One of the largest banks in the world replaced the database auditing system they developed in-house with Imperva Data Security. Imperva Data Security, a market- leading database auditing and protection solution, saved the bank over $90 million by streamlining hardware and software spending, eliminating database server load, and reducing manual processes that relied upon built-in database auditing.

Cost savings and operational effciency are critical for this global bank as they operate in over 40 countries, provide retail and business banking, wealth and investment management, and corporate and investment banking services to over 38 million customers. With such a widespread presence, this bank naturally faces a host of regulations.

Business Problem

The bank’s global operations and customer base subject it to regulations such as MAS TRM, RBI Guidelines, and SOX. While each of these mandates has its own requirements, several common themes cut across virtually all of the regulations: privileged-user auditing, sensitive data auditing, real-time alerting and reporting, and excessive user rights identification.

Facing pressure to deliver more IT services using fewer budget dollars, the bank turned to the free, built-in auditing capabilities included with their databases to meet regulatory requirements. These free tools were initially seen as an inexpensive and simple way to get the job done. For nearly two years, the bank used the built-in auditing tools to try and address their database auditing requirements. Ultimately, the tools proved to be too costly and unreliable. To make their in-house solution work effectively, the bank determined that it was going to cost them at least $100 million.

That dramatic price tag was attributed to three hidden costs that surfaced while using the native auditing tools. First, built-in auditing consumed 20 percent of their database processing power. To compensate for that performance hit, the bank had to purchase additional database hardware and software. The second major cost was for extra storage space needed to accommodate the massive volume of log data being collected. Extracting useful results from their mountain of data led to the third major cost: increased IT headcount to manage the auditing “system” and to run audit reports. In addition, the bank failed an audit because their IT staff was unable to produce consistent and repeatable audit reports that satisfied the different regulations.

Automating Three Key Areas for Savings

Using an automated database solution from Imperva, the bank was able to substantially reduce the three hidden cost areas associated with built-in database auditing. Imperva Data Security reduced the 20 percent increase in database processor utilization by 90 percent. This alone saved the bank $70 million. The solution added just a 2 percent load on the database servers. With its ability to retain only relevant information, Imperva Data Security reduced storage cost to $29 million. Furthermore, 32 full-time IT employees were able to focus on other critical projects, which translated into $3.3 million savings. Generating audit reports became less complex and required a smaller IT team to operate the solution. In addition, the bank’s auditors informed them that their reports were now more meaningful.

Cost Savings Analysis

The table below compares the cost of using built-in database audit and logging solutions versus Imperva Data Security, over a one year period of time. The total cost with built-in database audit and logging solutions for the bank was around $110 million, while with Imperva, the cost was reduced to $20 million.

For this multinational bank, database auditing headaches are now a thing of the past. Imperva Data Security allows the bank to deliver higher customer value through increased IT operational efficiency.

Component Built-in Database Audit and Logging Solution Imperva Data Security
Extra hardware and software ~ $76 million ~ $7.6 million
Extra storage ~ $29 million ~ $5 thousand
Labor ~ $4.7 million (~45 FTE) ~ $1.4 million (~13 FTE)
Imperva Data Security ~ $11 million
Total cost of ownership ~ $110 million ~ $20 million
Savings ~ $90 million