Network and security management integration can help reduce risk and protect resources

By Jim Cronan, Managing Partner, Enterprise Architect, Verizon Financial Services Sector

Though a robust cybersecurity program should be a core priority for any business or organization, one could make the fair argument that it’s also a ‘chore’ function, that when well in hand, allows employees to focus on growth opportunities such as expanding market share and finding new revenue sources.

From my experience, across all market segments, many precious resources get wrapped up in things that are more ‘chore’ to a business’ goals and objectives. While the intentions are good, they are not aligned to what is ‘core’ to the company. What is the opportunity cost to your business of functions that are essential yet a chore?  Every enterprise has key assets, people and funds allocated to reaching objectives. While it may seem obvious, it’s worth noting that all of those funds and resources are finite and must be used in an optimal way. Yet enterprises consistently allocate people, process, assets and money to those chore endeavors that have little to do with the assets that make each enterprise unique.

When assets and resources are not aligned to core versus chore functions, how can organizations respond to unexpected threats such as the cybercrimes which have been plaguing the financial services industry in recent years?  Cybercrime has emerged as a primary threat to all institutions and in a few short years, cybersecurity has been elevated from an IT function to a Board-level priority. The brand impact, uncertainty and doubt from consumers after an incident is made public can be challenging to overcome.  It’s worth noting in fact that Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report revealed that the financial services industry remains a top target for cyber thieves, accounting for 24% of all data breaches analyzed.

Further, technology advances have compounded the need for lightning-fast reaction times, and those slow to respond are getting left behind. When it comes to network management, for example, application performance and uptime are imperative. Five years ago, a three-millisecond delay would not register a blip on the radar. Today, that same three millisecond delay could result in dissatisfied customers and a morale buster for employees. Compound the stunning speed of technology advances with shifting market demographics and the task of efficiently managing and securing operations becomes even more daunting.

Integration of an organization’s network operations center (NOC) and security operations center (SOC) can help reduce risk and protect an enterprise’s brand by accelerating response time and mitigation of cybersecurity breaches. Walls between organizations are removed, allowing for quicker visibility into malicious activity.

In the IT service provider industry, a trend has taken hold in recent years as enterprise customers increasingly entrust management of their wide area networks and other IT functions to vendors so that their personnel can focus on ‘core’ business priorities. Today, everything from networks to cybersecurity to call centers is managed by service providers that have global reach and scale, along with a laser focus on IT management as this is ‘core’ to their businesses.

There are obvious benefits to combining a network operation center (NOC) and a security operations center (SOC), such as annualized savings through the elimination of redundant operational infrastructure and Tier 1 staff. An additional benefit is reduced overall operational risk to the enterprise because of the holistic view of an application throughout an organization. And over time, the data analytics create a predictive model and the ability to respond faster to an incident with the integration of all devices under a single pane of glass.

An effective way to mitigate the operational risks outlined above is to leverage the expertise of a service provider whose core involves managing and mitigating risk for organizations. Outcomes for businesses can include faster decision making, improved uptime, and more importantly, a laser focus on what is core to a financial institution’s brand which can ultimately lead to a competitive advantage and an increase in both customer loyalty and employee retention.

Visit verizonenterprise.com to learn more about the benefits of converging network and security management.

Jim Cronan
Managing Partner, Enterprise Architect
Verizon Financial Services Sector
James.M.Cronan@one.verizon.com
Jim Cronan | LinkedIn

Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Verizon Enterprise Solutions provides business and technology solutions – such as next-generation networks, cyber security, mobility and IoT – to organizations around the globe, including the financial services industry. With world-class assets, global reach and industry expertise, Verizon works closely with financial institutions on the digital transformation required to serve today’s highly mobile and digital consumer population with personalized and convenient customer experiences. Verizon’s secure, reliable and high-performance global networks are helping banks improve productivity, increase revenue, reduce complexity and innovate. Visit www.verizonenterprise.com for additional information.

Integration of an organization’s network operations center (NOC) and security operations center (SOC) can help reduce risk and protect an enterprise’s brand by accelerating response time and mitigation of cybersecurity breaches.