Humio at Remitly: Fintech Startup Transforms Raw Log Data Into Actionable Business Insights With Humio

Modern log management engine ingests massive datasets at scale

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Remitly, a leading digital financial services provider for immigrants and their families in over 135 countries around the world, uses Humio to ingest and examine massive volumes of streaming log data from a variety of different sources at scale. Humio improves DevOps and SecOps observability, helping the financial services firm increase insights and make faster, better-informed decisions while reducing TCO.

Challenge: making data-driven decisions

Remitly is an independent digital remittance company that has served more than 5 million customers to date. The company’s vision is to transform the lives of immigrants and their families by providing the most trusted financial services products on the planet. Remitly prides itself on being a data-driven organization that uses qualitative and quantitative insights to make better decisions. The entire company is data-driven, including the company’s SecOps and DevOps teams.

To that end, the company was using an open-source solution to gather and analyze log data from disparate IT systems, services and vendors. But the homegrown ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) stack was inherently costly and complicated to integrate, scale and support. “Extending and maintaining the ELK stack took too much time, effort and expertise,” recalls Peter Samaan, Infrastructure Engineering Manager for Remitly. “We decided to pursue a commercial solution to help simplify operations, increase adoption and keep pace with change.”

Solution: Humio improves observability

After evaluating a number of options, Remitly selected Humio as its advanced log management engine. Humio is purpose-built to help any organization achieve the benefits of large-scale logging and analysis. The solution provides streaming observability, index-free search for unmatched speed and advanced data compression for superior economics.

Remitly uses Humio to ingest, aggregate and analyze log data from a number of different systems for multiple use cases including SecOps and DevOps. By providing a common log management framework, Humio helps Remitly break down management silos; improve coordination and collaboration across development, security and operations teams; and increase agility.

“Our teams own and operate a mix of IT equipment and services, including commercial products, open-source solutions and internally developed services. And all of these things generate unique text logs,” explains Samaan. “Having a way to take in all that data, make sense of it and derive actionable information across different parts of the organization is key for us.”

Results: lower TCO and better insights

Humio helps Remitly improve visibility and accelerate decisions while reducing total cost of ownership. “Humio is less expensive for Remitly than Splunk and less costly for us to maintain and extend than an open-source solution like ELK,” says Samaan. The solution helps Remitly reduce operations expense and complexity and frees up technical staff to focus on strategic tasks to help grow the business.

“We were burning valuable engineering resources on ELK support and maintenance,” explains Brandon Helms, Security Engineering Manager for Remitly. “With Humio, we get out of the log maintenance business, and when we do run into issues, Humio comes back with an answer or a resolution within a business day.”

Most importantly, Humio helps Remitly streamline data analysis and improve insights. “Humio helps us make faster, information-based decisions,” says Helms. “When we detect an IOC (indicator of compromise), we can go back in time and analyze the entire attack chain to improve investigations and pinpoint issues more quickly.”

Remitly leverages Humio for a variety of use cases, including forensics and incidence response, threat hunting, fraud detection and compliance audits. Humio makes it easy for Remitly to visualize data from different sources for different purposes. “As a financial services company, one of the things we really care about is account takeover,” says Helms. “Our custom Humio dashboards let our engineers easily identify and investigate events symptomatic of credential theft.”

Humio helps Remitly achieve their goal of using qualitative and quantitative data to make better decisions. The solution helps Remitly improve customer trust and satisfaction by strengthening security and defending against fraud and theft. “Humio helps us transform raw data into actionable insights,” says Helms. “Thanks to Humio, we are able to transform about 40% of our data into meaningful information that delivers value to the business.”

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