How to get your data up to speed for the regulators

By protecting customer privacy through masking techniques; credit, social security and address information becomes impossible to steal.

Previously, we discussed how some of the world's largest banks secure sensitive data throughout their compliance reporting process. By protecting customer privacy through masking techniques; credit, social security and address information becomes impossible to steal. However securing data is only the first step in compliance reporting. The second step, is delivering complete and current data to testing and reporting teams when they need them.

A faster compliance journey

Nine out of Ten European bankers told us data delivery is the biggest issue they face in the compliance journey. By now, you appreciate sourcing and processing data is the difference between meeting or failing reporting requirements.

Regulations however are not static and banks need to make changes to reporting applications every time they are updated or new ones are introduced. Regulators also have the power to demand ad-hoc audits, often if they suspect non-compliance. This unplanned reporting requires further costs in infrastructure, resources and additional data.

This is worse for banks that are amalgamations of various mergers, some of which date back to the 1930's. IT systems during that era didn't have the flexibility to communicate with systems used by another department, let alone with a completely new business post-merger. Many high-street banks have to contend with sourcing reporting data from disparate, siloed IT systems.

The complexity of banking IT architecture, the lack of interoperability between systems and the number of sign off levels makes data delivery a predominantly manual process taking weeks, even months. Keeping it manual burns both staff and financial resources, whilst risking compliance failure. Banks want to get to a place where data is delivered on demand in the form of self-service or via automation.

Acceleration through data virtualization

Data virtualization is helping banks speed up data delivery by automating manual processes. Being able to quickly deliver multiple copies of virtual data to various testing and reporting environments means banks can work on regulations simultaneously, and without tinkering with live data unnecessarily.

Data virtualization takes a live backup of all source data and compresses it into a single, shareable compressed copy. From here it is continuously updated with changes from production in essence creating a time-machine copy of your data. Databases most virtualized in Financial Services are Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase or Microsoft SQL Server although many data types, including flat files are supported.

Time to compliance is accelerated as virtual databases can be refreshed from production or reset to their original state in a matter of minutes. Data can be versioned and branched, and analysts or QA can rewind data to the second before an error was detected. This enables banks using data virtualization the ability to version data just like code. Finally using only one physical copy also reduces IT storage costs by as much as 90%.

Real life regulation

Delphix's real life experience of how banks use Data Virtualization to deal with ad-hoc reporting is second to none. For instance in 2012, one of the world's largest high-street banks was facilitating money laundering. As a result a regulator demanded it present a report to show exactly how this large-scale crime happened. Failure to do so meant their operating license was under threat. They had to act fast.

Creating a report of this kind used to take 17 days. The bank contemplated telling the regulator it could not be done in time - a move which would have almost certainly resulted in more fines. However, with next-generation data delivery, time of reporting was reduced to just 25 hours, a 94% reduction. By instantaneously creating virtual databases mirroring physical ones, the bank was able to make and distribute data swiftly to reporting teams.

Driving to Test Data Management

The number one issue for European compliance professionals looking to speed up the compliance process is data delivery. With state-of-the-art Data Virtualization technology, banks can now provision limitless copies of real data in minutes, save time and stay in compliance.

Our next blog will delve into how to overcome the challenge of delivering data swiftly and effectively across all of your testing and reporting teams. Click here to find out how your bank can realize the full potential Delphix Data Virtualization.