Industry Trends

4 Financial Services Cybersecurity Pain Points and How Security Fabric Can Assist

By Bill Hogan | April 14, 2017

The cloud, Internet of Things (IoT),  mobility, and big data analytics are four primary trends that are driving change, and financial services organizations are being tasked to keep up. While digital business is simplifying life for the users of financial services, companies are being forced to deal with these trends’ impact on the makeup and footprint of their security solutions.

The need for an architecture and strategy that is fully suited to support these trends is paramount to success. As a result, today’s financial services organizations are on the hunt for security solutions that address:

  1. Automation
  2. Control
  3. Consolidation
  4. Flexibility

Here’s why today’s network security providers must consider these four pain points:

  1. Automation

With today’s virtualized environments, organizations are always adding, changing and moving devices and users. While workflows are automatically rerouted between dynamically-shifting resources in a matter of minutes, security struggles to keep up. The challenge is that most security measures are complex procedures that are being implemented by hand. IT security teams simply can’t keep up with the policy changes that dynamically shifting networks require. And unfortunately, they are also prone to making mistakes. This machine vs. human dynamic can lead to gaps in security, as changes that can take seconds or minutes for a network infrastructure could take hours or days for security teams.

Even worse, by the time manual configuration changes to firewalls, policies, and endpoints are made, it’s likely that the network has undergone yet another change, and security is back to square one.

  1. Control

Gartner projects that the number of connected things in use (worldwide) will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. As the number of devices being used by consumers continues to grow, so too does the attack surface. This exponential growth is a cause for concern for many CIOs, as they often struggle with knowing how and where to deploy security solutions.

Does the network need more endpoint protection? Are the attack threats occurring at the software-defined perimeter? Does traffic need to be segmented internally? What about cloud applications or IaaS? Does my security extend seamlessly to there? These are all questions that are being frequently asked across the industry.

  1. Consolidation

As security devices are deployed into the stack, one of the biggest challenges being faced by financial services organizations is simply sorting through all the available data. As new devices are added, so too are additional reporting tools and management consoles, leaving the CIO and their team yearning for a unified view of what’s happening across the network.

Gathering intelligence and thwarting advanced threats in a complex, multi-vendor security environment is often reduced to hand-correlating data and manual threat analysis, paired with some blind luck. For this reason, it’s common for advanced threats to sit inside a compromised network for months before they are detected.

It’s important to remember: Operational complexity, even when it involves security devices, often works in the favor of the attacker.

  1. Flexibility

The cloud allows financial organizations to be flexible, and dynamically scale up and down with demand. This has pushed the challenge of consistent security beyond the tipping point. The question is no longer, “do we make the move to the cloud?” It’s now, “do we adopt a public, private, hybrid, or mixed deployment?” And issues around security play a role in that answer.

This decision is partly determined by the scale of the existing infrastructure. But, it’s also a prioritization of what infrastructure is less critical and can therefore be in the public cloud (cheaper) vs. critical areas that need to be stored in a private cloud (more expensive).Further, since cloud and on-premise security solutions rarely talk to each other, organizations must evaluate how comfortable they are with reduced visibility and control over the data in the public cloud.

The cloud is an attractive target for hackers due to organizations’ demand for flexibility, the amount of sensitive financial data that is now being hosted in cloud environments, and the gap between cloud and network security intelligence.

Securing the Organization with the Security Fabric

These trends are not likely to change any time soon, and unless security is reengineered, the ongoing disruption to the legacy security blueprint will continue. The Fortinet Security Fabric is being adopted due to this disruption, as it provides organizations with an architecture that’s fast and adaptable, has the ability to tie traditionally isolated security devices together to provide holistic and adaptive security priced to value, and rich in functionality.

The Security Fabric provides a single, unified operating system across the portfolio, combined with valuable local threat intelligence gathered from strategically placed network sensors and large scale threat intelligence gathered by constantly monitoring the global threat landscape. Gone are the days of point products being the answer to security challenges. The Security Fabric allows security to dynamically expand and adapt as more and more workloads and data are added, and at the same time, seamlessly follow and protect data, users, and applications as they move back and forth between IoT, smart devices, and cloud environments throughout the network. To defend against today’s advanced threat landscape, organizations need a scalable and easy-to-manage integrated security approach that a fabric-based framework can provide.

Let’s get a conversation going on Twitter! What do you think are some of the most critical pain points being faced by today’s financial services organizations?