Network Performance and Cybersecurity in an Era of the Digitalization of Financial Services


Use Cases for Finance, Banking and Insurance Organizations


Financial Services firms are in the midst of a turbulent period. Financial institutions have been changing their business practices, culture, and technology to create more responsive and adaptable businesses to meet customers’ requirements and experience. However, disruption is everywhere: new technologies and competitors are entering the market, enforced remote working for employees is hitting productivity and processes, cybersecurity threats are on the rise and increasing in sophistication. At the same time, economic conditions are putting a squeeze on IT budgets.

Networks are the critical backbone of financial services operations. When the network is performing inefficiently, down or compromised, information and data flow is interrupted and consumers, employees, and intermediaries experience service disruption.  This in turn, affects efficiency and, in the case of a security incident, can have a detrimental impact on hard-won customer trust and corporate reputation.

A perfect storm has been brewing and has developed to put network and security teams under more pressure than ever to keep the business running smoothly and efficiently and customers delighted, all while keeping on top of changing regulations.

"This is an awesome product that we use for our daily Network operation and security investigation. We need packet capture for most of the investigations and this product has been on top to fulfill the requirement."

Sr System Engineer, Financial Services

 

Challenges that Finance, Banking and Insurance Organizations struggle with to keep critical networks safe and working optimally

IT teams are tasked with a complex juggling act to ensure that they support their main business objectives.

Delivering Customer Experience Excellence 

Ensuring great end-user experiences has shot to the top of the list of priorities for IT teams operating in financial sectors. VIAVI’s annual State of the Network report showed it be the top priority for the first time in the 14-year history of the survey. IT teams need to pinpoint service-impacting slowdowns, bottlenecks or downtime fast, and get it fixed before the impact becomes widespread. This is particularly true when branch office, intermediaries, aggregators and other remote users and devices like ATMs rely on instant access to core systems to transact business. Even the smallest window of unavailability can result in a lost customer or lost business. 

VIAVI acknowledges the importance of swift identification and resolution of business-impacting network and cybersecurity issues, a principle that drives the continuous evolution of the Observer Platform. The deceptively simple End-User Experience score will show sites, applications or users that are experiencing slowdowns or outages and indicate if a server, network or application is the problem. IT Teams can find and fix issues quickly, even before end-users see an impact.


 
Managing Digital and Reputation Risk

For IT teams to mitigate as much risk as possible, network teams and security teams need to work closely together in several areas to ensure full visibility across hybrid networks and cloud-based services. In a recent survey by SANS Institute only 38% of respondents had high or very high levels of confidence in their ability to discover all of the devices connecting to their networks. 

VIAVI Observer Platform helps operations teams to manage their risk by:

  • Creating baselines for normal network activity, and alerts for abnormal behaviors 
  • Creating profiles for devices and services to detect atypical behaviors early
  • Monitoring segmented networks that have restricted access to sensitive data
  • Monitoring what’s connected and who’s communicating on the network
  • Conducting threat hunting together with back-in-time analysis of network operation
  • Combining NetFlow, enriched flow, and packetdata to get the full picture of all conversations on the network 
  • Capturing complete forensic detail for fast and accurate breach impact reporting
Driving Down Costs

Budgets are under pressure, affecting not only capital and operational purchases, but also staffing and resourcing. Teams are being asked to do more, with less budgetary and staff resource available. Skills shortages in critical areas like networking and security are adding to the difficulties.

VIAVI Observer provides IT teams with a modern platform supplying intelligence and insight for day-to-day IT operations. Customized, easy-to-use dashboards give operations staff clear site and application performance indicators. Collecting the right data from across the network is key to seeing the whole picture and being able to identify performance issues and potential threats.  Using packet and flow data, enriched with user authentication and device information delivers rich, actionable intelligence for network and security teams. Highly efficient workflows, combined with automated domain isolation, enable accurate routing of identified issues to the right team for 

"The part that we like most about product is the ability of a level 1 person to look into a complex issue like slowness and identify if the issue is with Application , Network, Server or Client. "

Network Engineer, Financial Services


further investigation and  reduce costly and time consuming cul-de-sacs, problem mis-diagnosis and finger pointing. Patent-pending, machine-learning driven end-user experience scoring helps reduce unnecessary steps to pinpoint whether an application, network, client, or server is the problem. More issues can be dealt with and fixed first time, by the right experts in the team, reducing Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR). 

Staying Ahead in a Changing Market

This new age of dynamic disruption is thrusting unplanned and ever-changing scenarios upon beleaguered teams. IT infrastructure is having to evolve rapidly to keep up with changing demands around cloud migration projects, VPN usage, remote working, deploying new applications and cloud-based services, and more, all while supporting customer-driven digital transformation. The relentless march towards cloud adoption in banking and insurance creates new challenges both for the infrastructure itself and security teams who are tasked with safeguarding sensitive information. 

Comprehensive governance and cybersecurity 

Having behavior profiles for key devices and services and how they are meant to behave on your network is crucial to understanding what constitutes normal traffic and what could be suspicious or malicious. Network data provides a rich source of information about the traffic moving across your network to find threats in the east-west corridor and troubleshoot application performance problems. 

The Observer Platform provides the profiling, blacklisting, SYN Forensics, and deep, forensic-level conversation details that yield court-admissible documentation when exfiltrations occur.

To see the Observer platform in action, view our online demos.

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