FDIC secures remote access with new teleworker solutions

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is using new teleworker technology to provide secure, “instant-on” network access for its roaming audit teams, which examine and supervise financial institutions for soundness and manage receiverships.

The FDIC will be using two Aruba Networks’ FIPS 140-2 solutions, one for small and one for large audit teams. The smaller kits use Aruba’s Remote Access Point technology, which provides both Wi-Fi and wired connectivity for five and 10 users. The large-team kits include a preconfigured wireless local-area network with as many as 16 indoor and rugged, outdoor access points. The network uses a self-healing mesh to link access points without cables.

The plug-and-play kits require no field configuration and can be set up or torn down in minutes without network or client changes. Management is centrally handled by Aruba Mobility Controller devices at the FDIC data center. The devices use Adaptive Radio Management technology to optimize Wi-Fi performance. Firewalls are in the data center, field kits and controllers, said Dave Logan, Aruba’s general manager of federal solutions. The firewalls classify traffic by user identity, device type, location, and time of day, and provides differentiated access for different classes of users, he said.

Prior to using Aruba, the FDIC used dedicated circuits and virtual private networks to remotely connect workers. With the recent banking crisis, the FDIC could have more than 25 teams in the field, with some teams up to 100 people. The technology proved difficult to scale.

The new technology allows “the FDIC to scale the number and size of the teams that work in the field,” said Logan. “The kits have significantly reduced the time required to activate a team to just minutes instead of days, using an instant-on solution that can be set up and taken down with minimal IT involvement. Equally significant, by replacing the previous VPN system, the FDIC was able to do away with client software and management issues.”

About the Authors

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.


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