Oman Arab Bank

Deploys Connected Threat Defence for greater network visibility

Overview

Established in 1984, Oman Arab Bank SAOC is one of the largest banks in the Sultanate of Oman. Currently, Oman Arab Bank is a network of more than 65 branches and representative offices, and more than 148 ATMs across the Sultanate.

Over the past three decades, Oman Arab Bank (OAB) has consistently expanded its reach as well as its products and services. OAB offers customers in the country with a comprehensive suite of innovative solutions in retail banking, corporate and project finance, investment banking, trade finance, and most recently, Islamic banking. Today, OAB works to protect over 1,200 end users as well as the information of an extensive list of personal banking and business customers.

Challenges

Given the rapid success of OAB and its position as a top regional financial institution, the Bank is having to contend with an exponential growth in cyberattacks, receiving more than 15,000 external threats, and thousands of spam and phishing emails on a daily basis. OAB faced stealthy targeted attacks, custom designed to penetrate standard defences, and poised to monetise intellectual property and customer information, or to encrypt essential data for ransom. OAB ‘s evolving IT infrastructure needed an instinctive security solution that was forward-looking, easily scalable, and capable of meeting the constant security demands.

“Our standalone systems offered little visibility, and was impossible to manage, not to mention the costly downtime during upgrades and patches,” said Basheer Al Balushi, Head of IT Security at Oman Arab Bank. “To increase efficiency, we needed preventive measures capable of securing our endpoints, networks and data centres. This required implementing a cybersecurity infrastructure that was layered, responsive, and easy to manage, while still being robust enough to detect and prevent threats across all channels within the bank’s IT infrastructure.

"Cybersecurity is a new trend, a fashion basically. People call it fashion, auditors call it challenges, but we security professionals call it an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to secure, people, technologies and processes."

Basheer Al Balushi,
Head of IT Security, Oman Arab Bank

Why Trend Micro

OAB’s requirement was for an end-to-end cyber security solution, from a security partner who could support them directly. “A Gartner certified, cyber security partner with number one enterprise-level expertise was a pre-requisite for us,” added Al Balushi. The security solution needed to provide heightened visibility and would have to integrate quickly with the Bank’s IT ecosystem, and provide complete control. “With a modern security approach, Trend Micro’s Connected Threat Defence is a layered security solution that protects, detects, and responds to new threats while simultaneously improving visibility, and streamlining investigation across our organisation,” said Al Balushi.

"Security is not a one-time job, where you fix it once and it’s gone. We are facing a very dynamic enemy, so it’s important to have an end-to-end security solution."

Basheer Al Balushi,
Head of IT Security, Oman Arab Bank

Solution

When evaluating potential security partners, OAB looked for a solution that could offer complete protection across the entire organisation. “Going through the valuation process, what we have found out is that Trend Micro is a complete solution which can provide us end-to-end security, including endpoint security, mobile security, vulnerable security, IPS, and IDX security work station”, said Al Balushi.

Trend Micro™ Deep Security™ solution was enlisted for data centre server protection”. “This solution delivers complete security capabilities for physical, virtual, and cloud servers in a single integrated platform,” said Al Balushi.

For OAB, TippingPoint™ IPS has been instrumental in getting signatures on a daily basis. This solution is dynamic enough to catch those vulnerabilities, and the user interface is extremely user friendly.

Trend Micro™ Advanced Threat Protection gives OAB the power to detect, analyse, and respond to today’s stealthy ransomware, its variants, including WannaCry, and targeted attacks in real time.

"I believe TippingPoint is one of the best IPS solutions in the market today. It is both dynamic and easy to use with an interface that integrates directly with other Trend Micro solutions."

Basheer Al Balushi,
Head of IT Security, Oman Arab Bank

Results

“The Bank’s IT infrastructure is protected from ongoing cyberattacks. “We can now see what’s going out of the network, what’s coming in, and all attacks that are being blocked with real-time updates”, added Al Balushi.

Thanks to Trend Micro’s Connected Threat Defence, OAB’s new simplified and centralised security system has helped speed and mitigate incident responses. A centralised management console allows for better management of the IT environment across multiple layers of security.

This brings a new level of support for Al Balushi, “Today I have the comfort that we have a considerably more secure environment than before. Our partners are more comfortable doing business with us and our customers are more secure because I can confidently say our environment and data is protected“.

What's next

OAB is quickly becoming a leader in security technology among the financial institutions of Oman and the Arab region, setting the standard for best cybersecurity practices. In their next step towards endpoint segmentation on the network, OAB has selected Trend Micro for its DR security because they wanted to have that same comfort level; as they do not want to go through complexities of having different solutions. “OAB, with our current security management system, acts as a role model for the Omani banking industry. Working with Trend Micro, we can now safely roll out new products and strategies for our customers and partners,” said Al Balushi.