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The increasing adoption of cloud and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a sign of how rapidly the world of networking and security is transforming. Organizations are adopting the cloud to streamline and deliver cost-effective, scalable infrastructure. In fact, we have now surpassed the tipping point where more data reside in the cloud than on premises, so working to identify and exploit routes into the cloud data environment has become a go-to for hackers.

It is in this context that we share the story of how a team of security experts from the Cisco Advisory team helped a large, major financial institution successfully transform their traditional networking and security architecture to the cloud and optimize network performance, using SASE to bolster their security posture.

The challenges

While keen to embrace cloud and SASE, our client also faced the challenge of having over 40 stakeholders, each of whom had their own list of requirements and expectations. They needed to be able to harmonize various requirements and expectations related to zero trust, SD-WAN, operations, firewall, Security Operations Centers, endpoint, and others. With so many stakeholders to please, the engagement would require seamless collaboration, effective communication, and a deep understanding of the diverse aspects of networking and security.

The Cisco SASE Advisory Service team loves a challenge, and we were excited to meet this one head-on! We assembled a cross-functional group of Cisco experts representing SD-WAN, security, program management, and product management. Our mission was to work closely with the customer, understand their unique needs, and provide them with requirements and design documentation and journey maps to guide them through a successful SASE implementation.

The engagement process

Over several months, the Cisco SASE Advisory Service team conducted numerous workshops, meetings, and brainstorming sessions with the client’s teams. The focus was on creating a customized solution that catered to their unique requirements as a financial institution operating in a highly regulated industry.

During the engagement, our team:

  • Conducted a thorough assessment of the client’s existing network and security infrastructure.
  • Identified areas of improvement and opportunities for optimization.
  • Developed a detailed SASE migration plan considering both technological and organizational aspects of the transition.
  • Provided comprehensive requirements documentation and journey maps, outlining the necessary steps for a successful SASE implementation.
  • Delivered design documentation that served as a blueprint for the client’s SASE architecture.

SASE/SSE Customer Journey MapThe outcome

This complex engagement resulted in a highly satisfied client who now has a clear roadmap for their SASE journey. By working with this financial institution to provide requirements documentation, journey maps, and design documentation, the Cisco Advisory team helped our client clearly define a path to transition from traditional networking and security architectures to a modern, cloud-based SASE model.

Not only did our team address the technical aspects of our client’s migration, but they also focused on the human side of the equation by ensuring that the various teams within the organization were equipped to adopt and manage the new SASE infrastructure.

Navigating IT complexity with Cisco expertise

This successful engagement underscores the importance of collaboration, expertise, and adaptability in navigating the complex world of networking and security—and the Cisco Advisory Services team brings all this and more to the table. As the industry continues to evolve, organizations who plan to transition to a SASE model can greatly benefit from Cisco’s expertise and guidance to realize the outcomes they seek. We can provide the guidance, support, and customized solutions that you need to ensure a seamless, successful migration.

Visit Cisco Security Services to learn more.


Matt Rodgers

Product Manager

CX Security Services

Zaheer Aziz

Principal Architect

Global Enterprise