September 12, 2018

Data privacy now key concern while fears over security ease, as financial firms move their businesses to the cloud

Survey by Thomson Reuters finds top three concerns for public cloud technology are: data residency, data privacy, and losing control over data

LONDON / NEW YORK – As financial firms rapidly increase their investment in public cloud to manage their financial data needs, a global survey of senior technologists and market data managers in the financial services sector found that security is no longer a top concern. A survey from the Financial & Risk business of Thomson Reuters found that currently, firms’ top three concerns when using public cloud are: data residency (24%), data privacy (19%) and losing control over data (18%).

Such is the turnaround in financial firms’ attitudes that 82% of firms surveyed believed the need for greater security would be a positive driver towards the adoption of public cloud, while only 12% believed it was a factor inhibiting cloud adoption. Financial institutions are increasingly leveraging the cloud as a key technology to manage the financial data that powers their business decisions, with financial firms planning to ramp up their investment on cloud from 30% of IT budgets to 47% by 2019.

As a heavily regulated industry which holds highly sensitive information about clients, financial institutions have historically been wary of using the cloud because of security concerns. Public cloud providers have adapted accordingly, and invested heavily in industry-leading security, allaying firms’ concerns and turning security from a blocker to a driver. However, recent data regulations, such as GDPR in Europe, and high profile global data privacy scandals mean that firms are increasingly focused on issues like data privacy and data residency (where sensitive data is stored).

 “As financial institutions increasingly leverage cloud technology to manage their financial data needs, firms will always need to ensure that sensitive data remains completely safe,” says Brennan Carley, Global Head of Enterprise Proposition & Product for the Financial & Risk business at Thomson Reuters. “Regulations like GDPR and high profile data privacy scandals have increased the focus on data privacy. The cloud is increasingly seen as part of the solution, thanks to the dramatic improvements to cloud security.”

“Cloud technology is opening up new opportunities for financial firms to experiment and create value by combining data at scale with other emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning. Ultimately, whatever technology financial institutions use to manage data, they are responsible for ensuring robust controls are in place.”

Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk recently announced plans to deliver all its financial data and tools in the cloud.

The Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk business will be known as Refinitiv, following the closing of the strategic partnership transaction between Thomson Reuters and private equity funds managed by Blackstone.


The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 250 senior figures across buy- and sell-side financial institutions, in the roles of Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Data Officers and Heads of Market Data. It was a global survey, with respondents split equally between North America, Europe and APAC.

Thomson Reuters

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