Balancing Security, Availability and Connectivity in Financial Services

Accelerating digital transformation is changing demands of data center service providers (Image courtesy QTS)

In this edition of Voices of the Industry, David McCall, Chief Innovation Officer of QTS Realty Trust, explores the changing needs of the financial services industry as it seeks to protect increasing amounts of data.

David McCall, Chief Innovation Officer, QTS Realty Trust

The financial services industry has fully embraced the digital transformation, moving from face-to-face transactions at local branches to full online experiences wherever you are. In 2021, the the number of digital banking users in the United States reached 196.8 million. The growing acceptance of financial technology (fintech) organizations, such as Venmo, Zelle, GoFundMe, and Apple Wallet, adds to the growing amounts of data that financial services organizations must manage and protect.

As customers increasingly complete transactions, view their account details, transfer funds, deposit checks and make investments, online and in real time, downtime and on-time delivery is everything. simply unacceptable. Users demand an ease and speed of service that escalating Internet traffic and tight bandwidth can call into question. To avoid these issues, businesses must establish and maintain robust, redundant and flexible interconnections to provide customers with fast 24/7 access to their accounts and funds.

While this digitization offers a new level of access and convenience for customers, it also introduces a number of challenges and risks for organizations. Already under intense pressure to meet stringent regulatory requirements, the digital shift exposes organizations to a larger attack surface, making it more critical and difficult to protect sensitive data and critical systems from cyber threats and disasters. physical. Failure to meet strict compliance obligations results in high costs and affects the organization’s reputation and customer confidence. In 2020, there was 3,932 publicly disclosed data breaches which exhibited 37 billion records. With the average cost of a data breach at $ 4.24 million per incident, financial institutions have a lot at stake.

Organizations that cannot deliver the speed, reliability, and security of stakeholders need loss of business and declining revenue. Balancing this medley of demands is a challenge for organizations, especially as they focus on delivering ever-changing products and services that create competitive advantage. A third-party data center can help mitigate these issues and provide the secure, resilient, and highly connected environment necessary to support a powerful and continuously improving financial services experience.

Colocation builds resilience, security and connectivity

Colocation data centers integrate state-of-the-art physical infrastructure and best practices to address the rigorous compliance and performance challenges facing the financial industry.

Security to support data privacy and meet stringent compliance obligations

Financial services institutions operate in a demanding regulatory environment that can impose serious consequences and heavy fines for non-compliance. Third-party data centers are equipped to deliver risk-based information security and physical security programs to identify and manage risk and effectively protect private data and critical customer systems. Comprehensive internal compliance and certification programs, such as SOC 1 and SOC 2, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, HITRUST, and FISMA, are designed to meet rigorous industry standards and help organizations meet their own regulatory requirements .

Access to various connections to ensure low latency for an instant access world

Financial services organizations are feeling increasing pressure to provide real-time, on-demand access to information as data and bandwidth are stretched. Connectivity-rich data centers can help businesses provide the connections needed to ensure high-performance, low-latency data access and delivery.

Data centers that offer a variety of connectivity options such as dark fiber, LIT networks, Internet exchanges, cross-connects and peering, as well as access to multiple Internet service providers (ISPs) and public clouds, can help build resiliency and enable organizations to build reliable and efficient connectivity strategies.

The flexibility of the solution is also essential. Operator neutrality allows organizations to connect with the operators of their choice, while dual connections in the facility and redundant network paths ensure uninterrupted connectivity if a source is down. Colocation also offers flexible bandwidth options to allow businesses to quickly scale capacity to meet spikes in traffic or new demands. Additionally, data centers can offer access to undersea cabling to provide the lowest latency connections to international markets.

Various locations promote rapid delivery and business continuity

Achieving low latency delivery goes beyond just having enough bandwidth. A data center provider with a portfolio of geographically diverse locations enables fintech organizations to establish presences close to customers, partners and suppliers. This proximity reduces the distance that data must travel to minimize latency and improve performance.

Access to a network of strategically located facilities can also help create a disaster recovery (DR) strategy to maintain availability, build resiliency, and meet compliance requirements.

Scalability and redundancy increase availability as data and traffic grows

Data centers are designed to offer relentless availability. Planned maintenance programs, continuous monitoring, integrated system and connection redundancies, and multiple power and connectivity supplies reinforce operational integrity and ensure customers have on-demand access to their accounts and funds.

As more transactions move online, colocation also allows organizations to seamlessly extend their footprint or introduce new connections to meet growth and promote performance. Increasing internet traffic also places an emphasis on capacity, making elastic bandwidth increasingly essential for preventing outages and improving the customer experience.

Expertise to develop and maintain a high-performance environment

As security breaches become more sophisticated, protecting the environment, optimizing operations, and maintaining uptime become more and more difficult. According to a report, 65% of cybersecurity professionals believe their organizations should provide more cybersecurity training. Insufficient experience can be detrimental to organizations as it can put them at increased risk.

Colocation data centers provide the expertise to promote a more secure environment. Their focus on security, compliance, and data center performance allows internal teams to focus on core business goals rather than managing the data center. This knowledgeable team also keeps abreast of complex and rapidly changing IT demands and compliance requirements to ensure the most appropriate action is taken.

Find the right fit

Building an environment to meet the multifaceted expectations of the financial services market is no easy task, especially as the industry continues to invest in digital transformations. A modern third-party vendor with the necessary security, availability and connectivity, punctuated with a vision for the future, can be a crucial differentiator.

As financial services organizations plan for a technology-powered future, third-party data centers can provide the support and services the industry needs to thrive. By balancing innovation with increasingly intense compliance requirements, this partnership can securely enrich organizations’ competitive advantages to better meet changing customer preferences and needs to build a more profitable future.

David McCall is the Chief Innovation Officer at QTS Real Estate Trust. QTS, a leading provider of large-scale hybrid colocation and data center solutions, skillfully responds to the demands of the financial services market, delivering value-added capabilities. Its resilient infrastructure, security and interconnections provide the speed, stability and protection the financial sector needs. To satisfy its international focus, QTS also allows direct access to submarine cabling at its facilities in Richmond, New Jersey and Hillsboro, OR. The QTS ecosystem also provides access to other operators and partners to allow organizations to directly connect and form partnerships.

QTS is committed to full data center transparency. Its innovative Service Delivery Platform (SDP), a real-time data center management and optimization platform, provides key insights and on-demand visibility into core data center functionality . Using SDP, customers can view and control physical access to their environments, monitor energy consumption and environmental readings, order interconnects, manage assets, record tickets, and access compliance documentation. , all live.

Stephen V. Lee