Sensitive Information Management Suite
Our patented Digital Vault provides premier security.
World-class cellular network relies on Cyber-Ark for secure, efficient and cost effective exchange of sensitive data with authorized law enforcement agencies, to improve operational responsiveness and productivity
The MTN Group Limited (MTN Group) is a leading provider of communication services, offering cellular network access and business solutions. MTN South Africa (MTN SA) is one of MTN’s core brands, and the leading customer service provider in the telecommunications industry. MTN SA is committed to delivering innovative and customer focused products. A key focus area for the division is improving quality of service, capacity and self-provisioning.
The telecommunications market in South Africa is highly competitive, and as a result, the pressure to deliver exceptional customer service and innovative products and services is paramount to MTN SA’s continued market leadership.
In concert with the global trend of cellular phone market saturation, South Africa’s mobile industry has experienced rapid growth over the past decade. However, with this growth surfaced several challenges for providers, including the need to scale their technology and operations to support emerging customer and legal requirements.
Most notably, South African mobile network operators are required to provide certain types of investigation data to authorized law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to assist them in their cases and investigations (upon receipt of a court subpoena). Due to the frequency and time-sensitive nature of these requests, MTN SA needed to implement a rapid, secure and reliable means to exchange data with legal authorities. The company’s current infrastructure and process did not support automated data logs, secured access control and electronic data copy—systems that would streamline operational efficiencies while improving the ability of law enforcement agencies to analyze important case data.
In the case of MTN SA, the decision to partner with Cyber-Ark was driven not by traditional regulatory and compliance concerns, but by the business and legal requirement to quickly, securely and accurately transfer data critical to legal investigations to authorized law enforcement agencies.
Call data records (CDRs) are extracted for LEAs to provide important investigation data-originating and terminating calls, as well as location-based data to aid in identification of the location of missing persons. As CDRs are generated in huge volumes, sometimes running into terabytes, the process of transferring the data could take upwards of two weeks. The highly manual process also required MTN SA to print and physically courier the data to the LEAs. Assisting with hundreds of investigations per month, MTN SA needed a more efficient, cost effective approach to transfer the type of data required by a court subpoena.
“MTN SA has a dedicated ‘paperless office’ initiative, and our previous ways of sharing reams of data with third-parties was negatively impacting productivity and simply did not meet with new standards for creating less waste,” said Louis Nel from MTN SA. “In addition, we needed to ensure that the move to electronic data was seamless and that the data presented in the court of law reflected the same data that we originally provided to investigators.”
After reviewing alternatives, MTN SA selected Cyber-Ark’s Inter-Business Vault® as its secure, innovative, automated file transfer solution. First deployed in 2008, the Inter-Business Vault provides a flexible, centralized managed file transfer solution that enables organizations to manage exchange of business information with their business partners, customers, suppliers or subcontractors. It is a high-availability system that offers multi-gigabyte file-size support and automatically compresses and encrypts transferred files, while creating auditable transfer logs.
Cyber-Ark’s Inter-Business Vault was fully deployed and operational within two months. MTN SA employees and LEA investigators were able to quickly learn and utilize the system, which was an important criterion in MTN SA’s selection process. With Inter-Business Vault, MTN SA successfully automated its investigation data transmissions process, shrinking delivery time from days to hours, and increasing the efficiency of internal analysts.
Once the Inter-Business Vault was in place and fully integrated with MTN SA’s mail infrastructure, the company now had the solution it needed to send automated notifications of new subpoena requests, as well as automated updates announcing the finalization of investigation data. Similarly, LEAs could log their subpoenas directly with MTN SA and receive electronic copies of data, replacing the need for multiple faxes and couriering between the two organizations. Since the company handles hundreds of investigation requests per month, this automated process was critical to both sides of the transfer process—MTN SA and LEAs.
Additionally, MTN SA’s implementation of Cyber-Ark’s Inter-Business Vault limited the issues that would typically result from a company’s transition from paper to electronic data. Inter-Business Vault’s auditable transfer logs enabled MTN SA to ensure that the data presented in the court of law mirrored that which was provided to investigators at the time of subpoena. The company also found the aptitude of Inter-Business Vaults’ infrastructure to limit IT administrator’s access to highly sensitive investigation data to bedistinctly beneficial.
“Cyber-Ark’s Inter-Business Vault is part of a holistic organizational change where efficiency and effectiveness are top priorities. Our operations team is now empowered to take on higher impact goals,” continued Louis Nel.
Based on its successful use of IBV, MTN SA is currently investigating expansion of its investment in Cyber-Ark solutions. The company is particularly interested in the benefits of the Privileged Identity Management Suite and the Enterprise Password Vault®.
Through implementation of Cyber-Ark’s Inter-Business Vault, MTN SA’s investigation team is better prepared to execute the quality and important work that they undertake on a daily basis. With a staff on duty 24 hours a day, assisting investigators in a range of criminal cases, it was imperative that MTN provided them with the tools necessary to ensure successful and accurate prosecutions and acquittals.