Permanent TSB is the third largest Irish provider of personal retail banking services in Ireland, and has its origins in some of the oldest savings, investments and banking institutions in the country. Today, it is focused on providing its 1 million plus customers with first class online and mobile banking services, which fit busy lifestyles on the move.
“Permanent TSB bank is all about doing the basics extremely well and providing those services anywhere, anytime,” explains Martin Farrelly, Head of IT Risk and Control at Permanent TSB. “In addition to our local branches and ATMs, we provide telephone banking, business services, mobile banking and online banking. We also enable mobile money transfer.”
Because online banking is such a crucial part of Permanent TSB’s service offering, its availability for 24/7 customer use is vital. This means that the bank’s website and digital presence must be protected against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which could otherwise take it offline.
The possibility of DDoS attacks was identified as a threat a number of years ago following stories about other companies falling victim. At the time, DDoS was a new type of threat that was investigated by the bank’s IT Risk and Control team. During the investigation period, a DDoS attack rocked the Irish government, knocking a department’s website offline. After that attack, Permanent TSB quickly made the decision to take action and bolster their DDoS defenses.
Following the risk assessment, it was decided that a DDoS mitigation service was required, and so Martin Farrelly and his team began to research the market for DDoS protection providers.
“Initially we signed up for our ISP’s DDoS protection service, which ran for two years before going end-of-life,” says Farrelly. “We then looked at other options and were able to put some temporary solutions in place based on the fact that, with 90% of our customer-base in Ireland, we could simply block anything suspicious coming in from outside the country,” he added.
A temporary solution was not the answer though, and following a competitive tender from six providers, which included extensive testing and evaluation, Permanent TSB chose Neustar SiteProtect as its DDoS protection solution.
Permanent TSB is now confident that the customer portal to its online banking system is protected from DDoS attacks.
“With more banking transactions happening online than through any of our local branches or via our call centre, it’s good to know we have professional DDoS mitigation in place in case of attack,” Farrelly concluded.