Cloud, finance and security - what should businesses be considering?

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Cloud, finance and security - what should businesses be considering?
Consolidating data with real-time context helps you streamline your operations.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

As fintech and banking teams build new applications and modernise their existing ones, they must meet strict compliance objectives.

At the same time, they want to deliver software innovations faster and more efficiently. To achieve this, software teams use containers, microservices, and APIs to decouple and modularise their monolithic apps into smaller discrete components. Serverless computing helps agile teams build modern applications paid for as they get used, rather than requiring significant upfront investments.

When implementing these new and innovative technologies, you have to think about perimeter-less security and the sensitivity of security operations telemetry. Whether you are a bank covering millions of accounts or a fintech company targeting new digital users, keeping those customers safe and secure should be the top priority. But the models that used to work are no longer suitable in these unpredictable times.

Both serverless computing and containers are temporary and also permanent in nature- they can exist for short periods and then are broken down again. When these components can change and run temporarily, businesses must capture all telemetry for analysis and correlation before disappearing. If you rely on a traditional approach, then your security model may not be fit for purpose.

Transforming your approaches to IT and security

Working with a clean slate around technology and the freedom to pick new technologies that deliver more flexible working patterns for developers at lower costs can be a huge advantage when starting out, and for many the transition to cloud provides this. However, you cannot ignore regulatory security and compliance requirements when you start down this path. Traditional approaches like vulnerability scanning, threat detection, investigation, recovery and resolution of an incident can't keep up when a component may only exist for minutes, and the sensitive telemetry insights are transient and difficult to capture.

All modern application implementations have to deliver trusted data and good context on their operations, no matter how long an object or set of components operate for. In turn, this will provide you with insight into how the application or underlying microservice is performing and deliver better root cause analysis to detect, investigate, resolve and recover quickly from an incident. Businesses can then use this to check that applications are performing as expected and meeting their real-time objectives.

Any change and deviation from this could be a software development or software configuration issue, a fault in a third-party component, weak security posture, a problem with non-compliance or an attacker trying to exploit the software development lifecycle (SDLC). All these potential issues must be managed and regulated.

Consolidating security information

Achieving centralised security around modern SDLC implementations involves managing all your data into one place and then understanding this information in context. Cloud Security Incident and Event Management systems (SIEMs) provide security analysts with this consolidated data set with contextual insights. Traditional SIEMs can cover on-premise deployments, while Cloud SIEMs can enhance security analysts' visibility for their heterogeneous hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures.

Not all data is created equally. Modern applications create huge volumes and deep, complex datasets, and coping with the sheer veracity and velocity from cloud infrastructure and underlying services is essential. For banking security teams, managing the volume of alerts causes fatigue, eand the capability of sorting through this volume is limited by the size of your analyst team. For Fintech companies, more automation and smarter real-time decision-making processing of data are essential. This innovation is critical when the IT resources you use scale elastically over time, no matter whether your team is large or small, the outcomes and effectiveness of your team is determined by their capability to find and address genuine threats.

Looking at how to create more business value from data across your SDLC operations should be on everyone's list of priorities. As an example, unified observability of telemetry provides the necessary insight for how your new and modernised applications are performing and compliant. However, this data can underpin your integrated approach to security as well.

Consolidating data with real-time context and using it in this way helps you streamline your operations readiness and achieve an improved return on investment with the same investment. For fintech companies that run with lean teams, this can reduce costs and ensure more efficient operations.

Paul Wilcox is Sumo Logic Vice President and General Manager APAC.

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