CYBER SECURITY SOLUTIONS

Financial Services

Protecting Institutions Against Advanced Threats While Optimizing Cost and Efficiency

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Overview

The financial services industry represents a lucrative target for cyber criminals and faces an abundance of cyber attacks. As such, financial services companies often find it difficult to move from a reactive to proactive cyber security strategy.

Achieving this goal is complicated by a continually expanding attack surface as companies undergo rapid digital transformations. Additionally, financial services firms must achieve compliance with a growing number of regulations regarding the use of financial and personal data.

Protecting extremely sensitive data is a top priority for the sector, but security cannot come at the expense of network performance. Consumers and businesses increasingly demand real-time access to every offering, from online and mobile banking to high-frequency trading. At the same time, institutions must control costs and optimise operational efficiency to remain afloat with its competitors.

Andrew Govell

Head of Cyber Security Services

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Industry drivers

Electronic trading is a financial services specialty that requires extremely high deterministic performance in its digital systems. This includes the firewalls that protect traffic between electronic trading platforms and the rest of the financial institution, including systems that provide real-time information to customers. If misleading information is transmitted to the banking side of the business in the first seconds after a transaction—or that information is delayed—customer satisfaction suffers. Often, these problems can be traced to “jitter,” in which small packets of data pass through the firewall in nonsequential order.

Our data centre firewalls (DCFWs) have been tested by two top global banks to confirm we provide the lowest latency in the industry, with near zero jitter. They also deliver highly scalable protection for traffic moving between electronic trading infrastructures and corporate systems. Built-in intrusion prevention system (IPS), intent-based segmentation with zero trust access, and mobile security features eliminate the need for separate point products for these functions. Single-pane-of-glass visibility improves operational efficiency, and API-enabled automation helps organisations tailor policies and workflows to the unique needs of electronic trading.

These cyber security features help financial services companies by:

  • Meeting federal regulations on traffic inspection between partners without compromising performance metrics.
  • Improving security effectiveness by segmenting critical customer and business data.
  • Improving visibility to facilitate automation and simplify management.

Companies that use automation platforms to deploy infrastructure using an Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) model realise significant benefits through a streamlined and automated provisioning model. Often used in support of DevOps cycles, IaC means that changes to an organisation’s infrastructure can be made quickly and easily. This greatly improves operational efficiency, but it also exposes organisations to potential undiscovered vulnerabilities.

The best way to provide a secure IaC infrastructure is to take a Security-as-Code approach, intentionally building security into the underlying structure of DevOps applications. Our internal segmentation firewalls (ISFWs) leverage intent-based security to intelligently segment infrastructure according to business intent, apply adaptive process control, and provide automated threat protection across the IaC environment. Our management system and analytics platform provide centralised network and security management, log correlation, and analytics to enable high performance and robust security from a single console. Our open ecosystem enables seamless and deep integration with third-party automation platforms via Fabric Connectors and a robust representational state transfer application program interface (REST API).

Our Security-as-Code solution protects the IaC infrastructure by:

  • Providing protection for critical, time-sensitive network traffic without sacrificing performance
  • Segmenting network traffic according to business intent, bolstering compliance and guarding against breaches

A perimeter-based approach to cyber security is no longer adequate for financial services companies, with 85% of companies operating in multiple public and private clouds. It’s now more effective to think in terms of a content inspection zone—a virtual perimeter that spans corporate data centres, multiple clouds, IoT devices, and network traffic moving on the public internet. SD-WAN technologies are now routinely moving organisations’ network traffic over the public internet, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are proliferating at the edge.

Our next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) use purpose-built security processors and comprehensive threat intelligence to deliver top-rated, high-performance inspection of clear-texted and encrypted traffic. Single-pane-of-glass visibility and control across on-premises and cloud-based environments drives operational efficiency and enhanced security. And our Security Fabric enables end-to-end integration of a variety of native and third-party security tools using Fabric Connectors and an open API. Robust threat intelligence powered by artificial intelligence (AI) underlies the entire security architecture, enabling detection and response to attacks in real time.

An end-to-end, integrated security architecture powered by CT delivers many benefits:

  • Operational efficiency with the elimination of manual security processes
  • Cost avoidance through consolidation of cyber security and elimination of redundant licenses
  • Simplified compliance reporting, avoiding an all-hands-on-deck approach to audit preparation
  • Enhanced security with automated response workflows and real-time threat intelligence

When institutions expand into new offices, they need to find secure and cost-effective ways to maintain acceptable network performance between branch offices and headquarters. Purchasing additional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) bandwidth is expensive, time-consuming, and not scalable for future network demands. Plus, remote branches present an appealing target for cyber criminals, who see them as easier to penetrate.

Our SD-WAN enables network traffic to travel securely over multiple connections between branches and headquarters—including the public internet. It eliminates the need for all traffic to be routed through the data centre for inspection, preventing bottlenecks that result in latency. And it builds scalability into the network infrastructure connecting branch offices with headquarters, thus eliminating future bandwidth investments.

At remote locations, our SD-Branch enables financial services organisations to combine networking and security capabilities for branch offices—all administered from a single NGFW. The solution includes CT switches, wireless access points, and our LTE WAN extender to ensure secure and high-performance networking at the branch. And our network access control (NAC) solution enables full visibility and control over all IoT devices found at the network edge.

Our Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch solutions enhance security and network performance in the branch network by:

  • Enabling security-driven networking, making it harder for adversaries to penetrate the network from a branch location.
  • Driving operational efficiency by combining networking and security into a single product, centrally controlled through a single device.

Cyber attacks are increasing in volume, velocity, and sophistication, and financial services firms represent one of the most lucrative targets for criminals. Security teams that still rely on manual response to incoming threats are overwhelmed with the number of alerts and can’t stop advanced threats that move at machine speed. Plus, insider threats—both malicious and accidental—pose an increasing risk in the services sector as the value of financial services data increases for threat actors.

To combat these threats, it’s best to take a two-pronged approach against both malware and the attackers that create it. The foundation of an attack-based defence is robust, real-time threat intelligence. All our Security Fabric tools leverage comprehensive, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered threat intelligence based on one of the world’s largest intelligence networks. AI and machine learning (ML) help identify unknown or zero-day threats, which are increasingly common due to adversaries’ use of advanced techniques like polymorphism.

The CT Sandbox provides another layer of defence against zero-day threats. It enables unknown files to be examined in a safe location before being allowed onto the network. And since 60% of malware is now encrypted, the secure sockets layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS) inspection capabilities in our next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) allow for inspections to include encrypted traffic—without impacting performance.

An attacker-based defence provides an arsenal of tools to identify and neutralise those who would infiltrate the network—whether they’re outside or inside the company, and whether their intent is malicious or benign. In partnership with world-leading cyber security firms, we have developed CT Deceptor to lure attackers into identifying themselves before they cause damage. And our data security and threat detection solution protects against insider threats by continually monitoring users and endpoints for noncompliant, suspicious, or anomalous behaviour that suggests compromise.

This two-pronged approach helps organisations deal with the advanced threat landscape by:

  • Creating a multi-layer defence system to detect zero-day threats
  • Catching attackers in the act, matching their technological sophistication to identify them and thwart their campaigns

Our key differentiators for Financial Services

High Performance

Our NGFW offers the industry’s lowest latency and jitter rates for electronic trading infrastructures—when microseconds matter. We ensure secure sockets layer (SSL) and transport layer security (TLS) encryption inspection does not impact network performance.

Visibility and Operational Efficiency

Our Security Fabric includes a long list of third-party APIs as well as an open API architecture. This enables financial services firms to integrate disparate security elements distributed across an ever-expanding attack surface into a single-pane-of-glass view.

Secure Branches

We build a comprehensive software-defined branch infrastructure that provides optimal security and improves network performance, from the switching infrastructure to the data centre.

Experience

The CT security stack has already been adopted by leading financial, government, and legal organisations, giving you the confidence that we adhere to modern best practices. We are continually improving our solution based on ever-evolving threats. You can rest assured that market-leading responses are being applied to your organisation to reduce your cyber security risk.

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To understand how CT can help you better protect your organisation and your client’s financial data,
speak to us today.