Whether in a small town or a thriving metropolis, individuals, businesses, and corporations rely on banks and credit unions to provide them with a reliable and secure means of managing and protecting their finances.
Commercial Savings Bank, a regional Ohio bank, has grown and matured with the communities it serves since its founding in 1920. Offering its patrons a wide variety of products and services ranging from personal checking accounts to agricultural loans, CSB prides itself on personal attention, prompt service, and sound financial advice.
“We were growing and wanted to serve our local communities better by managing all our data in-house,” said Shalini Singhal, Chief Information Officer at CSB.
With nine banking locations and expansion in the company’s future, Singhal and her team at CSB wanted to implement in-house data processing. A centrally managed operations center would cut costs and improve efficiency, but to ensure that all data would be secure and migration fully beneficial, CSB wanted to strengthen the security of their network with 24×7 proactive security monitoring and upgrade its speed and accessibility.
“They were very responsive to all our questions, and had a trusted and customized solution that met all of our criteria. They took the extra initiative to show us how the technology would work in our network with comprehensive demonstrations. We didn’t get that kind of service from anyone else, and this was before we purchased anything.”
-Shalini Singhal, Chief Information Officer, CSB
In order to introduce in-house data storage and processing, CSB needed to implement
a more robust security system to comply with federal security regulations. When
seeking an ideal vendor to improve their network security, CSB was searching for a
unique vendor that would assist them in evaluating their current security posture and
work closely with their IT team in customizing and co-managing new security measures
and network upgrades. They wanted someone they could trust to provide expert
recommendations for the future and keep the best interest of CSB in mind at all times.
CSB had previously worked with CentraComm, an Elite Level Juniper Partner, in
implementing a Juniper firewall and T1 WAN and Internet connectivity in 2003. When
the opportunity arose for CSB to implement a managed security solution and additional
network upgrades, CentraComm was among the vendors considered for the project.
During the selection process, CSB invited CentraComm to conduct an on-site demo of
a Juniper Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) security solution.
The demo up and running within minutes. It was demonstrated to Singhal
and her team at CSB the capabilities of the IDP device and the manner in which
CentraComm would effectively monitor the security of CSB’s network and proactively
thwart future attacks.
The on-site demo impressed Singhal and her staff, solidifying their decision to work
with CentraComm to implement an IDP solution. With this decision in place, CSB also
looked to CentraComm to provide additional recommendations to ensure that their
network was ideal for supporting in-house data management.
In order to introduce in-house data storage and processing, CSB needed a network that
was secure enough, fast enough, and had the remote access capabilities needed to
support their business needs. Prior to implementing CentraComm’s Juniper solutions,
CSB was a successful regional bank that outsourced all data management services.
CentraComm’s unique combination of managed services, best-of-breed technology,
and superior product knowledge enabled CSB to expand their technical capabilities and
introduce in-house data processing on a secure, fast, and accessible network.
The in-house data management and addition of
CentraComm’s managed security services granted
Commercial Savings Bank more control and flexibility
over their operations, and resulted in a 30% cost savings.
“All of our managed solutions are completely customizable to include co-management
options,” said Mark Robinson, President and Chief Marketing Officer at CentraComm.
“Our staff understands compliance regulations and tailors security solutions to fit the
needs of both the industry and the company.”
In addition to enhancing security with the IDP, CentraComm provided CSB with remote
access capabilities and faster internet connection, implementing a Juniper Secure
Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) and a fiber-based Ethernet Wide Area
The customized Juniper IDP solution provided CSB with the secure infrastructure and service it needed to move its data in-house and manage IT centrally from a new operations center. A simple and easy to use interface enabled Singhal and her IT staff to co-manage and monitor their network security and access data from a central and secure location.
The in-house data management and addition of CentraComm’s managed security services also granted CSB more control and flexibility over their operations, and resulted in a 30% cost savings. Such cost savings are dramatic, but not unique to CSB’s situation. Industry studies suggest that when 24/7 monitoring is needed, managed security services providers can benefit businesses with up to 70% cost savings.
The new centralized data management location is accompanied by decentralized data replication to ensure that all in-house data is securely backed up and replicated. Likewise, a rollback functionality is in place, which allows the network to thwart an attack and revert back to a previous version of the network—undoing any recent actions that have taken place on the network. CentraComm proactively monitors the health and safety of the network at all times, but the employees at CSB can reinforce their peace-of-mind by performing real-time tests on a replicated version of their network.
“We now have the ability to test the security of our network, and have peace of mind knowing that CentraComm will catch anything we throw at them.”
After the on-site demo, CSB was confident that CentraComm would proactively respond to certain situations, and guarantee the security of their network. With CentraSECURE 24/7 proactive monitoring and risk management, CentraComm alerts CSB of any potential network breaches and any suspicious activity caught by the firewalls. In addition,
CentraComm’s quarterly network security reviews give CSB the opportunity to examine their network’s security on a regular basis and address any problems or threats that could arise in the future.
“The quarterly reviews with CentraComm are wonderful,” said Singhal. “We get a comprehensive review of our security posture and receive expert advice for moving forward.”
Increased Network Speed
Aside from increasing the security of their network, CSB regarded CentraComm as a trusted advisor, and looked to them to suggest any additional network upgrades that would compliment the in-house data migration and make processes more efficient. CentraComm recommended uprading their Wide Area Network to allow for more bandwidth, faster communication, decreased latency, and also act as an ideal platform to accommodate future growth. CentraComm replaced CSB’s T1 copper WAN with a fiber based Ethernet WAN, thus allowing CSB to process data and access information in real time, as well as support larger and more complex network applications.
Remote Access Capabilities
To give off-site employees and vendors real-time access to CSB’s in-house data,
CentraComm outfitted CSB with a Juniper Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network
(SSL VPN), providing secure remote access to their network.
With secure remote access, CSB avoids spending time and money bringing people to
an on-site location to troubleshoot, update, or securely access the banking network.
Vendors, IT support staff, and other network users are able to access the network
remotely with a secure and reliable connection. CentraComm, as well as other vendors,
have the ability to implement new solutions or corrective actions anytime, anywhere over
the secure network.
“The SSL VPN has been great, our issues and upgrades are dealt with promptly, saving
us both time and money,” said Singhal. Singhal and her team were very impressed
with all the network upgrades recommended and provided by CentraComm, and were
confident moving forward with the data migration.
“We chose to work with CentraComm because of their expertise, their reputation, and their prompt service.”
Next Steps and Lessons Learned
“We really wanted to move all our data in-house, and needed a secure, fast, and accessible
network to support this move. CentraComm recommended the most customized and
comprehensive solution and a high level of service to back it up,” said Singhal.
Since the deployment of the IDP security solution, Commercial Savings Bank has achieved a
100% monthly security audit score, suffering from zero network breaches or outages. “Every
monthly audit is a success, and I am confident that if a disaster were ever to occur, we could
count on CentraComm to keep things running smoothly, knowing that our sensitive customer data would still be protected. They really look out for us and our best interest,” said Singhal.
“Growth opportunities for business and technology have significantly increased, and we have a lot more capabilities now that all our data is securely in-house,” said Singhal. Singhal and her team were very impressed with CentraComm’s network upgrades, and will look to them for future network upgrades and services.