Protecting Financial Services Amidst the Multi-cloud Evolution

Financial institutions, propelled by mergers, partnerships, and the imperative of engaging account holders in this modern technology era, are leading the charge in embracing multi-cloud strategies. According to a survey by F5, a staggering 71% of financial services organizations have embraced multi-cloud approaches to meet their diverse needs, like a unique application resource requirement driving a specific hyperscaler choice. Unfortunately, the increased complexity that often comes with managing multi-cloud environments can often demand extra resources and attention. To compound the situation, building and maintaining a consistent security posture across their application and application programming interface (API) portfolios in a distributed environment is an increasing challenge for security teams, where the cost of a data breach is $5.9 million on average in financial services.[1]

Financial services organizations are also distinctly maneuvering through the complexities of addressing governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) controls within the evolving landscape of open finance ecosystems. The many new third-party provider API connections to secure and maintain can be overwhelming, including data-intensive aggregators. Regulators are inclined to take enforcement actions when anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customers (KYC) standards are not upheld.

Although it’s positive that public cloud providers offer inherent networking and security features that meet the needs of numerous use cases in multi-cloud environments, it’s essential to acknowledge the notable discrepancies that remain. For example, when your apps get scaled across environments, it can ultimately lead to both having less granular control over your portfolio performance and a lack of ability to manage consistent security policies across different cloud providers. To fill these gaps, technology leaders are turning to new Secure Multi-Cloud Networking Services (SMNS). This signifies a paradigm shift in how financial services can utilize innovative solutions to greatly enhance their application delivery and security capabilities in a multi-cloud era.

Unraveling the Complexity of Networking Across Multiple Cloud Platforms

As financial services institutions broaden their operations and deploy applications across multiple cloud platforms, they are increasingly encountering the challenge of heightened complexity, diminished visibility, and a potential loss of granular control over their portfolios. In fact, 9 of 10 organizations report multi-cloud challenges, including complexity of tools, troubleshooting procedures and APIs.

(CAPTION: The top challenge listed in the above chart from the F5 State of Application Strategy report is the complexity of utilizing multiple tools and APIs across distributed cloud environments. Applying consistent security policies is the next largest challenge for the second year in a row in this annual report, with performance optimization not far behind.)

SMNS is emerging as a strategic preference for technology leaders in the financial services sector aiming to streamline the intricacies inherent in multi-cloud management. With better simplification, like an API-first infrastructure solution that can offer a unified interface, financial services institutions gain more control over their entire application stack with solutions that are platform-independent. This also enables policy governance through automation and accelerated fault remediation

Redefining Security Simplification: A Critical Priority in the Multi-cloud Era

Legacy security solutions are encountering difficulties in maintaining pace with the dynamics of the multi-cloud era. To put it simply, financial services security teams need agile tools that work in any environment that help simplify their user experiences. This allows them to focus more on identifying and stopping threats across their distributed architecture.

Deploying SMNS facilitates streamlined security by offering centralized cloud-based management of security policies across distributed environments, ensuring consistent protection throughout. For example, firms requiring exclusions against specific false positives can easily deploy this from a central console. Firms can also, for instance, streamline the consistent use of API reputation filters, a task that’s especially helpful to better manage aggregator API endpoints. These examples along with many other associated ones, allow for an improved, detailed focus on application and API security in financial services, enabling organizations to meet multi-cloud security challenges with greater consistency and agility.

Maximizing Visibility and Control Across Multi-cloud Infrastructures

Harnessing robust security features tailored for multi-cloud networks offers a distinct advantage: enabling seamless end-to-end visibility. This visibility is crucial for financial services organizations aiming to maintain control over their applications and data across distributed cloud environments.

SMNS offers comprehensive infrastructure insights, enabling proactive monitoring, AI-driven threat detection and API endpoint risk scoring, and automated protection. Additionally, this end-to-end visibility allows you to review the consistent deployment and operations of application performance and security in one place. Gone will be the days of monotonously mulling through application security and performance analytics of multiple tools within numerous environments for all your different applications.

Within the dynamic realm of multi-cloud strategies, financial services organizations are increasingly recognizing the indispensable role of SMNS adoption as a strategic priority. By seamlessly integrating with all distributed environments and incorporating strong security elements, financial services organizations can not only bridge existing potential manually caused security gaps, but also elevate their operational efficiency. The future of financial services lies in embracing innovative solutions that prioritize security, and secure multi-cloud networking stands as a transformative force in the evolving financial services digital landscape.


Chad Davis, Global Senior Solutions Marketing Manager, F5

F5 is a multi-cloud application services and security company committed to bringing a better digital world to life. F5 partners with the world’s largest, most advanced banking and financial services organizations to secure and optimize apps and APIs anywhere—on premises, in the cloud, or at the edge. For more information, go to (NASDAQ: FFIV).