February 28, 2023 By Rachel Zarrell 3 min read

Finding the ideal cloud solution for financial industries.

There’s no doubt that you’ve been told about the flexibility and efficiency of having a public cloud environment for your workloads. However, if you’re in the financial industry, there is often unease around putting data and assets in the cloud. While banks may want the advantages of a hybrid cloud, they also need assurance they can protect their assets and maintain compliance with industry and regulatory requirements.

Can you avoid new risks by staying with your current system? Sure—if you don’t mind falling behind your competitors. While there are myriad benefits to on-prem, a hybrid environment can only enhance your ability to keep up with new business demands.  Plus, you get to tap into the new cloud tools that help you demonstrate regulatory compliance.

With most hyperscalers, you’re on the hook for your cybersecurity and meeting regulatory demands. Building these processes becomes the highest priority, and innovation gets put on the back burner. But what if you didn’t have to build security protocols into your cloud because they were baked right in? It’s possible for your cloud platform to help you maintain resiliency and spur innovation while enabling compliance and security. It starts with asking the right questions.

Critical questions to ask cloud providers on running regulated workloads in the cloud

Just a few quick questions can help you understand whether your cloud platform is attuned to the needs of your regulated workloads.

 Here are six we recommend starting with:

  1. What is the level of security and trust? Is there security and trust across the entire environment, with policies and controls that enable continuous compliance? Are the controls being continuously, automatically monitored and enforced?  
  2. How much flexibility is provided? Does the cloud platform provide flexibility to adjust quickly and easily when regulatory requirements change across industries and geographies? Can it scale up across new cloud locations and expand into new markets and still meet regulations? Is the security controls framework up to the industry standard?
  3. How much control is there? Do you retain complete control of data, encryption, security, intellectual property and mission-critical systems? Is your data so secure that even your provider can’t access it?
  4. Are hybrid environments available? Is there portability and consistency across private and public environments? Can you run both classic virtualized workloads and containerized applications side by side?
  5. Who are your ecosystem partners? Is there a supporting ecosystem that includes independent software vendors (ISVs) and SaaS providers for services you are looking for (e.g., disaster recovery and high availability)? Are the ISVs vetted by the cloud provider through a rigorous validation process and held to the same security standard as the cloud?
  6. How is governance decided? Who is driving the governance and change management? Are policy provisions made for continuous updates relative to changing regulatory requirements?

The answer: IBM Cloud for Financial Services

These six questions can help guide you to the right cloud solution for your regulatory needs. If you’re looking for a flexible cloud with high levels of security controls and a zero-trust policy that enables hybrid environments and a vetted ecosystem of vendors, we have the answer.

To help banks host mission-critical workloads while adhering to their security and compliance regulations, we built the IBM Cloud for Financial Services. This solution makes it so that banks can deploy mission-critical workloads with confidence while addressing up-to-date regulatory compliance, security and data sovereignty.

 IBM Cloud for Financial Services was designed in collaboration with some of the world’s largest banks to streamline operations, increase efficiencies, reduce risk, decrease compliance costs and accelerate revenue growth. It offers the flexibility and efficiency of public cloud, but with the added security measures that regulated industries need. Among the highlights are IBM’s fourth-generation confidential computing capabilities and “Keep Your Own Key” encryption, in which partners and their customers can retain control of their data and transact in a highly secured environment. Additionally, our built-in security and compliance controls are engineered to help partners and customers accelerate innovation, unlock new revenue opportunities, and decrease the cost of compliance while fostering a growing ecosystem.

To learn more on how financial institutions can drive innovation and growth with a focus on security, resiliency and compliance, visit our IBM Cloud for Financial Services page.

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