Fintech Audit Trail Logging with Humio

Handling Sensitive Data by Logging Everything, Instantly

The Challenge

For smaller businesses, bank charges are predictable enough not to be noticed. That’s not true for every business, though. As companies grow, so do the complexity and volume of their bank charges. BeScord, a Danish start-up, set out to change this by automating the process of reconciling bank charges with the tariff agreed. CTO Niels Ladegaard Beck explains how:

“Large companies negotiate custom pricing with their banks. Sometimes, not every system throughout the bank gets updated with the custom tariff, so banks end up charging the wrong amount.”

At enterprise scale, seemingly small mistakes can lead to big discrepancies overall. However, because they’re spread across so many charges, it makes them hard to spot.

“Companies often don’t notice when a charge is wrong. They don’t have time to run through every line on every invoice from the bank.”

That’s where BeScord comes in. They consume the company’s ERP data and bank invoices, then compare them against the company’s custom bank tariff. Next, BeScord’s tool alerts the company’s finance department to any discrepancies.

Why Humio

From the beginning, Niels knew that BeScord would need a robust log management tool. And it’s not just about volume of data. It goes without saying that financial data is especially sensitive, so Niels and his team must log everything that happens in their systems.

“We log a lot. First up, we have extensive audit trails for every part of the system. Access to customer data is tightly controlled, so we log who accessed what, when, and how.”

On the operations side, BeScord makes extensive use of log data to keep track of what’s happening in each of their microservices.

“We’re quite new, so we don’t have a big monolith. Instead, we have all these small services and we use Humio to trace what’s actually happening inside them. Basically, we log everything. In development, we use Humio as part of our testing infrastructure. In production, Humio gives us the overview we need to ensure everything is running as expected.”

Niels was keen to find a logging solution that could handle high volumes of data, offered fine grained search, and required little management. After running Elastic with Kibana for some time, he evaluated Humio.

“I was sold right away. Everything about Humio was right for us. Elasticsearch and Kibana were a self-hosted service, and that kind of sucked because we didn’t want to waste our time setting them up and then dealing with servers and so on.”

Switching to Humio’s Cloud solution was straightforward, but it wasn’t just about reducing BeScord’s operational burden. Humio gave them reliably fast response times and rich querying that has let them ingest huge amounts of data, while making it easier for Niels and his team to find the value in that data.

“Not only did we not have to manage anything ourselves, we could connect Humio to some endpoint and then it all just worked, without us touching any servers. But also, the speed. It’s incredibly fast all the time. Even though we gave Humio a lot of data in a very short time, it was very responsive. And the expressiveness we have through the queries is amazing. So we could set up some very cool and powerful dashboards in a short time.”

Believing in the product wasn’t enough, though. For Niels, the team behind Humio was just as important.

“The team at Humio is very responsive. When I ask for a change or a fix, they do it nearly instantly. They are not like some big supertanker that has to change direction, so they can work really closely with their customers.”

The Result

Choosing Humio for BeScord’s log management has enabled Niels and his team to focus on building their own product offering, rather than having to manage an in-house Elastic cluster. It has also given them a new level of flexibility both in terms of how fast they can ingest log data and how richly they can query that data.

“It’s great to have a service where we don’t have to manage anything. But that’s not all we like about Humio. The expressiveness of the queries means that I feel like a Jedi master when I write queries in Humio.”

As BeScord grows, so will their use of Humio. Niels sums up his feelings about Humio in just three words:

“I love it.”