ALHOSN University, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Middle East
Cyberoam Provides Security and Steadiness to ALHOSN University
About ALHOSN University, Education

ALHOSN University is a modern private university, in the city of Abu Dhabi, accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the UAE, open to students from all nationalities. It has eighteen accredited programs in three faculties: the Faculty of Engineering and applied Sciences, the Faculty of Business, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. ALHOSN will continue to expand its academic offerings through the creation of new and highly-relevant programs.

ALHOSN University believes in educating professionals to be leaders for a modern community. As an institution of higher education, it prides itself on being a creative agent for change and diversity. It pledges to emphasize a faculty-student learning community that promotes the value of service and research and employs collaborative educational strategies that develop teamwork, utilizes real-life experience, fosters caring, and prepares for the realities of the marketplace of the future. Internet is used as a lifeline as it is the key business facilitator and department cannot run forward without Internet connections.

The university network covered sensitive information which was under constant threat from spyware and DoS attacks. So they needed a strong Firewall and IPS solution.

Mr. Rajesh Mathew
IT Systems Manager
ALHOSN University

According to Mr. Rajesh Mathew, IT Systems Manager at ALHOSN University, the college was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its academic activities.

Access Control and Intrusion Prevention

Mr. Mathew 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

The university network covered student information, training programs, as well as general foundation programs. This sensitive information was under constant threat from spyware, and DoS attacks and many more. It was also significant to put a stop to any incident of communication loss or data tampering due to eavesdropping attacks from outsiders.

Web URL Filter & Choked Bandwidth

Colleges and universities are faced with a constant battle to police large, distributed, networks where it is impossible to have a teacher or responsible person overseeing all pupil activity online. 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. Content filtering was one of the foremost factors when deciding on a security solution, which was required to protect the college‘s students from accessing unproductive or dangerous websites.

In case of blended threats, Mr. Mathew was looking for a solution that could block all unauthorized download over the Internet. All Phishing, Pharming and malicious Websites need to be plugged. The college faced additional challenges with non-academic surfing, gaming, shopping, instant messaging and e-mails. There was no system in place to monitor or restrict surfing, which choked bandwidth and ruined college resources. 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.

The Cyberoam Solution

ALHOSN University looked into a number of security products including Cynphonix, BlueCoat in order to address their business challenges. The search was on for an appliance which would take care of their all above requirements. So they felt that Cyberoam was the apparent choice. The college then deployed One (1) CR 1000i at the Abu Dhabi in their head office in Gateway mode.

The business benefits were as follows:

  • User Integration

    Cyberoam UTM adds a feather to its cap 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. Mathew used Cyberoam‘s Active Directory (AD) facility to achieve the task of integrating ALHOSN users in the network through a wizard to trade in users.

  • Firewall and Intrusion Prevention

    Cyberoam firewall is ICSA and Checkmark certified - provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. Mr. Mathew used default IPS policies from the firewall rule to protect the network from DoS and spoofing attacks and other exploits. He also used IPS to protect their network, student‘s information, training program, uploading of college-year subjects, and other confidential data from intrusion attempts.

    With a comprehensive database of 3000+ IPS signatures, Mr. Mathew now feels that the data of university is well protected from several variants of spyware attacks, spoofing and DoS attacks in addition to keyloggers, Trojans and more. Cyberoam‘s hardnosed promise to security and protection aided them perk up their network efficiency and performance. Coupled with Intrusion Prevention module, Cyberoam UTM can counter any Denial of Service attack. Mr. Mathew now felt the network is secure.

  • Controlled and Secure Browsing

    The college needed to know who was accessing what sites and as such needed an identity based filter that would include a users‘ 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 staff and student‘s productivity. The productivity might be affected while spending precious time in unproductive surfing and messaging. Cyberoam UTM‘s web content filtering feature controls Internet access in the entire university by blocking inappropriate and unsafe Web content, including Phishing and other malwareladen sites. Moreover, Cyberoam‘s identity-based filtering allows sets individual user Internet access policy, surfing quota, time limits and bandwidth restrictions.

  • Enhanced Reporting

    Mr. Mathew adds, “We were definitely very pleased with this reporting module. Gaining simple view into applications with user name, source, and destination, extent of usage, enabling them to zero in on naive users and systems easily is the best part of Cyberoam UTM.”