IBS Journal June 2018


Scouting out software solutions

Bill Boyle explains how Netscout acquires smart data, manages it and provides analytics capabilities in the cloud

Senior Editor Bill Boyle


s banks move to transformation of their digital environments, one of the things they face is affordability of the range of systems that they need to install. In Silicon

Valley this week at the Netevents Silicon Valley tour, Netscout explained how it is helping banks move to a more software-based outlook to aid their digital transformations.

The digital experience of most banks who are moving away from their core banking systems is proving complex and more time- consuming than the banks ever expected. The increasing user demands which their customers are demanding are proving beyond the capabilities of most banks. They have to decide between performance and risk. They have to be agile and they have to be secure, as the recent TSB debacle demonstrated. Netscout is using a development operations (dev ops) methodology which is dynamic and agile.

Netscout has helped many financial institutions, including a US- based, international institutional investment bank, which has been serving customers for more than one hundred years and operates in more than two hundred global locations. Thousands of the bank’s employees service a portfolio of more than several billion dollars in assets under management. Surviving and thriving in the competitive financial industry this long has depended on digital transformation in delivering superior services to clients.

Because this institutional bank primarily caters to custodial account holders, many of its clients manage their companies’ accounts and investments via online banking applications. Anything that adversely impacts the availability of the bank’s website, hindering access to accounts or the ability to rapidly execute transactions, would be detrimental to the customer experience and reputation of the business.

Their IT department faced the challenge of achieving service assurance for more than 150 customer-facing applications. This challenge was compounded by the fact that these investment banking application services were supported by multiple data centres. Disruptions to supporting services included DNS look-up delays, Active Directory or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) configuration issues, and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) delays.

Arabella Hallawell, senior director of strategy at Netscout, said: “Being able to acquire the right data from across all of your unstructured data is key. Every bank needs this ability to interrogate its high-fidelity data and at the same time use the low-fidelity data being provided by customers. We use real-time threat indicators. Banks often work in a siloed way, so often because of the way they work only one team in the bank knows what is going on. We can improve that visibility – making the invisible visible.”

Dealing with GDPR

Answering questions about how its solution will handle the new EU GDPR regulations, which came into force on 25 May, Hallawell said: “Making smart-data EU GDPR compliant will be complex but we can help. GDPR changes the game – it had no teeth before but now it has huge teeth – but our Arbor collects only anonymised data. Ingenuois business analytics carriers can anonymise data – it can be scrubbed and massed so it is GDPR-compliant.”

Daniel Carpenter, head of regulation at Meritsoft, said: “When it comes to GDPR, it is all about storing client names safely, as well as obtaining client consent. If a bank has names and addresses in spreadsheets, this is arguably not meeting the demands of GDPR. If this information is in a system that is password protected with clear audit trails, then banks will be in a far stronger position post-25 May.”

Russ Currie, vice president, enterprise strategy at Netscout said: “The Netscout solution has proven to be the ideal answer for addressing a number of institutional investment bank’s network and application performance needs as it embraces technology evolution for customer-facing services.

“The IT team is now able to effectively monitor and proactively diagnose issues within its online web-services for clients. IT has gained the ability to see the full path of these services, including the enabling services such as DNS, HTTP and Active directory, reducing the Mean- time-to-Repair (MTTR), in order to quickly resolve problems.

“As a result of Netscout, the banks can ensure online investment applications are always on and available, providing the highest quality client experience and protecting the organisation’s stellar customer-focused reputation.”

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