Bangladesh based Prime Bank Limited secures Leadership with IBM next-gen Cognitive SOC

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Author: Sudeep Das, Technology Sales, IBM Global Markets

Prime Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Bangladesh, recently completed 25 years of existence. Over these years, it has kept pace with change and is now best known for its new initiatives of Digital Banking services.

In fact, Bank is now in full swing on its digital transformation journey, with several re architecting and technology overhaul projects in the offing.

In the process, it is empowering clients to bank through the channels they prefer and in a manner that is simpler, more convenient, and easily accessible. It is also positioned to increase financial inclusion in Bangladesh through digital means.

Not surprising then, that it has been rated the Best Digital Bank in Bangladesh in 2020 by international agency.

One of the by-products of digital transformation is data. Loads of it. And this data brings the responsibility to protect it from threats – both internal and external.

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At Prime Bank, this responsibility lies on the broad shoulders of Mr. Md. Mahbubul Alam, Head of Information Security Division, popularly addressed as Rafel.

Md. Mahbubul Alam (Rafel)
Sr. Assistant Vice President, Head of Information Security Division, Prime Bank Limited, Bangladesh

In context of securing this transformation journey, Mr. Rafel “is developing the bank’s cybersecurity posture from three different fronts – delivering deep-dive security testing, implementing contextualized cyber solutions and uplifting cybersecurity specialists’ skills.

For that, Mr. Rafel wanted to bring in greater security intelligence, accelerate threat detection, improve compliance posture, and align information security to support bank’s aspiration to become a true digital bank.

Mr. Rafel and his team was, hence, looking to set up a state-of-the-art Security Operations Center (SoC) to deploy a powerful defense mechanism that can detect, prevent, and respond faster to security threats.

Mr. Rafel says, “a SOC is only as effective as the data you feed it & we were looking for an integrated platform with capabilities of log collection, network traffic analysis along with best threat intelligence, existing vulnerability management, incident response & last but not the least forensic analysis capability.”

For their SoC, they needed a next-gen Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution that could provide security event correlation, security intelligence & threat monitoring across bank’s distributed network.

Prime Bank chose IBM Security’s flagship offering QRadar SIEM a market leading log management with QVM, QNI, QFLOW, QRIF & Resilient SOAR Platform. IBM Security QRadar gives the bank 360-degree visibility into their network, unrivalled situational awareness, and broadest analytics capabilities for real-time monitoring of threats round the clock.

Mr. Rafel adds, “Rather buying a watchdog, we have preferred to onboard a Guard Dog with defending capability.”

One of the key success factors for Prime Bank was a solution that manages cyber security without creating a system that is overly complex and that is not costly to implement and maintain. IBM Security QRadar, by simplifying integration with bank’s existing Technology and Information security tools & systems, just does it.

Moreover, QRadar uniquely combines log management, security event and information management, and network behaviour analysis in a single solution, resulting in a decrease in cost of ownership, cost of deployment as well as cost of operation.

Post this implementation, completed in 2020, Prime Bank, is one of the leading banks in Bangladesh to have an SOC. In fact, Prime Bank’s SOC is designed to increase intelligence, speed, and accuracy of security investigations, acting as an enabler for continued efforts to drive digital innovations.

Mr. Rafel concludes, “SOC’s effectiveness depends on the ability to enrich data, ability to use data that really matters & formulation of proper use cases for detection purposes.

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