Safe Cloud Principles for Financial Institutions

Manila Bulletin, June 23, 2014 | Go to article overview

Safe Cloud Principles for Financial Institutions


I recently attended the board meeting of the Asian Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) in Hong Kong where I am board member. ACCA is an association of cloud computing stakeholders in Asia Pacific (APAC) whose aim is to accelerate the growth of cloud computing adoption across the region, henceforth making sure that its benefits to companies and organizations are realized. One of the topics tabled and discussed during the meeting was about safe cloud principles for financial institutions (FI). This is because of the fact that regulations governing the use of cloud computing of companies across the region vary significantly from country to country; but overall FIs are stringently regulated. Contrary to common misconceptions, financial regulators in the Asia Pacific region do not prohibit the use of Cloud Services per se and do recognize that they are an increasingly important option for FIs technical infrastructure and budget management. However, Financial Regulators are compelled to oversee that any implementation of Cloud Services is undertaken with appropriate due care and attention. Correspondingly, FIs need to approach Cloud Services with a high degree of sensitivity to ensure regulatory compliance, often across multiple jurisdictions. Thats why after the board meeting, ACCA together with the Asia Pacific Carriers Coalition (APCC) released a document during the recent CommunicAsia 2014 Conference in Singapore, outlining and proposing Safe Cloud Principles in the form of a unified, condensed and clarified set of best practices to help FIs to focus on and navigate through the relevant regulatory issues when contemplating a move to the cloud. The document has been created in partnership between financial institutions (FI), cloud service providers (CSP), financial regulators and industry bodies across the region. It covers key requirements such as confidentiality, availability and integrity and are derived from the very laws, regulations and guidelines with which financial institutions must comply. Some of the key principles outlined in the document are: 1. Service provider reputation and competence FIs must carry out, and CSPs must assist in facilitating, a risk assessment and due diligence on the CSP to ensure that the CSP and its Cloud Services meet the legal, regulatory, contractual and business requirements. FIs should have in place a risk management plan that includes measures to address the risks associated with the use of Cloud Services. 2. Review, monitoring, and control Compliance does not end at signature of the contract. …

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