Fortinet announced that The A.P. Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank − a leading multistate scheduled co-operative Urban bank in India popularly known as Mahesh Bank − has deployed its FortiGate network security platform and FortiAnalyzer centralized reporting appliances to secure its data center and network of 39 branches. Mahesh Bank chose Fortinet over competing vendors like Cisco, Check Point and Juniper for its proven firewall performance, easy to deploy and manage solutions, and first-class support services.
Mahesh Bank was the first co-operative urban bank in the state of Andhra Pradesh to introduce computerization at all its branches and today remains one of the few co-operative banks that have automated its operations. It was also the first co-operative bank to be accorded Scheduled Status by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Today, Mahesh Bank has presence in three states across India, with 39 branches nation-wide, and a turnover of over Rs. 2200 crores for its financial year ending March 31, 2014.
Mahesh Bank was aggressively adding services to its portfolio and needed an edge security solution at its branches to protect its growing data and applications. To comply with RBI mandates, the bank needed to deploy a resilient security architecture to protect its network and implement centralized control over its branches’ Internet and application usage. After evaluating the various vendors’ solution offerings, Mahesh Bank found that the FortiGate virtualization capabilities perfectly meet its needs to secure both its Internet and Intranet applications. The network security platform’s comprehensive functionality, stability, scalability and low total cost of ownership convinced Mahesh Bank to use Fortinet exclusively in its network.
“The FortiGate platform carried all the security functionality we needed, while the highly qualified support team assured us that they could be the single, reliable go-to party for all our servicing needs,” said Mr. Milind Rajhans, Assistant General Manager IT & CISO at Mahesh Bank.
The proactive support provided by Fortinet partner M/s Digital Track to Mahesh Bank even before the deployment impressed the customer − Digital Track supplied standby appliances and conducted hands-on training programs to the bank staff. “We regularly sent them technology and solution updates and actively supported the customer even before we signed the deal,” said Muneer Ahmed, Managing Director of DigitalTrack. “Working closely with the Fortinet team, we have clinched many big deals but the Mahesh Bank one is special because Fortinet is the only vendor securing their entire infrastructure”
Mahesh Bank’s 39 branches have each deployed a FortiGate-40C appliance to extend edge security, providing secure network access via VPN. They also serve as routers to connect the branches to the Internet via MPLS. Using a centralized network security policy, the head office now has complete control of the Internet and application usage as well as transactions conducted at every branch.
The FortiGate-40C appliances at the branches are equipped with 3G connectivity in failover mode – in case the main internet connectivity fails, there will be an automatic dialup using the 3G connection. This 3G connectivity feature was not available in competitive products. The two FortiGate-300C appliances implemented at Mahesh Bank’s datacenter have a virtualized framework with different security policies for Internet and Intranet users. The edge FortiGate solutions work together with these appliances to define common policies for users to access applications by enabling a broad range of security features including antivirus, antispam, Web filtering, VPN, intrusion prevention and application control. A FortiAnalyzer-200D centralized reporting appliance provides visibility to IT administrators by analyzing the network and reporting anomalies.
“The Mahesh Bank implementation highlights that with the right architecture and solutions, smaller co-operative banks − not just big banks − can benefit from advanced security technologies,” said Rajesh Maurya, Fortinet’s Country Manager for India & SAARC. “Financial services is a vital vertical for Fortinet and we are committed to investing in the skills of our staff and partners, as well as the performance of our appliances, to be up to the requirements of this demanding sector.”