Hybrid IT Capabilities Boosting Digitisation in Banking

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Murtaza Bhatia
Murtaza Bhatia
Practice Head, Data Centre and Security
Dimension Data

Dimension Data is focused on implementing the most advanced technologies and ensuring optimal security at every level of an organisation’s Information Technology (IT) architecture to ensure a seamless digital journey, says Murtaza Bhatia, Practice Head, Data Centre and Security, Dimension Data, in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).

Technology is diversifying the banking and financial industry in a big way. What role is Dimension Data playing in this transformation?

Dimension Data is a catalyst that is helping various banks and financial institutions in their digital transformation journey with the help
of Hybrid IT capabilities. The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance(BFSI) industry is fast moving towards technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, and considering how conservative this industry is, it is remarkable to see this change.Blockchain as a technology has great potential, especially when it comes to security, transaction security and endpoint security. Blockchain allows a digital ledger of transactions to be created and shared among participants via a distributed network of computers.
The system is highly accessible and transparent to all participants — all transactions are publicly visible.
Blockchain also holds the potential to assist in forensic investigations.These are only some of the used cases. The focus is on providing customers with a rich experience and the BFSI industry is turning to OmniChannel interactions to enable greater adoption of evolving technologies. Dimension Data is focused on implementing the most advanced technologies and ensuring optimal security at each level of an organisation’s IT architecture.

What challenges do you come across in securing the IT Infrastructure in a digital world?

IT in a digital world is diverse and without any boundaries. It has become a combination of Hybrid technologies
with parts of the infrastructure and applications on-site while another part on cloud. Digitisation in the BFSI industry implies, allowing the end user to
leverage multichannel models. In other words, it means anytime and anywhere access to the end customer. One of the biggest challenges due to this is ensuring optimal security at every channel. This requires a Zero Trust architecture. It is capable of addressing lateral threat movement within the said network by utilising the micro-segmentation and granular perimeters enforcement, based on the user, the data and the location. It also brings in a centralised policy-driven control which when implemented can help mitigate even the most common sources of breaches. IT teams will need
to adopt the mindset of ‘we don’t trust anybody: to access company systems, users will need explicit permission.
With improved technology, this will not necessarily result in bottlenecks – in cloud-based systems, authentication and verification will be near-instantaneous.Also, the Blockchain ledger can detect suspicious online behaviour and isolate the connection, giving the user restricted access until the transactions have been sanctioned by system administrators or the IT security team. Essentially, Blockchain becomes the implementer of the ‘zero trust’ policy.

How significant is the application of consistent security control across physical and virtual environments?

Consistent security control across various infrastructures and services provided through the physical and virtual environment is quintessential. This is because it gives better manageability and “security is as good as it is managed today”. This can be achieved with security that is controlled centrally through one policy engine. This policy engine builds the context around the security decision and reacts differently with different decisions to control.
Any infrastructure whether virtual or physical calls for three important factors to consider, Authentication, Authorisation and Visibility. First, we need to identify the entity of who is accessing the virtual infra and the context around it. Some of the parameters to consider are who is accessing it? How are they accessing? Where is it being accessed from and what is being accessed? Next, the system has to have proper authorisation on ‘need to know’ or ‘access basis’ expanding to the Zero Trust factor. And lastly, the third factor is visibility of the trail.

Cloud deployment faces a major application constraint as far as the BFSI sector is concerned. What assistance do you ensure in this regard?

With respect to the adoption of Cloud technology in the BFSI sector, Dimension Data is leveraging specialised services with the help of which we assess the ‘as is’ application architecture of the client and suggest what kind of cloud adoption would best Cloud technology in the BFSI sector, Dimension Data is leveraging specialised services with the help of which we assess the ‘as is’ application architecture of the client and suggest what kind of cloud adoption would best

How significantly can Data Centre transform an organisation? What role does infrastructure strategy play in enabling this?

Infrastructure plays an important role in transformation. Lean and Hybrid infrastructure is the way to go, where the business can leverage the infrastructure to increase the channels and services reaching its clients. Infrastructure strategy which transforms with faster rollouts, better accessibility and management is key to creating a boundaryless organisation.

That said, it needs to be underpinned by security, as it is an integral part of this journey. In other words, embedding security right from the start will ensure the smooth enablement of the transformation journey.

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