International Bank (Liberia) Limited, Liberia Africa
Cyberoam Security Allays Multiple Concerns for Internet Security in Liberian Bank
About International Bank (Liberia) Limited, BFSI
The International Bank (Liberia) Limited (IB) was formed out of International Trust Company (ITC) of Liberia. Being one of the strongest and oldest banks in Liberia with firm international standards, it is considered a leading name today in the Liberian financial market. Its management team consists of foreign and local professionals with many years of experience in banking. Its state-of-the-art technology makes service to its valued customers fast, effective and efficient. The bank has an excellent reputation among Liberian customers for extending business credit facilities and remittances.
Internet is the backbone of our frontend and back-office communications. We needed a good firewall, anti spam, and virus and content filtering.
Mr. Wonder S. Lablah
The International Bank
Being a leading bank with branches across various locations, IB‘s dependence on the Internet
involved the following activities - Internet banking, money transfers, conducting web research
and e-mails. In addition, Internet is connects the bank‘s head office at the Liberian capital,
Monrovia with remote branches.
Simple, No-Frills Firewall
The bank already had a Linux Smoothwall firewall for ensuring perimeter security but its IT staff didn‘t want to deal with the technicalities of a command line interface. It was therefore, looking for a user-friendly, GUI-like alternative.
Safeguarding from Intrusion Attempts
IB wanted to secure its LAN, which contained sensitive banking and mail/web server residing information, from possible intrusion attacks including hacking, DoS attacks, website spoofing attempts and more.
Connecting Isolated Remote Branches
The bank did not have a dedicated leased line to provide connectivity across branches in remote locations. Mr. Lablah, therefore, was looking for a private secure communications channel over the public Internet itself, which would further ensure data traveling through it is not visible to outside entities. This would also have to be monitored over a user-friendly web-based Interface.
Regulating Web Access
The Internet was used at IB to access multiple network resources, with different passwords to be
remembered, for individual applications including Outlook email, Intranets and knowledgebase
portals. The staff wished a simpler system without the need to remember multiple passwords.
The Cyberoam Solution
The management was initially not too sure about how to proceed with addressing so many disparate business security concerns. They were exploring multiple security solutions when they found Cyberoam through Bluepoint Technologies, its authorized partner in Liberia. After seeing a live demo, they placed order for a Cyberoam CR50i appliance at the head office, and five CR25i appliances at remote offices. Bluepoint Technologies supplied these units to the bank and also assisted them in designing their security network, and deploying the solutions. All Cyberoam UTM appliances were deployed in gateway mode which helped them achieve the following goals.
Unified Security through One Appliance
Instead of having to run multiple security solutions for addressing different business challenges, Cyberoam Unified Threat Management appliances, through a unified GUI-based dashboard proved to be more effective for the bank‘s objectives, that too within reasonable budget.
The bank‘s perimeter was now protected through Cyberoam‘s ICSA-certified stateful inspection firewall. Compared to its earlier struggles with a CLI-based interface, the new firewall menu was more user-friendly and placed within easy reach of the administrator since it could be run directly as an option through the web GUI interface.
Access Control Limited to Internal Users:
A unique feature of Cyberoam‘s firewall is that it runs on identity-based Layer 8 protection technology. Mr. Lablah used this technology to unify access control policies and identify users directly based on username rather than through IP addresses alone. For authentication, he implemented Single-Sign-on (SSO) with Cyberoam‘s Active Directory Services (ADS) facility, mapping users and groups directly from the database. This ensures only bank employees are allowed network access, and outsiders kept at bay.
One Password, Access All
The Automated SSO feature also saves bank employees the trouble of remembering multiple passwords for different applications within the system.
Since, IB had subscribed to Cyberoam UTM‘s Intrusion Prevention System feature, the administration is able to rest easy over any known and unknown intrusion attempts. With a comprehensive database of over 3000+ regularly updated intrusion signatures, this feature is able to detect any anomaly in the network across real-time, therefore safeguarding the LAN and web/mail servers.
Remote Connectivity to Head Office
With Cyberoam‘s VPN solution, Mr. Lablah was able to securely connect the isolated branches
with the head office. Since, the VPN option is also enabled as a menu item on the Cyberoam
web GUI interface, he is able to monitor the connectivity status at these branches from a central
Regulated Internet Usage
Prior to Cyberoam deployment, there was no control on surfing activities of IB‘s employees.
However, all that has changed with Cyberoam‘s Web filtering feature which blocks millions of
harmful region-specific popular sites, grouped into 82+ categories such as pornography,
phishing, proxies, IMs, P2P and more.
Malware - Spam Reined in
Cyberoam‘s Gateway Anti-virus feature defends the bank‘s network from newer malware
variants - worms, rootkits, Trojans and many more due to ability to update in real time against
such attacks. In addition, Cyberoam‘s Virus Outbreak Detection (VOD) feature protects the
bank against any mail-based virus, adware, phishing attacks.
Mr. Lablah adds, “My long term search for a very robust device that could solve most of our network hurdles has been found in Cyberoam. I can now monitor VPN connectivity at all of my remote branches from my office and manage the company‘s bandwidth with ease. Cyberoam is really very easy to deploy and use.”