Financial Services Prioritize Cybersecurity, AI, and Costs

DateJun 26, 2024

Data security, ransomware prevention, AI deployment, and cost minimization are given top priority when it comes to IT infrastructure decisions in the financial services industry, according to the Financial Services ECI research report that was commissioned by Nutanix and conducted by Vanson Bourne. In three years, 99% of respondents have been victims of ransomware attacks, illustrating the vulnerability.

Furthermore, 89% acknowledged that their organizations still have significant room for improvement in fortifying defenses against such cyber threats.

AI emerges as a significant factor influencing IT infrastructure priorities, with financial services leaders increasingly leveraging AI to enhance decision-making processes and improve customer experiences. This trend would underscore a broader strategy within the financial services industry, where diverse cloud environments are being deployed to meet specific operational, cost, compliance, and control requirements. The allure of hybrid multicloud architecture would lie in its ability to provide flexible cost, billing, and deployment options, enabling digital enterprises to optimize application performance, bolster security, accelerate time to market, and manage IT expenditures effectively.

Lee Caswell, SVP of Product & Solutions Marketing at Nutanix, expressed his concern over the prevalence of ransomware attacks, stating, “It is startling to see that nearly all the financial services respondents in this years ECI Survey have experienced a ransomware attack.” He highlighted that the adoption of hybrid multicloud solutions is poised to triple as financial services prepare for increased cybersecurity risks and new regulatory mandates, such as the EUs 2025 Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). This legislation would make data protection and disaster recovery imperative components of hybrid multicloud strategies.

Cloud Challenges, AI and Cost Management

The report delves into the cloud challenges faced by financial services respondents, exploring current practices and future plans for running business applications. Notably, the study reveals that while cybersecurity remains paramount, investment in AI and cost management are also critical priorities. Approximately 50% of respondents indicated that it took their organizations a few days to weeks to fully restore operations after a cybersecurity incident, with an additional 12% noting prolonged impacts even after partial restoration.

The research also highlights the evolving infrastructure priorities of financial services CIOs. As hybrid multicloud environments expand, so do infrastructure and workloads, with significant growth observed in cloud adoption (78%), data and AI integration (77%), and ransomware protection (77%). Despite acknowledging the importance of sustainability in purchasing decisions, few institutions plan significant investments in this area for the coming year. The most substantial projected increases in IT budgets are directed towards AI (39%), ransomware prevention (34%), and IT modernization (30%). Overall, 78% of respondents plan to increase spending on cloud computing, while 77% intend to boost investments in AI and ransomware protection.

Sustainability and flexibility are pivotal factors influencing cloud service selection for financial service companies. Flexibility, security, and data capabilities have consistently been top criteria for choosing between private, hybrid, or public cloud services. When asked to identify the single most crucial factor in IT infrastructure purchasing decisions, sustainability topped the list (15%), closely followed by the flexibility to manage workloads across various infrastructures (14%) and cost considerations (14%). This emphasis on sustainability and flexibility contrasts with other sectors, where these factors are generally deemed less critical.

Compliance Challenges

The report further reveals that financial enterprises are relocating applications to different infrastructures primarily to improve data access performance, security, and regulatory compliance. Nearly all respondents (97%) in the financial services sector and 95% globally reported moving one or more applications in the past 12 months, necessitating simple and flexible inter-cloud workload and application portability. The primary motivations for application movement in financial services include enhancing performance/data access speeds (42%) and improving security and regulatory compliance (41%).

Cybersecurity and compliance-related challenges dominate the concerns of financial services IT departments. Ransomware prevention and data security, along with adherence to data storage and usage mandates like DORA, are cited as the top data management challenges by 19% of respondents.

For the sixth consecutive year, Vanson Bourne conducted this research on behalf of Nutanix, surveying 1,500 IT and DevOps/Platform Engineering decision-makers globally in December 2023. The respondent base encompassed a diverse range of industries, business sizes, and geographies, including North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific-Japan (APJ) region.

Leave a Reply