Financial services should look to processor-level data protections, report suggests

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Businesses in the financial services industry (FSI) should look to new silicon-based data protections to build new security capabilities, according to 451 Research. 

Specifically, innovative protections that are built-in at the processor level that secures data no matter where it is in use. 

According to 451 Research’s Vanguard report, Security is Critical to Digital Transformation in the Financial Service Industry, a new class of silicon-based data protections can offer companies confidential computing capabilities that address such challenges. 

Confidential computing is essentially technology that protects data while it’s in use, in a way that differs from traditional security controls. 

It uses the same cryptographic bases that power encryption for storage and networking but for computation and analytics so that they remain secured where those transactions take place.

The technology needed to provide computational computing, according to the report, is a new range of capabilities that have been built into most modern processors. These next-generation silicon designs can shield data from unwanted observation within the processor. 

Such a capability dramatically reduces the risk of data snooping, even at the motherboard level, according to 451’s principal research analyst Eric Hanselman.

“FSI businesses can have consistent, reliable, and in-depth data protections that will allow them to place application workloads wherever they need them to be while addressing data protection concerns,” Hanselman noted in the report. 


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“This advance can effectively enable FSI businesses to use cloud services with the same assurances that they have in their on-premises environments.” 

What’s more, adding extra protection to their on-prem setups can mitigate internal risks with more robust controls. 

The benefit here is that businesses won't need to compromise on scale, cost, or security when it comes to workload placement decisions. Therefore, if data needs to be at the customer's or partner's disposal, the confidential computing protections will provide a layer of security, no matter where the application is being used.

The typical FSI business has a complex daily operation regarding risk management, which is exacerbated by new technologies and processes that come with digitization, underlining the need for strong security protections.

Digital transformation projects introduce new variables that must be accounted for and are often critical to the company as it tries to stay competitive. 

However, by using a greater number of appliances and applications, the business will typically see an increase in potential attack surfaces and entry points. 

What’s more, a growing partner ecosystem can raise the levels of third-party risks. 

These are the types of risk that can prove very costly should the worst happen – ransomware attacks are painfully common – so it is important to keep the chance of an attack to a minimum while still progressing. 

For FSI businesses, the aim is to defend critical assets while still ensuring ample data access for their new services. 

When it comes to delivering the latest protections at the processor level, there are a number of companies that offer useful solutions.

AMD, for example, has a portfolio of innovative products that feature its Infinity Guard security protections which are ideal for businesses in the financial services industry. 

The chip giant has a wide appeal to financial institutions with its extensive partner ecosystem, manufacturing expertise, and unparalleled R&D capabilities.


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