By David Hoag, OCC Chief Information Officer and Mark Morrison, OCC Chief Information Security Officer
In January, OCC announced the launch of our Renaissance Initiative, a multi-year, $100 million-plus initiative to comprehensively redevelop and modernize our technology infrastructure, including risk management, clearing and data systems. When this work is completed, OCC will achieve enhanced resiliency, an improved security and compliance posture, and more effective and efficient operations. It also will allow OCC to function as a more nimble organization, delivering business capabilities to better serve the users of the U.S. equity derivatives market.
As part of this Initiative, we will move our clearing, risk, and data applications to the Cloud. Historically, OCC has used the Cloud for internal enterprise systems, called SaaS (Software as a Service). Over the last 12 months, we have built the foundation for a secure Cloud platform. OCC has been working closely with industry experts and our peers to build a secure Cloud implementation aligned to security best practices.
With the goal of the Renaissance Initiative to achieve operational excellence by delivering numerous improvements to our capabilities, here are three primary reasons for expanded use of the Cloud: improved resiliency, increased agility, and a strengthened security posture.
- Improved resiliency. OCC Cloud solutions will improve resiliency in several ways, including enhancing redundancy by using multiple Cloud data centers and operating across diverse U.S. geographic regions. If a region is lost to an extreme event, OCC can rapidly provision a new redundant region within a day while the backup region runs production.
- Increased agility. Regulatory requirements, business needs for new risk management products, and an evolving threat landscape from cyber adversaries require OCC to rapidly and regularly update processes and systems. Increased agility will result in an on-demand infrastructure provisioned in minutes, not days or months. The Cloud allows OCC to quickly model and create or decommission development and test environments for back-testing, stress-testing and general software development needs. This, in turn, allows OCC teams to focus on our core business capabilities of clearing and risk management, not on building and maintaining technical infrastructure.
- Strengthened security posture. This translates into enhanced security for OCC and clearing member firms' information assets. All major public Cloud vendors have made significant investments and continue to invest in infrastructure protections, exceeding OCC's current high standards for on-premise data centers. All major Cloud providers implement internal security controls and integrate with OCC-selected third-party security solutions for data encryption, access control and data loss prevention.
OCC will soon begin using our secure Cloud infrastructure to hold historic data and execute margin model back-testing. Other upcoming Cloud activities include side-by-side comparisons between OCC's ENCORE system and new Clearing and risk capabilities within development environments.
Learn more about OCC's transformation on our website.
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