BSNL, New Delhi, India
World 7th largest Telecom Company: BSNL Banks on Cyberoam for Productive Security
About BSNL, Telecom / ISP

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) formed in October, 2000, is the World's 7th largest Telecommunications Company and India‘s largest public sector unit providing a comprehensive range of telecom services in India: Wireline, CDMA, GSM, Internet, Broadband, Carrier service, MPLS-VPN, VSAT, VoIP services, IN Services etc. Currently BSNL is the Numero Uno operator of India in all services in its license area. BSNL is the only service provider making focused efforts and planned initiatives to bridge the Rural-Urban Digital Divide.

BSNL was planning to replace its Linux based proxy server with a Firewall and Web Content Filtering solution for its corporate office in Delhi.

Cyberoam provides excellent content filtering solution. With more than 82 categories and more than 44 million websites, it provides unmatched flexibility and control over the online activities of the users.

Ms. Jeena Pal
Technical Director

BSNL has two ISP connections BSNL and AIRTEL, in its headquarters and it had Linux based proxy servers. While the Linux based proxy servers failed to do any sort of web content filtering, the load balancing and failover for both the ISP links, was also a tedious manual process.

The Technical Director at BSNL, Ms. Jeena Pal, outlined BSNL‘s requirement thus, “We had no control over our employees‘ surfing habits. This led to multiple problems.” They included:

  • Loss of productivity
  • Bandwidth wastage
  • Potentially harmful surfing opened flood gates for web based malware to sneak into the corporate office network and spread mayhem.
  • High frequency of help desk calls for the IT department
  • The multiple ISP links were manually managed. There was no load balancing and in case of a WAN link failure, the traffic had to be manually redirected.

“We were looking for a single box solution to all our problems, Something that will ac as a panacea. So far we were well acquainted with Cisco products. But when it came to such issues related to productive security, Cisco did not fit in,” Ms. Pal said.

The Cyberoam Solution

BSNL had an easy familiarity with Cisco as most of the hardware came from it. So their first choice was Cisco ASA. Once they had gone through its specifications, Ms. Pal decided to look at non-Cisco products as she found ASA‘s scope limiting. Rather, putting it the other way; Cisco did not meet their requirements. They decided to deploy appliance-based, indigenously designed

Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution - Cyberoam. They installed one 500i in the corporate office and one 250i in a strategic branch office nearby. Both the appliances were installed in Gateway mode. In the corporate office, both the ISP links were terminated on Cyberoam to facilitate link load balancing and gateway failover. Cyberoam acts as a firewall and controls the access to various network resources. Cyberoam‘s firewall is certified by ICSA and Checkmark. Cyberoam‘s web filtering database which is 44 million website strong is divided into 82+ categories to facilitate flexibility. As soon as the appliance was in the network, the uncontrolled surfing stopped. Cyberoam ensures that all unproductive and potentially dangerous surfing is denied. Malware laced sites are all blocked and no unauthorized downloads are permitted.

BSNL has created Virtual Hosts to allow multiple servers in the DMZ to be accessed using multiple Public IP Addresses. This enables balancing the traffic among multiple servers.

Multilink management feature of Cyberoam now shoulders the load balancing between both the links. The failover feature ensures that if any one of the link fails, the entire traffic is seamlessly shifted to the other functioning link. Once the down link gets restored, the load balancing feature kicks in without any manual intervention and status quo is restored.

Cyberaom‘s On-Appliance reports provide Ms. Pal with perfect visibility of all the surfing habits and network events. This helped her identify the potential rule-breakers and stop them in their tracks. Knowledge enabling pre and post sales technical assistance from Cyberoam is aimed at empowering the customer to be self sufficient.

Rounding up the discussion, Ms. Pal said, “Cyberoam‘s user-friendly and intuitive interface and comprehensive Web content filtering ensures that all the employees at the BSNL headquarters are productively focused.”