AccessKenya , Kenya, Africa
Cyberoam UTM Provides a Secure Internet to AccessKenya‘s Subscribers
About AccessKenya, IT Services / ISP / SI

The AccessKenya Group is Kenya‘s first publicly listed ICT Company and Kenya‘s leading data and IT services experts.

The AccessKenya Group comprises AccessKenya, Kenya‘s leading Corporate ISP, Broadband Access (BLUE), one of Kenya‘s largest Data Carrier Network Operators DCNO), and now AccessIT, one of Kenya‘s leading IT services providers. The Group currently has over 3000 corporate leased lines across Kenya, 3500 residential clients employs in excess of 300 people and has offices in Nairobi and Mombasa with epresentation in Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru and Nyeri.

It has bought 2500MB each from TEAMS and SEACOM providing 100% redundancy to its 6000 clients has laid its own 150kms of fibre covering 250 buildings in Nairobi and has partnered with TATA Communications to host their Tier 1 POP in Kenya.

The Group has also grown on average by 75% per year, for the last five years. AccessKenya has numerous partnerships including Cisco, Motorola, Oracle, IBM (Premier Business Partner), and Net App Gold Partner.

The Group‘s key products include Access@Home, @Home in Kenya, Yello, GO, Broadband Max 2 and Bundu as well as numerous value added services including web hosting, collocation, disaster recovery, antivirus, Antispam, managed services, networking, software and IT services solutions.

Companies within the AccessKenya Group currently hold four licenses from CCK including DCNO, ISP, PDNO, and Local Loop Operator licenses.

We were installing routers for all our broadband customers, which did not suffice the security, connectivity and productivity need of many customers. The routers merely fulfilled the base minimum requirement of letting the customer connect to the Internet. Many customers approached us with requirements like Firewall, Content Filtering, and safe Internet surfing. They wanted anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-intrusion all bundled in one box.

Ms. Lilian Nduta Waweru
Team Leader
Client Services AccessKenya

The ISP was installing routers for all their broadband customers. The routers did not suffice the security, connectivity and productivity need of many customers. They merely fulfilled the base minimum requirement of just letting the customer connected to the Internet. For customers who wished to have security and control over internet access, the routers were insufficient. A few customers approached AccessKenya with requirements like Firewall, Content Filtering, and safe Internet surfing. They wanted anti-spam, anti-virus and antiintrusion all bundled in one box. The Team Leader of the Client Services department, Ms. Lilian Nduta Waweru was looking for an affordable one box solution to fulfil the multiple requirements.

Drilling to details, Ms. Waweru explained that the chief selection criteria were further extended to include cost, feature and performance. “We needed a product that was robust, had depth of features and was firmly supported - a stable, feature-rich solution that we can provide to our customers at an affordable and flexible rental packages of 12, 24 or 36 months.

1. Single box
2. Features + performance
3. Cost-effective
4. Easy to Manage

The Cyberoam Solution

Ms. Waweru scanned the market for viable candidates. Apart from Cyberoam UTM, they evaluated Mikrotek, Cisco ASA and Microsoft ISA. They ultimately chose Cyberoam UTM.

About the Product

Discussing the reasons why they chose Cyberoam, she said, “While Cyberoam‘s Identityaware firewall was its star feature, we also found that Cyberoam appliances entailed very competitive total-cost of ownership. The low Capital and Operational Expenditure are crucial too.“ One of the strong reasons why AccessKenya selected Cyberoam was because a Cyberoam CR15 UTM price is competitive with that of the Cisco 870 series routers while the customer benefits are huge. A CR15i is power packed with the capabilities of Firewall, Intrusion Prevention, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Content Filtering, Bandwidth Manager, Virtual Private Network, Multi-link Manager and Load Balancer.

The Cyberoam Bundle

Fully bundled Cyberoam CR Series is packed with security and networking management features. Identity aware firewall provided a single point of management for all the security and management features, making the management of this complex solution simple for the market. The IPS feature extended the reach of the firewall by operating as an application firewall controlling all the applications that try to access Internet from an organization‘s network.

Content Filtering

The Web filtering feature of Cyberoam provides secure web surfing to the end users and filters out all the harmful and objectionable content even over HTTP and HTTPS. This feature also protects the users from accessing unproductive sites and thus has a lion‘s share in promoting productivity. User identity-based filtering policies help the organization in controlling the user behavior on the Internet.

Anti Spam and Anti Malware

The anti-virus and anti-spam features of Cyberoam, have an almost 100% catch rate. The anti-spam feature is content agnostic and language independent. Thus, irrespective of the content, attachment or the language of an email, if it is spam it is blocked. The anti-spam is also equipped with a Virus Outbreak Detection feature which protects the organization‘s network from any zero-day attack. These features watch over the HTTP, FTP-o-HTTP, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP. This ensures that the complete range of traffic is sanitized.

The user-based bandwidth management and multiple ISP link load balancing and management features ensure that business critical applications have minimum down-time. The VPN feature provides secure end-to-end connectivity for the users and its remote resources over the Internet. Cyberoam supports SSL, IPSec, L2TP and PPTP VPN connections. These features provide secure connectivity to its users.

The Acid Test

AccessKenya initially tested Cyberoam internally. In the next phase, it was deployed at a few of their customer's locations. After Cyberoam survived this acid test, they chose Cyberoam as a part of their solution. They worked out a plan to roll out Cyberoam as part of their Internet package wherein the customer need not purchase the box; rather they just pay the price based on a plan of 12-24-36 months.

Pre and Post Sales Support

Cyberoam provides technical training to AccessKenya engineers to enable them to deploy Cyberoam. A specialized team of forty (40) Engineers have been trained by Cyberoam and they have been awarded the CCNSP certificate. The Sales team has also been trained. Pre- and post-sales support is provided on-site, over chat, phone and email. Timely and regular email updates kept the AccessKenya‘s Cyberoam deployment staff posted with all the latest developments. This enables them to provide prompt support to the most complex of support issues, leading to higher customer confidence.

About Remote Management

Ms. Waweru and her team also found CCC (Cyberoam Central Console) and Cyberoam iView interesting. While CCC can be used to manage multiple Cyberoam appliances deployed across diverse geographical locations, Cyberoam iView offers logs and reports from multiple appliances. iView can collect logs from other network devices like Fortinet, SonicWALL, Squid - HTTP Proxy, and Linux IPTables/Netfilter in addition to Cyberoam.

The list of products that iView is continuously expanding, making it reach out to all the solutions within the customer network. Hence, customers would be able to view logs and reports from a single GUI.

The Cyberoam Deal

AccessKenya has bought 100 units of CR15i as a pilot batch.

“All in all, we found Cyberoam a feature-rich product that we could offer to our customer initially on trial which invariably culminated into a rental at a highly competitive prices. Our customers are happy and secure with Cyberoam,“ said Ms. Waweru.

CCC was also a great attraction to AccessKenya as it helped them manage individual Cyberoam appliances at multiple customer locations. Further, AccessKenya is looking at iView for logs and reports of multiple customers for easy and centralized management.