Top 5 Cybersecurity Challenges for the Financial Service Industry

Cybersecurity Challenges for the Financial Service Industry

Every year, millions of consumers are affected by cybersecurity threats. It does not matter how prepared an organization is, hackers find new ways to break into systems and cause information breaches. The problem is that much more sensitive when it comes to financial service organizations. With crucial data at stake, organizations face many challenges in beating these threats. Elaborated below are the top 5 cybersecurity challenges for financial service organizations.

Evolution of Organization

Technology is transforming our everyday lives; what we do today seems to become obsolete in the next year. The progression of technology is so rapid that we cannot afford to embrace stable scenarios. The same mentality goes for the finance industry. Customers expect new features to be continuously extended; they want attractive interfaces with zero loading wait. Although these features are appealing, customers often don’t realize that these things might come at a cost.

Often during updates glitches may be introduced. Additionally, financial organizations need to maintain security measures and not let data become compromised at the expense of exciting new features. The government also sometimes imposes specific restrictions on the elements that a finance organization can extend to the public. Therefore, the pressure is double fold—at one hand they want to forge modernity and satisfy the customers’ expectations, on the other, they must conform to security measures.

Evolving Threats

Believe it or not, many of the minds involved in breaching information are much more skilled and intelligent than the ones involved in creating the information base. Every year, the loss due to cybercrime continues rising. Hackers have access to all minute details; complexities that are unethical to be explored by even engineers. With such restrictions, engineers often find it challenging to match pace with overriding hackers.

Security matters become worse when hackers keep evolving their attacking strategies and growing more dangerous with every advancement; they have ready procedures for future updates and can form specialized teams to target particular releases. In such scenarios where criminals are always one step ahead of the organization, tackling threats becomes very difficult, resulting in a significant loss of data, productivity, and time.

Security Planning

You must acknowledge that cybersecurity is more than just a technology problem; it requires a strategic approach to optimizing the system entirely. Building a firewall is indeed a crucial step toward real-time security, but your defense arsenal cannot be limited to one measure. You must also weave a strong cybersecurity web into the full management structure. It is vital to learn to prioritize data based on a sensitivity index. The higher the index, the more intricate security system you must deploy to your data.

Changing Dynamics and Increased Threats

Organizations cannot lag when concerning the expectation of its customers. Features such as e-wallet support, internet banking, and SMS banking have become increasingly popular. While being handy and easy to access with your fingerprints and quick passcodes, these invite potential risks too. Often security updates are not installed on smartphones can make the apps installed vulnerable to attacks. With continuous updates, firms can reduce the threat level, but it eventually depends on the device’s security level. An old platform will soon succumb to internal and external threats and will quickly perish.

Threats Inside Out

It is often reported that internal sources cause security breaches. In some circumstances, employees find sensitive data lucrative and try to smuggle it out of the system. If not, then they might use it for their benefits — such deals bring no significant wealth since the banking systems employ 2-step verification in most domains, but it nonetheless affects the reputation of the organization. The faithfulness of employees needs to be in constant check to reduce the scope of such threats. Employing strict surveillance and encrypting data may be the initial measures that can be taken.

We have discussed some of the most prominent challenges that financial service organizations are facing. Some things cannot be avoided, such as meeting customer’s expectations, upgrading services, etc, but what is equally necessary at the same time is that advancements don’t come at the expense of security. By seeking help from experts, organizations can become prepared to face these genuine challenges.

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Why Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Should Move into the Cloud

Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

Continuous advancements in cloud technology have motivated many businesses to adopt the smarter way of computing. While a favorite among large scale businesses, Cloud Technology is now increasingly taken by small businesses as well. Many straightforward advantages compel business owners to adopt cloud services — benefits such as data security, flexible storage, 0% downtime, CRM management, resource optimization, modern technology, and omnipresent resource mapping, are some of the most significant advantages of Cloud Technology that transform the budding small and medium enterprise (SMEs).

The world is full of competition, and nobody wants to lag. Business owners are continuously searching for ways through which their profits can be maximized without compromising on quality, cost, and efficiency — the Cloud promises an entirely compatible platform to meet such purposes. SMEs, which constitute a significant part of the industrial world, can benefit in numerous ways through cloud adoption. Many have started to adopt the cloud while some are still using primitive technology, unaware of the lucrative benefits of cloud computing. Given below are the factors that make cloud technology the optimal solution for SMEs.

Remote Computing

If you have a compatible device and a working internet connection, Cloud technologies allow you to work from anywhere at any time; this becomes very useful for small businesses who keep changing office space now and then. The SME professional needs to travel a lot to expand the reach of their business; they may not require immediate permanent office set up yet as they are testing the locality which is best suited for their office.

Working remotely also gives massive flexibility to part-time professionals; they can go home and work from there, offering the most of their time. Professionals can also optimize resources quickly, at a relatively lower price. Moreover, SMEs are very agile compared to big business enterprises, and the cloud provides the freedom to converge this agility.

Flexibility

A business that undermines profit needs can hardly succeed. Profit is very much needed for the growth of the organization, and a businessperson must always aim to maximize it in whichever way possible. Cloud technology gives that opportunity—with pay-as-you-use doctrine, the firm ends up saving significant money on investment; this becomes all the more important for SMEs as growing businesses, aspiring to reach peaks and dominate the competitive world.

Through employing Cloud in a business model, SMEs escape the jaws of additional advance payments, that often hits at a business’ strength. Cloud technology is very much suited for the ever-changing financial dynamics of SMEs, with the ability to scale up or down at any time, without the tension of incurring an unnecessary cost.

Security

Security breaches are a public threat that every firm deal has needed to battle; but, this threat attains a very high gravity when it comes to SMEs. They have the pressure of establishing goodwill in the market and standing out, to flourish. In the start, it is essential for SMEs to develop a sense of reliability in its customers. For this, it is critical that SMEs take necessary steps towards data security.

Cloud technology is one such step that fortifies the security levels of the company’s data. In the cloud, it is the experts who take command of your data to encrypt and secure them from the reach of hackers. An additional advantage of choosing cloud is that your data is always backed-up, so you don’t need to worry at all about the data, the experts will handle it all—a must for SMEs to propagate reliance.

Scalability

SMEs see ups and downs very frequently when compared to big businesses. Their market is very unpredictable and requires immediate adjustments in scaling. Such fluctuation might sometimes cause problems in the way of steady growth of the company. Using cloud, SMEs can overcome this hurdle.

As SMEs must expand and want to establish offices at specific locations, the cloud can automatically add up needs and charge only for utilized services. Even at the time of the online campaign, the cloud becomes very useful to expand post reach — you can scale it down again when you are done with your drive after few days.

Conclusion

Cloud solutions have a better edge over traditional software services, even more so for SMEs. With compelling advantages that can change the game around for such businesses, it is best to choose a plan at the earliest possible time. From flexibility to affordability, cloud technology gives ample opportunities to SMEs to expand their business.

The cloud takes most of the load from your shoulders and hands it over to the experts. To fight a competitive market, you will have to be one step ahead of all, and there is no better companion than cloud to lead you through the digital age.

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Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

The Cloud has become the go-to computing point for enterprises these days. Many companies prefer to transition their existing apps to the Cloud, simply because of the security and efficiency benefits the platform can provide. No matter the type of IT environment within your enterprise, chances are the Cloud will prove to be beneficial.

Moving to the Cloud needs to be practical and resourceful; it does not have to be simultaneous and all at once. In other words, some applications should be run in the traditional manner, while some can slowly and steadily be transitioned to the Cloud. With this mode, one can make use of the hybrid Cloud model, wherein a few apps can work on the Cloud, while others are slowly and steadily moved over.

If you are also looking at making use of the Cloud for running your business-related apps, then it is time to check out the following options available for the process.

Re-Hosting

Re-hosting is all lift and shift since it entails redeploying apps to a cloud-based environment, where changes are made to the app’s host configuration. This type of migration is not only easy but also considered to be a quick and seamless transition methodology.

What makes this solution appealing is the use of the re-hosting capabilities with the likes of AWS VM Import/Export; however, this does not stop customers from learning as they go. In other words, once apps are in the Cloud, redesigning them to meet your current demands is an easier task. Generally speaking, re-hosting as a migration option is best suited for large-scale enterprise transitions. With such extensive scale migrations, enterprises can realize cost savings up to 30%, without having to involve any cloud optimizations.

Re-Platforming

Re-platforming is all about migrating applications, and their components, to a cloud-managed platform without having to change the core application architecture. The essential idea is to run applications on the Cloud provider’s platforms, which entails replacing the configuration of the app’s architecture, without worrying about the implementation of developer cycles.

Backward compatibility is an added advantage of re-platforming, as it allows developers to reuse known resources, without going into the nuances of new app development. However, at the same time, re-platforming is a relatively new concept and is yet to gain the necessary traction in the PaaS market.

Re-Architecting

As the name suggests, this method is all about re-architecting existing applications to run smoothly in the Cloud platforms by leveraging the features or services provided by the cloud provider. This feature usually comes into play, when an enterprise is interested in customizing and developing the software within the Cloud, to cater to new ventures or software needs. However, this comes with its own set of disadvantages, which translates into the loss of legacy codes and known development frameworks.

Despite the disadvantages, it is difficult to overlook the advantages it brings with it. When you look at re-architecting as a migration option, it opens up the enterprise’s access to a series of world-class developing tools, which are available on the cloud provider’s platform. Such advantages include the likes of pre-designed customizable templates, along with a set of data models, which can enhance productivity greatly.

Re-Purchasing

Repurchasing often means that old application platforms are discarded with the aim to purchase new ones or to upgrade to the newer versions. Through the repurchasing option, enterprises can deploy the use of SaaS platforms, such as Drupal and Salesforce.com in a more secure, efficient manner. While it comes with its own set of disadvantages, this option offers companies a better view of their app deployment strategies.

Retiring

During the migration process, an enterprise has to do a deeper dive into the list of its owned apps’ this would mean going through every app which needs to be migrated and further trying to understand its uses and cost to the company. If the company feels the app is obsolete or not worth the money and effort of migrating to the Cloud, it can be downsized, and removed from the existing kit — this not only simplifies the cost and translates into saving for the company, but also makes it better for an enterprise to promote scalability and efficiency.

Retaining

This process involves holding back applications from migration which could either attract a significant amount of time in rearchitecting to be able to run in the cloud or are not migration ready as they were upgraded recently and may turn out to be a costly affair if migrated. One may also decide to retain an application if the cloud doesn’t support the app or if there is an existing sunk cost associated with the application.

Depending on the need of the hour and the immediate uses, an enterprise can pick and choose the best available option, when it comes to migrating to the Cloud. An enterprise needs to weigh the pros and cons of the selected method and act on it accordingly. This way, there is a lot of effort which is saved in running old apps in a traditional and unconventional manner.

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The Future of Microservices and the Internet of Things

Future of Microservices and the Internet of Things

Microservices are very dynamic, and the platform has seen an enormous development in the last couple of years; its components complement the modern day needs that have led to its emergence as an irreplaceable part of the industry, especially in those that deliver Internet of Things (IoT). Microservices come with an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of flexible services, which can then be individually implemented according to the business’s needs. The architecture promises a continuous delivery of large, complex applications; these flexible architectures enable organizations to evolve its technology stack over time.

Microservices are increasingly being preferred to create enterprise applications due to its distinct advantages. In today’s world where possibilities are immense and ever-evolving, one cannot sit back and relax after building a single platform. It has to evolve and be ready for future needs continuously. Microservices give ample options to be progressive—this includes flexible architecture, precision, and speed; it has such a structural advancement that other platforms seem obsolete in comparison.

Drawbacks of Older Systems

Situations such as mobile app development employ unintelligent sources that used to rely on manual human interference. The lack of expertise in systems such as those used to slow down the whole process. Given the apparent drawbacks of the obsolete systems and lucrative benefits of microservices, it seems that microservices are going to become an inevitable platform for the choice of architecture for developers, in the world of IoT, shortly.

Microservices have faced several criticisms for being inappropriate for certain DevOps cultures, but, they stand very feebly against the likely benefits of the microservices; this is exhibited through the broad adoption of microservices across numerous world-leading industries. Modern-day tech-giants and large-scale online services providers such as Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter have all moved forward from their old technology to microservices-driven architecture — this allows the companies to scale to their size, make predictions and form strategies on-the-go.

Fast and Progressive

Microservices enable the IoT deployment to be fluid and to ensure that the need of the hour is met with an appropriate resolution. The IoT infrastructure generally requires immediate decisions to tackle challenges for successful deployment. Microservices allow a system to operate independently where the entire technology stack need not be disturbed to test new ideas/products.

Massive Value

Due to its scope for multiple deployments, each operation can take numerous trials at once. Earlier alternatives did not provide us with such flexibility, and, therefore, the evolution process was much slower. Microservices allow upgrades in which each step results in fine-graining of the concerned product, helping us obtain the maximum value.

Increased Flexibility

One of the main highlights of microservices is the flexibility it extends to developers. We can leverage microservices for testing and retesting without having to disturb the whole mechanism. If the checked item isn’t working, we can perform substitutions with something better. In this way, microservices not only allow ready testing but also makes the evolution process flexible – the rectification of one branch does not disturb the whole tree of the process.

Cost-Effective

In this dynamic digital world, technology is always developing and becoming superseded by more sophisticated and cost-effective alternatives. One big advantage of having microservices in IoT is that they both can adapt to these dynamics. The microservices structures tackle obsoleteness by replacing outdated nodes and introducing net structures to fill the gaps – this makes the process fluid and cost-effective. By bypassing the unnecessary tasks, microservices allow one to test innovative ventures quickly – much needed for a progressive future.

Isolated Risk

Assembling a solution through microservices allows one to adjust and iterate; this can be done even without having to re-architect the entire system. Most mobile and web application developers find it beneficial to apply agile development, and older options did not allow this scope of isolating risks. The continuous microservices will enable one to move towards the finish line and connect all the APIs needed, one by one, without having to increase risk.

All of these perks come up as we deploy microservices. The dynamic future doesn’t tolerate obsoleteness nor does it want to slow down. Microservices allow unlimited customization and overall faster operation in their environments. The lower cost and risk reduction introduced by microservices is motivating many organizations to make the upgrade.

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Top 5 Best Practices to Modernize Legacy Applications

Top 5 Best Practices to Modernize Legacy Applications

Legacy applications are the backbone of a significant portion of many modern organizations; the downside of such software is that they can require a lot of maintenance and financial investments to keep them in running condition. Considering requirements, it is challenging to keep these applications up and running, without incurring substantial costs and investing a lot of wasted time into the maintenance process. Despite cost and time investments, these legacy applications can’t be shown the door.

Legacy applications are used to gauge the performance of business operations. What if an organization wants to progress by staying in sync with technology, and continue making use of these technological tools to aid this advancement? In other words, in the era of the Cloud, legacy applications can come across as a little outdated, and their performance can remain restricted. However, the idea is to modernize these legacy applications, and speed up their processing prowess, to reduce costs and maximize productivity.

Legacy Applications — The List of Problems Continue

With all said and done, it is safe to say that organizations and DevOps teams have successfully trudged forward on the path of application modernization; however, these projects are occasionally time-bound and are unable to meet the targeted timelines, which creates vendor lock-in. Organizations have to choose between a single Cloud platform and container vendors, which increases the overall maintenance price over a period.

Applications such as SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft, etc., have been built in the form of unbreakable monoliths — this means that the data associated with these applications provides excellent data security and networking options to the resident organizations. When it comes to upgrading the features of these applications in a specific manner, organizations might end up with a roadblock most of the time — even small updates will mean undertaking a long, slow testing process.

To break down the traditional stereotypes of these legacy applications, and replace them with newer more efficient application versions, it’s essential to follow these five best procedures and then decide the best approach to move forward:

Breaking the Monolith to Garner Efficiency

Break down the legacy application, from the networking needs to the overall structure to the storage configurations, and how it will look on a virtual platform. Breaking down software into separate individual components will make it easier to recreate the new model within containers; however, this approach is more feasible when it is implemented at a significant scale.

Separate Applications From Infrastructure

If the legacy applications have an underlying dependency on the organization’s infrastructure, the chances are that you would need to separate everything piece by piece, before moving onto a new platform. Check out the feasibility of the code, and the platforms it can run on. During separation, the idea is to avoid making any drastic changes, so that everything can be picked and moved when the time comes. By gaining an advantage over the traditional monoliths, you would be able to make use of storage containers, cloud environments, and different storage options to move to a platform which offers security, price, and performance, all rolled into one bundle.

The Costs of Decommissioning

When you start pulling apart legacy applications into different components, it is essential to catalog every piece, along with the cost to replicate such. Some features might be easy to implement, while others might come across as light on the pocket. At the same time, other components will be difficult to achieve and might require a lot of investment to move from one platform to another. By having a clear-cut idea on the cost, and the immediate needs, developers and operations teams can pick and choose the components needed and the combinations which need to be replicated.

Security Building is a Necessity

If you are pushing security implementation post-deployment, then you need to take a step back and start reevaluating the options. Security needs to be fused within every stage of application rebuilding, and it should be given utmost priority during the pick and drop phase. As each component is reimaged and reinvented, security can be layered between each element, and the process will become foolproof.

DevOps is the Key to Strong Results

DevOps means working together; in this case, it’s all about the operations team and the developers’ team working hand in hand to arrive at a proper, well-augmented solution. When these teams work in tandem with each other, the chances are that there will be a faster turnaround of new platforms, as more and more component combinations will be decoded and shifted from one platform to another.

In other words, the DevOps teams will be in a better position to understand what is needed, and what is not; they can also jointly decide the combinations required to bring to the new platform, thereby eradicating the need of adding on useless components, which are of no value going forth.

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AWS re:Invent 2018

AWS re:Invent 2018

Event Details: At re:Invent 2018, you can expect deeper technical content, more hands-on learning opportunities, and more access to AWS experts than ever. The return of our two-hour workshops and our hackathon program means that you can dive into solving challenges and working on a team. The chalk talks and builders sessions give you the opportunity to interact in a small group setting with AWS experts as they whiteboard through problems and solutions. We have many more opportunities this year for you to interact, build, and learn, so you can get the most out of re:Invent.

Each year at re:Invent, we bring you over a thousand sessions, chalk talks, workshops, builders sessions, and hackathons that cover AWS core topics and embrace the emerging technologies we are developing. re:Invent 2018 will be no different. You will find sessions that cover topics that you have seen in past years: databases, analytics & big data, security & compliance, enterprise, machine learning, and compute, to name a few. This year, you will be able to cross-search these topics in the session catalog, so you can really drill down and find the sessions most pertinent to you.

[Know more about the Conference]

About Idexcel: Idexcel is a Professional Services and Technology Solutions provider specializing in Cloud Services, Application Modernization, and Data Analytics. Idexcel is proud that for more than 20 years it has provided services that implement complex technologies that are innovative, agile and successful and have provided our customers with lasting value.

Anand Allolankandy – (Sr. Director Technical Sales & Delivery at Idexcel) will be attending this event. For further queries, please write to anand@idexcel.com

How Big Data is Changing the Healthcare Sector

How Big Data is Changing the Healthcare Sector

The healthcare sector is progressing rapidly, expanding both its reach and challenges. With an increased patient-doctor ratio, organizations must find a way to tackle the chaotic situation—a better management tool to handle the workload efficiently. Primitive book-keeping provides no scope for rapid scanning and locating a particular patient’s record; this results in delayed attention to the patient and decreases in severity. With broad adoption of the latest technology in the medical field, it is time that organizations enhance the overall healthcare system.

Therefore, healthcare firms should embrace newer technologies that help facilitate better and faster resolutions to patient’s problems, while extending a scientifically-advanced atmosphere — using Big Data and Analytics helps organizations achieve these goals. These are the significant ways in which Big Data can help the healthcare sector flourish:

Patient Health Tracking

It so happens that doctors generally want to analyze the patient’s health history before exploring anything new. But, due to disorganized data-keeping, the patients themselves are not ready to furnish the health-related documents accumulated over the years. Big Data easily tracks the entire history of the patient’s health including all minor/ significant operations undergone; it has revolutionized the whole paradigm by introducing statistical analysis that predicts and warns about the future possible occurrences.

Internet of Things aided by Big Data is a further leap in this revolution. From tracking heartbeats and sugar levels to breathing patterns and distance walked, smart wearables help provide more transparent data that can serve as a basis for medical assistance. Creating a unified database containing the citizen’s health history would enable health systems to fetch data in seconds, saving crucial time and human resources.

Increased Efficiency

With patient’s data a few clicks away, healthcare firms can obtain the entire history of the patients in seconds, making it easy for both patients and doctors — apart from saving time, this leads to reduced cost. The hands needed to keep the manual records, the data carrier, the data traveler and the data analyst, would all be required to put in their working hours. However, Big Data eliminates the mediating costs as well as the consumed time, resulting in a more efficient healthcare environment.

Making Predictions

Digitized data and statistical representation not only helps analyze the current situation but also assists in making predictions; this gives the healthcare sector an edge over the potentiality of certain diseases. The pattern of the disease will help the doctors make plans for the patient in advance—certainly rewarding in situations where the time is everything for the patient. Doctors can operate with better insights concerning the health state of a patient in a customized healthcare strategy.

Reducing Errors

It is known that human error is bound to take place, no matter how much care is placed while working with data. The calculations, the sorting, and the interpretive analysis all require precise attention. With increased workloads (or even otherwise) workers may commit errors. Big Data reduces this error-rate by employing scientific and mathematically correct equations—equally robust every time they are applied. Big data can also be used to sort unrelated prescriptions added faultily in a patient’s record. So, Big data can take care of not just avoiding errors but can also of rectifying them.

Progressive Approach

Adoption of Big data in the healthcare sector is not only a problem-solving tool but rather a way of growing operation. What use will expensive equipment and the latest medicines have if they don’t have a compatible platform to perform? A progressive environment consists of forces that work in cohesion, leading to an optimum output, all within the shadow of efficient operating. An environment which is readily embracing other advancements will show no progress if all improvements are not adequately attended. Big Data not only eases the healthcare procedures but also helps in the advancement of the infrastructure as a whole.

Predicting the possible disease level, analyzing and representing data statistically, reducing the doctor-patient gap, and cutting down costs and time are all sign of progressive development. Without the help of Big Data, the healthcare sector would possibly never achieve this goal.

Challenges are there in implementing Big Data fully in the healthcare sector, but there won’t be achievements without starting the process. To fully utilize the wealth of scientific intelligence, using Big Data seems unavoidable. If implementing it introduces so many positives to the sector and then why not apply it?

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