Into the Clouds: Why Banks Must Rethink Their Data Protection Strategy

Anshuman Rai

BFSI markets face extreme market pressures and disruptors, forcing organizations to innovate to keep pace. Banks eat up data, even when standing still. To cope with increasingly digital-hungry customers – and satisfy their craving for service innovation, seamless access and 24/7 control – they need to be able to scale-up data capacity and connectivity fast It is clear that the banking industry will be transitioning through both hybrid and multi cloud environments for years to come. The challenge is how to migrate core systems into the cloud without losing control, access, and sight of data, and without compromising security or escalating risk.

We’re also seeing a greater SaaS adoption among banks to attain business agility, gain a competitive edge, while optimizing costs. As a cloud-based technology, SaaS not only enables banks in meeting regulatory demands and providing security to their customers, but also helps transform rapidly, thus fending off competition from emerging fintech players in the market.

Also Read | Cloud, if managed effectively, will enable smooth transition of BFSI Infra: Raj Srinivasaraghavan, CTO, SecureKloud Technologies

To attain success, banks must look beyond the cloud specification and adopt an integrated approach to protect, store and manage their data – whether it resides on-premises, in the cloud or anywhere in between. For this reason, a good data management strategy should always have SaaS at the core.

A modern data management strategy seamlessly integrates an end-to-end data protection and management environment to flexibly meet the needs of every application and manage complete data cycles while remaining aligned with business objectives.

From pariah to prerequisite: A Modern Data Protection Approach

Banks deal with sensitive customer data that must be protected and secured from being exploited by anyone. With high volumes of data being generated and stored by banking institutions, there is a growing need to broaden the scope to data services that include security, compliance, data mobility, and eDiscovery.

The layered approach that it provides, will help these institutions shift from infrastructure-focused data protection to application-focused data protection and leverage backup to restore critical services, recover business applications, and support a zero data loss strategy.

It is not always a malicious third-party attack; banks need to be wary of. They also need protection from internal threats such as accidental data deletion, bad actors, and data centre accidents. A modern data protection solution comes with features such as immutability and “air gaps” to mitigate cyber risks. Air gap protection means using snapshots, replication, and automation to back up data offsite, whereas immutability protects read-only copies of data for recovery. This is crucial because cyber attacks are increasingly focusing on backups as well.

Securing the Crown Jewel
As organizations are aggressively shifting to remote workforce models, new entry points are surfacing across systems, SaaS applications, and endpoints. Unfortunately, this disruption has amplified malicious efforts, as cybercriminals double down to target today’s businesses.

Also Read | Cloud to remain as primary choice for new application deployment in 2021: Ankit Khare, VP-IT, Shivalik Small Finance Bank

A robust modern data protection architecture not only helps in restoring and recovering lost data, but it can also ensure reduced impact in the event of data with capabilities like anomaly detection, to identify patterns in data and access that give early warning of attackers who have gotten in the door. As cyber threats are getting more and more craftier to gain access to critical data, the onus is on enterprises to utilize more sophisticated tactics in securing its data.

Intelligent Data Management is paramount for the BFSI industry today. With a holistic data protection and management solution by their side, enterprises can be free of archaic legacy systems, and raise the bar on agility, innovation and scale without compromising on security.

Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Anshuman Rai, Area Vice-President, India & South Asia, Commvault.

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