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Five Proven Use Cases For SD-WAN In The Financial Services Industry

  Victor Fabian     Jan 23, 2024

With the rise of digital transformation and cybersecurity risks, financial institutions are turning to Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN for reliable security and operations.The financial services sector is dealing with new challenges as they race to digitize for a better customer experience and high-performing branch operations. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are capitalizing on the increased complexity.

To address these concerns, financial institutions are turning to SD-WAN for a more efficient and secure network setup. This accelerates digital transformation and paves the way for the implementation of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture. In this article, we explore how combining a high-quality SD-WAN with a robust security strategy can address the current challenges in this sector.

Modern Challenges Of The Financial Industry

The financial industry encounters a multifaceted set of challenges that hinder digital transformation, thus affecting both operational efficiency and security. These challenges include:

1. Infrastructure And Technological Challenges

Most banks still rely on outdated multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks that connect their branches to the main office. As a result, many are experiencing network problems, especially during mergers, restructuring, and acquisitions. This puts the banking industry at a higher risk of cyber threats. Expanding to additional branch locations also introduces the following complications:

  • Increased time and energy pressures when setting up MPLS circuits
  • Insufficient network bandwidth for disaster response and recovery
  • Budget constraints in the IT department that hinder network infrastructure modernization

These obstacles, along with slow and unreliable data center connections and infrastructure, hamstring the migration of crucial business applications to the cloud.

2. Cybersecurity Threats Amid Digital Adoption

Rapid technological advancements require financial institutions to enhance their digital services and improve the overall customer experience through:

  • Transitioning routine transactions to online platforms
  • The integration of self-service options in branches

Additionally, with rising transaction volumes and migration to the cloud, the financial services industry has become a prime target for cybercrime, including theft of funds and personal information, DDoS attacks, and ransomware.

3. Regulatory Compliance

The financial services industry operates under strict PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) regulations designed to protect consumers from fraud and maintain transparency. Organizations must comply with these standards, even in the face of resource limitations and potential threats.

Five Benefits Of SD-WAN To Financial Organizations

To overcome these challenges, it is essential to execute a comprehensive enterprise initiative. Implementing an advanced SD-WAN platform such as HPE Aruba Networking EdgeConnect empowers the financial services sector to step fully into the next generation of cloud technology. We’ve summarized five proven benefits of SD-WAN below.

1. Simplified And Cost-Efficient Network Infrastructure

Legacy MPLS services limit the migration of cloud-hosted applications, and requires IT teams to backhaul traffic to main data centers for security. This results in added latency and operational difficulties for remote branches. The EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform streamlines operations by:

  • Actively utilizing cost-effective broadband internet and 4/5G LTE services
  • Overcoming reliability issues through features like Forward Error Correction (FEC) and Packet Order Correction (POC)
  • Implementing tunnel bonding and dynamic path control

HPE Aruba Networking EdgeConnect enables financial institutions to transition from complex architectures to cost-effective network infrastructure, with real-time performance monitoring.

2. Quick Expansion And Roll-Out

Traditional MPLS services are not equipped to handle the added bandwidth used to expand branches and upgrade ATMs. However, EdgeConnect delivers private line-like performance through:

  • Enabling cost-effective and swift deployment within a couple of weeks
  • Improving network efficiency with features like path conditioning and zero-touch provisioning

Even without previous IT knowledge, anyone from the IT team can easily set up the EdgeConnect SD-WAN appliance from any remote site.

3. Optimized Backup And Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery plans commonly involve storing remote data backups at a considerable distance from the primary site, which can result in potential latency issues. To address this, organizations can opt for additional softwares like HPE Aruba Networking Boost WAN Optimization to improve backup and disaster recovery performance. This enhancement is achieved through the acceleration of the TCP protocol and the incorporation of data deduplication and compression algorithms.

The platform proves effective even with substantial data sets, significantly reducing backup time, while simultaneously expediting recovery processes and optimizing bandwidth.

4. Secured Access And Customer Data

To guarantee compliance, financial institutions must secure customer data in cloud applications. This entails shifting from the conventional practice of backhauling cloud traffic to embracing a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture. EdgeConnect, as a fundamental element of SASE, provides unified branch security, zero-trust segmentation, and automated orchestration with third-party cloud security providers. These functionalities work cohesively to streamline network infrastructure, enhance security measures, and optimize overall operational efficiency.

5. PCI DSS Compliance

Incidents of card transaction fraud losses for merchants and ATM cardholders continue to increase over the years. In response to this escalating threat, PCI DSS outlines 12 security requirements to mitigate credit card fraud, which is now a mandatory for any organization handling cardholder data. The EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform supports compliance with nine of these requirements. This kind of compliance provide a secure environment with robust data protection for financial institutions in the cloud.

Final Thoughts

In the changing world of digital finance, the increasing threat of cybersecurity demands financial institutions to prioritize secure and reliable network connections. Unfortunately, various challenges and conflicting priorities often lead to neglecting network infrastructure, especially during cloud migration.

To tackle these challenges, financial institutions need to adopt a flexible SASE approach – using EdgeConnect SD-WAN as a foundation for cloud-hosted security solutions. By partnering with experts like WEI, this strategic approach enables organizations to smoothly undergo digital transformation, cut costs, and manage cybersecurity risks effectively. If you're ready to explore these possibilities, reach out to our team to get started.

Next Steps: Just about every business we talk with has long-term remote workforce initiatives, and security has become a larger focal point of each conversation because devices are no longer protected by the traditional enterprise perimeter. Don't leave security to chance with your remote workforce. See how HPE Aruba Networking is solving the challenge with their Remote Access Points, and find out just how easy theirRAPs are to implement and manage in our tech brief below.

Tags  backup and recovery cloud security data security Disaster Recovery HPE Aruba Networking digital transformation SD-WAN zero-trust SASE cybersecurity

Victor Fabian

Written by Victor Fabian

Victor Fabian is a Senior Mobility and Access Architect here at WEI. He brings with him more than a dozen certifications including Aruba’s most distinguished award AMFX #8 (Aruba Mobile First Expert), and has more than a decade of solution design experience in the VAR channel, including as an HPE Aruba Networking Partner Ambassador. Victor is also very active with Aruba Airheads and is recognized as an MVP Guru by the Aruba Airheads Community. Stay in touch with Victor by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter (@victorfabian_dr).

About WEI

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