Cloud providers need to work with financial institutions to better understand how to accommodate their security and other requirements and finance industry specific regulations.

That's the conclusion of global survey of financial institutions undertaken by the recently formed Financial Services Working Group (FSWG) of the global Cloud Security Alliance. The report of the survey How Cloud is Being used in the Financial Sector, said:"Respondents of the study demanded more visibility, quicker access to logs, and better protection for their data."

The working group intends to use the data collected in the survey and the conclusions drawn to refine its goals and deliverables for 2015. "These takeaways will inform the working group and serve as actionable items to address the concerns and opportunities associated with cloud computing and financial services," it said.

The study found that most of the financial industry has yet to build a solidified, concerted approach to cloud adoption and that security remains a top barrier. However the FSWG was confident that these barriers would be overcome.

"Infrastructure flexibility, reduced total cost of ownership, and shortened time to market are just some of the top reasons to move to the cloud. ... As better tools for auditing and data protection become more mainstream, companies will feel more comfortable moving critical data to the cloud, while maintaining its security and compliance posture. Proper guidance and a deeper understanding of the division of security responsibilities between cloud providers and enterprises will build greater confidence leading to wider adoption of cloud services in the financial sector."

The survey focused on three areas to analyse the level of adoption of cloud solutions and requirements from financial institutions’ perspectives: security concerns, approach to cloud services and compliance concerns.

The report listed the study's key findings as:

• As cloud computing becomes more prevalent throughout the financial sector, a mixed strategy of leveraging both private and public clouds emerge as the norm for most businesses.

• Most organisations do not have a concerted cloud migration strategy.

• Data protection is a preeminent security concern for the financial sector moving to the cloud. In particular, data protection standards and relevant laws are 'top of mind'.

• Industry regulation drives compliance requiring financial institutions to implement specific security measures to consider migrating to cloud services.

The 102 organisations surveyed came from banking/credit unions (35 percent), insurance (13 percent), investment (11 percent), government (seven percent), and other professional roles (34 percent). Respondents came from 20 countries in Americas (59 percent), Asia-Pacific (21 percent), EMEA (20 percent). Organisations ranged in size from 1-99 employees (eight percent), 100-500 (12 percent), 501-1000 (three percent), 1001-5000 (16 percent). // "); // ]]>

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