VakifBank

Stops advanced persistent threats on its journey to PCI DSS compliance

Overview

VakifBank is the seventh largest bank in Turkey. It maintains its core banking products and services while also playing a pioneering role within financing domestic and foreign trade in investment banking and capital market operations. Through its subsidiaries, it offers financial products to customers in a wide range of fields—from insurance to financial leasing and factoring services—and protects customer data while meeting international regulatory requirements.

Founded in 1954, VakıfBank is an institution known to be an industry leader. With three international branches located in New York, Bahrain, and Arbil, VakifBank has 16,000 employees and 1,000 branches, and operates in Austria with a subsidiary. VakifBank International AG has branches in Vienna, Cologne, and Frankfurt. The bank’s solid financial performance has been attributed to a strong vision and leadership, and is flanked by the company’s motto “The Strength by Your Side”.

Challenges

A major challenge is adhering to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) with a small IT team. “According to PCI regulations, we must apply critical security patches each month, which requires step-by-step installation and testing and is difficult to complete in one month with limited IT resources,” said Evrim Eroğlu, head of security infrastructure operations at VakifBank. In addition, compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is another challenge for VakifBank today.

With cyberattacks on the increase, VakifBank found that conventional security was not enough to detect or stop unknown and zero-day threats. “Exploit kits are being implemented by cybercriminals so fast that there is no time for applying patches. We needed a more robust security solution that could stop advanced threats,” said Eroğlu.

"Trend Micro products are integrated so that they can communicate with each other, giving us more effective security that is also much more efficient."

Evrim Eroğlu,
Head of Security Infrastructure Operations,
VakifBank

Why Trend Micro

VakifBank prioritized automating its security functions to ensure the company’s IT environment and customer data are continuously protected. Unlike competing solutions, VakifBank found that Trend Micro’s solutions automate many routine procedures and operations and help with compliance issues. They were impressed that the solutions improved the overall efficiency of the security team, which frees the team to focus on strategic projects. “Trend Micro products are integrated so that they can communicate with each other, giving us more effective security that is also much more efficient,” said Eroğlu.

In addition to Trend Micro’s exceptional reputation for great enterprise security, VakifBank discovered that Trend Micro solutions could stop new and unknown attacks. For example, Trend Micro products can eliminate vulnerabilities without the need to frequently install patches, enabling the process to be scheduled in an operationally efficient way without sacrificing security. “We were impressed with Trend Micro’s advanced persistent threat solutions and how they protect against zero-day threats,” said Eroğlu.

"TippingPoint and Deep Discovery stop approximately five events per day, and that makes us more secure."

Evrim Eroğlu,
Head of Security Infrastructure Operations,
VakifBank

Solution

VakifBank deployed Trend Micro™ Deep Security to protect its servers across its data centers, preventing data breaches and business disruptions while enabling compliance. The bank also deployed, Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery, which includes several features that have amped up security for VakifBank. This far surpasses competitive traditional security gateways and provides increased visibility across the network.

Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery Inspector monitors network traffic and uses a number of scan engines and custom sandbox analysis to detect data breaches by advanced malware. In addition, Deep Discovery Email Inspector uses detection and sandboxing to block spear phishing emails and many targeted attacks as well as providing an email inspection layer to block malicious content. “Trend Micro network security solutions integrate to automatically analyze and quarantine suspicious objects or URLs to protect against zero-day threats. The automation of sandboxing simulations is magnificent compared to traditional solutions,” said Eroğlu.

Trend Micro™ TippingPoint defends the network in real time, inspecting all network traffic and blocking threats. It uses machine learning to make decisions and accurately block malicious traffic. Integrating with Deep Discovery, TippingPoint provides threat prevention, insight, and prioritization to give VakifBank real-time enforcement and remediation. “With the integration of Deep Discovery Inspector and TippingPoint, we are able to eliminate malicious activity with greater efficiency,” said Eroğlu.

"We were impressed with Trend Micro’s advanced persistent threat solutions and how they protect against zero-day threats."

Evrim Eroğlu,
Head of Security Infrastructure Operations,
VakifBank

Results

With its data center environment protected by Trend Micro solutions, VakifBank has the foundation it needs to keep its systems and customer data compliant with ever-changing regulations and protected from both known and zero-day threats.

The integration between Deep Discovery and TippingPoint has given VakifBank the APT solution it was looking for, eliminating malicious activity much more efficiently. “TippingPoint and Deep Discovery stop approximately five events per day, and that makes us more secure,” said Eroğlu.

What's next

Eroğlu and his team are aware that banks will continue to be key targets for cybercriminals, and feels prepared with having flexible solutions to defend against the next wave of new cyber threats. “Security threats are not going to stop. Trend Micro is and will continue to be a strategic partner to VakifBank to help us protect our customers’ data around the clock,” said Eroğlu.