Ministry of Communication and Information Technology Arab Republic of Egypt Egypt
Smart Schools Network in Arab Republic of
Egypt Deploys Cyberoam for Content Filtering.
About Smart School Network, Education
The Smart School Network (SSN) project was launched in 2003 to implement a pilot
of the SSN initiative in 38 public and experimental schools, distributed in 16 of
Egypt’s 26 governorates.
The main objective of the SSN initiative is to allow Egyptian students to achieve
computer literacy after completing preparatory school, enhance student creativity,
and enable them to cope with the requirements of the modern workplace.
The Smart School Network has proved itself a successful example of using the Multi
Stakeholder Partnership concept to drive the initiative, where benefits can be seen
equally to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT),
Ministry of Education, private ICT companies, and of course the schools, teachers,
students and parents.
Ministry experts evaluated
at least three other Internet
security appliances apart
from Cyberoam UTM and
took an informed decision in
choosing Cyberoam UTM
Internet access control and Web filtering is a top priority for the MCIT. The Ministry
primarily wanted to shield the students from unsuitable content on theWeb.
In today’s world,Web and application filtering is an important part of Internet Security
Solutions for schools. While on campus, supervision of students is a continuous
process and right safeguards need to be in place when they are surfing theWeb from
the computer lab, the manager of the Network Security Department from the Ministry
of Communication &InformationTechnology informed.
In spite of the fact that some schools are located in remote areas, MCIT plans to
provide them with wireless network connectivity in the future. Every school has at
least two computer rooms with twenty five computers each. In the absence of a
gateway security solution, the students had to be personally supervised and
prevented from surfing potentially harmful and pornographic sites, which was not
They were looking for an Internet security appliance that had a primarily firewall, VPN
andWeb Filtering which would be the initial phase of implementation. The solutions
should also be scalable to meet future security needs and easy enough to manage,
so any of the IT staff could make changes quickly, if necessary. Due to the increasing
sophistication of its network, MCIT decided to look for a scalable solution that could
meet all of its requirements.
The ministry experts made a detailed survey of the existing market for a unified
security management solution.
The Cyberoam Solution
After scouring the market for a viable security appliance, MCIT zeroed in on
Cyberoam Identity-based Unified Threat Management solution as it was best-fit for
their requirements. Apart from their primary need of a firewall – VPN and Web
Filtering; Cyberoam UTM also has Gateway Anti Virus, Anti Spam, Intrusion
Detection and Prevention (IDP), Bandwidth Management and Multi Link
Management modules, which the ministry experts decided to implement in future.
Ministry experts evaluated at least three other Internet security appliances apart from
Cyberoam UTM and took an informed decision in choosing Cyberoam UTM
MCIT installed thirteen (13) CR 100i appliances in various schools in gateway mode.
The installation and deployment of Cyberoam was done by Cairo based Gateworx IT
Solutions and NewTechnology Co.
“Once we understood the ministry’s requirements, we knew that Cyberoam UTM was
the best solution for their needs,” says Mohamed Haroon, General Manager of
Gateworx IT Solutions.
- Initial Monitor Mode
During Cyberoam UTM’s Monitor Mode the surfing patterns from schools showed that
almost 80% surfing consisted pornographic and malicious sites. P2P applications
were also eating into the bandwidth and slowing down the network.
- Centralized Firewall Management
Once Cyberoam UTM appliances were installed, the firewall module secured the
schools’ networks effectively. Cyberoam’s firewall page provided central control over
its member security solutions. This ensured that the policy were centrally managed
- P2Pand Spyware Blocked
The P2P and Sypware applications were blocked from accessing the internet. The
Web filtering solution made sure that the students did not access the P2P or malicious
sites. As the malicious applications were blocked, the bandwidth was also put to
- Web Filtering
Cyberoam’s Web filtering solution, with more that sixty four (64) categories ensured
that the students do not access pornography, violence and other harmful content on
the Web. Cyberoam blocks the pop-ups and the phishing sites. All the harmful
Trojans, cookies and scripts sites were also safely out of bounds for the students.
The ministry official commended Cyberoam as an excellent Web Filtering solution
that does not compromise on research needs of students and teachers. He added that
they were happy with their decision of installing Cyberoam UTM appliances for the
Smart Schools Network.
Cyberoam’s cyclic access policy feature allows the students and the teachers to
access the web for a specific time period on a daily basis. This automation helps
reduce the supervising and operating hassles. Using the granular policies of
Cyberoam UTM appliance, the administrators were able to formulate individual
firewall and Web filtering policies for the students and the teachers. This helped to
inculcate responsible behavior among all.
- On-Appliance Reporting
Cyberoam’s excellent on-appliance reporting helps the managers understand the
students and teachers surfing patterns. To fine-tune the Web filtering solution, the
manager can create a custom category to allow or block the Internet access as per
requirement. This feature helps the administrator to keep pace with the changing
surfing patterns of the users and control them pro-actively.
- Future Scalability
Cyberoam’s Identity-based control over Instant Messengers, Gateway Anti
Virus and Anti Spam, Intrusion Detection and Prevention and Bandwidth
Management capabilities provided the ministry with future options to
implement them as per their requirements.
With Cyberoam UTM, the ministry officials are assured that the innocence of
the children is well-protected.