Access Bank Liberia, Africa
Access Bank Keeps its Customer's Safe through Cyberoam UTM
About Access Bank, BFSI

Access Bank Liberia, a microfinance-oriented fully fledged commercial bank was set up to improve the access to a broad range of appropriate financial services in a sustainable and efficient manner for the public but especially for the majority of Liberian businesses and their owners.

The bank's focus on the provision of credit to eligible MSMEs rests on a fully sound commercial basis of self-sufficiency to ensure lasting and long-term sustainable growth. As a fully-fledged commercial bank, the banks provides a wide range of banking products and services to its customers such as deposits, remittance services, cheques, International Money Transfer services and foreign exchange services.

The bank aims to achieve excellent customer service and care; account management services and transfer services and other transaction processes are easy, fast and reliable. The bank aims to ensure all its services are delivered reliably and swiftly and in a transparent manner.

The network covered sensitive information which was under constant threat from spyware and DoS attacks. So they needed a strong Firewall and IPS solution.

Mr. Wilfred Lawson,
IT Manager
Access Bank

Following the model of high standards set in their banking practices, the bank wanted to regulate the Internet access and secure the internal network.

Explaining the security and access control needs, Wilfred Lawson, I.T. Manager at the Access Bank outlined the basic requirement saying "We needed a solution which would give us highest ROI while addressing our major security concerns - all in a single pack up".

The concerns are numbered below.

Securing the Perimeter

Access Bank users use Internet heavily for their daily activities, research work, etc. Due to the rising number of Internet threats, Security of their corporate data has become a key concern for them. They wanted to put a stop to any incident of communication loss or data tampering due to eavesdropping attacks from outsiders.

Mr. Lawson said, "We needed a Deep Inspection Firewall to control the Internet access. We also wanted to regulate the exposure of the servers placed in the DMZ the external world in addition to auditing them. This is a very important security aspect as we also provide Internet banking. At the same time, the unprecedented continuity; 24x7 Web services were also their prime requirements."

So they needed a strong Firewall and IPS solution to fight against these attacks.

Spam-free Email Traffic

Access Bank had no security solution in place. This presented the bank with all the normal problems associated with business life, such as viruses resulting in computer network down time; spam taking up necessary network bandwidth and more importantly, undesirable pornographic content directly targeting employees' inboxes.

Uncalled-for e-mail, more commonly known as spam is a rising and complex problem. High bulk of spam mails ate a lot of precious bandwidth. So they needed to stop them at the gateway. Anyone could send you an e-mail you wouldn't want to receive so determining which e-mail you definitely would not want to accept can be tricky. The bank was concerned that employee productive time was being wasted in deleting spam messages and frequently checking for false positives. Also, the spam mails spiked with malware intended to sabotage the banking network from within. Traditional spam filters were ineffective as the spammer changes the contents, format, type and language of a spam mail.

They decided to tackle the issue on by implementing an effective anti-virus and anti-spam solution that detects and removes spam and viruses before they reach the bank's network thus preventing illegitimate emails ever reaching the inbox.

Uncontrolled Surfing

In absence of a Content Filtering solution that users could surf the Internet unbridled. This laid the organization's network bare to Internet based blended threats. It also hit the productivity of the company as the employees spent productive time, in unproductive surfing.

The Cyberoam Solution

Formerly, Access Bank's gateway was protected through a Cisco Router but they matched the minimum communication expectations. The hunt was on for a new appliance which would meet all their requirements with high performance and that too at the same price.

After a detailed search in the market, Access Bank replaced their existing Cisco Router with Cyberoam UTM. They purchased One (1) CR50ia which was deployed at their Head office, Liberia in Gateway mode.

The business benefits were as follows:

  • The Barricade of Fire - Firewall

    Cyberoam firewall is ICSA and Checkmark certified - provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. This helps to determine if a data packet should be permitted or discarded through the firewall to the internal LAN. The LAN contained separate internal zones related to customer's data, transactions, and customer's private details which were now protected. Also, staff employees were able to seamlessly continue to access Internet resources ensuring that no security loopholes are left open. Coupled with Intrusion Prevention module, Cyberoam UTM can counter any Denial of Service attack. Mr. Lawson now felt the network is secure.

  • Surfing Control

    Cyberoam's Web filtering solution, with more than eighty two (82) categories ensures that the employees do not access pornography, violence and other harmful content on the Web. Cyberoam blocks the pop-ups, phishing, pharming and other malware laden sites. All the harmful Trojans, cookies and scripts sites were also safely out of bounds for the employees.

    Additionally, Cyberoam also filtrates the handling of HTTPS based sites with the help of its keyword and URL filtering techniques as well as Signature based detection technique. Cyberoam's HTTPS URL Filtering blocks web-based proxies and malicious websites hosted over SSL by categorizing the domain names in its site database. SSL traffic filtering can be applied on individual user or group of users, single URL, group of URLs or entire URL category to control rogue employees.

    Mr. Lawson commended Cyberoam as an excellent Web Filtering solution that does not compromise on needs of employees. Lawson adds, "We were indeed very satisfied with Cyberoam UTM - The all in one pack".

Mr. Lawson says, "Cyberoam exceeded my expectations. Cyberoam helped Access Bank to install a secure appliance to manage multiple security functions and educated me and my bank on these vital security measures to protect our customers."