As one of Hong Kong’s largest securities firms, ET Net strives to provide a reliable and agile financial information platform involving more than 100 financial institutions, including leading retail and commercial banks. With digital transformation changing the financial industry, the firm needed to strengthen its security and network capabilities in order to effectively handle ever-increasing traffic. By deploying F5 solutions, the organization boosted efficiency and enhanced network security without compromising high-speed performance.
As financial institutions have expanded the financial information platform from desktop to mobile—resulting in significant growth in network traffic from mobile applications—ET Net faced new challenges to its security measures and network capacity.
In addition, the explosion of mobile trading meant that new types of security breaches threatened the security of the organization’s network. In recent years, malware attacks have been on the rise, including severe cases which involved losses of millions of dollars. ET Net’s customers entrust the firm with accurate, timely information, which means that data thefts and multilayer attacks targeting its network could affect both the business and numerous end users. ET Net received many customer enquiries about new security measures to secure data.
Additionally, the increase in traffic created huge pressure on the firm’s legacy network, which was installed ten years ago before smartphones were prevalent. When network traffic exceeded capacity, the platform experienced application delays and even downtime. Given the time-sensitive nature of the trading industry, ET Net was concerned about the potential harm that insufficient capacity could cause to its business, as well as the heavy maintenance workload due to increased traffic
Responding to customer concerns, ET Net deployed BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM), a comprehensive and agile web application firewall (WAF), to detect and mitigate malicious bots before they begin affecting traffic. In addition to offering proactive defense, BIG-IP ASM ensures availability and smooth performance of the financial information platform even when it is under attack. Combined, these features allow the firm to minimize application downtime and safeguard end-user data.
Along with BIG-IP ASM, ET Net also upgraded its BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and BIG-IP DNS for its two data centers in Hong Kong. BIG-IP LTM comes with strong offload and processing capabilities, which enhance application security and performance without adding more servers to the existing infrastructure. Additionally, its SSL performance enables ET Net to encrypt everything to protect the end-to-end user experience. The BIG-IP DNS solution helps direct user traffic to the right environment to improve network availability.
Choosing F5 solutions based on BIG-IP products has enabled ET Net to boost customer confidence through high-performance application delivery. Today, its financial information platform enjoys high levels of security, speed, and stability.
By bundling a WAF with the scalable BIG-IP platform, ET Net was able to balance the load between different servers effectively and create a neat architecture with single-pass decryption. While the BIG-IP platform improves traffic management to prevent application outages, the WAF provides proactive defense against threats with its detection and mitigation capabilities. This powerful combination of solutions helps ET Net protect its customers and end-user data from DDoS and malware threats.
At an early stage of the customer relationship, F5 helped deploy BIG-IP LTM in proxy mode for ET Net. This built a strong foundation for F5 to quickly implement BIG-IP ASM. In addition to speed, with the existing F5 solutions in place, ET Net is well positioned to scale up its network infrastructure in a cost-effective manner—without worrying about redesigning and re-investing in the network infrastructure to deploy new solutions.
Through its good relationship with the F5 account team, ET Net received the pre-sale and backend support they needed. “The F5 team’s fast response and expertise impressed us,” said Mr. Choi. “The dedicated team always made sure to answer our questions to help us select the most suitable solutions and make full use of their capabilities.”