US-based Five Flags Banks Moves its IT to Managed Hosting Solution

Pensacola, Fla.-based bank holding company Five Flags Banks (Bank of the South, The Warrington Bank, First Navy Bank) has successfully moved its IT environment from legacy servers to a managed hosting solution delivered by Safe Systems, a provider of compliance-centric IT solutions exclusively to financial institutions.

The managed hosting solution consists of a virtual IT environment supported by Safe Systems’ network management system, NetComply. Five Flags moved all of its legacy servers into one colocation shared by all three of its banks. This colocation facility houses the virtualized server network that supports their 75 users across 7 sites.

Virtual server banking environment

All three banks of Five Flags, among which The Warrington Bank moved their IT environments to a managed hosting solution delivered by Safe Systems.

Prior to the implementation, Five Flags had to manually verify patch updates machine by machine, often relying on rudimentary reporting capabilities to ensure its systems were up to date. The bank now has a single portal to access the status of its entire virtual server network at any time, including virus updates and critical application patching such as Adobe and Java, keeping it ahead of regulators. Safe Systems designed, managed and implemented the virtualization project from beginning to end.

“As a three-bank holding company, we knew we needed a system that would afford us cost savings and a more efficient means of running our IT environment,” said James Brammer, ISO at Five Flags Banks. “We chose to work with Safe Systems because of the company’s financial institution expertise and knowledge of regulatory expectations.”

The virtual IT network consolidates multiple operating system environments onto a single server supported by a fully redundant backup. This would simplify back office operations, increase response time to changing business demands and improve business continuity planning by providing high availability for mission-critical servers. Combining this back office technology with the FFIEC-compliant IT management toolset, NetComply allows the bank to completely outsource day-to-day IT functions and management to a hosted environment with Safe Systems and its SOC 2 Type II audited facilities.

600 financial institutions nationwide

“Manually updating patches is a headache and third party software can be expensive,” Brammer continued. “Five Flags had grown into and out of its original hardware and needed to take a more proactive approach to keep ahead of audit and regulatory requirements. Safe Systems provides us with a simple, more redundant and compliant infrastructure that runs effortlessly behind the scenes with 99.9 percent uptime and we have a team of experts available for support.”

Founded in 1993, Safe Systems is now working with more than 600 financial institutions nationwide. The company, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, provides a variety of services including managed hosting services, compliance solutions, business continuity & disaster recovery, and security services.