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Asian banks need to step up their network security: Ixia

Nurdianah Md Nur | March 31, 2014
Banks should first understand and have visibility of their networks before investing in network security solutions.

Network security

Banks in Asia need to pay more attention to network security as they digitise their operations and offerings, said Naveen Bhat, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific at Ixia.

Digitisation has opened up more access points for cyber criminals to infiltrate, thus widening the security perimeter that a bank has to monitor and protect. Understanding this, banks in Asia are increasing their investment on network security. However, most banks are still not confident that their networks are secure, said Bhat. This is because most of them are making investments based on blind trust and assumptions as they have no visibility or knowledge of their networks, he explained.

To counter this, banks should conduct proper network infrastructure resiliency assessments prior to investing in network security solutions, said Bhat. Conducted via a series of interviews and technical tests that use realistic emulation and simulation of apps and attacks, the assessments will evaluate various components of the bank's network security. The components assessed include firewall functions, intrusion preventions, app and net functions, employee training, incident responses, lawful interceptions and distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) resiliency. After the tests, each component will be given a score from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best, to enable the banks to understand which parts of their network security require more investment.

"The resiliency assessments provide a quantitative measurement of how resilient their networks are," said Bhat. "Banks can then rely on the results to decide which areas of their network security to invest in."

Having visibility of the networks
The adoption of cloud, mobility and big data is driving unprecedented network growth and complexity due to new regulations, virtualisation of workloads and services, and security needs. Network operators thus need full visibility in order to maintain network health and ensure a high-quality user experience. 

To help banks in Asia, as well as organisations from other industries, gain full visibility of their networks, Ixia launched its Visibility Architecture in February this year. According to the company, the architecture helps eliminate blind spots by enabling end-to-end visibility across the entire network, including mixed physical and virtual network environments. It also supports both passive monitoring and fail-safe inline security deployments.

"With the Visibility Architecture in place, organisations will have the insights needed to adjust to changing network requirements and react quickly to potential security threats, thus ensuring their network remains uncompromised," said Arlan Harris, Ixia's senior vice president and general manager of Network Visibility Solutions at Ixia.

The need for cyber security skills 
Given the complex nature of today's cyber threats, banks in Asia need to ensure that their IT personnel are equipped with cyber security skills, said Bhat.


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