Community South Bank is a fast-growing community bank headquartered in Parsons, Tennessee. With almost $700 million in assets and 17 branch offices, Community South Bank offers customers a diverse line of financial products and services. Privately held by Tennessee Central Bancshares, Inc., the Bank employs approximately 170 people, including five IT personnel who support the organization’s 200 Microsoft Windows desktops and 30 servers. No one in IT is dedicated to managing IT security.
Endpoint protection not enough but IT resources limited
“We have always known we need more than just anti-virus protection and firewalls,” says Carl Cooley, Community South Bank’s vice president of information technology. That’s why the Bank had been using McAfee Total Protection for Endpoint to provide anti-virus, anti-spyware, and antispam protection, as well as email filtering. However, protecting the Bank’s confidential data was still a big concern.
“Every day there’s another data breach in the news,” says Cooley. “The Bank has never had one but we have a lot of valuable data. Just the possibility of any of it getting into the wrong hands keeps me up at night.”
Because Community South Bank has limited monetary and human resources to devote to IT security, adding data protection to its security arsenal was not just a simple matter. “We just don’t have extra time or money to purchase and manage numerous security products,” says Cooley.
A comprehensive solution that competitors couldn’t touch
While facing the renewal of the Bank’s license for a WebSense Internet filtering product, Cooley learned that the Bank could instead be taking advantage of McAfee SiteAdvisor, a more advanced web-filtering solution included with McAfee Total Protection for Endpoint. At the same time, his McAfee account manager pointed out that McAfee had recently introduced McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business, a streamlined, enterprise-quality package designed specifically for mediumsized businesses. Total Protection for Secure Business protects against the five threat vectors: endpoints, data, network, email and web with comprehensive endpoint protection, encryption, device control, and email and web filtering. All this functionality is managed using the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) central console and provides compliance features to report and audit vulnerabilities.
“When I learned that McAfee had packaged all this endpoint, data, and network security functionality together, it was music to my ears,” says Cooley. “Of course, other vendors tried to compete against pieces of the Total Protection for Secure Business functionality, but they couldn’t even come close to what McAfee offered — in functionality, ease of use, or price.”
Easier administration thanks to integration and central console
“Having one integrated solution with a central management console is so much easier than trying to run five different security products with five different management screens,” says Cooley. “With McAfee ePO, one user ID and password gets me to all the information I need in one place. I rely on ePO so much, I’m spoiled now. If it were gone, I would not be pleased.”
Cooley particularly likes the customizable ePO dashboard, with graphs and charts that show at-a-glance information, such as percentage of systems with out-of-date .DAT files. “The ePO dashboard is one of the coolest assets of the whole product,” says Cooley. “It is so easy to use. I can see instantly if there’s a potential issue and just click on a graph to dig into the details.”
Using ePO, Cooley or Community South Bank Network Engineer Peter Vazny can quickly and easily monitor network activity, modify security policies, and send out patches — all from a single console. Furthermore, many of their security management activities are now automated— such as generating and emailing built-in or customized reports to the appropriate recipients. “It was easy to automate the reports we use a lot—for instance, those showing viruses intercepted daily, weekly, and monthly, or a listing of all non-compliant systems or rogue systems detected on the network,” explains Vazny. “Most of the time, the McAfee solution runs completely on its own.”
"When I learned that McAfee had packaged all this endpoint, data, and network security functionality together, it was music to my ears. Other vendors tried to compete against pieces of the Total Protection for Secure Business functionality, but they couldn’t even come close to what McAfee offered — in functionality, ease of use, or price."Carl Cooley
VP of Information Technology, Community South Bank
Enormous time savings
At his previous job working for a school district, Vazny spent 90 percent of his time cleaning computers that had been infected by malware. “Now I hardly spend any time at all related to malware,” says Vazny. “It gives me the time to proactively monitor an manage our network.”
Today at Community South Bank, the equivalent of one-quarter to one-half of one IT person’s time each week is spent on security-related issues. “I would guess we spend around 75 percent less time than we would have if we didn’t have ePO and had to use multiple point products,” says Cooley.
Saving thousands of dollars annually
“When compared to what we would have paid for separate products, McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business saves us at least 30 percent in license fees alone,” notes Cooley. Using McAfee SiteAdvisor instead of the WebSense product, for instance, saved the Bank almost $5,000 annually in license fees—plus provided superior Internet protection. (SiteAdvisor blocks websites the Bank specifies as unsafe, as well as sites based on reputation.) Less tangible savings from using a single-vendor solution include eliminating the time and hassle of dealing with multiple vendors for license renewals, support, and so on.
In addition, by significantly reducing spam, Total Protection for Secure Business enhances employee productivity. After the Bank’s Internet Service Provider has blocked incoming spam, Total Protection for Secure Business still blocks an additional two-thirds of the messages the ISP lets through, with minimal false positives. “We get an average of only one spam message each month per user,” brags Cooley. “Our users constantly tell us, ‘I get 300 spam messages a week at home, but at work I hardly get any!’”
Protecting data against internal and external threats
Cooley is especially looking forward to rolling out the data protection components of Total Protection for Secure Business. “With device control, no one will be able to remove confidential data to any form of removable media, or even print, without permission,” says Cooley. “And having all of our laptops and potentially our desktops encrypted will also increase my peace of mind. I won’t have to worry that we’ll end up on the front page of the local newspaper for a data breach.”
Community South Bank has been extremely pleased with McAfee. “I can count on one hand the issues I’ve had with McAfee — and we’ve been relying on McAfee since the ‘90s,” says Cooley. “I almost wish I could tell you how McAfee came to the rescue when we had a big security incident, but the truth is we just haven’t had any big problems, and that’s the way it should be.”