Africa University, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa
Cyberoam Replaces Multiple Solutions to provide Total Threat Protection to Africa University
About Africa University, Education

Africa University is a private, international higher education institution founded in March 1992 by the United Methodist Church worldwide. The University is located just outside the eastern highlands city of Mutare in Zimbabwe. They welcome students from all the nations of Africa without regard for race, class, ethnicity and political or religious affiliation.

At Africa University, undergraduate and graduate programmes as well as short courses are offered in areas such as agriculture, business and public administration, education, health sciences, the humanities and social sciences, peace, leadership and governance and theology. The University’s total full-time enrolment is around 1200 students each year.

Cyberoam provided instant ROI for us. The ability to control and filter your traffic at the gateway level and with a single appliance is very relieving.

Mr. Richard Fotsin
Director - ICT
Africa University

Africa University, the pioneer of higher education in Africa, is committed to developing an environment of academic freedom in which cutting-edge research and learning is highly promoted. However, the university has an obligation to protect its students and staff from the harmful and inappropriate content on the Internet. Mr. Richard Fotsin, the Director - Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Africa University said, “We needed a total security solution that could help us in smooth management of the university network.”

According to Mr. Fotsin, they faced the following security issues:

Bandwidth Management Overheads

“Bandwidth is a very precious resource for an educational institute. You have to provide enough for everyone, ensuring there is no misuse of the limited bandwidth”, said Mr. Fotsin. The institute provides a high-speed Internet connection to the students for academic research and development purposes. This may lead to a situation where a particular student or an application eats upon the precious bandwidth. Hence, he wanted a solution that would allow him to keep a perfect balance between providing sufficient Internet access and blocking inappropriate content.

Virus and Malware Menace

The threat of Malware attacks from Viruses, Worms, Trojans, etc. was a major concern. With the rise of P2P and file sharing applications, college campuses have become a favorite for Viruses and Spyware infection. Some of the Malwares are known for their notorious behavior i.e. they quickly propagate through an entire network once they get hold of a single host in the network. Thus, the need was to implement an effective Anti Virus and Anti Spyware solution that could detect and remove Viruses, Malware and Spyware before they reach the university network.

Uncontrolled Spam

Mr. Fotsin worryingly quoted, “Uncontrolled Spam hitting our mail server was a huge concern for us. Obviously, to cut down on the number of Spam was a top priority task for us.” Spam not only consumed a lot of network bandwidth but some of them also tempted the students to click malicious links, which would ultimately lead to hassles for the institution and the student.

Need of Web Content Filtering

“As a modern-day education school, we provide the students with access to the Internet as and how they require. Then again, we need to c onsider their safety and ensure that they are not exposed to the content that is not suitable for their viewing”, said Mr. Fotsin.To summarize, he wanted a solution that would allow him to keep a perfect balance between providing sufficient Internet access and blocking harmful and inappropriate content

The Cyberoam Solution

Before Cyberoam deployment, Africa University had Pix Firewall, Packeteer and Kaspersky Enterprise deployed in their network, all acting as stand-alone appliances. That led to multiple management overheads for the organization. Hence, they decided to replace all the stand-alone appliances with an UTM appliance. They looked into a couple of solution including Untangle and WatchGuard besides a Microsoft solution. The search was of a solution that could provide them with unified threat management services with best-in-class technical support.

The key challenge for them was to have a local support/vendor to assist them in making a firm decision. Cyberoam, with its comprehensive set of UTM features and top-notch local and international partner and pre-sales support caught their attention. They purchased One (1) CR 1000ia and deployed it in Gateway Mode. Additionally, they subscribed to Cyberoam’s Total Value Subscription (TVS).

After deploying Cyberoam in the network, the benefits that they notice are:

  • Secured University Perimeter

    Cyberoam’s ICSA and Checkmark-certified Firewall offers stateful and deep-packet inspection to provide granular access control over the Internet and network resources. Africa University operates the Firewall between the Internet and the organization’s network to establish a secure environment for the organization’s computers and network resources.

    In addition, Cyberoam’s Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) feature delivers a strong line of defense at the network perimeter, through 4500+ updated signatures against hackers, remote exploits, backdoor activity and other zero hour attacks. “Thanks to Cyberoam, we now have complete control over who has access to our network”, Mr. Fotsin said.

  • Bandwidth Management

    Cyberoam’s Bandwidth Management feature delivers assured bandwidth availability to users as well as business critical applications. It controls bandwidth abuse over P2P, file sharing and other non-productive applications. Moreover, Cyberoam’s QoS feature allows Mr. Fotsin to restrict bandwidth usage by implementing bandwidth policies based on User, Group, IP Address, Application, Application Category, Website and Website Category.

  • Virus and Malware Protection

    Cyberoam’s Gateway Anti Virus and Anti Spyware features inspect the entire web and mail traffic. Its comprehensive Virus detection rate of 99.5% ensures that no Malware or Spyware pass through the network edge. Additionally, the Anti Virus blocks upload/download or attachments for specified file types such as executables, media files, PDF, zipped files etc. ensuring data leakage prevention of confidential information.

  • Inbound and Outbound Spam Filtering

    “Cyberoam’s Anti Spam solution works great. We now have a full control over the number of Spam mails hitting our mail server”, said Mr. Fotsin. At the heart of Cyberoam’s Gateway Anti-Spam solution is the intuitive Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) technol ogy. The Anti-Spam module is content and language agnostic. It provides protection against foreign characters and image-based Spam with almost no cases of false positives thanks to its excellent Spam Detection Rate of 99% and False Positive Rate of 1 in 1.5 million.

  • Web and Application Filtering

    Cyberoam’s web content filtering database has more than 100 million sites neatly grouped into more than 89 categories. The Identity based security approach helps Mr. Fotsin to bind User identity with a Web Filter policy, which in turn, enables him to block access to harmful websites, preventing malware, phishing, pharming attacks and undesirable content that could lead to legal liabilities for the university. Moreover, full visibility and control over encrypted HTTPS traffic prevents misuse of the encrypted medium to carry out Malware attacks and unauthorized data transfer.

  • To Conclude

    Expressing his satisfaction, Mr. Fotsin said, “Cyberoam provided instant ROI for us. The ability to control and filter your traffic at the gateway level and with a single appliance is very relieving.”