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How can banks stay secure in a data-sharing world?

Ben Boswell, VP of Europe for WWT, discusses how banks can assure the safe functioning of their applications in more complex environments.

Ben Boswell, VP of Europe for World Wide Technology, discusses how financial services can assure the safe functioning of their applications in this article from International Business Times.

Posted by International Business Times on February 14, 2018:

The Bank of England recently experienced a near-miss when a systems outage delayed wholesale bank payments for several hours. Transactions due to be made overnight didn't make it through until the morning. This was put down to a regular IT update which lead to "intermittent technology communication problems".

Fortunately, the problem was only limited to these wholesale payments, and did not affect other vital applications like the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service or the clearing house automated payment system (CHAPS), and didn't impact the general public.

But in 2014, the Bank wasn't so lucky, as a glitch took out both these applications. This delayed the processing of property payments on a massive scale, and hit thousands of home buyers. For large financial institutions like the Bank of England, the stakes are extremely high. Any kind of IT failure can have a huge impact on the consumers and businesses who rely on them – especially when a problem in one part of the system has a knock-on effect that takes down multiple critical applications.

So how can financial institutions make sure that problems in one system don't spread to other parts of the infrastructure? There are a variety of security products that organisations can purchase to protect against glitches and external threats. But it is one thing to buy a product, and another to integrate it in a way that fully protects the system without interfering with the complex interdependencies of critical applications.

Many organisations obtain products immediately before surveying how they would fit into the existing infrastructure. After plumbing them in, they have to work backwards to trace how the product can work with the existing legacy infrastructure, and often find that it cannot be integrated without impeding functions further down the line.

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