Syndicate Bank provides businesses and individuals with commercial and retail banking services, including real estate loans, commercial and residential construction loans, consumer loans, lease financing, wealth management, and brokerage services. Founded in 1925 and based in Bangalore, Syndicate Bank is one of the top 10 banks in India. To support over 27,000 employees and 2,300 offices across the globe, the Bank manages a wide area network with over 35,000 desktops.
Security of Internet banking non-negotiable
As a financial services company, Syndicate Bank places great importance on information security. “It is absolutely imperative that we constantly demonstrate the highest levels of information security to our clients,” explains Atul Kumar, assistant general manager of IT at Syndicate Bank. “We must keep not only their financial assets safe, but also their personal data.”
Internet banking is a key delivery channel for Syndicate Bank’s services. Consequently, the Bank must provide additional security to protect customers visiting and conducting transactions on its websites. The Indian government has mandated specific levels of network security and privacy for banking institutions. Failure to meet these requirements can result in fines, sanctions, and loss of customer trust, as well as potential loss of customers and harm to business reputation. To meet the government’s security standards and protect its business and its customers from harmful intrusions, Syndicate Bank knew it needed an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).
Searching for the best IPS
After evaluating and testing several IPS solutions — including those of Internet Security Systems, Juniper Networks, and Cisco Systems — Syndicate Bank selected McAfee Network Security Platform (formerly McAfee IntruShield Network Intrusion Prevention System). “What set McAfee Network Security Platform apart from the competition was its ability to prevent intrusions, not just detect them,” says Kumar. “Detection alone won’t keep an attack from causing your network harm. None of the other IPS products came close to the McAfee solution’s capabilities. For instance, it was the only one able to detect and prevent encrypted attacks.”
With McAfee Network Security Platform, Syndicate Bank also has peace of mind because this solution tops the list of recommended IPS solutions published by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a government organization under the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication Technology. “Having never used an IPS before, we didn’t want to settle for anything other than the best,” says Kumar.
Syndicate Bank deployed the McAfee Network Security Platform 1400 appliance, which provides up to 100 megabytes per second throughput. McAfee engineers working alongside the Bank’s IT staff made it easy to configure and implement the appliance’s sensors across the network. The appliance was deployed at Syndicate Bank’s perimeter network, behind its core firewall, to protect customer data including names, addresses, financial history, and transaction information.
Minimizing the cost and impact of malicious network attacks
Using proprietary technologies and multiple methods of detection, McAfee Network Security Platform accurately identifies potentially harmful intrusions and minimizes the number of false positives. With its high level of accuracy and ability to be deployed inline and drop malicious packets or connections in real time, the appliance dramatically minimizes the cost and potential impact of attacks.
Prior to implementing McAfee Network Security Platform, damage caused by the Nimda virus took the Bank’s entire IT networking staff three days to fix. Since deployment of the McAfee appliance, over one million malicious attacks — including buffer overflows, Denial of Service (DoS) and phishing attacks, and malware, such as the SQL Slammer worm and So-Big virus — have been blocked annually.
"Thanks to McAfee Network Security Platform, we can prevent attacks from wreaking havoc on our network. The appliance has already paid for itself by eliminating the damage and clean-up time a single outbreak could have caused."Atul Kumar
Assistant General Manager of IT, Syndicate Bank
“Thanks to McAfee Network Security Platform, we can prevent attacks from wreaking havoc on our network,” says Kumar. “The appliance has already paid for itself by eliminating the damage and clean-up time a single outbreak could have caused.”
Additional benefits of McAfee Network Security Platform
In addition to preemptively thwarting attacks to Syndicate Bank’s network, servers, and desktops, McAfee Network Security Platform appliance provides other benefits. For instance, a centralized, consolidated dashboard and robust reporting saves IT administration time and money monitoring the network. The highly stable solution has also improved network performance and, by preventing attacks, reduces network downtime and the risk of interruptions to online banking services.
Syndicate Bank is in the process of evaluating McAfee Vulnerability Manager to make it easy to find, evaluate, prioritize, and fix network vulnerabilities in compliance with regulations and company policies. Implementing Vulnerability Manager in conjunction with Network Security Platform is part of the Bank’s comprehensive vision for multi-layered security risk management.
With McAfee Network Security Platform detecting and preventing intrusions, Syndicate Bank now provides its customers with the highest levels of hosting performance and availability while protecting their financial assets and personal data from being accessed by unwanted intruders.
“The type and nature of attacks are constantly evolving, but we are confident that McAfee Network Security Platform will continue to defend our servers, even against zero-day attacks,” said Kumar. “With the banking business in India growing rapidly, we look forward to making additional investments in McAfee solutions so we can continue to provide the highest level of protection for our growing business and customer base.”