Bill Wohnoutka, Vice President of Security Solutions at Level 3 Communications, talked about how intelligent network capabilities can provide IT professionals with solutions to extend infrastructures in an adaptable, affordable, and secure manner.
At the outset of his thought leadership presentation at the 2016 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum: Spotlight on Financial Services, held on September 8 in New York, Wohnoutka commented there are a lot of risks that drive a company to decide to make the transformation to digital, but such a transformation is a necessity. “The time to act is now. The opportunity to disrupt the value chain has never been greater. The need for automation, speed, and efficiency combined with increasing regulatory pressure is going to continue. We have to have global network connectivity skills, big data, and advanced analytics as part of our core competencies while incorporating flow-through processes and rapid product innovation at the same time we keep customers engaged and satisfied during the process of digitizing. This is a tremendous IT challenge—a challenge in how we do business with vendors who support our ability to interact with our customers.”
“The time to act is now. The opportunity to disrupt the value chain has never been greater. The need for automation, speed, and efficiency combined with increasing regulatory pressure is going to continue.”
“Intelligent network capabilities can help provide an essential part of the solution to these challenges,” said Wohnoutka. “SDN delivers the adaptability, efficiency, and control we need, and intelligent threat detection and network-based security better manage threats across the complex enterprise IT ecosystem. Advanced network intelligence is an enabler of digital evolution, and financial enterprises can optimize the use of SDN, network-based security, and threat intelligence. SD-WAN provides the ability to control performance of applications across an uncontrollable infrastructure and the ability to make decisions about how to route traffic based on the performance of an application—how it’s responding to users or other network inputs. These need to be accessible and customizable anywhere across the network—throughout the company and end users.”
“Intelligent network capabilities can help provide an essential part of the solution to these challenges.”
The network infrastructure must:
• be ubiquitous
• be on-demand
• provide instant scalability
Wohnoutka pointed out that, in the future, IT professionals in the financial services industry will be spending their time and resources on innovation while reducing operational complexity and costs, but only if they choose the right platform. The baseline platform requirements are:
• the ability to dynamically control, scale, create, and prioritize network connectivity to achieve enhanced management, end to end, across the network
• the ability to enable the dynamic scaling of capacity
• elastic bandwidth and only being charged at the higher rate during the period of time when bandwidths are expanded
• dynamic connectivity to be able to look across all the locations in the network and to create new point-to-point tunnels and connections to new locations
• the ability to prioritize traffic across the network
“Align yourself with a security company that delivers bandwidth services,” Wohnoutka emphasized. “Don’t have two different vendors. Security has never been more important. As we externalize and make public our systems, we have a lot of data that put our end users at risk. Security used to be done in a data center, but the perimeter is moving, partly as the result of the tools being used—branched networks, mobile devices, etc. Protecting the perimeter has become materially more difficult, and there’s an industry that’s grown up around crime. There’s a software industry that caters to criminals, and the software is getting easier to use. Digital crime is the easiest crime to execute, so more people are becoming criminals.”
To achieve future success in digital initiatives, Wohnoutka advised finding a network and security platform that allows a company to personalize its experience with that network. “You need to be able to control functions and capabilities. Don’t underestimate the importance of the physical aspects—these services must be available globally and at scale. We’re going to need a lot of bandwidth and connections coming in and out, and we need strategies to control the parts of the network that we don’t control today. We’re going to have to be able to make changes in 90 seconds, not 90 days. And the network has to be secure.”
“We’re going to have to be able to make changes in 90 seconds, not 90 days.”
ABOUT BILL WOHNOUTKA
Bill Wohnoutka is Vice President of the Security and Cloud Solutions Team at Level 3. In this role, he leads the North American Region product subject matter experts who support Level 3’s account teams and customers to achieve best practices in the design and implementation of Internet security and cloud solutions.
Over the past 18 years, Bill has held various leadership roles in Level 3’s sales and marketing organizations. Bill is an accomplished public speaker and industry thought leader, with vertical specializations in the Media & Entertainment, Social Networking, Online Gaming, and Healthcare vertical markets. Bill has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Technical and Professional Writing from San Francisco State University.