The rise of digital technology and the spread of connected devices and services have made cybersecurity a major concern for banks, which are leading the way in threat detection and prevention. ALTEN Canada set up a team to develop and integrate cybersecurity solutions for a major international bank’s US and Canadian locations to align with US Federal Reserve System regulations.
The foundations for the cybersecurity unit were created in 2018 by a team of two. It has now grown into an efficient team of fourteen. The project involved some technical and operational challenges. First, the customer had an “in-house” IT culture, and ALTEN had to bring in a system for managing software vulnerabilities in an environment characterized by a wide variety of programming languages and technologies and proprietary software.
“As customer-oriented developers, one of our strengths on this project was our ability to communicate with developers on the bank’s staff tasked with fixing the issues we identified,”
Jean-François Châtelain, who runs ALTEN Canada’s cybersecurity practice and who created the cybersecurity service lineup.
“We also hired non-developer technical staff with the soft skills needed to communicate with several dozen contacts, negotiate, and obtain buy-in for the project. In addition, we brought a data scientist on board to take the project to an even higher level through data analysis. The bank’s management supported and facilitated our approach.”
Blue Team and Red Team work toward a single objective
ALTEN’s “Blue Team” currently counts eight security developers and analysts, plus the “soft skills” hired for reporting. The services delivered to the bank also include an optimization phase in order to ensure that the processes built are sustainable. This is where the “Red Team” made up of six ethical hackers, comes in to find vulnerabilities.
“We have to be able to provide a clear picture of the risks, and very quickly if we are going to help our customer prioritize which vulnerabilities to address first,” said Mr Châtelain.
In fact, Mr Châtelain’s mission goes beyond the project in place at the bank. He also gives talks at the French Chamber of Commerce in Montreal and at Canadian universities on the bank’s investment in securing its systems and its best practices.
According to Mr Châtelain, ALTEN’s know-how and capacity to recruit the necessary profiles quickly and efficiently have helped earn the bank’s trust and make the project such a success.
“The most important thing was our ability to understand our customer’s needs and adapt to their environment.
We are IT people, of course, but we are also capable of understanding the market and using common sense.”
Mr Châtelain – ALTEN Canada
Mr Châtelain’s straightforward wrap-up also sums up ALTEN Canada’s pragmatic culture.
Find out more about ALTEN’s major projects in the ALTEN Mag Aeronautics, Space & Defense Special.