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Financial Cloud Solutions: How Safe is Safe Enough?

IBM Cloud for Financial Services Offers Built-in Protections to Minimize Risk

October 07, 2021

Financial Cloud Solutions: How Safe is Safe Enough?
By Cheryl Rang, Director of Advanced Solutions, Ingram Micro

Every year, data breaches and security incidents become increasingly costly. So it’s no wonder many financial institutions are hesitant (if not downright scared) to move sensitive workloads to a public cloud.

After all, according to many cybercrime analysts, it’s not a question of if a data breach will happen, but rather, when. That thought is enough to have anyone shaking in their boots—and the anxiety is made worse by these harrowing statistics:


  • According to Accenture’s 2019 Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime report, financial services incurred the highest cybercrime costs among all industries studied in 2018.
  • That same Accenture study reports that while cybercrime continues to plague digital businesses across industries, financial services companies bear the highest cost, with breaches estimated to cost $700 billion in losses, globally.
  • According to the latest data breach report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data breach in 2021 is $4.24 million—a 10% rise from the average cost in 2019, which was $3.86 million.
Sadly, cybersecurity attacks like ransomware aren’t just targeted at large financial institutions—they’re aimed at everyone. No institution segment or size is excluded—the threat is real, and nobody’s safe.

Concerned about security, but squeezed to transform
Despite many financial institutions’ concerns over security, they’re also under pressure to modernize. They want to delight customers with personalized banking experiences and on-demand services that outpace competitors. Therefore, they want the agility, resiliency, elasticity and on-demand provisioning that cloud offers.
Yet along with cloud innovation comes the need to meet strict security and regulatory compliance obligations. Thus, financial institutions need the best of both worlds. They require a secure framework that instills trust and confidence in moving their sensitive workloads and applications to the public cloud.
Cloud without compromise: IBM Cloud for Financial Services
Unlike other public cloud providers, IBM offers something unique for financial institutions—a highly differentiated solution that offers the cloud benefits financial institutions want, plus the security and regulatory compliance they need.

It’s called IBM Cloud for Financial Services—a pre-architected solution that helps ensure financial institutions are compliant with regulatory requirements right out of the box. IBM Cloud tools enable real-time monitoring and continuous compliance with pre-configured controls, which substantially lowers the cost and complexity of staying current with regulatory changes.

With IBM Cloud for Financial Services, you can create infrastructure that meets the very high security standards that are required for banking and similar high-security environments. The Security and Compliance Center’s dashboard shows compliance based on over 2,000 tests and shows the security posture for multiple environments, such as IBM Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and on-premise. IBM uses the highest level of encryption (FIPS 140-2 Level 4) to keep data secure. Moreover, IBM does not have access to your encryption keys and cannot read your encrypted data.

The solution includes a feature called Keep Your Own Key (KYOK), which means only the financial institution has access to their data on the public cloud. No one else—not even IBM administrators—can access the data. So your data is not only secure from outsiders, but also secure from the cloud provider.

IBM’s KYOK is offered through Hyper Protect Crypto Services, backed by the highest level of commercially available security certification (FIPS 140-2 Level 4). It’s a critical component of IBM Cloud for Financial Services—enabling financial institutions to prevent cybersecurity breaches and thereby protecting clients’ data and their valuable brands.

The IBM Cloud solution also accelerates time to implement. The features that come standard with IBM Cloud for Financial Services would likely take up to two years or more to develop separately—putting financial institutions way ahead in their time to market.

The value of the IBM Public Cloud for Financial Services is to accelerate and de-risk the journey to the cloud. It takes the guesswork out of maintaining compliance across many diverse standards, as well as safeguarding data.

Discover your path to cloud security
Do you have financial institution clients that are hesitant to move to the cloud? If so, it’s a great time to help them think about important topics like ownership of their data, the regulatory compliance that’s required to leverage cloud infrastructure and the cost savings they can realize by optimizing their on-prem environment by moving workloads to a cloud or hybrid cloud environment.

It’s also a great time to discuss how IBM optimizes cloud security and risk, and why IBM Cloud for Financial Services could be the right choice to help move any financial institution forward. With the right cloud solution, financial customers can be confident that they have the data safety and security they need.  

With so many important conversations to have—and so much at risk for financial institutions—it pays to have a strong, trustworthy partner by your side. The IBM and Ingram Micro team can help you have these conversations, and is ready to assist with pre-sales architecture, configuration and sizing, sales training, assessments and certification for management once deployed.

Cheryl Rang is Ingram Micro’s Director of Advanced Solutions for IBM and the recipient of several industry awards—the recent 2021 CRN Women of the Channel Award, and 2020 CRN 100 Rising Females in the Channel.