Harnessing Contemporary Cloud Security Tools in Banking to Minimize Human Errors

Financial institutions are increasingly embracing cloud technology due to its efficiency, security, and scalability. The ability to cater to customer preferences, personalize solutions, and access on-demand data analytics solutions, including AI, is driving the rapid adoption of cloud services in the banking industry. According to Accenture, the banking industry’s workloads in the cloud more than doubled from 2021 to 2022.

However, despite this accelerated adoption, the majority of banking workloads, over 85%, still remain on-premises. One of the reasons for this hesitation is concerns about cloud security. Despite significant advancements in cloud security by providers over the past decade, financial institutions remain worried about data breaches and regulatory compliance failures.

Cloud providers present a strong case for offering financial institutions a more secure environment compared to on-premises deployments. These providers have a dedicated team of experts and invest heavily in security innovation. They offer modern architecture with regular updates and patches managed by the provider. Compliance and regulations are closely monitored, and major cloud providers collaborate with local authorities to obtain the necessary certifications for financial services, such as PCI DSS, GDPR, and SOX.

However, even with robust security measures in place, errors on the client side can still lead to significant disruptions. Cloud providers consider security a shared responsibility with their customers. The challenge lies in the fact that setting up and operating workloads in the cloud is still a relatively new task for most financial institutions. It’s easy to misallocate resources, set incorrect permissions, or struggle with the complexity of new services, especially if developers and users lack proper training in cloud environments.

According to Gartner, 99% of cloud failures will be attributed to customer mistakes, particularly cloud misconfigurations. Research from Elastic Security Labs also reveals that nearly one in three cloud attacks (33%) exploit credential access, indicating that users often overestimate the security of their cloud environments and fail to adequately configure and protect them.

To address these challenges, Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms (CNAPPs) have emerged as a solution to enhance security in the cloud. CNAPPs offer security capabilities that assist customers in fulfilling their “security in the cloud” responsibilities. They enable continuous compliance checks, risk identification, and remediation of misconfigurations. CNAPPs provide greater visibility and analysis of multi-cloud environments, significantly reducing the risk of breaches and reputational damage for financial institutions.

While the benefits of CNAPP tools are evident, it is crucial for financial institutions not to add yet another tool to their already complex mix of vendors for cybersecurity and information security. To address this, Elastic has developed the industry’s leading security analytics solution that includes CNAPP for AWS, with upcoming support for Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. This comprehensive solution, part of the Elastic Security platform, empowers financial institutions to manage security across on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments from a single platform. By consolidating traditional security tools, teams can effectively protect, investigate, and respond to threats at scale without the need to switch between different technologies. The solution enables security teams to:

  • Gain deep visibility into cloud runtime workloads for accelerated remediation using Cloud Workload Protection.
  • Minimize exposed attack surfaces resulting from misconfigurations by leveraging Cloud Security Posture Management, aligning deployments with industry benchmarks through one-click, out-of-the-box integrations.
  • Detect malicious behavior within runtime workloads and understand container activity with expanded Container Workload Protection.
  • Facilitate efficient end-to-end triage workflows with risk and runtime context by continuously identifying and reporting known vulnerabilities using Cloud Vulnerability Management, all with minimal resource utilization.