United States of America
Investment banking, capital markets and financial advisory services, institutional brokerage, securities research, and asset management
With more than 4,000 employees in 30 offices worldwide, the Jefferies model is large-scale B2B; it frequently helps tech companies and other businesses launch IPOs, acting as the lead underwriter and book runner. Jefferies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF), a diversified financial services company.
The firm has made the use of new and innovative technologies a differentiator. And it has benefited from this technologically advanced posture, which has helped Jefferies achieve notable growth and success compared to other financial services companies. Both senior leadership and the Board of Directors support major investments in technology, especially as it applies to matters of security.
Ensuring that its clients’ data is secure is a top priority and the firm’s guiding principle; heavy government regulation and strict compliance requirements make this critical. For nearly a decade, Jefferies has depended on Palo Alto Networks as a key partner for next-generation firewall solutions, including centralized Panorama™ management, to secure the technology and data in its on-premises data centers.
Three years ago, with its workforce becoming increasingly distributed and mobile, Jefferies deployed Palo Alto Networks Prisma® Access to provide mobile users with a faster and more unified and secure computing experience. “Our initial use case was internet resiliency, decoupling away from central choke points within the network architecture and providing increased performance and lower latency for applications,” says Josh Dye, Senior Vice President of Global Information Security with Jefferies.
Prisma Access also helped the firm address issues around disparate technologies securing its employee desktops, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDIs), and laptops. This caused complex configuration issues, placing a heavy burden on IT and Operations teams, and resulting in inconsistent experiences for users.
Then COVID-19 happened, and in a matter of just a few weeks, the firm’s entire global workforce pivoted to remote work. Prisma Access enabled Jefferies to transition to WFH seamlessly, without missing a beat.
Access control is only half of the problem; verifying and applying deep security is the other half. Needing a single unified policy base across the enterprise was also a motivating factor.
Meeting the challenges of a geographically distributed workforce was yet another goal to provide a seamless and consistent experience for all its users—and ensure that users could efficiently and securely connect to local access points wherever in the world they were working.
“We need to secure our clients’ information,” says Dye. “And we need to do that while enabling a very modern mobile workforce, providing a secure ecosystem, and monitoring and controlling where data resides, how and where it’s flowing, and who has access to it.”
With VDIs and laptops now the primary computing devices for most of its users, securing out to the edges of the network became a more urgent and greater requirement than ever before.
“Security can’t be an afterthought,” states Dye, “but it also can’t be too hard. If a solution that we deploy doesn’t properly balance our need for security and the usability of the technology for our employees, we’ve failed as security engineers and architects. Prisma Access helped us find that balance.”
With Prisma Access already powering and securing its large and distributed mobile workforce, Jefferies leaned into the Palo Alto Networks solution, deploying it across its entire enterprise, connecting all its branch offices and eight global data centers.
Prisma Access transforms security with the industry’s most complete cloud-delivered platform, allowing organizations to rapidly enable secure remote workforces. Prisma Access provides more security coverage than any other solution, protecting all application traffic to reduce the risk of data breaches while providing guaranteed performance with leading SLAs to provide an exceptional end-user experience.
Traditional vulnerability management of on-premises hosts (physical or virtual machines) can’t scale to cloud environments. To cope with rapidly changing cloud environments, vulnerability management needs the new approach afforded by SASE. Prisma Access is a key part of Palo Alto Networks Prisma SASE solution that converges best-of-breed SD-WAN and security into a single offering purpose-built for agile, cloud-enabled organizations.
The solution secures access to the cloud for Jefferies branch offices and mobile users anywhere in the world with a scalable, cloud-native architecture, blending enterprise-grade security with a globally scalable network and ease-of-use for the Jefferies workforce. With over 100 Prisma Access connection points globally, it solved the firm’s distributed workforce issues. Jefferies has seen a massive increase in speed to the internet and a dramatic decrease in latency, especially for users accessing SaaS apps.
“Prisma Access is really moving the edges of the network closer to the end user,” Dye observes. “Whereas before, the edge of the network was always the perimeter firewall in your data center, now, with Prisma Access, it’s moving closer and closer to that user on the laptop. It’s connecting users directly to the cloud, rather than routing them to the internet through distant access points.”
Prisma Access allows Jefferies to offer its users a consistent experience across all devices. When some workers return to Jefferies offices post-pandemic for a hybrid work experience, Prisma Access will support the concept of shared office workspace, while also enabling many users to continue working from home, easily and securely.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without Palo Alto Networks,” says Jerry Kowalski, Managing Director, America’s Chief Information Security Officer with Jefferies. “Through the COVID-19 shutdown, we continued to provide our services to our clients without missing a beat. Prisma Access is the backbone of our architecture. And we’re very excited about the future of Prisma Access at Jefferies. The level of security and DLP capability that Palo Alto Networks provides at the edge of the network is opening up very exciting opportunities for us.”
The flexibility of the Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access platform that Jefferies now has in place makes it ready to innovate, grow the business, and weather almost any unforeseen world event.
Find out more about how Prisma® Access, Palo Alto Network’s best-in-class, cloud-delivered security platform, can help make possible an exceptional user experience for everyone in your organization.