Five cloud compliance challenges faced by the financial industry

cloud compliance financial industry

For banks and other financial institutions, there are some decisions that shouldn’t be made overnight. Uplifting your customers’ personal data, replacing your racks of infrastructure and evaluating how expensive downtime would be during the move to a cloud service, are actions that need intense scrutiny before they’re carried out.

There is a huge number of challenges faced when migrating your IT infrastructure to a cloud provider, which becomes even more critical when dealing with financial data.

Here are five cloud compliance challenges faced by the financial industry:

1. Due diligence of your service provider
 
If you’ve ever been in the position where it’s time to uplift your critical IT infrastructure and run full speed down the route of a cloud-based solution, then you will know that finding the right supplier is no easy feat. There are plenty of providers out there and you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed with options, but this doesn’t mean that just any option will be the right one.
 
Ensuring your provider is certified to the levels that your business needs is vital, and it is down to you to ensure that they can meet your standards. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) certification is perhaps the most important when looking at storing customers’ sensitive card information anywhere, let alone in this space we call ‘the cloud’.
 
Simply choosing a cloud provider because it has a PCI certification, however, does not necessarily mean it will meet the rigorous standards set by your own governing body. In fact, some cloud providers will only meet the minimum requirements in order to attain the PCI certification and unless you were to look a little deeper, you might not notice that your data may not be in the safe hands you initially thought. 
 
Blue Chip is a PCI-DSS Level 1 certified provider for managed service hosting and has been externally certified by undergoing twelve high-level requirements, assessed by the Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). This means that we can offer the full range of PCI-compliant managed service options, having been rigorously tested to exceptionally high standards.
 
2. How resilient is your service provider?
 
How does a cloud provider deal with natural disasters? How would a national power outage affect the operation of a data centre?
 
You hear it for yourself, even on a personal level about the importance of backing up your data – photos, messages, emails, or just about anything that may hold any kind of value to you. 
 
This is the same with a cloud provider. The data centre that runs and hosts the cloud you use to store your business-critical data, will almost certainly back up data to ensure there is minimal loss in the event of a disaster – be it within your business or theirs. 
 
However, what if the data centre catches fire, and all inside is lost? Where is the backup for the backup?
 
Boasting both a primary Tier 4 Design data centre and a secondary Tier III data centre, Blue Chip knows a thing or two when it comes to resilience. Dual feed power supplies with two separate back-up generators – fuelled from two different suppliers – ensure we are always up and running. With a total replication of systems, there’s no single point of failure in the event of an unplanned occurrence.
 
3. Where your data will be stored
 
You’ve decided on a PCI-certified provider, you’ve looked further than their advertising and you know that this is the cloud you want, to take you to the stars.
 
However, serious questions remain. Where is your information being stored? Is it backed up? Does the host data centre have a disaster recovery plan?
 
The information stored for companies within the financial sector is incredibly sensitive, and failure to adequately protect this information can result in hefty fines and a big hit to your reputation. Communicating with the cloud provider to confirm where the data will be stored, will go a long way in ensuring these breaches do not occur.
 
Both of Blue Chip’s data centres are wholly owned and are based in the UK, which is a vital advantage for adhering to ever-tightening data regulations.
 
4. Which of your data will be stored?
 
Now, you know that your PCI-certified cloud service provider backs up all of their data on a minute-by-minute basis across two of their own data centres which are 30 miles apart and are patrolled 24/7 by lightsabre-wielding robots, the next step is to find out which of your data is to be stored.
 
Establish early on if customer card details will be stored in the cloud or on-premise in your own data centre. Will you keep customer contact details on-premise or look to store those on cloud, but utilise a public service?
 
With decades of experience in looking after sensitive data at the highest level for many banks and financial institutions, Blue Chip is well-positioned to advise you on how banking information should be stored.
 
5. Do they take their cybersecurity seriously?
 
Cybersecurity is something we could all take a bit more seriously. Blindly pressing the ‘accept’ button when that new app on your phone asks you or allowing your microphone to run in the background, for you to then lose your mind when that leopard-print dog cape you were just talking about, pops up in a Facebook ad.
 
Cloud service providers cannot afford this level of ignorance, and you need to be sure you know that your prospective provider hasn’t blindly pressed the ‘accept’ button on security. 
 
Your business cannot afford downtime or sensitive customer information compromised and held to ransom due to corners cuts in the data centre’s security. You need to look further than the surface and be vigilant in ensuring that you will not pay for someone else’s mistake.
 
At Blue Chip, we offer widespread encryption, firewalls, DDoS protection and extensive business continuity options. This collection of services means we have a world-class reputation for galvanised IT security.

Taking something at face value is an easy route to take. Finding the cheapest option might please your accounts team, but at what cost? Saving a few pounds by going with a budget provider could end up as bad news, with you as the headline. 

We have a solid reputation for handling payment data, bolstered by our Tier 4 Design data centre. It’s why we carry a significant amount of the UK’s transaction data. As a leading world-class cloud provider, we’re confident in giving satisfactory answers to all the above challenges to anyone considering Blue Chip Cloud.

Do some research, give yourself time to find your answer and avoid a potentially catastrophic mistake.

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