Case Study

City Brokerage realizes superior visibility and secures access of all core applications

Achieves seamless migration, 100% uptime of services, and saves US$50,000 in operational expenditure with Palo Alto Networks NGFW

In brief


City Brokerage Limited


Financial Services

Products and Services

Brokerage Solutions

Organization Size

51-200 employees




GAZI Communications

    • The customer wanted to migrate away from their legacy firewalls to have manageability and visibility of all network traffic.
    • Due to a ransomware attack, they were looking for a Zero Trust solution for their cloud environment.
    • They needed a solution that could assure them regulatory compliance.

Palo Alto Networks Network Security Platform:

  • ML-Powered Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs)
  • Cloud-Delivered Security Services (CDSS) of Threat Prevention, Advanced URL Filtering and Wildfire®

    • Seamless migration from the existing solution increased productivity and time savings.
    • They saw 100% uptime of all services and savings of US$50,000 in operational expenditure.
    • All remote users were secured with GlobalProtect®, all cloud services were secured with Advanced URL Filtering, and they were able to meet regulatory requirements.
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City Brokerage Limited (CBL), a wholly owned subsidiary of The City Bank Limited, was established in 2009, and has taken on the role of a leader in the brokerage industry in Bangladesh. The company caters to retail, nonresident Bangladeshis, local and foreign institutional trading with complete transparency and compliance. Md. Nazrul Islam, Head of IT at CBL was managing a mix of security products and was looking to invest in the best security infrastructure inline with the global mandate of The City Bank Limited. The search for a security solution became immediate when the company faced operational disruption on account of a ransomware attack. As Nazrul says, “We were on the lookout for an innovative firewall solution with a proven track record to ensure that we were equipped to ward off any impending threats to our IT infrastructure.”


Securing core application access, better visibility of security threats, connecting remote users and cloud security

At the outset, Nazrul wanted a solution that could keep CBL secure against cyberthreats such as ransomware and zero-day attacks. “Our incumbent security provider was incapable of keeping us protected and it was a tedious task for us to recover from that attack. We needed a stable, zero-day solution that offered us Zero Trust architecture to safeguard us from similar or more sophisticated attacks,” says Nazrul. The first step for CBL was to migrate all firewalls from the legacy solution.

Another concern that needed to be addressed was manageability and visibility of all traffic, as this was something that the organization lacked with the previous solution. Nazrul explains, “After the pandemic, ~50% percent of the company’s employees continued to work remotely and it became necessary to provide flexible and secure remote access for all users.” With ~50% percent of their application workload on the cloud, CBL wanted to fortify their cloud environment as well, by mitigating possible real-time threats. Additionally, they had to adhere to regulatory requirements as they are governed by the regulatory standards of the Dhaka Stock Exchange Limited and the Chittagong Stock Exchange Limited.


Secure access of all core applications, remote access enablement, Advanced URL Filtering, and regulatory compliance

Being in the financial sector, CBL needed to strengthen its security posture. Based on their position and ranking in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™, and the fact that City Bank, the parent company, had deployed their solutions effectively, CBL selected Palo Alto Networks. In consultation with their partner, Gazi Communications, CBL selected Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) across their perimeter or network demilitarized zone network (DMZ). Nazrul says, “We began with a proof-of-concept, and have the stability we desired since we opted for the solution three years ago. CBL now has the advantage of superior visibility across our core applications.” CBL is the first brokerage company in Bangladesh to deploy Palo Alto Networks NGFWs.

The organization needed 100 percent uptime of all their security services and this has been possible with Palo Alto Networks NGFW. Gazi Communications was integral to the success of the deployment. They worked on the infrastructure design, device configurations, and deployment. According to Nazrul, the Palo Alto Networks team went above and beyond from the get-go, working round the clock, and this set them apart from other vendors. He recalls a specific issue that he faced on Christmas Day, and says the situation was handled seamlessly by the tech support team at Palo Alto Networks.


After the pandemic, ~50% percent of the company’s employees continued to work from remote sites and it became necessary to provide flexible, secure remote access for all users.”

— Md. Nazrul Islam, Head of IT, City Brokerage Limited

“Adhering to regulatory mandate, CBL deployed multiple security products across the network zone and we have faced no issues to consolidate multiple vendors or solutions,” adds Nazrul. With Palo Alto Networks WildFire, CBL can automatically prevent potential zero-day exploits and malware. Nazrul talks of the level of reassurance he has felt after deploying the Palo Alto Networks solution, saying, “I feel that the Advanced URL Filtering is superior when compared to any other product in the market. With this solution, I have peace of mind.” The solution has also secured remote workers, as GlobalProtect supports a range of third-party multifactor authentication (MFA) methods. Since CBL has launched the first brokerage-related application in Bangladesh, all of their clients can use the application remotely as well.


Increased productivity through time savings

The monitoring tool from Palo Alto Networks has meant increased productivity, as the team saves significantly on time spent to assess threats. “The team would need to look at the monitor 24/7, but with the new solution, this can be achieved within minutes,” states Nazrul.

Reduced operational expenditure

Prior to deploying the solution, CBL had introduced a third-party solution and had to keep two IT personnel to monitor threats. The company has a good return on investment on the Palo Alto Networks solution, as they were able to stop using the third-party solution, and realized annual savings of US$9,000. On the whole, this has enabled CBL to save US$50,000 in operational expenditure.


We began with a proof-of-concept, and have the stability we desired since we opted for the solution three years ago. CBL now has the advantage of superior visibility across our core applications.”

— Md. Nazrul Islam, Head of IT, City Brokerage Limited

Zero Trust, cloud security, and complete regulatory compliance

With NGFWs from Palo Alto Networks, CBL now aligns with Zero Trust, as all traffic on the network and cloud is inspected and secure application access is enabled. Since multiple products and solutions can be integrated seamlessly on Palo Alto Networks NGFWs, the solution also ensures regulatory compliance.


Nazrul emphasizes the service levels of both Gazi Communications and Palo Alto Networks teams. “This collaboration has exceeded our expectations and has provided the CBL leadership team the confidence that we can continue our cybersecurity journey with partners, Gazi Communications and Palo Alto Networks.” Looking ahead, the CBL team will be assessing the suitability of the Cortex® platform. Nazrul concludes, “With Palo Alto Networks proven track record as an industry leader in cybersecurity, we feel reassured to partner with them, to stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape.”