Technology implementation challenges for a cooperative bank are often multi-pronged. They are expected to be on par with their commercial counterparts when it comes to customer services, security and innovation. At the same time, they typically have limited resources and technology budgets to ensure that the business goals are met.
For Rohit Singh, Head – IT & Digital Banking at Shri Arihant Co-op Bank, securing the core banking system and customer data was the top most priority. But he knew clearly that he needs to balance security and business innovation in order to provide a seamless experience to the bank’s customers.
Shri Arihant Co-op bank, founded by the Kutchi Dasa Oswal Jain Community, is one of the oldest cooperative banks with operations across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
Singh had already ensured that the bank installed the basic firewall systems and security infrastructure in place. However, as it acquired more customers and expanded its operations to multiple locations, management and monitoring the firewall systems across the branches became a challenge.
A centralized management console was thus the need of the hour. But that alone wouldn’t solve the bank’s issues.
Singh also wanted to put authentication and access control systems in place. “All our employees had access across the system and to the internet. Considering that insider risk is a real issue in the banking sector, we wanted to address this quickly. While this could have been potential security issue, it was also cutting down on employee productivity,” Singh observes.
The bank also faced the issue of manually connecting to the second ISP when its primary connection went down. “Lack of failover features resulted in some downtime and we wanted to address this problem as well, “ he adds.
One solution to the multiple problems
Singh and his team worked with the bank’s existing security vendor, Gajshield, to tackle these critical challenges. Instead of deploying separate solutions that cater to the various requirements, the vendor proposed a centralized management system that would take care of the bank’s current needs.
The proposed management system came with features like anti-virus, URL filtering, application filtering and ISP fail-over.
“A single console management system meant that we don’t need to have siloed security measures at each of our 12 branches. The solution offered us multiple features to suit our specific needs,” Singh says.
Its URL and Application Filtering, for instance, provides restrictive internet access to effectively block out unwanted applications and malicious websites, instead of completely denying employees the access to internet.
The solution also facilitated ease of manageability and provided a comprehensive platform for centrally creating and managing security policies. This helps the bank in getting real-time visibility and monitoring, alerts and delivering innate compliance and usage reports all from a single management interface.
Improved security posture, Added benefits
Other than improving the overall security posture of the bank, the new implementation helped them in boosting employee productivity and ability to focus on innovation.
“With the robust foundation of security in place, we were more confident and were able to direct our attention and efforts on bringing out more services and better experiences to customers. We have multiple new digital offerings including mobile and internet banking, which were successfully brought out. I think an increased security posture will allow us to innovate further without really worrying about data leakage or security breaches,” Singh sums up.