Cyberoam UTM Deployed in Hospitality Sector of Kenya
About Safari Park Hotel & Casino, Hospitality
Safari Park Hotel & Casino is part of the leading hotel chain and member of the Paradise Group. The Paradise Group displays its hospitality in Korea; Busan, Incheon, Dogo and in Kenya; Nairobi.
Safari Park Hotel and Casino is a destination in a world of its own. A five-star luxury hotel located in Nairobi offers a selection of 205 rooms, decorated and tastefully furnished with a taste of Africa with private rear and front balconies. The luxurious rooms have high speed wireless and cabled internet connectivity, Safe and 24 hours room service. It’s considered as the leading leisure and conference hotel in East and Central Africa and is known for its combination of business and relaxation.
The hotel prides in its wide range of contemporary to traditional designed meeting and banquet venues with capacity for over 1200 delegates. It is the home for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) market. For that memorable wedding, ballroom or garden; ceremony, beautiful reception and to the honeymoon, the hotel is voted as the top wedding venue in Africa.
The lack of perimeter defense made the network vulnerable to external threats such as Denial-of-service attacks and IP spoofing. So they were in need of Gateway firewall and Intrusion Prevention solution for first layer protection of the entire network.
Mr. Stephen Kariuki
Safari Park Hotel & Casino
Given that Safari Park Hotel & Casino is into hospitality management and hotel operations, internet is used as a crucial tool for bookings used by the patrons. This made them to start creating websites for their hotels, introducing the online reservation booking system. The information exchanging and sharing is a key part of their business operations. The online booking by is one of several services - which can be checked, inquired, and ordered online easily, and conveniently communicated and delivered electronically via the Internet.
The hotel was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its business activities.
Network Perimeter Defense:
Due to multitude of personal data held in hotel IT systems ranging from guest addresses, staff payrolls to customer credit card and bank details; it is vital that Safari Park Hotel & Casino guarantees the hotels and their guests 100% security for this data. Security breaches cannot be tolerated. The lack of perimeter defense made the network vulnerable to external threats such as Denial-of-service attacks and IP spoofing. Consequently, Mr. Stephen Kariuki, the IT Manager at Safari Park Hotel & Casino wanted a gateway firewall and an intrusion prevention solution for first layer protection of the entire network.
Malware and Spam Control
The hotel was facing frequent breakdown issues due to annoying virus, root-kit, worm, Trojan and spyware infections. These malware attacks which often took a blended form through email attachments, PDF, Word documents etc. had the potential to corrupt useful files and destroy important data.
Consequently, Safari Park Hotel & Casino was looking for a highly dependable anti-virus solution which would offer real-time protection from malware attacks including blended threats. The Hotel also wanted to secure its entire email network from newly emerging malware threats and reduce overall spam incidence.
Throttled Bandwidth – Sharing Internet
Internet access was given by default to everyone in Safari Park Hotel & Casino. The hotel’s mail access was given to everyone but they defined security and bandwidth management policies after taking the user’s identity and professional profile into account. Bandwidth needs to be managed and prioritized to achieve maximum business advantage. They wanted to ensure fruitful use of bandwidth.
Load balancing & Failover
Continuous Internet connectivity with no breakdown or downtime was the most important requirement for Safari Park Hotel. Thus they required load balancing feature and reliable performance while providing sufficient bandwidth for customers/guests to access web-based resources safely and securely," says Mr. Kariuki.
The Cyberoam Solution
Before deciding on Cyberoam, Safari Park Hotel & Casino had done a preliminary testing on other solutions. They purchased one (1) unit of Cyberoam CR100ia appliance after it met their desired requirements, later deploying it in gateway mode at their head office.
It led to immediate benefits for the hotel as discussed under:
- User Integration
Cyberoam UTM adds up with a unique identity-based security solution which protects against insider threats by giving absolute visibility into “Who is doing What” in the network and allows creation of user identity-based policies. Mr. Kariuki used Cyberoam’s Active Directory (AD) facility to achieve the task of integrating users of Safari Park Hotel in the network through a wizard to trade in users.
- The Barricade of Firewall
The Cyberoam firewall acts as a filter between the hotels gateway and the Internet in order to block malicious attempts to access the network, and allow only legitimate traffic.
ICSA and Checkmark - dual certified Cyberoam’s stateful inspection firewall and Intrusion Prevention solution now cordons off the hotel’s network and guards it against any unauthorized access. Also, customers were able to seamlessly continue to access Internet resources, while hackers on the Internet are kept at bay.
- Malware and Spam Free Internet
Cyberoam’s gateway anti virus and anti spyware features guard all the web and mail protocols and ensure that no malware or spyware sneaks through the perimeter. 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 hotel against any zero day attack.
- Bandwidth Management
Cyberoam solution allowed user based limit on bandwidth, access time and volume data transfer. “I can now prioritize the hotel’s bandwidth usage as per business requirements with more effective controls on which customer consumes how much bandwidth (upload and download limits) during any time of the day”, said. Mr. Kariuki. This helped the hotel in controlling the guest’s behavior on the Internet.
- Business Continuity Restored
Cyberoam supports more than two ISP links. Here in Safari Park Hotel & Casino., multiple ISP links are load balanced ensuring business continuity as per Mr. Kariuki requirements.
The link failover feature ensures that in case of a link failure, another one takes over automatically to ensure total business connectivity. The level of reliability is simply awesome.
- To round it off
“Cyberoam had proved very useful for our organization. It has helped us to achieve what we desired. In one line we can say "Cyberoam is a hard-rock product with some unique features - very easy to set up and manage."”, Mr. Kariuki concluded.