AIB completes major internal security project


31 Oct 2006

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AIB has completed the installation of a major identity and security framework for its 35,000 employees using security technology from Novell, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

The system will enable consistent identity data across connected systems in the bank’s global operations and will enable the bank to conduct faster IT deployments.

The bank opted for a mixed source technical architecture using Novell open source and proprietary software for security as well as the Sun Java Desktop and proprietary software from Oracle and SAP.

AIB required the implementation of an IT strategy that would improve communications within the group and embed an infrastructure through the removal of servers from branches and the progression towards a centralised identity management and role-based access controls.

From a business level, operational efficiencies and cost savings drove this strategy along with the need to improve staff productivity. External forces, such as regulatory compliance and corporate governance, played an important factor when devising the strategy.

John Kennedy, AIB’s senior technical architect, explained: “The technology that AIB chooses must adhere to three basic principles: it must be fit for the purpose, exhibit the right characteristics and be commercially supported. Novell’s past acquisitions, including SuSE, gave credibility to the business case and comfort to the long-term support of open source technologies in AIB Group. We are firm believers in open standards and open architecture.”

In 2003 AIB chose Novell to provide them with a platform agnostic service and, using Identity Manager, a standard way of integrating and synchronising their applications to the directory. Currently this underpins the role-based access control model, user provisioning and the desktop management framework — all critical elements in AIB’s New Banking Platform.

Novell’s chief technology officer for security and identity management Adrian Humbel told siliconrepublic.com: “Regulatory compliance is a priority for AIB. From a Sarbanes-Oxley perspective managers can do more provisioning and auditing of the system. Identity management as a business is growing and for Novell it represents one third of our business.

“On a practical basis the technology enables single sign-on and easy management of the system enables managers to define users’ privileges and access rights to parts of the network,” Humbel said.

By John Kennedy