Since it was founded in 1996, Sandstone Technology has consistently transformed the banking industry by simplifying the customer journey and the employee experience. One of the company’s biggest milestones came when it set out to overcome a major roadblock it often faced when working with banking partners — on-site deployments within the banks themselves. Not only were the logistics involved a major pain point for the bank, the time they took to resolve was equally challenging, with 12+ months being the norm. Moving to the cloud was the solution. But the idea of doing so raised significant concerns in the highly regulated banking industry. So, to address that apprehension, Sandstone teamed with Trend Micro. Trend Micro Cloud One Conformity service uses preconfigured resources to activate, deploy, and configure all necessary security protocols on AWS. Conformity provides cloud security posture management to ensure the team’s cloud services are configured to industry and compliance best practices. Since teaming with Trend Micro and AWS, not only has Sandstone removed the on-premises pain point for its banking customers, by shifting everything to the cloud, it’s done so securely. After migrating to AWS, there hasn’t been a single reportable security incident. What’s more, by shifting their banking customers to AWS, the average solution deployment time has been shortened to just six months.
With an AWS Cloud model, we convey to our customers that they don’t have to deploy, they just have to subscribe, and we knew that would be hugely attractive for them.
A HISTORY OF TRANSFORMING THE BANKING INDUSTRY, SINCE 1996
Sandstone Technology was founded more than 25 years ago by two dedicated entrepreneurs who believed technology held great things for the world of banking. The company spent two decades delivering a number of “firsts” for the industry. For example, it was the first to go to market with an internet banking solution that utilized two-factor authentication. It was also the first to deploy a device-agnostic, mobile-banking tool (using HTML 5) in Australia. Then, the company found itself facing a new challenge: as Sandstone worked with their banking customers to deploy new solutions, they frequently needed to compromise various components in order to meet the requirements of deployment teams within those banks. “Rolling things out on- premises was a huge pain point for our customer’s deployment teams,” says Chaitanya Pinnamaneni, Chief Technology Officer at Sandstone Technology. “Not only did it mean figuring out a way to fit into their systems, which was often less than ideal, it was time consuming — we want to speed up their time to market, so taking 12+ months to deploy just wasn’t pragmatic.”
Everyone just comes together to get things done. It’s never a question of can it be done, it always how can it be done in the best way.
“YOU DON'T HAVE TO DEPLOY, YOU JUST HAVE TO SUBSCRIBE”
The team at Sandstone knew the solution was to convince customers to forgo on-premise deployments in favor of the cloud. Doing so would dramatically reduce the time and headaches involved in the process. “But this was 2018,” Pinnamaneni says “and cyber security, especially in the area of banking, was very new. It was a huge issue.” Still, Sandstone believed the cloud was the future and understood it held massive potential for its customers. “With an AWS model, we convey to customers that they don’t have to deploy, they just have to subscribe, and we knew that would be hugely attractive for them,” Pinnamaneni says. “Taking advantage of solutions like AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon EC2, was exactly what they needed.” But first, Sandstone would need to identify a robust, fortified solution to alleviate all security concerns. That would mean finding the right partner.
We looked at the options out there, and Trend Micro was the only one who could provide an entire suite in a virtual package. Their Cloud One platform is a single dashboard solution that offers protection for our cloud database and delivers compliance reports at any time and during the 30-day reporting cycle. That made them the easy decision.
CLOUD ONE MADE TREND MICRO AN EASY DECISION
Banking systems contain highly sensitive personal identifiable information (PII), credit card numbers, and loan application information. The funds held within various accounts are also highly vulnerable. This meant that not just any partner would do. “We looked at the options out there, and Trend Micro was the only one who could provide an entire suite in a virtual package,” Pinnamaneni says. “Their Cloud One platform is a single-dashboard solution that offers protection for our cloud database and delivers compliance reports at any time for our 30-day reporting cycle. That made them the easy decision.”
In fact, choosing to partner with Trend Micro was soon validated during one particularly memorable meeting with a prospective, high-profile banking customer. “The initial tone of the meeting was highly charged and almost combative,” Pinnamaneni recalls. “Then they asked who our security partner was. I said Trend Micro and immediately the expression on his face changed. He relaxed, and the whole mood of the meeting shifted 180 degrees. That’s when I knew we’d made the right decision.”
In the years since, those sentiments have proven to be accurate. Since migrating to AWS there hasn’t been a single reportable security incident.
FROM 12+ MONTHS TO JUST 6
As the team at Sandstone anticipated, providing banking customers with solutions that were hosted on AWS instead of on-premise - along with partnering with Trend Micro - made everything more secure and allowed solutions to deploy faster. The company now delivers the nimble, competitive advantage its clients need. In fact, the average time to deploy has dropped from 12+ months to just six. “We were able to move fast thanks to the AWS culture and because of the way Trend Micro approaches challenges,” Pinnamaneni says. “Everyone just comes together to get things done. It’s never a question of if it can it be done, it's always how can it be done in the best way.”
NEXT UP: BUILDING A GLOBAL BANKING PLATFORM
Sandstone is confident about what it can achieve together with Trend Micro and AWS, and recently started building a global banking platform. “As we expand onto the global stage, we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,” Pinnamaneni says. “Now that we have the perfect team in place, there’s nothing holding us back.”