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The Benefits of an Edge Platform in Practice: Finance

In this blog post we’ll show you how an edge platform benefits the financial industry in practice and all the agents involved in the process: DevOps, businesses and users.

And more

You’ll find out why the union between the financial industry and edge platforms is so successful.

The world is growing even more connected

The COVID-19 pandemic came to shake our certainties, to show us that what we take for granted can be drastically changed overnight. And one of the most impactful things it has done is to transform online customer behavior, which will undoubtedly never be the same again. What they look for, how they look for it, what they buy, when they buy and what they expect from the experiences, everything has changed! And let’s face it, to a more demanding level than ever before.

What was the result of this? Remote work, new entertainment habits and the massive growth of internet-connected devices have accelerated and extended the digital transformation to every aspect of business and our lives. But despite the shock, as part of the human essence we have adapted – or are still adapting – to new scenarios and habits.

​​Therefore, the companies that most quickly adapt to these changes and offer what customers expect in terms of online experience, products and services, will certainly be the ones that will grow stronger and gain even more space and loyal customers – if this hasn’t been your case yet, you will see here that it’s still possible to change your situation.

According to Euromonitor International’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021 report, companies must more than ever be aware of changes in customers’ values ​​and behavior and must prioritize and reinforce their demands.

We have selected here some of the main trends that apply to businesses of all sectors:

  • Craving convenience: There is great pressure for companies to quickly adapt their operations, developing a more resilient customer experience while preserving convenience levels, maintaining agility and continuity of the purchase journey across all channels.
  • Playing with time: in the era of immediacy, time has become a commodity and has never been so valued. Companies must propose solutions that meet the customers’ desire to optimize their time, offering greater flexibility, especially with regard to products and services accessible from the customer’s home or nearby.
  • Safety obsessed: the fear of contagion has encouraged customers to seek solutions that don’t require physical contact in order to avoid exposure. Furthermore, there’s a huge concern about data theft in the online environment. Companies must implement strict biological and digital security measures aimed at mitigating customers’ concerns.
  • Thoughtful Thrifters: customers are more cautious and moderate with their finances, so they seek to obtain the best cost-benefit and prioritize value-added products and services. Companies must make value propositions, offering affordable options without reducing quality.

As you can see, flawless experiences, time savings, value-added products and security are must-haves for today’s customers and the least companies should offer.

To overcome these challenges, companies have to take a series of measures that will directly impact their success, and one of them is to use technologies that will help to face and even eliminate these problems. One of the technological solutions that undoubtedly makes the difference in offering the best experiences in the online world is an edge platform, a fundamental part of our indispensable internet.

Challenges In The Financial Industry

  1. Increased online access

    The finance industry has had to deal with the growing demand from consumers for fast, flawless and, above all, secure online experiences. Having a history of leaking or stealing sensitive data is something that consumers have become more aware of, so this is a decisive factor in deciding whether to become a customer of a financial institution or not. The challenge here is to offer the best performance and total security on websites and applications.

  2. Greater demand from users

    Due to the distance, both traditional banks and Fintechs have had to deal with a large increase in access to their websites and applications. In addition, many banks have had to offer digital services that they previously only had in person. So the challenge here is to ensure service availability while delivering resilient online experiences.

  3. More competition

    With the Fintech boom and the implementation of Open Banking, which made it possible to share customer data and services through APIs, companies from different segments can offer financial products and services. This means the entry of new players, more innovation and fiercer competition. The challenge here is to offer agility in the sector, unbureaucratic and simple services, in addition to more accessible prices for the client.

Azion Edge Platform: The Best and Most Modern Content Delivery Solution

Azion is an innovative company and is always attentive to market trends to serve its customers in the best way possible. That’s why one of our primary focuses is to add value to your product or service with a series of features that optimize all the steps involved in the content distribution process and benefit all agents who participate in the process.

Azion’s edge computing platform is full-stack, open, extensible and programmable, simplifying and streamlining the way you build software. Its edge computing technology is scalable, meaning Azion is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the infrastructure, dynamically allocating resources to meet the needs and demands of customers.

Furthermore, its architecture is decentralized and distributed, which makes it offer lower latency, more reliability and high scalability compared to legacy CDNs and even cloud computing solutions. It also allows for real-time data processing, which is critical for time-sensitive applications in critical areas. The sum of these factors reflects in a better performance, with a lower operating cost. And with over 65 global edge locations, you can orchestrate development across multi-cloud, on-premise or on remote devices.

Those who choose Azion’s Edge Platform create a great competitive advantage and have numerous benefits. Just to give you an idea, some of them are:

  • High availability for content and application delivery
  • Very low latency
  • Drastically reduced loading time
  • Bandwidth savings
  • Much more effective security
  • Full observability
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Happy DevOps and Customers

The Benefits for DevOps

An important point to highlight is the improvement that Azion’s Edge Platform brings to the life of DevOps, who are there daily working behind the scenes and suffering directly from legacy systems. Furthermore, if it wasn’t for them, businesses would have no products to offer and end users would have nothing to use or purchase.

The benefits are numerous, but some of them are:

  • Observability: Most traditional CDNs don’t provide DevOps with real-time observability, which makes it difficult to monitor the system, user behavior, and receive feedback – and this, of course, makes these professionals’ jobs difficult. An edge platform, in turn, gives DevOps a full and complete view of the system in real time.
  • ​​Control: DevOps, when working with traditional CDNs, don’t have control over configuration changes, which are the responsibility of the service provider. Furthermore, even the simplest changes can take a long time to be made, as they are also put in a queue. With an edge platform, DevOps have greater management and control, as well as more agility to apply changes via the management portal or API.
  • Orchestration: DevOps can deploy, manage, control, monitor and update resources on the edge in real time, without the need for provisioning, and can integrate other services.
  • Automation: Using SDN (Software-Defined Networking) makes it easy to use resources, so DevOps need only be concerned with creating and executing code and workloads on the edge; no provisioning, maintenance or operational tasks.
  • Serverless model: the provider runs and manages servers and all infrastructure and resources, which eliminates scalability, planning, and maintenance tasks for DevOps.
  • New use cases: the edge computing infrastructure facilitates the development of projects with modern technology, such as AI, AR, VR, IoT, machine learning, data and video streaming, 5G, and much more.

Azion’s Differential

In addition to the benefits presented before, Azion goes a step further by offering a simpler, faster, yet complete customer journey that makes DevOps work easier, and delivers better business results.

See how easy it is to use an edge platform from start to finish:

1[st] Step: Build

Once you start using an edge platform, you can build, develop, launch, and scale applications without restrictions. At this point, you focus on creating the applications, defining the rules and parameters. Furthermore, in this phase you will build a scalable infrastructure with edge nodes, which can be remotely configured using zero-touch provisioning.

2[nd] Step: Secure

In this step, you will define application security issues at the edge – you can choose between Web Application Firewall, DDoS Protection and Network Layer Protection or all options simultaneously – which will allow you to track malicious traffic, isolate OWASP Top 10 threats, adapt to zero-day attacks, and much more.

3[rd] Step: Deliver

After creating the applications on the edge computing platform, it’s possible to deliver them from a global network. That is, at that point, you are ready to use the network, and the content is ready to be delivered. There is also the possibility of adding all the intelligence (or part of it) of an edge platform to your own infrastructure through orchestration solutions.

4[th] Step: Observe

While an edge platform delivers content, with data analytics solutions you can see exactly what’s happening on your system and how your application users behave. That’s because you have access to real-time data about the entire operation, from start to finish, which even allows you to predict events and prevent incidents.

Success Case

Azion is trusted by leading companies in the market. See below how the case of Agibank is an example of this successful partnership.

Challenge

In addition to being innovative, Agibank is recognized as one of the most secure banks in Brazil[1], with a highly qualified team working in its Security Operations Center (SOC)[2] to protect and monitor Agibank’s applications.

Agibank’s security provides clients with the freedom and tranquility to manage their financial life, but ensuring their security is increasingly challenging, considering that:

  • hundreds of thousands of attacks are registered monthly[3] by financial services;
  • the sector is among the four most targeted by cybercrime[4]; and
  • 51% of incidents reported by banks are linked to data leakage[5].

Virtual threats also put Agibank’s availability at risk. In addition to creating negative consequences for customers, who need the service available at all times, unplanned outages generate costs and cause damage to the company’s image.

Amid so many cybersecurity challenges, Agibank improves security practices every day, guided not only by rules and regulations such as Central Bank of Brazil Resolution 4,658 (Bacen) and General Data Protection Law, but high technology.

For this, Agibank relies on Azion’s Edge Platform. Azion’s security products and resources enable the construction of access control rules and protect applications against today’s most complex cyber threats.

Solution

The partnership between Agibank and Azion began in 2018, when Agibank implemented Azion’s Edge Firewall in order to control access to its content directly on the edge. Extensible and programmable, Edge Firewall allows Agibank’s Information Security specialists to create rules that:

  • protect against network layer to application layer (3 to 7) attacks;
  • monitor, block and apply penalties based on behavioral patterns;
  • validate implementations faster, streamlining the CI / CD (continuous integration / continuous delivery) workflow; and
  • customize rule sets to meet compliance requirements.

In addition, when the volume of DDoS attack traffic grew between 40% and 50%[6] at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Agibank had DDoS Protection through the Azion Platform.

Azion’s DDoS Protection provides a distributed global network composed of several mitigation centers and a Security Response team to deal with attacks of high complexity and volume.

For a more powerful mitigation of sophisticated attacks, such as BGP Hijacking, Agibank leveraged Azion’s Data Streaming product to:

  • monitor and mitigate threats in real time;
  • feed data into their SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) platform; and
  • optimize observability practices.

Integrating Azion’s solutions with its security mechanism has made it easier for Agibank to optimize the contingency systems and routines that allow for continued operations in the midst of any scenario or event that affects its infrastructure.

Results and Impacts

Since the beginning of this partnership, Azion Web Application Firewall (WAF) has automatically detected tens of thousands of threats, protecting Agibank’s origin infrastructure and guaranteeing their customers’ security with each access.

With Azion Data Streaming, Agibank collectes real-time data from WAF events in domains chosen by the SOC team and integrated with their SIEM platform for fraud mitigation and analysis.

In addition to providing protection and essential insights into observability practices, Azion ensures 100% of user requests are answered at the edge. Agibank has leveraged this practice to make its defensive line even more complex and the application even less susceptible to risks.

With more scalability, the Agibank application has adapted to the exponential growth of access demand. Their volume of digital transactions increased over 184% in 2019[7], without incident and with a high standard of performance for all customers, regardless of their device’s type and location.

Azion’s Edge Platform has also enabled Agibank to improve compliance with regulations that protect sensitive information, making it an increasingly solid digital bank and keeping it in line with best cybersecurity practices.

Summary

To stay alive in the online world, there’s nowhere else to run: you either adopt digital transformation for good and the best technological solutions or the path to failure is just a matter of time. As failure is a word we don’t like to pronounce – let alone live – the best option is to choose complete tools that will exactly meet the demands of your business, in addition to providing peace of mind and ease of use for both your DevOps and end users.

As you have seen in our success case, an edge platform plays a fundamental role in the success of companies. And when the edge platform is Azion’s, the benefits and competitive advantage make all the difference.

Don’t waste more time and money on legacy solutions. Talk to our experts here and find out why Azion is the best choice.

References

[1] Premiações Agibank
[2] Relatório de Gestão Integrada de Riscos - Jun/2020 Agibank
[3, 4] Global threat activity Microsoft
[5] Dangerous Data: how to protect your business from costly data breaches Iomart
[6] Network traffic insights in the time of COVID-19: June 4 update Nokia
[7] [Resultados 2019 FY ](https://ri.agibank.com.br/noticia/resultados-2019-fy/) Agibank