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News

Network Access Control and Endpoint Protection at Credit Union

ForeScout Technologies : 05 March, 2010  (Application Story)
The Patelco Credit Union of America is using CounterACT from ForeScout to protect financial information and prevent theft and fraud through the securing of endpoints
ForeScout Technologies, a provider of network access control (NAC) for Fortune 1000 enterprises and government organisations, has announced that CounterACT has been chosen by Patelco Credit Union, America's 13th largest credit union, to ward off malware attacks, insider fraud and assist with regulatory compliance. Working with ForeScout, Patelco Credit Union was able to install CounterACT in a single day, providing immediate protection for 1,500 endpoints across its network.

Patelco is among the largest credit unions in the US, with over $3.6 billion in assets and 290,000 members. As with many financial institutions across America, Patelco is under constant pressure to keep up with emerging threats and the ever-changing regulatory landscape. According to the recently released 2009 Identity Theft Resource Centre Breach Report, malicious attacks and insider threats are up 36.4 percent with 354 reported data security breaches last year, compared to 27 percent caused by accidental exposure or lost data.

Like many of ForeScout's customers, Patelco maintains a large Cisco-switched environment. With over 40 full service branch offices, Patelco wanted to add a layer of protection to its network to ward off malware attacks, insider fraud and a myriad of other network threats. Facing continued pressure from quarterly regulatory compliance audits, the credit union also required a cost-effective solution to help collect information and streamline the audit process.

"Our customers are our top priority and we'll do whatever it takes to protect their information. ForeScout is well-equipped to handle threats originating from within the firewall, as well as at the perimeter," said John Shields, Vice President and CTO at Patelco. "If anyone from 'the inside' tries to probe for customers' private financial information, we catch them. And if the attacks come from outside, we can spot and block them long before they can connect."

Prior to choosing ForeScout, Patelco evaluated several solutions from NAC, endpoint protection and switch providers. Many of the solutions they considered required five or six appliances and agents installation on every endpoint. They also required weeks, if not months to deploy. Most did not offer a combined intrusion prevention and NAC solution. Few had a wide range of compliance reporting options available to help streamline the audit process. ForeScout was the exception.

"ForeScout was simple - one box, one day to install ... and agent-less operation," said John Shields, vice president and CTO at Patelco. "It met all our needs and we didn't have to make any changes to our network. That's why we chose ForeScout - simple, cost-effective and easy-to-use."

ForeScout CounterACT enables IT departments to maximise protection against internal and external threats with minimal hardware investment. CounterACT is infrastructure agnostic, which eliminates the need to rip-and-replace existing switches or infrastructure to deploy network access control. Once installed, a single CounterACT manages up to 400,000 devices, offering complete protection through access control, compliance management, asset visibility, patch control and malicious threat protection. In terms of compliance, CounterACT has a fully integrated reporting engine that helps monitor policy compliance and fulfill regulatory audit requirements.

"Every quarter, we run network policy checks through ForeScout to collect our audit data. From there, ForeScout offers a number of built-in reporting options that help speed and streamline the audit reporting process," said John Shields. "We have the best of both worlds with ForeScout in place -- customer records are more fully protected against theft and fraud, and our audit and reporting process has been greatly streamlined."

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