Industry Trends

Cybersecurity: A Business Enabler for Leading Global Financial Institutions

By Brian Forster | September 07, 2016

Financial cybersecurity has become a front-and-center topic due to a number of recent high-profile breaches. In the last few months, we have witnessed one of the largest bank robberies ever – a whopping $81 million taken during the digital Bangladesh Bank heist. On the heels of the Bangladesh Bank heist, Russian authorities also announced the detainment of up to 50 suspected hackers for stealing $45 million from banks. In response to these attacks, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair declared cybersecurity as the biggest risk facing the financial system. We couldn’t agree more.

Financial institutions around the world have been put on notice by these attacks and are working to strengthen their security measures. As the financial system looks to bolster security further, we at Fortinet wanted to share some real world examples of institutions that have successfully taken an offensive approach to their security by leveraging Fortinet products and services.

Options is a global leader in providing managed services and IT infrastructure products to the financial services sector. As a key provider of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to financial organizations, Options is subjected to the constant scrutiny of multiple industry and government bodies to ensure compliance with numerous standards and requirements. As part of an initiative to further develop its portfolio of IaaS offerings, Options identified the need to elevate the capabilities of its integrated security measures, especially in the areas of multi-factor authentication, service provider multi-tenancy/virtual firewalling, and Virtual Private Networks (VPN) access for clientless and site-to-site deployments.

Options implemented FortiGate 1000-series Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) for its most-demanding, performance-sensitive locations such as Internet-facing services. Since implementing Fortinet enterprise firewalls, Options’ network administrators have witnessed a significant decrease in the number of IPS/IDS-related false positive incidents. After its successful FortiGate deployment, Options then added FortiMail to increase protection against email-based inbound attacks, outbound threats, and data loss. The addition of Fortinet products to Options’ solutions has meant they can continue to meet client requirements regardless of market or activity spikes.

Nonghyup Bank (NH Bank) is the nationwide banking subsidiary of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation. With over 15 million associate members, it is one of the world’s largest cooperatives. Due to an onslaught of highly advanced targeted attacks, NH Bank moved to boost its security capabilities.

NH Bank required a high-performance security solution that would be capable of application control, be able to enforce granular security policies particular to individual users, and be capable of web filtering as well as optimizing their network traffic. Additionally, the security solution had to be able to scale and remain reliable at all times in order to route Internet traffic from all of the bank’s nationwide branch offices to a centralized datacenter at its headquarters for the purpose of single-point policy control and management.

NH Banks’ individual requirements and high-performance needs made it a perfect candidate for Fortinet’s FortiGate 3950B next-generation firewalls to serve as the backbone of a new security solution to protect its network.  Since deployment of the FortiGate 3950B, NH Bank has successfully standardized its network security environment. Even with an increase in Internet traffic at the centralized network control center, the FortiGate 3950B continues to rapidly process data while maintaining ease of use in terms of configuration and management.

Savings and Credit Cooperative Alianza del Valle Ltd. is a leading institution in the financial sector, with 45 years of experience in Ecuador. From the beginning of its operations in 1964, the company has focused on satisfying its members and supporting its community. With more than 10 branches nationwide and 140 employees throughout its locations, the IT Department plays a key role in ensuring the operation’s excellent level of customer service takes place in a strong and secure environment.

Since 2009, Fortinet has been a technology partner for the Alianza del Valle Cooperative, offering it a platform that ensures secure connectivity to keep up with its rapid business growth. The implementation of Fortinet’s technological solutions allows the Cooperative to optimize resources, as well as improve processes for greater control over its electronic channels, thereby providing its members with the necessary security when using transactional services over its various electronic channels. The company chose Fortinet architecture to receive and secure its IT services, which meet the Cooperative’s needs while at the same time providing both connectivity and security. Fortinet’s platform and architecture solutions have been instrumental in the Cooperative’s significant growth since 2009, during which it has grown 20 percent in product transactions and financial services.

For the financial sector, cybersecurity is no longer a mere compliance matter; it is one of the primary business imperatives that financial services must put front in center to not only safeguard their clients’ financial data, but also to serve as a business enabler and drive innovation to stay ahead of the growing threat landscape. These companies have relied on Fortinet to provide their institutions with secure services to deliver peace-of-mind that their networks are secure and protected from even the most sophisticated attacks.