Banking on Efficiency

Banking on Efficiency

Maintaining financial services compliance requirements

Operating in more than 4,000 buildings, one of the largest U.S. banks could not keep up with the onboarding and off-boarding of 300,000-plus employees, contractors, vendors and visitors.

Thousands of people were involved in approving building access, all working in different departments at different locations, each with their own manual processes and compliance requirements. The sheer number of identities to manage was overwhelming and consisted of cumbersome, manual processes using multiple emails and phone calls across the organization.

It often took days to get a new employee an access card. Scarier yet were delays in removing an identity from the system, giving ex-employees and non-employees access after their termination dates. All of the manual processes above bogged down the Security Operations department in volleying emails, running reports and doing endless data entry. Rather than hire more people to resolve these issues, the bank looked at technology to streamline its operations, increase efficiencies and manage identities.

Identity Compliance

Maintaining financial services compliance requirements by manually auditing individual access privileges was nearly impossible. The Security Operations audit process consisted of Excel sheets that were shared and reviewed securely by various teams but took months to complete. The bank was falling out of compliance and wasting money.

Implementing AMAG Technology’s Symmetry CONNECT web-based identity management platform with Symmetry Access Control automated all of these manual processes. Automated notifications sent via CONNECT workflow automated re-certifications and access requests, allowing the bank to enforce compliance requirements.

The bank faced many challenges, but one of the most significant were the manual onboarding and off-boarding process for the more than 300,000 employees, vendors and contractors. The email- and paper-based access request process involved thousands of local approvers, lacked a cost effective way to review, audit or complete access privileges, and created an inefficient security department based on a centralized security architecture.

Other challenges made it impossible to enforce corporate audit and security policies and implementation of a homegrown system that produced a 31 percent completion rate of quarterly access audits.

Streamlined Access

Using this solution allowed the banking system to use a policy-based identity management platform to automate all manual processes, improve efficiencies, reduce risk and help bank meet audit and compliance requirements, register more than 3,000 access area owners, and provide notifications and escalations to be automatically sent to access owners and managers during audits to enforce compliance.

Banking staff have been able to complete quarterly audits per corporate policy, streamline the access request process and eliminate all manual work efforts, as well as implement distributed security architecture to more efficiently manage identities.

With this solution, the bank achieved automated on and off boarding, the distributed model, increased efficiencies meant faster turnaround with lower labor cost and automated workflow provided simple method for access area owners to action access requests. The bank estimated that it will save more than $1 million in annually and be able to create audit reports instantly to meet compliance requirements. This update also will reduce access confirmation audits from more than 1 million to 500,000 and provide 100 percent completion of every quarterly audit since implementation.

Using the identity management software, the bank restructured its operations to a distributed model, allowing access owners to action access requests, audit their secure areas and manage identities with the click of a button. This eliminated the security team bottleneck, saved the bank millions of dollars in labor and created a safer environment. Detailed audit reports allowed the bank to prove that compliance requirements were met and maintained over time.

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Security Today.

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