Machine Data Opportunity for Financial Services
Retail banks, investment banks and insurance companies operate highly sophisticated IT systems to support activities that include order management, payment processing, trade processing and mobile banking. These systems generate terabytes of machine data every day - data that comprises application logs, FIX order logs, SWIFT messages, web proxy logs, message queues, IPS/IDS logs, and syslog. Such machine data can provide important insights relevant to both IT and the business.
Efficient trade and payment processing, improved compliance, identifying security threats and better customer service are just some of the key areas that can be directly impacted by gaining operational intelligence from machine data.
Splunk Delivers Insight From Any Machine Data
Splunk is the engine for machine data - Splunk can read data from just about any source imaginable, such as trading systems, negotiation engines, payment tracking systems, networks, web servers, mobile banking applications, legacy applications, application servers, and structured databases.
Splunk delivers real-time understanding of what's happening and deep analysis of what's happened across IT systems and infrastructure. It uses untapped machine data to identify problems, risks and opportunities and drive better decisions for IT and the business.
Typical uses cases for Splunk include application management, IT operations management, security and compliance, web intelligence and business analytics. Examples of different ways in which Financial Services companies are using Splunk to gain new levels of visibility into IT and the business are described below.
Improving Service Delivery and Customer Loyalty
As financial services companies provide customers more products and services across channels (mobile, online, retail), timely and proactive resolution of issues is critical to minimizing customer defections and increasing loyalty. Customer issues related to system performance or downtime typically span across many different applications, servers and network devices - making it challenging for IT to rapidly and accurately pinpoint the exact source of the problem.
Splunk makes it easy for financial services companies to troubleshoot issues by indexing machine data across applications, servers and devices, regardless of format. For example, a leading financial institution used Splunk to gain visibility across millions of events generated by third party software, operating systems, databases, and servers. By enabling staff to find and fix problems faster through searching the data and proactively monitoring for problems, the company was able to reduce outage time by 85% and reduce MTTR by over 65%.
Enabling Timely Payment Processing
Payment processing at banks spans many different servers, networks, enterprise service bus, custom and SWIFT based applications. Effective and consistent payment processing requires visibility across the machine data generated by all these systems to ensure any performance, network or system issues are addressed rapidly.
Unlike existing systems, Splunk is not bound by IT silos or data formats. Splunk can rapidly index machine data across the payment processing infrastructure. It provides the insight needed to troubleshoot problems and proactively monitor incidents. For example, a leading financial services company achieved 88% reduction in MTTR by using Splunk to perform root cause analysis of logs generated by the entire payment processing platform - leading to significantly improved compliance with SLAs and higher processing volume.
Improving Trade Processing System Efficiency
Timely and accurate trade processing can easily mean millions of dollars in incremental revenue. It is a mission critical process and any downtime can have significant consequences. Trade processing typically involves numerous applications, servers and network hardware. Getting visibility across the logs generated by this infrastructure is critical to accurately pinpoint issues and take corrective action.
With Splunk, a leading investment services company indexed logs across their trade processing platform - this included over 100 different types of trading application logs, web server logs, WebSphere and J2EE logs. By gaining end to end visibility across machine data from the trade processing platform, the company was able to understand their baseline and discover problems that they were not aware of. Splunk helps them ensure this mission critical process is up and running - driving higher customer satisfaction and trading revenues.
Mitigating Security Risks
Considering the sensitivity of data, diversity of users and range of customer interaction channels, security is a serious concern for financial services companies. Security issues can take many forms from someone hacking into the system to steal account information to insider trading threats.
Splunk can help a financial services company mitigate the risk of a security threat by accurately identifying the source of threat. Splunk can rapidly index machine data generated by diverse systems such as IPS, IDS, Firewall, and Proxy Servers - enabling a user to search and correlate the data across systems to determine the threat. With Splunk, companies can create dashboards that highlight, in real-time, security incidents as they happen.
Ensuring Regulatory Compliance
Financial services companies are subject to an ever increasing set of regulatory requirements that include Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI, and Basel II - among others. These regulations mandate data collection, audit trails, data storage and visibility across applications, devices, and servers. For example, demonstrating Sarbanes-Oxley IT compliance has become a huge burden for IT operations and security - requiring reports and review of log data from diverse sources such as firewalls and wireless access points.
Splunk indexes data generated by all technologies that need to be monitored for regulatory compliance. It enables rapid retrieval of any log data requested by IT auditors. With easy to use interface, Splunk improves the effectiveness of daily log review controls - ensuring compliance and mitigating operational and security risks.
Looking for More on Splunk for Financial Services?
These use cases highlight just a handful of areas where Splunk can help financial services companies harness their machine data. Other areas where Splunk delivers operational intelligence include IT infrastructure that supports online banking, mortgage processing, fixed income trading and business portals.