Top 5 Ways Financial Services Are Leveraging Cloud Technology

The cloud isn’t quite popular in the financial sector, as it is in other industries. The financial sector deals with highly sensitive and valuable data and because of certain misconceptions about the cloud being unsecure in nature, IT leaders have been very skeptical in adopting cloud technology. But, things are changing and the financial industry is beginning to realize the improvements in operations offered by the cloud. Thus, many IT decision makers in the industry have started to “make the move”. But, there’s one simple question that pops-up when it comes to adopting the cloud – What are banks and insurance companies using the cloud for?

 

In this article, we have discussed the top 5 ways financial sector can leverage cloud:

Back-office systems: Hosting back-office systems in the cloud eliminates the need to deal with hardware procurement and maintenance, power and cooling, and staff utilization for regular maintenance activities. Although back-office systems are critical for any financial organization, it is an easy way to test the working of the cloud without feeling like a customer-facing system being put to risk. HR / Payroll / Time Tracking Applications, CRM, Office 365 and Digital workloads (website, email, etc.) are some of the most common applications being moved to the cloud.

 

Customer-facing applications: With the constant rise in customer portals and mobile applications, banks and insurance companies have been migrating their customer-facing applications to the cloud. Using the cloud reduces the need to worry about scalability and agility as compared to using the in-house management which is expensive and faces challenges in accommodating traffic fluctuations.

 

Policy-management systems: The insurance companies have started accepting cloud as the practical solution to host their insurance policy management systems. These hold critical customer information like policies, new claims, background checks, etc. And, since the supporting infrastructure needs to be compliant to store such information, HIPAA and PCI-compliant clouds are an ideal choice for insurance organizations.

 

Uptime and Disaster Recovery (DR): The use of customer portals and mobile applications also demand the banks and other financial organizations to be online and in service 24×7. The legacy disaster recovery solutions are not only slow and expensive but also hardware intensive for modern day financial institutions. By adopting cloud DR solutions, financial institutions can follow compliance requirements and reduce downtime at a fraction of the cost of their legacy DR solutions.

 

Business Intelligence and Analytics: Digitalization of banking processes has led to the generation of massive amounts of customer data. Companies know that this data can be mined to get meaningful insights in real-time and has to be stored somewhere. The cloud enables data storage in HIPAA and PCI-compliant manner and ensures that the sensitive information collected by banks and insurance companies is absolutely secure and available. Cloud is also scalable and eliminates the problem of quickly changing resource requirements for business analytics.

 

Identifying the right application, specific to the finance industry, can put a whole lot of obligations on the internal teams of an organization. Thus, working with a reputed service provider is a worthwhile solution.

 

At Sysfore, we have worked with thousands of enterprises of all sizes helping them identify business breakthroughs that the Cloud can enable. We examine your business requirements holistically and help you migrate to Cloud to increase business effectiveness.

If you have questions about how you can leverage the cloud for your organization, get in touch with our experts by writing to us at info@sysfore.com or call us at +91-80-41105555.

6 Steps To Build A Scalable Cloud Infrastructure

Shifting an IT infrastructure to cloud is not a question of if but when. The current trend shows a continuous decline in the use of on-premises infrastructure or internal private cloud. According to Gartner, “an average organization expects to triple its allocated share of capacity to public cloud services across the next two or three years”.

Many senior business leaders believe that cloud offers the scale and flexibility needed to support the operating model transformation at the speeds unmatched by internal IT organizations. It helps to speed up new product development by innovating, delivering digital services to customers.

 

In this article, we’ll discuss the six steps which every IT team must follow to build a scalable cloud infrastructure:

1. Determine the role of cloud in your enterprise’s digital strategy: Today, every organization needs to be efficient in terms of agility, scalability, and cost optimization. While developing the cloud strategy for your organization, start by examining how cloud can enable your business activities instead of starting with a perspective of corporate IT.

2. Determine the priorities and trade-offs: Before you collaborate with a business partner, determine the priorities and trade-offs between speed, cost and risk. Educating your business partners about the cloud and its required trade-offs is an important part of developing a wider digital understanding of the enterprise.

3. Begin with simple projects and build up on them: Today, digital priorities of organizations are changing so rapidly that every strategy needs to be flexible in order to meet the changes in demand. Adopt a test-and-learn approach by beginning with projects that are less complex in nature and building iteratively to high-value efforts. Read more

Petya Cyber Attack: How To Protect Your Organization Against It!

Petya ransomware is a part of a new wave of cyber attacks that has hit enterprise networks across the world. Ukraine and Russia are the worst affected, though the attack has also impacted some companies in other Western European countries, US and India.

Researchers are calling Petya a wiper and not a ransomware. The aim of this wiper being mass destruction of data and not collection of money from victims and enterprises. This was first reported by Matt Suiche, founder of the cyber security firm Comae. You can read his detailed blogpost on Medium (blog.comae.io) explaining why Petya is a wiper, not a ransomware. Cyber security firm Kaspersky has also come to the same conclusion.

What is the difference between a Wiper and a Ransomware?

A wiper and a ransomware differ in their intent and motive. The goal of a wiper is to destroy and damage data, excluding any possibility of restoration whereas the goal of a ransomware is to make money and it can restore the modifications it makes on your system.

How to protect your organization against it?

Common delivery methods for such malwares are via phishing emails or scams and the payload requires local administrator access to execute. Most major antivirus companies like Symantec and Kaspersky claim that their software has been updated to actively detect and protect against “Petya” infections. Keeping your Windows up to date – at the very least by installing March’s critical patch MS17 – 010 – will defend your system and also protect against future attacks with different payloads.

Organizations need to be aware of how threats affect their organizations through gaps in their infrastructure, unsafe application updates, or infected web adverts. Here are some protective measures that you can take to protect your organisation from Petya and similar attacks:

  1. Install the latest Microsoft patches, including MS17-010 which patches the SMB vulnerability.
  2. Read more