In the financial sector, we’re finding more enterprises are looking to intent-based networking (IBN) for agile and effective enterprise network security and management. Intent-based transformation requires codifying best practices that focus on customer needs, agility, visibility, and security. These elements guide the way organizations connect devices; and the way they use those devices to transport data through a framework of policy, automation, assurance, and security elements that fulfill intent.

The top priority for financial institutions is updating the IT operating model to meet emerging challenges of digital transformation, according to a recent report by PwC Financial Services.

That’s why firms would do well to adapt enterprise network security and management infrastructure to address and overcome those challenges. Having the right technology approach is the only way to make sure that network connectivity, throughput, access, and security can meet the many critical and sensitive task needs. That means having the ability to rapidly change and scale the network to accommodate new secure links to services and apps both locally and globally without error.

How IBN Helps Banks Meet Customer Needs

The key networking innovations behind IBN include business policy, automation, assurance, security, and programmable network infrastructure. The “intent” part focuses on specific goals to create the agile and responsive network.

Meeting customer expectations and needs across channels require constant network changes, monitoring, and visibility into security data, routing, and application behavior. For example, the call center is one of the primary hubs for service activation and loan marketing that requires constant backend changes based on data, access, routing, and security protocols. Anytime access to internal and customer-facing resources delivered through IBN supports how employees work, and customers interact with the financial institution.

The physical manifestations of that access (mobile devices, chip-enabled credit cards, biometric verification tools) require security that’s driven by IoT in financial services. Intent-based networking makes it possible to efficiently route and secure access for countless users.

IBN Enhances Network Agility and Visibility

For financial institutions with multiple branches, network scalability remains a crucial element in enterprise network management.

In the regional branch network, voice and video services to kiosks, ATM access, and larger data loads have changing bandwidth and routing needs. Making and monitoring those changes becomes increasingly difficult for network administrators. The need for load balancing across network channels to ensure low latency requires constant adjustment that can alleviate problems in one area while creating them in another.

With IBN, administrators can request a specific outcome and the network figures out how best to fulfill the changes so that outcomes are optimized and assured. Administrators accomplish this with a combination of policy-based automation, network analytics, and machine learning.

Benefits of IBN for Compliance and Security

Financial services organization are under immense pressure to respond to new compliance mandates and audits as well as cybersecurity threats Intent-based networking for financial institutions delivers:

  • End-to-end security monitoring for data protection as well as assurance and simplification of regulatory compliance auditing.
  • Increased visibility and threat detection in all corners of the system and the wired/wireless network.
  • Robust policy and application security management in a complex Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment including their interaction with public and private cloud environments.
  • Constant adjustment of need fulfillment in terms of identity and access management and monitoring based on predetermined rules and protocols via a robust authentication system and tools for changing access need.
  • Encryption of all user connections to proactively block man-in-the-middle vulnerability attacks.
  • Agile backup and disaster recovery monitoring with security protocols and data transfer load balancing.

Next Steps for Integrating IBN for Networks of Financial Institutions

IBN is about having a holistic networking solution that makes it simple to build a network that meets evolving needs. When enterprises implement the right solution, they can integrate edge network changes efficiently and accurately. An added benefit here is lower OPEX. Over time, these tangible and intangible benefits help firms quickly recoup the CAPEX investment.

Cisco’s approach to intent-based networking is quickly becoming the holistic end-to-end solution approach that can deliver these results. By partnering with Acadia Technology Group, financial institutions gain the necessary insights, guidance and implementation support needed to deliver an agile and responsive network.

To learn more about emerging security threats in 2018, download the free white  paper.

New Call-to-action