Virgin Money installs 10-layer virtual vault

Financial services firm Virgin Money has deployed a "virtual security vault" on its network to protect sensitive data. The system...

Financial services firm Virgin Money has deployed a "virtual security vault" on its network to protect sensitive data. The system incorporates 10 security layers, including a virtual private network, firewall, data access control and encryption.

Eddy Deegan, IT security manager at Virgin Money, said vaulting technology offers a low-cost method of protecting confidential data in a way that it is accessible to authorised users. It cost the company £26,000 to install.

By providing a single point of entry and exit for all sensitive data and establishing audit trails, it is relatively simple to show what data has been accessed and by whom.

"The possibility of data going astray and someone seeing it who shouldn't is one that everyone in the business can relate to," said Deegan. "That is the main justification for doing it. The result could be a lot more damaging than that one-off payment. It was worth the money just for the piece of mind."

The vault was developed by Israeli software firm Cyber-Ark and was supplied by consultantcy Global Secure Systems.

Virgin Money has 450 users in three buildings in Norwich. The buildings are connected by a fibre-based local area network with Extreme network switches that offers a 2Mbyte connection.

The system, which went live just before Christmas, is "a lot more user friendly and intuitive" than the previous set-up, said Deegan. Another benefit is that the encrypted vault data held on the server stays encrypted when it is backed up onto tape.

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