Success story: Airlock Secure Access Hub
Roman Hugelshofer, Managing Director Application Security
Ergon Informatik AG
The reliable protection of e-banking and mobile banking applications has become significantly more complex. As the largest Swiss Airlock competence centre, Swisscom is the ideal partner for the integration and operation of sophisticated Airlock Security solutions. The producer, Ergon Informatik, has relied on our expertise for more than 15 years.
The range of digital banking services on offer is increasing continuously – as is the number of associated, exposed business-critical applications and data (cloud and online services).
This is having an enormous influence on current company architectures: financial services providers are not only having to take account of the rising number of applications to be protected, but also of the increasing distribution of systems in several ecosystems. This contributes to the growing complexity of the overall architecture and, accordingly, places higher requirements on web application security architectures.
Web Application Security
The cloud-based Swisscom service consists of a Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Identity and Access Management (IAM), which in addition to protecting the network firewalls, also prevent unwanted access on an application level. IAM authenticates user access from the Internet or Intranet and evaluates the roles that are required for activities.
In recent years, Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Consumer Identity & Access Management (cIAM) solutions have established themselves as a means to protect e-banking and mobile banking solutions in the banking sector. Even outside the financial industry, more and more companies now need such solutions as a result of the cross-industry digitisation of their customer offers. Furthermore, it has long been the case that not all applications are operated in the computer centre of the company or its IT partners. Firms often rely on software-as-a-service models for this purpose.
This interplay and the associated increased protection requirements of these distributed applications open up new potential areas of attack and increase complexity. For this reason, when implementing security solutions, security engineers need sound knowledge of these different technologies and security elements. The desired networking also often extends across several ecosystems. Such multi-ecosystem settings have to be harmonised through various federation technologies for the interaction of applications, APIs and micro services. In addition, the balance between user experience and security creates challenges that can only be resolved with the best products and the use of specialist engineers.
It's obvious that a growing number of projects and rising maintenance work will increase the resources required within companies. Needs with respect to specific skills and regular security training often exceed the internal capacity of companies and impair their ability to focus on their core business. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Swisscom has found itself confronted with growing numbers of increasingly complex customer requirements for several years now.
« Swisscom has over 20 certified Airlock Security Engineers. »
The Airlock Secure Access Hub is seen as the gold standard in many places for web application security. Its manufacturer – Ergon Informatik AG – can draw on a unique wealth of experience: it developed one of the world’s first e-banking solutions. Airlock is pure Swiss-made software. It has already been used successfully in banks and many other industries for years.
As an Airlock Platinum Partner, Swisscom is able to implement and support Airlock projects and installations, however complex. In recent years it has undertaken several tasks for this purpose. Thanks to its excellent position in the "war for talent", many senior security engineers have been recruited. At the same time, Swisscom has invested a great deal of time and money in training young talent. The result: Swisscom teams have an optimal balance of senior and junior engineers, resulting in what is probably the best security offer in Switzerland.
Today, more than 20 certified Airlock Security Engineers work within Swisscom to ensure the comprehensive application security of Swisscom customers. Swisscom enjoys close collaboration with Airlock producer Ergon Informatik AG: in the event of the further development of products and services, discussions take place at eye level in a direct and uncomplicated manner. Roman Hugelshofer, Managing Director Application Security at Ergon: "Swisscom is an extremely experienced Airlock partner."
Swisscom’s security engineers bring a lot of practical and product-specific experience and up-to-date knowledge to the table. Thanks to this dedicated team and more than 50 customers, Swisscom is now the leading and largest Swiss Airlock competence centre – and the ideal partner for companies with high security requirements.