Creating resilient, secure, dynamic and protected networking for highly regulated industries is no easy task — especially when you consider all the assorted geographical locations and teams’ mission-critical (and personal) data must travel to. Keeping information under lock and key is a challenge in itself these days, but balancing this need for digital security with demands for high levels of mobility and accessibility presents a seemingly impossible paradox.
Nevertheless, the volume of personal data and sensitive information that regulated industries amass is continuing to grow as their business grows — and as their footprints expand, finding an ideal networking framework is vital. After all, with every new individual or branch location that’s added, a new attack vector is formed. So, in the pursuit of both high levels of accessibility and high levels of cybersecurity, let’s talk about what the network should look like.
Understanding New Industry Needs
When we think about highly regulated industries, many of us think of healthcare, manufacturing or finance. While ‘regulated industry’ traditionally refers to industries that must strictly adhere to a range of government-set rules and standards, the idea of regulation in our digital era extends beyond this set system and into a broader realm of consumer and industry expectation. Let’s take the financial services industry and the law profession as our examples.
Finance is a highly regulated industry in the traditional sense. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates securities markets and protects investors against mismanagement or fraud while helping encourage investment and stability. Multiple regulatory bodies exist and deliver a strict code of operations that guide the development of the industry. On the other hand, law doesn’t fall into the traditional ‘highly regulated’ category to the same degree — in fact, the U.S doesn’t have much of a nationwide structure in place for this category, and (unlike other professions that are licensed and regulated by a branch of the government) lawyers and law offices are self-regulated. Still, regulatory bodies like the American Bar Association do provide structure and standards; professional codes of conduct and disciplinary commissions keep things flowing smoothly and ethically — and the customer still has high expectations for excellence. So, how does networking fit into the equations for these industries?
In a digital era, both traditionally regulated industries like finance and largely self-governing sectors like law are subject to high expectations of cybersecurity. Both deal with highly personal and sensitive information, and subsequently, both must deliver the very best in network security. Furthermore, both come to the table with similar demands: Expanding a network to include more endpoints and branch locations without sacrificing data protection or creating too much operational complexity. Without these high levels of reliability, simplicity, security and agility, both of these industries (and the organizations within them) risk severe reputational fallout and negative customer outcomes.
Admittedly, hitting all of these networking marks can seem like a big task — but completing the checklist is a must. So, what connectivity solutions fit the bill?
The Magic of SD-WAN
As network footprints grow and demands on connectivity become more sophisticated, it can seem easy to get bogged down in tricky optimization processes. Furthermore, teams often suffer from a lack of visibility that makes unifying their organizations through powerful networking seem impossible. Especially as cloud-based remote work and widespread geographic footprints further complicate connectivity objectives, getting the right information to the right places securely and in a timely manner is a difficult task. Not to mention, all of these requirements often create additional costs, which isn’t something any business wants.
Still, as organizations like those in law or finance continue to grow and advance their IT, one solution emerges as an ideal tool: SD-WAN. This software-defined approach to networking solves common challenges, averts traditional networking bottlenecks and helps keep security easily monitored across changing network footprints.
Virtualized SD-WAN architectures enable full, single-pane-of-glass visibility into the network and the data that runs across it, enabling simpler and more innovative management and optimization opportunities across locations, cloud services and beyond. With this solution in place, teams can always know how data is being transferred, what applications are using more bandwidth and what priorities need to be set. From there, new usage policies and procedures can be easily and wholly implemented — even across large footprints and a variety of network endpoints.
With Horizon, SD-WAN removes the need for expensive orchestration and network management systems, hardware installs or upgrades, and with a self-service portal, the customer is able to orchestrate their priorities, policies and traffic peaks based on unique business and network needs. That means easily and powerfully accommodating security requirements and other needs for regulated industries like law or finance.
SD-WAN solves for agility, availability, reliability, mobility, cost efficiency and ease-of-use all at once — it’s almost too good to be true. However, those who know Horizon’s dedication to customer service excellence and trusted local support know that these benefits are very real indeed. So, no matter how tricky regulations, industry expectations or customer standards may be, Horizon is poised to help any organization deliver.
To learn more about Horizon SD-WAN, click here.