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Building a Wired/Wireless Network for Banking

24/7/2013 9:38:05 AM

Background

China Everbright Bank is among the largest companies in China, with branches in 37 cities across the country. The bank’s Kunming branch serves a city of six million people, the largest city in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. This branch adheres to the client-centered, market-oriented strategy of the parent company and strives to maintain a strong competitive edge in integrated operation management, corporate banking services, international business, and wealth management.

Challenges

Until recently, outlets of China Everbright Bank branches used traditional wired networks to provide bank services. These networks met only basic office requirements and were not open to customers. To improve customer services, Kunming Branch decided to build a secure and flexible wireless network to cover all outlets across Kunming.

While banks must prioritize service stability and security, network expansion usually affects services running on the existing network. The bank specified that services on the existing network should not be interrupted. At the same time, the wireless network needed to make full use of the devices on the existing network to realize unified wired/wireless management. The wireless network also had to have strong and comprehensive security mechanisms to handle financial services and transactions.

Solution

Huawei deployed a wireless network based on China Everbright Bank’s wired network, which supports many services over 100 Mbit/s Ethernet. On the wired network of each branch outlet in Kunming, one or more wired ports were reserved for the wireless network.

Huawei’s solution uses an S5700 Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch at each branch outlet to connect and provide power for wireless Access Points (APs). An AC6605 access controller connects to the core switch at the provincial branch in bypass mode to manage and control the APs. The core switch connects to external networks through a Huawei USG2210 firewall and authentication servers.

The firewall and authentication servers control different services for employees and customers. Huawei’s solution uses two Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) that specify different user rights to authorize and authenticate employees and customers.

Additionally, data is encrypted to ensure link layer security. The wireless network also supports rogue AP detection to prevent interference from unauthorized devices.

Benefits

The end-to-end wireless network solution for the Kunming branch allows an AC to be bypassed to the core switch. As a result, the existing network architecture remains unchanged, and the bank’s existing services are not affected. In addition to the high-performance AC6605, the wireless network uses Huawei’s indoor AP6010 that won an International Forum (iF) design award. Huawei eSight network management software implements integrated management of wireless and wired devices.

The wireless network is highly secure, ensuring stable services for the bank’s operations. SSID isolation, mature authentication and encryption technologies, and rogue AP detection protect bank networks against security threats.

The China Everbright bank outlets in Kunming now provide an open wireless network environment through which customers can get information and handle online banking services. While waiting in line, customers can use smart phones or tablets to surf the web through the free Wi-Fi network. The lobby manager can also use smart terminals to promote services to customers.

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