engines in the cloud. “The only part we push out onto the cloud are the mathematical calculations,” he says. “We get the benefit of the cloud without giving away any of the secret information.”
All data is valuable, but some is more significant than the rest. Axioma deposits valuable, but non-sensitive data into cloud servers (their safe deposit box), but they keep user information – as if it was their favorite jewelry – at home. They know that their data is safe in the cloud, but there are still a few items they’d rather keep on their person.
It’s a model that you can easily emulate with HALOTEQ’s iQloud service. We can smoothly transition portions of your data or business processes onto our servers, while letting you retain particularly sensitive data on your own devoted servers. Since the popularization of digital storage, the risks of financial data have been at an all-time high. ‘Clouds’ don’t exactly inspire feelings of security and safety, so in an industry where even the smallest mistake can put the private information of millions of users on the line, is it any wonder that ‘The Cloud’ is so scary to the finance industry?