The Wall Street Journal has reported that federal regulators were “greeted warily” at the Richmond, Virginia-based Amazon Web Services data center back in April. The regulators were assigned an Amazon-appointed chaperone and received only limited access to internal data. Since then, federal oversight of the cloud industry has continued. According to the Wall Street Journal, the visit was “to examine the reliability and backup capabilities of Amazon’s cloud, given that it’s playing an increasingly important role in the infrastructure of the global financial system.”
Amazon Web Services is the cloud computing arm of Amazon. Google and Microsoft also offer cloud services. Maintaining expensive servers can be cost-prohibitive for some companies, so they rent access to these remote data centers. Consumer services like Netflix and Spotify are good examples.
Major financial institutions also utilize cloud servers. The sensitive nature of the stored data, sometimes social security numbers, bank information, and other personal information, has led to increased scrutiny from world governments. Especially in light of the recent massive Capital One data breach that occurred on Amazon’s cloud servers and affected over 100 million people.
Neither Amazon nor the US Federal Reserve has confirmed the report.