Thwart Today’s Threats with Azure and F5 for Financial Services

Tim Dorscht Miniatura
Tim Dorscht
Published June 26, 2023

From macro market uncertainties to micro cyberattacks and evolving compliance regulations, financial services firms face a host of threats to their margins, operations, and customer satisfaction. To combat these and other headwinds, finance companies are modernizing their infrastructure and digitally transforming their service offerings. Financial services firms increasingly rely on the cloud’s security and scale to achieve some of their chief objectives.

Secure PII and Financial Data

Customers must provide their personal identifiable information (PII) to open banking, trading, and insurance accounts. That data, along with other information pertinent to financial transactions, investments, and policies, has become a ripe prize for cybercriminals. Thus, financial services firms are one of the most lucrative targets for cybercriminals, with organized syndicates gaining enormous spoils from tactics such as credential stuffing, account takeovers, and DDoS attacks. The criminal fraud business is booming, with over $5 trillion lost to fraud globally each year.1 These prevalent criminal-orchestrated data breaches can be devastating to both the firm’s bottom line and reputation.

With a vast majority of customers relying upon digital applications to manage their finances (89% of survey respondents use mobile banking),2 many financial firms trust Azure to deliver those foundational, customer-interfacing digital services without disruption. For instance, Azure AI can personalize a user’s experiences with Azure applications by surfacing accurate insights and providing actionable offers. Security is a top concern for users entrusting their PII to those applications, and that’s why F5 provides the most comprehensive set of security solutions for Azure applications. F5 solutions are designed to protect the sensitive financial data stored and transferred via Azure applications with a zero-trust approach and powerful visibility tools.

Ensure Operations

Cybercriminals aren’t targeting financial institutions just for monetary gains, as sometimes their motivations are strictly political. Mark Warner, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair, recently stated that, “when our financial system is under assault, that is a national security issue.”3 Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are a favorite attack vector for politically motivated malicious actors, especially as they can easily hire DDoS as-a-Service to wreak havoc upon finance firms. In fact, the volume of DDoS attacks against financial services organizations increased by 22% in 2022.4

Financial firms have built many of their internal and external modern business applications with Azure technology, such as Azure Stack, Azure Virtual Desktop, and Azure AI and Machine Learning. F5 NGINX defends, adapts, and mitigates layer 4 and layer 7 denial-of-service attacks on Azure applications and APIs to ensure the services are always secure, available, and reliable.

Meet Compliance

According to a report by the Financial Times, global fines for failing to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes increased by over 50% in 2022.5 Violations of anti-money laundering regulations resulted in significant financial penalties for the financial services industry in 2022, with trading and brokerage firms doling out more than $6 billion in fines, while banks faced fines surpassing $2 billion.6 To adhere to compliance and hopefully avoid substantial fines, many financial firms are modernizing their systems to better enforce stringent know your customer, know your business, and other fiscal governance policies.

Azure provides financial institutions a crucial infrastructure for building and operating modern applications and services to better adhere to the extensive regulations that govern the sector. Azure high-performance computing enables firms to build elastic and intelligent infrastructure for risk modeling, and Azure Synapse Analytics empowers firms to gather, store, process, analyze, and visualize data of any variety and volume to flag and investigate potential compliance violations. Finance firms can seamlessly lift and shift applications to Azure with F5 NGINX. With migrating to Azure and operating hybrid cloud environments, F5 enables firms to leverage the scale of cloud computing to better meet compliance regulations.

Even once those systems are on Azure though, they could be under assault by credential stuffing bots, a pernicious plague on the financial services industry. F5 Distributed Cloud Bot Defense effectively thwarts malicious bots, ensuring safe, fast, and seamless financial transactions without jeopardizing compliance. Yet another reason why F5 protects 15 of the top 15 U.S. banks.

Secure Financial Service Offerings and Operations with F5 and Azure

F5 enables financial firms to deliver vital and reliable services by enhancing the performance and security of their Azure applications and services. F5 solutions empower financial services firms to detect and prevent fraud, thwart attacks to ensure business operations, and avoid expensive fines by adhering to compliance.

Available in the Azure Marketplace, F5 solutions are easy to install, operate, and manage within existing financial services firms’ technology stacks. With flexible consumption models, F5 delivers fast time-to-value to an industry predicated on deriving and realizing value.


1 Crowe, The financial cost of fraud 2021, June 2021

2 Insider Intelligence, State of mobile banking in 2022, April 2022

3 The Intercept, Pentagon Tries to Cast Bank Runs as National Security Threat, April 2023

4 FS-ISAC, The Evolution of DDoS: Return of the Hacktivists, January 2023

5 Financial Times, Global anti-money laundering fines surge 50%, January 2023

6 ComplyAdvantage, The State of Financial Crime 2023, February 2023