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Peruvian financial services company provides services in remote regions with Fortinet SD-WAN

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Trust, innovation, teamwork and passion are the main values of the Peruvian financial services company Credinka, founded in 1994. In its beginnings, the company’s objective was to offer accessible and reliable financial products and services to the rural population of Peru. , with an important focus in the Cusco region. Over time, the organization grew and in 2007 the DIVISO financial group joined the company as its main shareholder, which meant the beginning of a new era of expansion towards the southern regions of the country.

Today, Credinka has 70 agencies and nearly 1,200 users, many of whom access the company’s portfolio of services from the most remote areas of Peru. The company’s offer includes savings deposits, debit cards, fixed-term deposits, lines of credit for companies and individuals, insurance, payment of public services, an application for mobile transactions and Mutual Funds for Investment in Securities.

THE CHALLENGE

The company has a very dispersed structure in the country, with offices in multiple regions that allow it to quickly meet the needs of its clients. In this sense, the Peruvian geography represents a challenge for Credinka, since each office must be connected and with the information available in real time in order to guarantee the security of information and customer transactions, regardless of where they are.

In this way, the company needed to establish an effective and secure communications network for the entire country. To meet this goal, Credinka has worked with Fortinet since 2017. Today, Fortinet helps monitor and ensure the stability of the company’s communications network, as well as ensuring the security and availability of the entire network.

THE SOLUTION

For Credinka, achieving reliable and effective communication among its 70 agencies is crucial. Previously, many of those remote offices had availability and communication issues, and in fact, 80% of those remote locations had multiple outages, making it difficult to continue working and leading to dissatisfied customers. Having only one communications carrier, plus a secondary backup link (which was a home Internet connection), the company had a significant challenge with regard to its installed technology.

Therefore, Credinka started a project in 2019 that sought to give priority to improving its communications. The objective was to change or strengthen the communications operator, which had to respond to the growing needs of the connections and the volume of information from all the agencies in the country.

“During the evaluations to choose the right provider, we identified that Fortinet could help us with the implementation of SD-WAN technology in our agencies,” said Daniel León Inca, Head of Production of the IT Division at Credinka. “This additional service would allow us to have two communications operators in each of our offices, while a SDWAN device would work as orchestrator for both links.”

One of Credinka’s reasons for choosing Fortinet SD-WAN was that the company already had the Fortinet NGFW perimeter security service and the results had been very satisfactory. In addition, Fortinet SD-WAN has several security features incorporated into the solution, which constitutes a great differential compared to other offers on the market.

“Many competitors offered us security through additional solutions that were installed independently and at additional cost. The Fortinet SD-WAN solution was the only one with built-in security. An additional argument for making the decision was the ability to work and communicate directly with Fortinet to meet the specific needs of our company, which allowed us to achieve greater efficiency and budget optimization,” said León Inca.

Choosing Fortinet as an ally, Credinka implemented the Fortinet SD-WAN solution using the FortiGate next-generation firewall. This choice made Credinka the first financial company in Peru to have all its offices integrated with an SD-WAN security system. “Fortinet’s technology has given us optimal service availability, as well as broader visibility of the company’s connectivity, aspects that were the objective we were looking for with the project,” said León Inca.

TANGIBLE BENEFITS OF A SECURITY SOLUTION

The Fortinet Fortinet SD-WAN solution has had multiple benefits in Credinka’s daily activities. The improvement in service availability in remote offices has been one of the biggest impacts for the company, which has allowed it to increase the availability of its communications network from 60% to 99.5%. Likewise, the company has begun a phase of stabilization of its communications as a result of the integration of the Fortinet SDWAN solution in its network.

“Now we feel safer. With the Fortinet solution we have more visibility of the network thanks to all the reports and views that the tool offers us. This allows us to take immediate action in the event of fortuitous or critical threats that may affect our business,” said León Inca. These benefits have not only brought an improvement in the service received by the company’s staff, but also reflect the way in which customers interact with Credinka. “We no longer have system interruptions and there is no slowness in the services that are provided in real time, aspects that greatly benefit us as a financial institution,” he added.

The results with the implementation of the Fortinet solution have allowed Credinka to access an optimized and secure communications network that is always available to respond to business needs. Currently, the Fortinet SD-WAN solution is a standard in the company’s network fabric, which means that every time a new office is opened, the design is done with a Fortinet SD-WAN implementation scheme. This implies that each new node can be connected with the same information flow, security and availability policies that the other locations of the company have.

Credinka considers that the success of this project has been achieved by the collaborative and personalized support of the Fortinet teams in the evaluation and implementation of the solution. Currently, Credinka is evaluating some additional security solutions to streamline the deployment process, with an emphasis on Internet and load balancers. “We also want to strengthen our perimeter security with more firewalls on the front of applications that we have exposed to the Internet,” concluded León Inca.