Bank Protects More Than Money

Founded more than 100 years ago in Lawton, Okla., City National Bank & Trust of Oklahoma provides banking services throughout the state. The bank began opening branches in Wal-Mart Supercenters and launched its online banking service, CityNET, to make banking even more convenient for its customers. Today, CNB operates 32 branches throughout the state and continues to expand.

To protect the network and employees from malware and offensive content, and to enforce e-mail and Web security policies, the bank implemented an e-mail and Web security solution. IT Manager Michael Meason discusses how this solution scans content at the gateway and provides the policy control the IT department needs to protect the network, employees, customers and the bank.

Rapid expansion of City National Bank & Trust (CNB) of Okla-homa branches into Wal-Mart Supercenters—along with a worldwide influx of malware—put our networks and employ-ees at greater risk. In recent years, we have opened 32 new retail locations, doubling our number of employees and quadrupling the size of our network. Simultaneously, we were bombarded with malware, which threatened our network, and unprecedented volumes of spam, which increased processing overhead on some systems.

Appropriate controls were in place to prevent employees from installing software, but it was becoming increasingly clear that we needed strong malware protection as the threats became more serious and dangerous.

The security risks were exacerbated by the fact that CNB power users have more access rights than other employees. A major concern was that a power user would inadvertently download malicious software from the Internet or open an e-mail attachment that contained a virus. Additionally, a growing number of employees required access to the Web.

Our previous solution for controlling Web browsing was simply to restrict who had access to the Internet. We could run reports to see what Websites employees were visiting and whether or not a virus or Trojan had been downloaded. However, we could prevent it only at the desktop anti-virus layer—not at the gateway. At the time, we were opening new branches so quickly that we needed to concentrate on the growth of our business rather than on putting out fires.

While we formally review our security policies annually, we’re constantly making small policy changes. These include accepting a sender as friendly and blocking or adding a specific Website—changes that can occur daily. We also needed to protect our employees from receiving offensive e-mail—whether from outside or within the bank—and to block access to Websites that contain illegal or offensive content. Moreover, we have a responsibility to our stakeholders to prevent offensive material from leaving our facility, which could open the company to a lawsuit.

To find a solution to our security challenges, we evaluated five e-mail and Web security vendors’ products. After reviewing these products, we selected Marshal for its strong content filtering capabilities and its capability to set and change security policies on the fly. Within weeks, we had MailMarshal SMTP, WebMarshal and MailMarshal Exchange protecting the bank from e-mail and Web-based malware and offensive content.