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US Treasury urges financial companies to examine cloud services


(Reuters) — U.S. Treasury Department officials are urging the financial sector to address potential challenges in using cloud computing services, warning in a report released Wednesday that failure to do so could leave them and their customers vulnerable.

The risk is particularly acute for small and medium-sized financial institutions, the department said.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said that while “there is no question that providing consumers with secure and reliable financial services means greater demand for cloud-based technologies,” there needed to be “safe and effective migration” as banks and other financial companies adopt cloud services.

“Treasury found that cloud services could help financial institutions become more resilient and secure, but that there were some significant challenges that could detract from these benefits,” department officials wrote in their report assessing current cloud adoption in the financial industry.

Those issues include financial companies' exposure to potential cyber incidents, an industrywide reliance on a small number of cloud providers and a lack of technology workers able to help financial institutions deploy cloud services, department officials said.

The department is establishing a working group to address the challenges raised in the report and said it would work with U.S. financial regulators, the industry and international partners to address the risks.

Technology companies that provide cloud computing services include Amazon Inc.’s Amazon Web Services, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.