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Maintaining the Upkeep of IT Security and Confidentiality: A Bank’s Journey through Overcoming its IT Challenges

Maintaining the Upkeep of IT Security and Confidentiality: A Bank’s Journey through Overcoming its IT Challenges

Traditional
Islamic banking principles are committed to establishing a welfare-oriented banking
system that meets the needs of low income and underprivileged citizens.

It supports the establishment of an
economic system based on social emancipation and equitable distribution of
wealth, encouraging the economic progress of socially deprived people. It also
works to create employment opportunities and the development of agriculture and
rural communities.

Whilst
creating employment opportunities and developing agriculture in rural
communities, the aim of traditional Islamic banks is to, support the
establishment of a unique economic system. This economic system is based on
social emancipation and an equitable distribution of wealth so that socially
deprived people experience economic progress. This is done through the
development and the creation of employment opportunities in agricultural and
rural communities.

The
Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited (AAIBL) was established in 1995 and is
headquartered in Dhaka in Bangladesh. This bank operates on the traditional
Islamic principles and they face many key challenges. For the successful
operation of any bank, they have to ensure that the vital pillars of IT
security and confidentiality are ceaselessly infallible.

The AAIBL
has an enormous responsibility to ensure that its IT security and
confidentiality is being upheld, due to the fact that it has a customer base
that is expansive and wide-ranging. It has customers from 199 branches
throughout Bangladesh, ranging from busy city environments to remote rural
communities.

The Challenges that has Compromised the
Reputation of the Bank

The AAIBL
has, for many years faced many pertinent challenges that are both internal and
external. The external challenges include having to operate in an environment
with weak national infrastructure, making them prone to cyberattacks that could
compromise the IT security and confidentiality of the organisation. The
internal challenges include having lack of a central management or policies
that govern the individual use of PCs and other devices.

This has
regrettably caused many virus, worm and Trojan attacks on both the local head
office network and across the branch network. This resulted in the
inconvenient, time-consuming and expensive task of having to transport the
affected PCs from remote, rural branches back to Dhaka to be cleaned and
repaired.

In
particular, the uncontrolled access to virus-laden web pages and the widespread
use of unauthorised USB devices resulted in numerous large scale and
debilitating infections. At their most severe, these problems could result in
the complete shutdown of branches, with core banking software ceasing to
operate. This could be extremely inimical as it could affect customer’s
transactions, doing irrevocable damage to the organisation’s reputation. These
issues were also preventing AAIBL’s efforts to establish online banking
services.

Mr. D. M. Jahangir Rabbani, Senior
Principal Officer, ICT Division, said that whilst these events were now routine
to the organisation, it was vital that they find a solution to the problems
since it was causing severe disruptions to their consumers and creating a bad
reputation for the organisation.

The Solution
from Kaspersky Lab that Brought AAIB Back to their Feet Again

The bank selected Kaspersky Lab and its
award-winning Dhaka-based partner, Officextracts, for the performance of its
software. The systems put in place by Kaspersky included virus detection and
management.  Kaspersky Lab’s world class,
multi-layered anti-malware protection for AAIB’s systems, servers and more than
1,000 individual users was combined with firewall, application, device and web
control, mobile security, device and systems management capabilities.

The solution has provided a comprehensive
remedy for the bank’s longstanding and damaging virus problems. Network traffic
is now running smoothly and centralised controls on the use of devices such as
USBs, CDs and DVDs is preventing local infections out in the branch network.

Websites and applications presenting
dangers to the bank are being identified and blocked centrally by the IT team
from head office, managing threat and risk levels and significantly reducing
bandwidth consumption. It can manage the system, monitor endpoint security,
review threat and risk levels and generate reports for executives, all from the
Kaspersky Lab central console.

The results are significant for both the
bank and its customers. Core banking services are streamlined and operating
smoothly for customers resulting in efficiency of operations allowing staff to
focus on activities that can improve customer satisfaction. The IT team can now
focus on enhancing and innovating so that their colleagues and customers can
benefit from them.

Said Mr. Rabbani that as a bank their
operations must be secure and confidential at all times. While they have
resolved their security issues thanks to Kaspersky Lab, they have to continue
to be resilient and control central access to web pages, applications and
devices.

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