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October 30, 2019
Office 365

How to Meet Finance Industry Security Standards when Migrating to Office 365

There are myriad regulations and security protocols banking and finance industry professionals must follow to maintain economic stability for customers, investors, and the entire U.S. market (not to put too fine a point on it).

With so much riding on finance industry data security, your organization should understand why banks and financial sector organizations are moving to the cloud, how to best orchestrate migrating to Office 365, and how to meet security standards in the process.

Money in the Cloud

Office 365 migrations for banks and other financial industry organizations began en masse in mid-2016, although many had been pushing for and experimenting with cloud-based data storage for a couple years already. So, why are financial industry organizations moving to Office 365?

Business Agility

The legal community was uncertain at best about the risks for banks migrating to Office 365, but–as World Bank CIO Stephanie von Friedeburg argued–“the business agility of public cloud outweighed the risks.”

Responsiveness to Customers

While the general public may think of banks as community pillars a la It’s a Wonderful Life, most banks are able to stay afloat by keeping up with other enterprises in the financial sector and beyond with customer responsiveness.

Singapore-based DBS migrated to Office 365 with their 1,000 employees in July 2016 to improve customer responsiveness and keep up with the evolving technology landscape.

Keeping up with the Tech Space

Bank of America signed on with Office 365 in October 2017, citing a desire to “thrive in the digital economy”. B of A’s CTO said they are trying to use virtual platforms for 80% of their workloads in the coming three or four years, which is actually quite fast for the finance sector.

Regulations and Security Standards

Keeping data secure and searchable is a big priority in a post-Dodd-Frank Act financial world. Since you are required to maintain records for five years, a cloud-based data storage solution like Office 365 makes sense.

How do financial industry organizations meet regulatory requirements during an Office 365 Migration?

Cyber Security

As this article on cyber security for the finance industry wisely points out, financial institutions should focus on beating, not just meeting regulatory cyber security standards.

According to the FFIEC standards, financial institutions must focus on these five areas, particularly during a migration to Office 365 and any other operational shifts:

• Risk Management and Oversight
• Threat Intelligence and Collaboration
• Cybersecurity Controls
• External Dependency Management
• Cyber Incident Management and Resilience

In addition to utilizing the FFIEC’s Cyber Security Assessment tool, financial industry organizations can take extra measures to protect and utilize data when migrating to Office 365.

Migration Considerations

Before your organization migrates to Office 365, you need to do an assessment of any weaknesses in architecture, personnel practices, or undetected cyber threats.

Read the Top 8 Security Vulnerabilities in Office 365 Migrations to understand the common culprits to data breaches for financial institutions, including:

  • Outdated software
  • Unauthorized administrator access
  • Redundant on-premise security solutions

Exceed Expectations for Data Security

If you want to withdraw money from your bank, you need to bring your ID with you because not just anyone can float in and take your cash. So why would banks and financial industry organizations skimp when it comes to securing and backing up customer data?

It is not always cost-effective to be at the vanguard of data security, but it can cost a fortune to restore lost data, mitigate lower shareholder confidence, and restore your organization’s valuation in the case of data loss.

One of the greatest culprits, one against which Office 365 does not sufficiently protect is human error. In the case of accidental deletions, your organization needs immediate backup of data, which is something Office 365 cannot promise.

Keep your organization competitive with a data backup solution that gives you added data security, searchability, and accessibility.

Learn how Backupify keeps data safe for financial industry organizations migrating to Office 365.


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