The one with a bank, the cloud, and SASE

Co-author of Zaheer Aziz
Services Incubation Lead, Cisco CX

The increasing adoption of cloud and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a sign of how quickly the world of networking and security is changing. Companies use the cloud to optimize and deliver cost-effective, scalable infrastructure. In fact, we are now past the tipping point where more data resides in the cloud than on-premises. Therefore, finding routes into the cloud data environment has become a go-to for hackers.

In this context, we tell the story of how a team of security experts from the Cisco Advisory team helped a large financial institution successfully transform its traditional network and security architecture to the cloud and optimize network performance by using SASE to strengthen its security posture.

The challenges

Although our customer was interested in leveraging cloud and SASE, they also faced the challenge of having over 40 stakeholders, each with their own list of requirements and expectations. They needed to be able to harmonize various requirements and expectations related to Zero Trust, SD-WAN, operations, firewall, security operations center, endpoints, and others. With so many stakeholders to satisfy, the engagement requires seamless collaboration, effective communication, and a deep understanding of the various aspects of network and security.

The Cisco SASE Advisory Service team loves challenges and we were excited to tackle this one head on! We have assembled a cross-functional group of Cisco experts representing SD-WAN, security, program management, and product management. Our mission was to work closely with the customer, understand their individual needs and provide them with requirements and design documentation as well as itineraries to guide them through a successful SASE implementation.

The engagement process

Over several months, the Cisco SASE Advisory Service team conducted numerous workshops, meetings, and brainstorming sessions with the customer’s teams. The focus was on developing a tailored solution that meets the company’s unique needs as a financial institution operating in a highly regulated industry.

During the engagement, our team:

  • Conducted a thorough assessment of the customer’s existing network and security infrastructure.
  • Identified areas for improvement and optimization opportunities.
  • Develop a detailed SASE migration plan, taking into account both the technological and organizational aspects of the transition.
  • Provide comprehensive requirements documentation and itineraries outlining the necessary steps for a successful SASE implementation.
  • Provided design documentation that served as a blueprint for the customer’s SASE architecture.

SASE/SSE Customer Journey MapThe result

This complex collaboration resulted in an extremely satisfied customer who now has a clear roadmap for their SASE journey. By working with this financial institution to provide requirements documentation, itineraries, and design documentation, the Cisco Advisory team helped our client clearly define a path to transition from traditional network and security architectures to a modern, cloud-based SASE model.

In addition to handling the technical aspects of our client’s migration, our team also focused on the human side of the equation by ensuring that the various teams within the organization were equipped to roll out and manage the new SASE infrastructure.

Tackle IT complexity with Cisco expertise

This successful engagement underscores the importance of collaboration, expertise and adaptability in tackling the complex world of networking and security – and the Cisco Advisory Services team brings all of this and more. As the industry continues to evolve, companies planning to transition to a SASE model can greatly benefit from Cisco’s expertise and guidance to achieve their desired results. We can provide you with the advice, support and tailored solutions you need to ensure a smooth and successful migration.