Why are Banks Moving to the Cloud?

Wissam Acra, Regional Sales Manager at Genetec, explains why banks are moving to the cloud.

Wissam Acra, Regional Sales Manager at Genetec,explains why banks are moving to the cloud.

Many banks in the UAE have implemented severe cost-cutting measures to arrest the decline in profits resulting from a sharp decline in revenues and a potential spike in non-performing assets. So, what are things they can do to further cut down their costs and further advance their IT resources?

Banks have been using legacy solutions to cobble together their physical security systems. This siloed approach to security cannot keep up with changing customer needs or the evolving threat landscape that banks are dealing with today. These systems now pose a serious challenge as banks work to protect themselves against rising cyberthreats and look to use analytics to improve operations, especially when 76% per cent of people in the UAE prefer digital banking over traditional banking.

Moreover, a siloed approach has also kept banks from centrally managing their network infrastructure as well as coordinating operations across all locations. This lack of a global view makes it difficult for banks to effectively leverage physical security data and ensure a consistent level of cybersecurity protection across all branches

The reality is that upgrading existing infrastructure at each branch can be prohibitively expensive. The costs can include end-of-life for existing hardware, on-site structural modifications, purchasing new systems, allocating additional space for servers, and labour for every phase of an upgrade.

Banks need to develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing the challenges associated with having a series of branches located across a territory or around the world. A two-step approach that involves unifying systems and moving operations to the cloud would give them greater control while saving money and improving operational efficiency.

Without a unified solution, large-scale banks have trouble seeing all the equipment they own or determining if they are meeting cybersecurity protection requirements at all branches. Implementing a unified security platform like Genetec Security Center allows for centralized monitoring and greater control over the management of physical security systems at each location.

This means a bank can monitor operations at all its branches, including remote and isolated locations, without disruption and ensure that consistent cybersecurity standards are always being maintained. A unified system also helps security personnel and law enforcement during a post-event investigation.

With disparate systems, extracting video for an investigation is labour-intensive and prone to human error. When an incident occurs at a branch, security personnel must search through hours of video from multiple cameras to identify and collect the footage they need. This process is even more difficult and time-consuming when an investigation requires looking through video from multiple branches.

When a bank deploys a unified solution, the system can automatically associate video and other data streams, like access control. This both reduces the time necessary to find and correlate information and eliminates human error. The evidentiary process is also greatly simplified when multiple locations are involved because the system itself can search through and correlate video feeds and other data from every branch.

A cloud-based video management solution (VMS) like Genetec Stratocast reduces upfront and total VMS ownership costs and provides long-term scalability. A true cloud-based VMS—which does not use recording servers—protects dispersed branches without the need for precise planning or investing in expensive infrastructure. It also provides central monitoring capabilities when the video is connected back to a bank’s head-end.

In terms of scalability, a cloud-based VMS allows banks to scale their system as the individual needs of their branches evolve. Banks can avoid the over-or under-allocation of planned resources by paying only for cloud storage they actually use. And, as business needs change, they can easily add or remove cameras and select the resolution and storage that best meet their current needs.

Moving to the cloud also helps banks secure their video data against loss and cyberthreats. When stored off-premises, a bank’s video footage is safe from tampering and always available, even in the event of on-premises hardware failure. Because data centers keep three local copies of all data, cloud solutions ensure that any video stored in the cloud is never lost.

With a cloud-based VMS, application enhancements can also be seamlessly deployed in real-time. For banks, this means that they can rest assured that their VMS solutions are up to date with the latest fixes and cybersecurity measures.