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About Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business, Education
Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business is a non-profit private college belonging to the King Faisal Foundation and operated under the auspices of the Higher Education Ministry in Saudi Arabia. The college aspires to be Saudi Arabia’s most timely and responsive private college in its unique fields through the provision of quality undergraduate academic programs
The vision of Prince Sultan College is to become and remain innovative in the pursuit of excellence in its teaching, its research, and its consultancy. The college contributes to the expansion of knowledge by understanding quality research and by developing and applying modern information technology, where it can play a significant role in leading cultural, social, and economic development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The network covered sensitive information which was under constant threat from spyware and DoS attacks. So they needed a strong Firewall solution.
Dr. Ali Al Mazari
The challenges faced by PSCJ are listed below:
Malicious hackers caused mayhem and embarrassment by breaking into college’s network environment, which caused significant impact to business operations. Even, malicious code silently invaded desktops from any web site visits or by clicking an email attachment, and then attack others in the network at the later stage, causing serious network disruptions.
Dr. Ali Al Mazari, Director of IT Training and Center wanted a solution that would control the entire Internet traffic and provide a level of protection from network-based attacks by allowing good traffic and denying bad traffic as defined by a security policy. They need to protect the network against intentional and unintentional intrusion attempts, and Denial of Service attacks.
Controlling Spam Numbers
Spam and blended threats consisting of spyware and Trojans were the prime source of concern. Almost 90% of the total mail traffic was spam. Most of the time, the colleges network were clogged with un-wanted and un-solicited mails. Often genuine mails were wrongly classified as spam – false positives and deleted while spam still poured in. These mails not only cost them in terms of storage space, but also wasted staff’s valuable time and efforts. PSCJ was concerned about the spam problem as it would not only eat into precious bandwidth, but would also pose storage crisis.
Curb Browsing Pattern
Students are notorious for finding ways to access inappropriate content on the web and Colleges have a duty of care to provide a safe Internet experience for all their pupils and staff and need to demonstrate reasonable and effective measures to control access to the Internet.
Sites like Bebo and MySpace are a key issue for colleges and parents. Latest government Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) statistics show 1 in 12 children have met someone offline who they initially engaged with online and 31% of young people have received unwanted comment or posts online or by text message.
Educational institutes need the ability to instantly block web sites, enforce acceptable usage policies on their users and have access to audit trails for entire user activity. Authorities needed a strong and flexible solution that would cater to the colleges need for content filtering, and manage bandwidth and provide them with total visibility of all network events.
Business Continuity Concerns
One major concern was the connectivity problem. If Internet connectivity is lost, critical applications such as Exchange Server and Intranet Application gets affected." Dr. Ali Al Mazari, Director of IT Training and Center said. For total business connectivity; the department has two (2) ISP links. So they needed multiple link load balancing and link fail-over solutions. Internet is relied on profoundly to allow remote sites VPN access back to the main office.
The Cyberoam Solution
After tracing the market for the correct solution, PSCJ purchased 1 unit of Cyberoam CR100ia enterprise-class UTM appliance for the College at the main site in Jeddah which was soon deployed in gateway mode across all the locations.
The business benefits were as follows:
- Perimeter Firewall
Cyberoam Perimeter security is always best; keeping the bad guys, their attacks, viruses, spyware and malware from ever getting beyond the gatekeeper to your network. Cyberoam firewall is ICSA and Checkmark certified - provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. Mr. Mazari now felt the network is secure.
- Spam Protection
Cyberoam’s Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) powered signature-less anti spam technology works instantly on deployment, with the least human intervention and is language independent. It blocks spam in any language regardless of the content, e.g. image, audio, video or zip-based spam. The anti spam feature is also equipped with Virus Outbreak Detection. This protects the college against any zero day attack.
- Surfing Practices under Control
The college needed to know who was accessing what sites and as such needed an identity based filter and reporting system that would include the students as well as staff’s online behavioral audit. It would also be required to block harmful spyware/malware infested sites. One of the most important vectors of worry was the productivity. The productivity might be affected while spending precious time in unproductive surfing and messaging. Mr. Mazari believes that Internet access is a resource that should not be wasted and so every user’s bandwidth usage ought to be distributed and monitored using content filtering. They needed strong web filtering solutions which could control all Internet access and give informative reports on Internet usage.
- Continuous Data Availability
Driven by academic need of college connectivity over Internet, PSCJ 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 department gets a transparent multilink management with no human interference.
- VPN Connectivity
Cyberoam’s SSL VPN solution bridged the geographical distances between the college’s branch and head offices. This now ensures that the user can connect securely from any location and use the college’s resources. Highly encrypted traffic enforced security over the Internet and ensures that no malware sneaks through.
- To Round it Off
“Cyberoam for PSCJ has remained easy to set up, stable and reliable from the day we deployed in the network.” said Mr. Mazari.