Blender Case Study: FinTech Drops the Box
With plans to add more remote branches in the New Year, Blender decided it was time to shed management and maintenance of firewall appliances and move to centralized network provisioning and security.
Eliminating borders for both lenders and borrowers worldwide is at the heart of Blender’s peer-to-peer lending platform. Founded three years ago, Blender’s service gives borrowers and lenders a simple and easy alternative to traditional banks lending that offers more attractive rates to both parties. Currently servicing more than 10,000 clients, the company has offices in Israel, Italy and Lithuania with plans to expand to two new territories in 2017. To be competitive, the organization must also run especially lean, both with its network architecture and IT staff.
When Blender originally started out of their headquarters in Israel they had installed a firewall appliance from one of the top tier providers, at its perimeter. Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Boaz Aviv found it complex to manage, upgrade and patch. “Owning these boxes is expensive and they need constant management. Even if the time required to manage your firewall is just 10 hours a month, that’s still 10 hours you’ve lost,” explains Aviv.
Blender depended on an IT integrator for installation and support of the firewall appliance. When they experienced a system failure over the weekend, their IT integrator was not available to support them. This resulted in long downtime and impacted their business.
“We are a global operation and we keep it very lean and mean,” explains Aviv. “In order to do this you need to minimize hassles that don’t directly relate to your business. So it’s very important to optimize resources, time and people needed to manage your network and security. That’s why I’ve always preferred the simplicity offered by cloud solutions like Cato.”
When the time came to expand to their new offices in Italy and Lithuania, the team at Blender stopped to reevaluate how their office network security footprint would impact cost and capacity going forward. Without dedicating personnel to support remote appliances with upgrades and patches, Blender would be dependent on costly third-party assistance with unreliable coverage.
Also, as a financial technology organization, Blender continuously seeks to upgrade into better security services, “Although we are a young company, we never compromise on security,” says Aviv. As a cloud-centric business that is subject to regulations and stores most of its data in SaaS applications and an IaaS datacenter, Blender specifically needs to secure access to their critical data.