Handelsbanken had multiple systems with their own user accounts. The bank needed to combine and streamline identity management while also managing roles and provisioning. Handelsbanken chose NetIQ Identity Manager to improve the management of roles and access rights across its entire organization and IT infrastructure, reducing IT workload significantly.

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“...it is crucial to have support from a partner who can respond rapidly to any problems.”Elisabeth NetzellBusiness Manager, Handelsbanken

About Handelsbanken

Founded in Stockholm in 1871, Handelsbanken is one of the largest banks in the Nordic region, with over 10,500 employees and profits of more than 11 billion Swedish Kronor (US$1.7 billion) in 2010.


As a company operating in the financial sector, Handelsbanken is subject to a variety of financial regulations such as Basel III. As a result, it is important for the bank to keep tight control over its internal processes, particularly its IT systems.

“We had a number of different systems, including legacy mainframe applications, that each had their own user accounts, but there was no central repository to keep track of users and their roles within the organization,” said Qamilla Syk, operations manager at Handelsbanken. “Without a more structured approach to identity management, it was difficult for us to demonstrate to auditors that only authorized users had access to a given system.”

Our Solution

Handelsbanken evaluated a number of identity management solutions before choosing Identity Manager. A key reason for choosing the solution was the availability of local support. Pulsen, a PartnerNet Platinum Partner, is one of the largest and most experienced NetIQ software specialists in the region. Pulsen employs around 60 consultants with expertise across the whole spectrum of NetIQ products.

“It is important for us to know that we can get local consultants from Pulsen on site very quickly if we need to,” said Elisabeth Netzell, business manager at Handelsbanken. “As a bank, we need high availability at all times. As the identity management solution is linked to all our major systems, it is crucial to have support from a partner who can respond rapidly to any problems. Pulsen has extensive experience in the Nordic region, as well as the technical competence to deliver the solution.”

Pulsen helped Handelsbanken deploy Identity Manager and create a master repository of all user-related data. This data is then structured into an organizational model that defines which systems and resources each employee is authorized to access. Pulsen also implemented NetIQ Sentinel as a monitoring tool for the identity management environment, providing a holistic view of all activities relating to security and compliance. Sentinel can use information from Identity Manager to generate real-time alerts when an unauthorized user attempts to access sensitive information. The software creates an auditable remediation workflow to demonstrate how Handelsbanken resolved each incident.


With the solution in place, Handelsbanken is able to demonstrate much better control over its IT environment, on two different levels.

First, Identity Manager provides a central repository for user accounts that enables the bank to take a more structured approach to identity management, where employees are given access to systems according to their roles within the company.

Second, Sentinel provides full traceability of activity within the identity management environment, generating reports that Handelsbanken can submit to auditors and regulators to show that it has investigated and resolved any security or compliance-related incidents.

As a further benefit, the solution also provides a self-service portal, accessible via a standard web browser, which employees can use to update their passwords and personal information. This helps to reduce workload for the bank’s busy IT team, who can now concentrate on added-value tasks rather than basic user administration and password resets.

The solution delivers real value for Handelsbanken, and the bank is considering extending the use of Sentinel to other areas of its IT environment. “The expertise of the Pulsen consultants has made a huge contribution to the success of this project,” said Netzell, “and we are looking forward to working with them in the future to support the solution.”

Banking and Finance


  • Provided a central repository for user accounts
  • Provided full traceability of activity within the identity management environment
  • Introduced a self-service portal that employees use to update their passwords and personal information

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