The Mechanics Bank revs up IT security

The Mechanics Bank, the largest independent community bank in the San Francisco Bay Area, has undertaken an infrastructure upgrade that aims to boost the security of its Citrix Presentation Server-based application environment in the face of a growing threat from viruses and hackers.

"To address the growing threat from viruses and hacking, we urgently needed an out-of-the-box solution for locking down and controlling our systems. At the same time, we also wanted a simple way of optimising our environment to accommodate more users and applications without additional hardware investment," said Ray Anderson, who is responsible for The Mechanics Bank Citrix environment.
Deployment of the AppSense Management Suite formed a central plank of this project to lock down and control the bank's Citrix-based systems which serve users in the organization's 32 branch offices. Since deploying the IT security application suite The Mechanics Bank said it has used the included AppSense Application Manager to control its application environment by "blocking 100 per cent of unauthorized executables".
As a result of this application lockdown, problems such as browser hijacking and malware have been eliminated, according to the organization.
Before the upgrade, The Mechanics Bank's internal IT department was "constantly investigating broken applications and instances of bank users encountering unexpected events in their browsers or in their sessions". But if a user now reports being unable to run an application, the bank's IT department can open the newly installed management offering and determine which executable is running or attempting to run, and fix the problem.
In addition to boosting IT security, the upgrade has helped to increase server utilization. The bank is now able to manage how applications perform and affect resource usage. It reports a cut in its average CPU server load from approximately 20 per cent without AppSense to just 10 per cent with it.

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