Ausmart International Pty Ltd. Australia
Cyberoam Secures Ausmart International, one of the Largest Retail Products Suppliers in Australia
About Ausmart, Retail Products and Services

Founded in 1992, Ausmart International Pty Ltd. is one of the leading suppliers in Australia for a range of new and innovative retail industry products and services. These include gondola shelving units, shopping carts, trolley locks, adjustable pallet guards and onsite repair/maintenance services which are popular among Australian and International supermarket chains. Some of their prominent clients include Kmart, Coles, Aldi, Woolworths, Liquorland, Target, BigW, Foodworks and Blackwoods.

A few Ausmart products are even considered the benchmark standard for all newly supplied equipment in the Australian retail industry. With extensive project management, warehouse distribution and design/engineering capabilities, the company has also successfully expanded into the global market through its European head office in Dublin, Ireland and a string of strategic network alliances across the USA, Asia and Europe.

Continuous Internet connectivity with no breakdown or downtime was the most important requirement for Ausmart. Apart from that, they also wanted to address business security challenges.

Mr. Nick McCulloch
Evolve IT
Ausmart International Pty Ltd.

Uninterrupted Internet Connectivity: Ausmart has its head office and national warehouse and distribution centre in Victoria State, with support offices and warehouses in Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, and South Australia.

The varied business requirements of Internet are as follows:

  • HR/Admin: The HR team/management uses Internet for administrative work.

  • Design section: A team of designers require uninterrupted Internet connectivity to enable web transfer of huge CAD files containing parts and assemblies.

  • Customer Care section: Ausmart has a product roll-out to 685 customer locations nationwide, operated through a VoIP-based +1300 number. The Internet, thus, is the main lifeline to support a complex sequence of activities including onsite support, warehouse and logistics.

  • VPN connectivity: Internet is relied on heavily to enable remote sites VPN access back to the main office.

Evolve IT Australia Pty Ltd. is the IT service desk/support provider for Ausmart. According to Nick McCulloch, Systems Engineer, Evolve IT, “Needless to say, continuous Internet connectivity with no breakdown or downtime was the most important requirement of our client. Apart from that, we also had to address these additional business challenges.”

Alternative to Existing UTM Solution:

Previously, Ausmart‘s gateway was secured through a Watchguard Firebox appliance. However, it had to soon be upgraded to the latest version so they did not proceed further as they wanted to avoid known costs for desired features. The search was on for a new appliance which would retain the good features of Watchguard appliance such as high spam detection rate, while carrying more features at the same price point.

Stronger Intrusion Preventions Capability

The company‘s gateway at the Victoria head office housed web and mail servers, customer information and designs. These sensitive servers were under constant threat from spyware, DoS attacks, fragmented and malformed packets, blended threats and more. Ausmart wanted its Intrusion Prevention solution to maintain session security for all VoIP customer calls since they were integral to their onsite maintenance services. It was also important to prevent any incident of communication loss or data tampering due to eavesdropping attacks from outsiders.

Controlling Malware and Spam Incidence:

For Ausmart, a routine virus attack in the network, especially in a blended form, would translate into a lot of uninvited problems-corrupt files, defaced web pages and huge downtime due to customer helpdesk calls.

The spam problem was even more serious as a large number of unwanted mails with subject lines such as pharmaceutical adverts, lottery would crash the server.

Monitoring Website Access:

The company wanted to monitor and restrict its users from accessing unproductive sites such as Facebook and Myspace. So far, they were only able to block web traffic by modifying host files and blocking certain IP addresses from Internet access. They wanted a suitable content filtering solution with reporting feature for showing graphs and traffic results on specific sites accessed by staff when they switch computers.

The Cyberoam Solution

In order to address their business challenges, Ausmart looked into a number of security products including Sonicwall. However, after seeing a trial demo of Cyberoam by Evolve IT, they took the decision of replacing the existing Watchguard device at the head office with a Cyberoam CR50ia “accelerator” series UTM appliance.

According to Nick, the deal clincher was the Cyberoam website access reporting feature as well as the huge performance-to-cost ratio benefits. Ausmart ordered four Cyberoam CR25i UTM appliances for its remote offices in Australia. All appliances were deployed in gateway mode due to the fact that Ausmart relies on an application that utilizes VPN tunnels.

The business benefits were as follows:

  • Identity-based Security:

    Cyberoam UTM not only retained essential features of the previous Watchguard solution, but also delivered unexpected value additions such as the award-winning identity-based security feature which provides full visibility of user activities in the network. To elaborate, after integrating Cyberoam into the Ausmart network infrastructure, Nick used its Active Directory Services (ADS) to include all Ausmart Internet users in the database and implemented Single-sign-on functionality so their online activities could be further monitored.

  • More Resilient Internet Connectivity:

    The CR50ia appliance deployed at the Head Office was used to ensure IPSec VPN connectivity along with the four CR25i appliances at branches. This allowed remote office users to seamlessly access their work without any worries of breakdown in Internet traffic. Threat-free Tunneling (TFT)-driven VPN ensures that all such traffic is securely encrypted and no malware sneaks through it. network by providing real-time protection against viruses, worms, Trojans, keyloggers, spyware and more on all network traffic. According to Mr. Atkociunas, “Since viruses are overpowered at the gateway itself, we are relieved that our network is much less likely to fall prey to virus attacks”.

  • Constant Connectivity:

    Cyberoam‘s Multiple Link Manager with WAN failover feature will be deployed in the network in the future to further bolster the company‘s connectivity requirements by offering load balancing with failover capability. Once a link fails, the appliance would quickly kick in and diverts the traffic to another up and running link.

  • Perimeter Secured-Intrusions Eliminated:

    Cyberoam‘s ICSA and Checkmark - dual certified firewall offers stateful and deep-packet inspection, by protecting Ausmart‘s internal networks from DoS attacks and IP spoofing attacks.

    Cyberoam‘s Intrusion Prevention System has a customized database of over 3000+ signatures which reach deeper than a firewall and anti-virus to ensure second level protection for the Ausmart network from blended threats, backdoor attempts and more. To safeguard their business-critical VoIP calls, it further allows detection and prevention of phone home spyware by Cyberoam IPS, preventing spyware in the network from sending out sensitive data.

  • Up-to-date Protection from Viruses and Spam

    : Cyberoam UTM‘s Gateway Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware solution ensures a third level real-time protection for Ausmart‘s network by delivering clean web and mail traffic. Viruses, worms, Trojans, keyloggers, spyware and more are history and business downtime is negligent.

    Cyberoam‘s Gateway Anti-Spam solution has a spam catch rate of over 98% and absorbs a large portion of junk mails at Ausmart with its IP reputation filters before they hit the mail servers. At the next level, Cyberoam‘s RPD-based content-agnostic anti-spam solution offers protection against foreign characters and image-based spam with almost no cases of false positives. Finally, Cyberoam‘s Virus Outbreak Detection (VOD feature automatically detect and block any new malware attacks emerging from emails.

    Safe, Productive Surfing Unleashed: Cyberoam UTM‘s web content filtering feature controls Internet access in the entire organization by blocking inappropriate and unsafe Web content, including phishing and other malware-laden sites.

    This is done through a constantly updated database of millions of sites divided into 82+ categories including pornography, P2P, entertainment and job search. Moreover, Cyberoam‘s identity-based filtering allows individual user Internet access policy, surfing quota, time limits and bandwidth restrictions.

  • Useful Reporting

    : Cyberoam‘s reporting feature gives overview of what the users are up to in the network, including blocked sites visited, time spent on each site. According to Nick, this has led to increased productivity as the staff knows that they are being monitored or restricted from accessing blocked sites.

    Nick adds, “Our client was indeed very satisfied with this reporting module. Gaining easy visibility into applications with user name, source, destination, period and extent of usage, enabling them to zero in on rogue users and systems easily is the biggest highlight of Cyberoam UTM.”