Founded in 1999, China Merchants Securities International Co., Limited (CMSI, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Merchants Securities Co., Ltd), has many subsidiaries (“the Group”). CMSI and its subsidiaries rely on a global business platform to power their operation.
CMSI and its subsidiaries must handle and protect client data and assets in a timely manner to ensure the smooth running of their business. To push the boundaries of the rapidly developing financial services technology in China, CMSI has been preparing for the launch of a new platform scheduled for late 2018 that would provide high levels of availability and security. The company views data security as a key aspect of its services, particularly since businesses worldwide are constantly the target of increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity attacks.
CMSI had been relying on the clean pipe provided by its ISP complemented by an on-premise anti-DDoS appliance. However, according to Wythe Cheung, Senior Vice President of Security Management for CMSI, this did not address the firm’s security concerns due to ceiling restrictions. Once attacks exceeded a certain traffic threshold, the ISP would sacrifice CMSI’s links to protect its other customers.
"There were several reported cases in the industry about the electronic trading platforms of some firms being interrupted by DDoS attacks. The Group needs a robust, secure solution to protect our sites and support our new business platform," explains Cheung.
CMSI’s subsidiaries needed to meet two key requirements to prepare its business to serve the rapidly growing financial services market in mainland China and Hong Kong:
Gaining a Robust Solution and Trusted Advisor
While designing its new Internet trading platform, CMSI studied several cloud-based DDoS mitigation solutions. Knowing it needed to find a solution to complement its platform, it began evaluating these solutions against its criteria. In addition to a robust solution, CMSI was interested in partnering with a respected vendor that had a well-considered solution roadmap aligned with modern security threats. It was also important that the vendor could provide professional expertise and advice to support the Group’s business goals.
As Cheung explains, "Akamai is a well-known market leader. Plus, as DDoS attack volumes grow, few solutions can mitigate them. Akamai’s Web Application Protector and Prolexic Routed are two of the few solutions that could address our concerns regarding DDoS attacks. Moreover, while other vendors focus on their technical expertise, only Akamai could supply ideas that assisted with our Group’s business transformation in the global market."
Going Live with Ease
With the assistance of Akamai Professional Services, CMSI and its subsidiaries were able to smoothly implement the Akamai solutions. "Not only did Professional Services bring valuable experience to the project, it provided many valuable recommendations in further enhancing our services," continues Cheung.
Improving Performance, Availability, and Security
In addition to enhanced security, the Akamai solutions improve the performance and availability of the platform used by CMSI and its subsidiaries. Combined, these improvements have provided a solid foundation for the new platform. "The robust security provided by Akamai’s solutions has enabled us to reduce the load on our back-end infrastructure," says Cheung. Plus, CMSI and its subsidiaries have gained newfound visibility into traffic on the platform, which the Group plans to analyze for future business decisions.
According to Cheung, Akamai’s solutions help CMSI’s subsidiaries further advance their market position in the securities trading and brokerage business. "Akamai has made it possible for us to serve international clients on a stable, secure, and fast platform. Going forward, we intend to take advantage of additional Akamai solutions that will help us further enhance the experience for both clients and our employees," concludes Cheung.
China Merchants Securities International Co., Limited (CMSI) is the main overseas business platform of China Merchants Securities and has subsidiaries in different international financial centers such as Hong Kong, the United Kingdom (“UK”), and South Korea. CMSI’s subsidiaries are involved in a full range of financial services including brokerage, corporate financing, sales and trading, leveraged and structured lending, asset management, private equity, global commodities, and futures. Some of these subsidiaries are licensed corporations, collectively able to carry out Type 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9 regulated activities under the Securities and Futures Ordinances (Cap 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong). In recent years, CMSI’s subsidiary, China Merchants Securities (HK) Co., Ltd ("CMSHK"), has achieved stunning progress in capital markets. For more information, visit www.newone.com.hk/.