AWS Security Blog

Three key trends in financial services cloud compliance

As financial institutions increasingly move their technology infrastructure to the cloud, financial regulators are tailoring their oversight to the unique features of a cloud environment. Regulators have followed a variety of approaches, sometimes issuing new rules and guidance tailored to the cloud. Other times, they have updated existing guidelines for managing technology providers to be more applicable for emerging technologies. In each case, however, policymakers’ heightened focus on cybersecurity and privacy has led to increased scrutiny on how financial institutions manage security and compliance.

Because we strive to ensure you can use AWS to meet the highest security standards, we also closely monitor regulatory developments and look for trends to help you stay ahead of the curve. Here are three common themes we’ve seen emerge in the regulatory landscape:

Data security and data management

Regulators expect financial institutions to implement controls and safety measures to protect the security and confidentiality of data stored in the cloud. AWS services are content agnostic—we treat all customer data and associated assets as highly confidential. We have implemented sophisticated technical and physical measures against unauthorized access. Encryption is an important step to help protect sensitive information. You can use AWS Key Management Service (KMS), which is integrated into many services, to encrypt data. KMS also makes it easy to create and control your encryption keys.


Financial regulators expect financial institutions to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture. In the cloud, security is a shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer: AWS manages security of the cloud, and customers are responsible for managing security in the cloud. To manage security of the cloud, AWS has developed and implemented a security control environment designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your systems and content. AWS infrastructure complies with global and regional regulatory requirements and best practices. You can help ensure security in the cloud by leveraging AWS services. Some new services strive to automate security. Amazon Inspector performs automated security assessments to scan cloud environments for vulnerabilities or deviations from best practices. AWS is also on the cutting edge of using automated reasoning to ensure established security protocols are in place. You can leverage automated proofs with a tool called Zelkova, which is integrated within certain AWS services. Zelkova helps you obtain higher levels of security assurance about your most sensitive systems and operations. Financial institutions can also perform vulnerability scans and penetration testing on their AWS environments—another recurring expectation of financial regulators.

Risk management

Regulators expect financial institutions to have robust risk management processes when using the cloud. Continuous monitoring is key to ensuring that you are managing the risk of your cloud environment, and AWS offers financial institutions a number of tools for governance and traceability. You can have complete visibility of your AWS resources by using services such as AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Config to monitor, analyze, and audit events that occur in your cloud environment. You can also use AWS CloudTrail to log and retain account activity related to actions across your AWS infrastructure.

We understand how important security and compliance are for financial institutions, and we strive to ensure that you can use AWS to meet the highest regulatory standards. Here is a selection of resources we created to help you make sense of the changing regulatory landscape around the world:

You can go to our security and compliance resources page for additional information. Have more questions? Reach out to your Account Manager or request to be contacted.

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