For complete view of network traffic, ENT Credit Union Gains East-West Network Traffic Visibility with Check Point Next Generation Firewalls.

Check Point gives us peace of mind, knowing that our members’ information stays safe and secure. That peace of mind is invaluable.
– Scott Perry, IT Security Architect, ENT Credit Union

Overview

ENT Credit Union
Founded in 1957, ENT is ranked Colorado’s #1 credit union by Forbes. A different kind of financial institution, ENT is committed to improving members’ financial quality of life and returning value through better rates, lower fees and ENT Extras cash rewards. With $5.7+ billion in assets, ENT serves more than 355,000 members at more than 30 convenient service center locations all along the Front Range. As a not-for-profit, community-chartered credit union, ENT’s membership is open to businesses and individuals, who live, work, worship or attend school in any of 13 counties served.

Business Challenge

Gaining Full-Spectrum Cyber Visibility
Financial services organizations like ENT Credit Union are not just concerned with meeting compliance regulations, they’re also committed to assuring customers that their assets and information are secure. This is especially true for community-chartered credit unions that serve friends, neighbors, and local businesses.

ENT Credit Union had rigorous security measures in place. They use Check Point Firewalls for perimeter security to monitor north-south network traffic from the Internet to the bank’s network. They used a different solution to monitor east-west traffic—internal traffic moving on the network between credit union servers and locations.

“We needed to replace an east-west monitoring solution that wasn’t giving us adequate visibility,” said Scott Perry, IT Security Architect at ENT Credit Union. “Without the ability to see into east-west traffic, we can’t identify anomalies that would signal a possible attacker. We needed a better solution.”

Solution

Next-Generation Firewalls as Expert Sensors
As the team investigated alternatives, they decided to simplify their network and continue using tools they already had. With Check Point Firewalls already securing the north-south traffic and Check Point R80 Security Management, ENT Credit Union chose Check Point 15600 Next-Generation Firewalls.

The Check Point 15600 Next Generation firewall combines the most comprehensive security protections with data center-grade hardware to maximize uptime while safeguarding enterprise and data center networks. Advanced threat prevention defends against zero-day attacks and unknown threats. High system performance provides the power needed to inspect and ensure protection of high traffic volumes, including SSL encrypted traffic.

Check Point R80 Cyber Security Management gives the team centralized management control across its networks for north-south and east-west traffic. With comprehensive visibility into firewalls, traffic, and policies from a single console, the team views internal traffic clearly. Check Point R80 enables them to increase operational efficiency and simplify overall management.

ENT Credit Union deployed the Check Point firewalls at its primary and backup data centers. They are set to monitoring mode, enabling the team to collect and aggregate all network data for evaluation by the firewall. Based on parameters set in Check Point R80, anomalies will trigger alerts for the team to investigate.
“The Check Point firewalls are acting as IDS sensors for our internal traffic,” said Perry. “We don’t want to stop east-west traffic, but we want to watch everything and be alerted when anything suspicious occurs.”

Results

Complete Visibility
ENT Credit Union now monitors all infrastructure traffic with Check Point firewalls. The existing firewalls secure north-south traffic, preventing threats from gaining access to the network. The Check Point 15600 Firewalls secure east-west traffic via monitoring and alerting capabilities.

“The ability to monitor internal traffic with Check Point is vital for us to protect our members’ information,” said Perry. “If a malicious actor compromises a single workstation and tries to move money or information, we’ll know it.”

Accelerated Incident Response
Check Point R80 Security Management provides a single pane of glass that gives Perry’s team a unified view into security events and risks. R80 SmartEvent event management provides full threat visibility with real-time forensic and event investigation, compliance, and reporting.

“SmartEvent enables us to investigate alerts and manage threats quickly,” said Perry. “When we receive an alert, now we can respond immediately with comprehensive insight to accelerate remediation.”

Next Steps
Perry’s plans include expanding the IDS sensing capabilities by moving to a preventive stance. Currently the team monitors all traffic as they identify specific traffic types and patterns that flow east to west within the organization.

“Check Point gives us peace of mind, knowing that our members’ information stays safe and secure,” said Perry. “That peace of mind is invaluable.”

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