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Privacy Concerns Around Cloud Computing

Privacy, confidential and sensitive data management, risks and regulations are always a top priority with financial services industry executives. Despite exceptional computing architectures, cost-saving potential and innovation opportunities offered by cloud environment, the financial services firms continue to remain concerned around security performance and compliance processes. According to 2010 Global Information Security Survey, more than half of the respondents denied having any plans to use cloud computing in the coming year. Concerns around privacy were perceived as the major hurdle in the adoption of cloud computing.

Highly regulated industries such as banking, insurance and financial services have been recommended to move ahead at a gradual pace for the implementation of cloud computing technologies. Technology professionals in the financial services industry are inevitably required to seek the best practices for secured operations in the cloud environment. An assurance of cloud environment security is at the base of optimising investments in the cloud environment.

Visibility into cloud service providers’ operations as well as the evaluation of their security and privacy practices is essential for data protection and operational integrity. Industry is also witnessing a growth in the development of tools that offer an oversight into cloud service providers’ operations for compliant relationship. In case of any specific compliance issue, the legal contracts and SLAs are required to be very specific. It is on the part of the users to ensure service providers’ compliance with privacy laws and regulatory requirements pertaining to data management.

In order to match cloud-specific security standards, initiative actions are also expected from service providers to control any sort of data-leaks. Currently, service providers are referring to standards such as ISO 27001. However, while moving forward, the cloud computing industry will be required to escalate these standards to a level that gives security assurance to the business users of cloud computing.