Case Study

Article

A bank’s journey to secure operations in a growing virtual desktop infrastructure and virtual server environment

How virtualization improves efficiency and performance of a Chinese bank 

In June 1997, Fubon Bank officially began operating in Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China. Since then, Fubon Bank has operated on both sides of the Straits and has been actively promotes economic and financial cooperation between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (RoC).

Challenge

As the first ever commercial bank to be incorporated using joint capital from both sides of the Straits, Fubon Bank strives to serve the whole country from its base in Shanghai. It aims to use local services and to continuously enhance its service quality and profitability.

The bank uses Citrix virtualization technology to optimize and effectively consolidate its IT structure and has successfully streamlined its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). With VDI deployed, Fubon Bank has significantly reduced operating costs such as electricity, cooling, maintenance, etc.

However, finding a solution that provides security capabilities for both a growing VDI and virtual server environment, while retaining all the benefits of virtualization, was not easy. The bank ran into unexpected issues using the traditional approach to securing virtualized infrastructure, as the non-optimized security solution led to excessive resource consumption, dramatically decreased ROI and resulted in the virtualization program being put on hold.

“We require an extremely high level of network security, and that also applies to virtualization technology,” Mr Tang, who was the IT Department Manager at Fubon Bank, recalled.

According to Mr Tang, the IT department had planned to install traditional antivirus software on every virtual machine, but the trial installation produced unacceptable results.

“CPU, memory and storage resources were quickly over utilized, and left us lagging well behind the expected virtual machine density of 1:50. The virtual desktops had to constantly retrieve updates and each virtualized desktop had to perform all the scanning tasks independently,” he said.

“This led to end users complaining about VDI responsiveness and forced us to look for a more effective solution that could deliver outstanding multi-layered granular protection for our VDI environment, but preserve a high level of platform performance,” he added.

Solution

After reviewing all the security offers on the market, Fubon Bank’s IT team, together with the senior engineers at Citrix, chose Kaspersky Security for Virtualization and its Light Agent technology.

“After stringent testing, Kaspersky Security for Virtualization has proved to be an extremely effective IT security solution. It has excellent control functions, security baseline monitoring and zero-day attack prevention,” said Mr Tang.

Kaspersky Security for Virtualization Light Agent fully exploits the hypervisor’s own core technologies – complementing and enhancing security in Citrix XenDesktop VDI environments.

A Security Virtual Appliance (SVA) on each host scans all virtual machines centrally, while a powerful but lightweight agent deployed on each VM allows the activation of advanced security features, including application, device and web controls, anti-malware protection for IM, mail and web, plus advanced heuristics, to dramatically increase the overall level of security for the VDI. The light agent also preserves the end-user experience and virtualization platform performance at a very high level.

The unique Kaspersky Security for Virtualization cache technology can also reduce the resource consumption of the Citrix platform during full disc scans.

Moreover, the IT administrator can manage desktops, servers and virtual machines from Kaspersky Lab’s single unified console.

According to Mr Tang, Fubon Bank have now performed deployment of Kaspersky Security for Virtualization in its platform running on more than 1,200 virtual desktops.

“After officially going online, we found that the specialized security solution for our virtualized machines resulted in efficient storage consumption levels and has a very small resource footprint on our virtualization hosts. This significantly enhances the use of virtual machines and ensures security protection, allowing the cost advantage of virtualization to be truly maximized,” he said.

All information in this case study is provided by Kaspersky Lab.

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