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Franklin Synergy Bank Seeks a Unified Security Approach

Franklin Synergy Bank is a community bank located in Franklin, Tennessee. It offers a unique blend of tailored banking products, and leverages technology (e.g., mobile banking) to provide a superior banking experience for its customers. Founded in 2007, Franklin Synergy Bank has approximately 70 employees across 11 locations. James Dyal is the Network Administrator, and is responsible for the bank’s IT infrastructure.


Franklin Synergy Bank Needed a Unified Security Approach

Frankly Synergy needed a unified solution for its network, web, and email security. As the anchor of its network, the firewall needed to go beyond port-based firewalls by providing security and bandwidth controls for applications. Further, given the growing number of locations and remote users, the bank needed site-to-site and client-to-site VPN services that could easily scale, without increasing costs. In addition, the bank needed its firewall to properly segment its network. Its previous WatchGuard firewall was noticeably degrading in performance, and the bank required a significant firewall upgrade.


Franklin Synergy’s web and email infrastructure also needed the proper level of security. For web security, the bank needed to monitor online employee activities to limit the amount of time employees spent on leisure sites, while restricting access to inappropriate content, notably adult and gambling sites. The solution ultimately needed to ensure that employees didn’t visit sites that would leave the bank susceptible to viruses and malware.


The bank also faced a lack of control over its email infrastructure. An excessive amount of spam was entering the network, and unchecked outgoing messages presented the risk of inadvertent data loss. Also concerning was the risk of viruses being delivered through email, which puts data at risk, and DDoS attacks, which put business operations at risk.


Franklin Synergy Bank didn’t just need a solution for each individual vector, but also required a method to centralize and streamline the management of its security posture.


Barracuda’s Unified Security Solution

When its firewall started to become a bottleneck in the network, Dyal started to consider a new anchor for its network. Not only did the Barracuda Firewall provide the bank with granular control of its web applications, but it also enabled granular management of its network bandwidth. Dyal could also easily set up and manage the VLANs, DMZs, and NATs necessary for the bank’s services. With VPN functionality bundled into the firewall, he had the flexibility to provide remote users with SSL VPN and IPsec connectivity, while also connecting the various locations with IPsec tunnels.


Before purchasing the Barracuda Firewall, Franklin Synergy Bank already owned several Barracuda solutions:
• Barracuda Web Filter
• Barracuda Spam Firewall
• Barracuda Link Balancer
• Barracuda Message Archiver
• Barracuda Backup


Owning several Barracuda solutions provided clear benefits to the company:
• Similar user interfaces reduced the technology learning curve and eased day-to-day management.
• A single support system eliminated finger pointing between different security vendors.
• Barracuda Cloud Control provided a cloud-based centralized management portal to remotely access and monitor its security posture.


With the Barracuda Firewall serving as the core of the network, Dyal was able to integrate it with his existing Barracuda Web Filter which enforced granular Internet policies for the bank’s employees. While the Barracuda Firewall provided bandwidth management over applications and specific protocol-based traffic, the Barracuda Web Filter then provided bandwidth management for web applications like BitTorrent, Netflix, and Pandora. Further, the bank could monitor employee Internet usage and limit time spent on leisure sites while managing the bandwidth used by web applications. With the Barracuda Web Filter, the bank could limit the liabilities and risks caused by inappropriate content from adult and gambling sites. Dyal also felt secure in knowing that he could block access to potentially dangerous websites that hosted viruses or malware. The Barracuda Spam Firewall was then integrated into the architecture to provide comprehensive email security.


“Integrating our network, email, and web security not only provides us with best-of-breed security, but building a security architecture that provides a consistent user interface across security solutions, having a single support system, and centrally managing products, lowered technology adoption, eliminated finger pointing between vendors, and eased the management of multiple solutions, ” said Dyal.


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