ownCloud for Financial Services and Banking

Financial services organizations are required by law to handle sensitive data using the highest security standards. In the U.S., organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) implement statutory standards and regulate the manner in which financial data must be governed. Many other nations and unions have similar governing bodies, such as the EU’s ESC and CESR, and Canada’s IIROC. Data breaches are extremely costly and can lead to legal action or, worse, loss of customer trust.

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In response to demands for fast, frictionless data sharing, employees in many financial organizations have turned to consumer-grade cloud services. Although these services are easy to set up and use, their lack of security, governance and control represent real and significant security risks. Thus, in an effort to “get the job done,” employees may unintentionally violate regulatory laws and data governance policies.

76.3% of organizations have at least one compromised [cloud] account each month Cloud Computing Trends 2016- Skyhigh, October 2015

ownCloud: Security, Usability and Control

ownCloud is the perfect solution for financial services and banking organizations to use for internal and external business file sharing. It combines the speed and ease-of-use found in consumer-grade file sharing applications with the security, governance and control of an on-premises solution. Unlike cloud-based services, which store sensitive data on public cloud servers outside of IT’s control, ownCloud is deployed on-premises and on private cloud infrastructures.

ownCloud integrates seamlessly with every part of the IT fabric – from user directories to security systems to monitoring and back-up services – ensuring that sensitive data remains under control at all times. Yet it also provides the ease-of-use and mobility users have come to expect from consumer-based services.

A few examples of using ownCloud in financial services applications include:

Integrated Compliance

Financial services are regulated by a strict set of compliance rules in which data must be governed. Because ownCloud integrates with client servers, if the infrastructure meets the compliance regulations, ownCloud does not interfere. ownCloud also enables admins to set document classification rules and then, based on the defined classification, take action to enforce those rules. By leveraging a combination of new system and user tags, admins and users can decide how to classify a document. Further, admins can set policies that determine how long to retain a file based on the classification, and then automatically delete the file at the end of a defined retention period.

Manage and Control Documents

Financial services firms often need to share sensitive data within the organization and externally with customers and partners. Examples include transaction reports, account statements and comparative performance data. Email, the most common method for document sharing, is notoriously insecure and limited to small file transfers. Secure FTP protocols offer greater protection and flexibility but require effort to implement and manage; thus, end users often avoid using FTP in favor of consumer-grade file sync and share services. What’s more, employees and partners often need to edit raw data and circulate comments and revisions, requiring document versioning features not present in popular FTP products. ownCloud allows financial services to achieve frictionless collaboration and control over their files with tools such as comments, tags, and file retention, in a secure, compliant, efficient manner. Confidential and sensitive data remains protected by the secure infrastructure that is already in place in most financial institutions.

Secure File Access for Employee

Financial clients are often on the move and increasingly need to review proposals, research reports and contracts while they’re on the go, whether through their mobile device or a desktop, but traditional access methods such as VPN are clunky and unreliable, particularly from mobile devices. ownCloud addresses this need by providing access to files based on IT-defined authentication and authorization policies. ownCloud also offers mobile applications that make mobile file access a breeze. Clients can securely browse, download, edit and upload a variety of files using popular tablets and smartphones. ownCloud allows financial account managers to deliver customized financial products directly to clients’ mobile devices, reducing product delivery costs while improving service levels and account retention. And if an employee leaves or changes roles within the organization, associated changes to user directories and permissioning services automatically flow down to data managed by ownCloud. When employee turnover occurs, administrators can transfer the ownership of files to another employee, retaining existing shares and business processes.
With Universal File Access, regardless of where data is stored, files are accessible via a browser, a mapped storage device, a mobile app or an alternative method. Using ownCloud, ACLs are preserved and sensitive data is easily accessible but always secure.

Learn more about why many financial services and banking organizations are choosing ownCloud as their on-premises sync and share solution. Learn more

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