Century Financial Brokers L.L.C, Dubai, UAE
Cyberoam UTM Secures the Network of Century Financial Brokers L.L.C
About Century Financial Brokers L.L.C, BFSI
Century Financial Brokers operates as an Introducing Brokers to major, well known
international financial institutions. Century Financial Brokers is licensed by the Central
Bank of United Arab Emirates and regulated by Emirates Securities and Commodities
Authority (ESCA). It is also registered and licensed by the Department of Economic
Development, Government of Dubai. As a licensed member, they are accountable to the
stringent standards of capital adequacy and financial reporting enforced by the Central
The network covered sensitive information which was under constant threat from spyware and DoS attacks. So they needed a strong Firewall and IPS solution.
Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali
Century Financial Brokers L.L.C
According to Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali, System Analyst, at Century Financial Brokers L.L.C, the company was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its business activities.
Access Control and Intrusion Prevention
The organization needed a firewall and an intrusion prevention solution. The combination of both the solutions was needed to protect the network against intentional and unintentional intrusion attempts, and Denial of Service attacks.
Spam-free Email Traffic
Unsolicited e-mail, more commonly known as spam is a rising and complex problem. High bulk of spam mails ate a lot of precious bandwidth. So they needed to stop them at the gateway. Anyone could send you an e-mail you wouldn't want to receive so determining which e-mail you definitely would not want to accept can be tricky. The company was concerned that employee productive time was being wasted in deleting spam messages and frequently checking for false positives. Also, the spam mails spiked with malware intended to sabotage the network from within. Traditional spam filters were ineffective as the spammer changes the contents, format, type and language of a spam mail. So, they were looking for an anti-spam solution with high spam catch rate which would scan mails across all protocols including SMTP, POP3 and IMAP and keep false positive rate low.
Controlling Surfing Practices
As one of their most critical issues, Century Financial Brokers wanted to raise workplace
productivity by putting a complete end to indiscriminate Internet surfing by its internal
users. It also wanted the solution to ensure precious bandwidth is not wasted on
downloads of audio, video and streaming files and nuisance applications and instead,
diverted to more productive use.
Century Financial Brokers has evolved into an organisation with independent networks at remote sites supporting many users. The primary challenges for Century Financial Brokers were to provide access to sensitive data across a more secure and stable VPN. Internet is relied on profoundly to allow remote sites VPN access back to the main office.
Business Continuity Concerns:
One major issue was the connectivity problem. "If Internet was down our business activities would come to a halt," Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali said. To avoid a single point of failure, multiple locations had multiple ISP links. So, multiple ISP links load balancing, and failover is also a critical need.
The Cyberoam Solution
Century Financial Brokers looked into a number of security products including SonicWall, Bios and ISA 2008 in order to address their business challenges. The search was on for an appliance which would take care of their all above requirements. However, after seeing a trial demo of Cyberoam by OSCOMP, they took the decision of purchasing One (1) unit of Cyberoam CR100ia and One (1) unit of CR50ia enterprise-class UTM appliance, which was soon deployed in gateway mode at their head office i.e. Dubai. OSCOMP is the IT service desk/support provider for Century Financial Brokers.
Cyberoam UTM delivered unexpected value additions such as the award-winning identity-based security feature which provides full visibility of user activities in the network. To elaborate, after integrating Cyberoam into the Century Financial Brokers network infrastructure, Shabeer Mohammad Ali used its Active Directory Services (ADS) to include all Century Financial Brokers Internet users in the database and implemented Single-sign-on functionality so their online activities could be further monitored.
Firewall and Intrusion Prevention
Cyberoam firewall is ICSA and Checkmark certified - provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. Coupled with Intrusion Prevention module, Cyberoam UTM can counter any Denial of Service attack. Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali now felt the network is secure.
Solving the Spam and Malware Concern
Cyberoam‘s Check Mark certified anti-spam solution ensures that not a single SPAM
mail made it to the internal inboxes. The spam is neutralized at the gateway. Continuous
spam protection was installed and had instantaneous effect.
Browsing Check Accomplished
Prior to Cyberoam deployment, there was no control on sites visited by Century Financial
Brokers employees. However, all that changed with Cyberoam‘s Web filtering feature
which ensures protection from inappropriate and insecure Web content, including
phishing and other malware-loaded sites.
Cyberoam UTM‘s SSL VPN solution bridged the geographical distances between the
branch and head offices. This now ensures that the user can connect securely from any
location and use the resources.
Business Continuity Restored
Driven by business need of organization‘s connectivity over Internet, Century Financial Brokers has two (2) ISP links. Cyberoam‘s Multi-Link Manager intelligently load balances the traffic and manages link failover between the two (2) broadband links. These links terminate on Cyberoam. The Multi-Link Manager constantly monitors the performance of the links. In case of a link failure, the load is automatically transferred to the working link, seamlessly, which leads to 100% Internet uptime, and round the clock availability of requisite bandwidth. In case of a link failure, Cyberoam automatically switches the traffic to the working link. So the organization gets a transparent multilink management with no human interference. On the way, it also bridges our connectivity and productivity requirements.
Cyberoam‘s reporting feature gives overview of what the users are up to in the network, including blocked sites visited, time spent on each site. According to Mr. Shabber Mohammad Ali, “This has led to increased productivity as the staff knows that they are being monitored or restricted from accessing blocked sites.”
“Cyberoam is very user friendly in terms of ease of use and management, plus it is extremely easy to teach our IT staff how to use it. With Cyberoam in place, we have the confidence of a secure and protected environment.”said Mr. Shabber Mohammad Ali.