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Mahesh Bank picks Fortinet to secure its network

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Mahesh Bank has chosen Fortinet over competing vendors like Cisco, Check Point and Juniper.

The bank was the first co-operative urban bank in Andhra Pradesh to introduce computerisation across all its branches and remains one of the few co-operative banks that have automated its operations. Also, was 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 crore for its financial year ending March 31, 2014.

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.

“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 Milind Rajhans, Assistant General Manager – IT & CISO, Mahesh Bank.
Fortinet partner Digital Track provided pre-deployment support to Mahesh Bank by providing standby appliances and conducted hands-on training programs for bank staff.

“We regularly sent them technology and solution updates and actively supported the customer even before we signed the deal. 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,” said Muneer Ahmed, Managing Director, DigitalTrack.

Each of 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 centralised 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 dial-up using the 3G connection. This 3G connectivity feature was not available in competitive products.

The two FortiGate-300C appliances implemented at Mahesh Bank’s data centre have a virtualised framework with different security policies for Internet and Intranet users. The 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 anti-virus, anti-spam, Web filtering, VPN, intrusion prevention and application control.

A FortiAnalyzer-200D centralised reporting appliance provides visibility to IT administrators by analysing 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. 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,” said Rajesh Maurya, Country Manager – India & SAARC, Fortinet.


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