While every business must prepare for future bandwidth and network needs in our fast-evolving world, few industries face more communication technology uncertainty in 2022 than businesses involved in finance. From traditional banks to fintech and everything in between, financial services (finserv) networks face unique challenges that must be considered by IT executives and leadership into 2023 and beyond.

Security is job one

Cybersecurity is a top priority when designing and enhancing the architecture of a finserv network. Across all industries, financial services are second only to healthcare for experiencing the highest average cost in the event of a data breach – a cost that’s escalating every year.

  • The average cost of a business data breach in 2021 was up 10% over 2020
  • Financial institutions see much higher damage per incident, losing an average of $5.72M per breach last year, compared to $4.24M across all industries
  • 44% of financial data breaches include customer data
  • A high percentage of financial services records have payment card industry (PCI) and/or personally identifiable information (PII)

Fortunately, protective measures can make a significant impact. Implementing Zero-Trust Architecture leads to a savings of $1.76M per breach and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is quickly becoming the new standard in cybersecurity protocol.

The need for network agility

Building a stable network for current needs with a little wiggle room for growth is no longer good enough when planning out network architecture and enhancements. Several changes in the financial services industry have left IT departments needing more network agility than ever.

Fluctuations between in-office, work-from-home, and hybrid work schedules require finserv networks to be able to handle wild shifts in network usage from multiple locations, and the ability to reallocate resources quickly to follow workforce needs.

And while plenty of disagreement remains regarding the right balance of return-to-office (RTO) and work-from-home (WFH) lies, there’s one fact we all can agree on: Nobody truly knows what work will wind up looking like two, five, or ten years from now. The only way to prepare for this great unknown from a network point of view is to remain flexible.

External forces add additional complexity to network flexibility

To toss another wrench into the works – customer expectations are trending to ask for more robust remote access to services and accounts at the same time IT resources are stretched thin internally. Whereas in-branch services once bore the brunt of customer complaints, in 2022, users are singing a different tune, and it’s all about their mobile experience.

  • Mobile banking grew 50% over Q1 and Q2 2020
  • 77% of low- and middle-income customers would switch banks for a better mobile experience
  • 78% of online banking customers want AI-powered personalized support
  • 90% of consumers are concerned about online security

The explosion of digital apps and massive adoption of electronic payments and digital wallets has left the financial services industry with no choice but to give core priority to supporting app functionality and real-time payments when mapping out bandwidth allocations.

Four reasons ethernet is right for financial services

  • Scalability: Low latency, high throughput, on-demand
  • Affordability: Lower cost with both metro and regional coverage
  • Simplicity: Easy to manage at scale, customer-controlled routing & IP addressing, critical apps managed in-house
  • Security: Layer 2 security features, strengthened branch security, device, and cloud-based firewall (FW) and/or virtual firewall (vFW) and security services edge (SSE)

Future-proof your finserv network

At Conterra, we are experts in helping financial enterprises architect the network they need to thrive today and stay prepared for the future, without paying for capacity they don’t need. And through our partnership with Ciena, our capabilities for serving the financial industry are even stronger.

Speak with your local sales representative to start the process of building a network specifically designed for the unique needs of a financial services business. Call 1-888-266-4836 or fill out our contact form.