Secure cross-border financial information

March 2009 Security Services & Risk Management

A financial institution’s disaster recovery solutions need to be sound, that is why Blue Financial Services opted for Attix5-driven D8taVault.

A financial services company which operates across several African countries has looked to low-maintenance Attix5 technology to safeguard its essential business information. By using the South African-developed technology, Blue Financial Services is able to conduct its business secure in the knowledge that its information – and that of its clients – is securely backed up, stored and protected.

As a client of technology solutions provider, Integr8IT, Blue Financial Services opted for the company’s D8taVault backup solution, which is based on Attix5’s Backup Professional technology.

According to Timothy Archer, D8taVault service manager, the solution provides for automated backups to a central, secure data centre using the Internet. “As a fully automated solution, D8taVault also removes the requirement for intervention or action on the part of the systems administrator,” he explains.

This, says Archer, was highly attractive to Blue Financial Services, which operates in 12 African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya, Namibia and Swaziland.

“Initially we engaged with Blue Financial to protect its South African operations; however, the success of the backup technology was soon realised by the company which opted to extend the deployment to protect its operations on the continent,” says Archer.

With several of its servers hosted by Verizon, an initial 10 machines had the Attix5 technology installed on-site. This process requires the installation of a software agent on each machine, and the creation of a backup copy of the data to be protected. This copy is maintained at Integr8IT’s offsite data centre. At a predetermined time each day, Attix5 scans each server for any changes to the data contained, and for new data added to the server. Using incremental backup algorithms, the changed data, together with any new data is compressed and transmitted over a secure Internet connection for backup in Integr8IT’s data centre.

The success of the initial project, says Archer, is such that Blue Financial very quickly looked to expand its use of technology. “Once the Verizon-hosted servers were taken care of, we moved on to protecting 10 more of the most important machines in Blue Financial’s head office. Right now we are busy assisting in providing backup solutions for the company as it expands into Nigeria,” he explains.

With Blue Financial currently having 270 Branches and with plans to open more, Archer says the solution has some interesting permutations. “Given that data centre facilities are not readily available, we are implementing 22 servers in a bank’s server room hosting facility. Within this, we are dropping a storage platform which will in all probability be mirrored to a second site for added resilience.”

Sam Brink BFS Group IT Executive, says, “The Attix5 solution is one of the many elements of this infrastructure; it has given us peace of mind and has proven to be a reliable and scalable solution for protection of our information.

“As a financial institution our disaster recovery solutions need to be sound. This solution has exceeded our expectations and has added immense value to the business.”

Given the significant advantages of automated, offsite and secure backups, he says the extent of Blue Financial’s use of Attix5 technology is set to grow from an already substantial footprint. “The technology is not only easy to use with little intervention required from administrators, it also provides absolute assurance of data protection. It also came at a relatively low cost, which was a major selling point.”

For more information contact Michael Law, managing director, Attix5, +27 (0)11 575 0134,

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