Cybersecurity firm F-Secure speeds installation process and boosts customer experience using AWS. The company, which has tens of millions of consumer customers and more than 100,000 corporate clients, has been providing online security services for nearly 30 years. It uses Amazon Kinesis and AWS Lambda to react to events in real time.
We are all consumers. And we all want to feel safe using our devices and surfing the web. In a cybersecurity market that’s been expanding as fast as the threats have been multiplying, we can choose from hundreds of companies and thousands of products to protect our online presence and devices. Products like SAFE and FREEDOME VPN from F-Secure, which provide endpoint protection and privacy online.
F-Secure, which caters to tens of millions of consumers and more than 100,000 businesses, sees its extensive experience in cybersecurity as a distinct advantage. It is always looking to improve how customers use its services, and it wanted to get a “better understanding of the customer journey,” as Niina Ojala, service lead at F-Secure, puts it. One crucial part of this is subscription activation—essentially, ensuring customers install the services they’ve paid for.
For example, a consumer might have access to an F-Secure product through a bundle provided by their telecommunications service provider. Making the sign-up process easy makes the installation faster and boosts the customer experience, which in turn allows F-Secure to offer users additional products and services.
Together with their team, Ojala and her colleague Seamus Moloney, a data architect at F-Secure, decided to build a solution based on their data pipeline on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to monitor which stages of the activation process were problematic for customers. “The more active subscribers we have, the greater our sales and marketing opportunities, and to boost activation rates, we needed the ability to react to real-time events,” says Moloney. “AWS technologies provided a clear solution.”
The team built the initial infrastructure quickly using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and Amazon Kinesis. But Moloney says they moved equally quickly to a serverless architecture based on AWS Lambda. “We love trying out new services,” he says, “and when we came across AWS Lambda, we knew that an event-driven approach would be really useful to us.”
He continues, “We’ve significantly improved customer activations since using AWS. We can now identify recurring problematic events—like multiple customers stopping at one of the installation steps—and react to them almost instantly. We are able to pinpoint the exact problem, and depending on what it is, we will either engage with one of the development teams, improve the communications and instructions, or contact one of our partners.”
Bringing value to the business through faster development was a major driver for Ojala’s team. “We’re always eagerly looking for new tools to innovate with,” she says. “That’s why we picked up AWS Lambda so soon after it was launched.”
The service lead says the data pipeline project is a good example of how easy it is to enable new use cases in the cloud. “We have a mixed IT landscape, but many of our teams rely on our on-premises environment. When F-Secure started planning to use AWS for its data pipeline, we calculated the estimated total cost of ownership taking into account hardware and software costs and the personnel required for maintaining the system.
We’ve shown the rest of the company that we can put our ideas into action faster and save 70 percent on infrastructure costs by using AWS compared to running hardware on-premises. And we can drill down into the details of problems and solve them quickly and efficiently. We’re inspiring a shift toward the cloud, and microservices in particular, because of these great benefits.”