Century Financial Brokers L.L.C, Dubai, UAE
Cyberoam UTM Secures the Network of Century Financial Brokers L.L.C
About Century Financial Brokers L.L.C, BFSI

Century Financial Brokers operates as an Introducing Brokers to major, well known international financial institutions. Century Financial Brokers is licensed by the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates and regulated by Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA). It is also registered and licensed by the Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai. As a licensed member, they are accountable to the stringent standards of capital adequacy and financial reporting enforced by the Central Bank.

Century Financial Brokers L.L.C. (CFB) is a fully licensed and registered investment company offering a comprehensive range of investment products under one roof; Foreign Exchange Trading (FOREX), Futures & Commodities, International Stocks, Interbank Money Markets, Mutual Funds, through regulated financial institutions which are well equipped to handle such activities. Century achieved the distinction of being the first brokerage firm to acquire a Principal Broker member license from the prestigious Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX).

Formed by Mr. Sulaiman Baqer Mohebi in 1989, Century‘s aim is to provide their clients, brokers and staff with the highest quality products along with uncompromising service and support no matter the type or size of the business.

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

Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali
System Analyst
Century Financial Brokers L.L.C

According to Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali, System Analyst, at Century Financial Brokers L.L.C, the company was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its business activities.

Access Control and Intrusion Prevention

The organization needed a firewall and an intrusion prevention solution. The combination of both the solutions was needed to protect the network against intentional and unintentional intrusion attempts, and Denial of Service attacks.

Spam-free Email Traffic

Unsolicited e-mail, more commonly known as spam is a rising and complex problem. High bulk of spam mails ate a lot of precious bandwidth. So they needed to stop them at the gateway. Anyone could send you an e-mail you wouldn't want to receive so determining which e-mail you definitely would not want to accept can be tricky. The company was concerned that employee productive time was being wasted in deleting spam messages and frequently checking for false positives. Also, the spam mails spiked with malware intended to sabotage the network from within. Traditional spam filters were ineffective as the spammer changes the contents, format, type and language of a spam mail. So, they were looking for an anti-spam solution with high spam catch rate which would scan mails across all protocols including SMTP, POP3 and IMAP and keep false positive rate low.

Controlling Surfing Practices

As one of their most critical issues, Century Financial Brokers wanted to raise workplace productivity by putting a complete end to indiscriminate Internet surfing by its internal users. It also wanted the solution to ensure precious bandwidth is not wasted on downloads of audio, video and streaming files and nuisance applications and instead, diverted to more productive use.

Moreover, Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali knew unbridled surfing represented an added layer of threat through malicious sites such as phishing and pharming which had to be resolved.

VPN Connectivity

Century Financial Brokers has evolved into an organisation with independent networks at remote sites supporting many users. The primary challenges for Century Financial Brokers were to provide access to sensitive data across a more secure and stable VPN. Internet is relied on profoundly to allow remote sites VPN access back to the main office.

Business Continuity Concerns:

One major issue was the connectivity problem. "If Internet was down our business activities would come to a halt," Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali said. To avoid a single point of failure, multiple locations had multiple ISP links. So, multiple ISP links load balancing, and failover is also a critical need.

The Cyberoam Solution

Century Financial Brokers looked into a number of security products including SonicWall, Bios and ISA 2008 in order to address their business challenges. The search was on for an appliance which would take care of their all above requirements. However, after seeing a trial demo of Cyberoam by OSCOMP, they took the decision of purchasing One (1) unit of Cyberoam CR100ia and One (1) unit of CR50ia enterprise-class UTM appliance, which was soon deployed in gateway mode at their head office i.e. Dubai. OSCOMP is the IT service desk/support provider for Century Financial Brokers.

Identity-based Security

Cyberoam UTM 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 Century Financial Brokers network infrastructure, Shabeer Mohammad Ali used its Active Directory Services (ADS) to include all Century Financial Brokers Internet users in the database and implemented Single-sign-on functionality so their online activities could be further monitored.

Firewall and Intrusion Prevention

Cyberoam firewall is ICSA and Checkmark certified - provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. Coupled with Intrusion Prevention module, Cyberoam UTM can counter any Denial of Service attack. Mr. Shabeer Mohammad Ali now felt the network is secure.

Solving the Spam and Malware Concern

Cyberoam‘s Check Mark certified anti-spam solution ensures that not a single SPAM mail made it to the internal inboxes. The spam is neutralized at the gateway. Continuous spam protection was installed and had instantaneous effect.

Also, the intelligent anti-spam solution required almost no human intervention to put it on war footing. Signature-less Virus Outbreak Detection technology protects the organization against any mail-based Zero-Day attack, hours before traditional signaturedependent solutions

Browsing Check Accomplished

Prior to Cyberoam deployment, there was no control on sites visited by Century Financial Brokers employees. However, all that changed with Cyberoam‘s Web filtering feature which ensures protection from inappropriate and insecure Web content, including phishing and other malware-loaded sites.

Cyberoam‘s constantly updated database of millions of sites is divided into 82+ categories which includes pornography, P2P, entertainment and job search. By customizing user identity-based policies, the administrator provides selective Internet access and surfing rights based on the user‘s working needs. “I can now prioritize the organization‘s bandwidth usage as per business requirements with more effective controls on which user consumes how much bandwidth (upload and download limits) during any time of the day”, said. Mr. Shabber Mohammad Ali. This helped the organization in controlling the user behavior on the Internet.

VPN Connectivity

Cyberoam UTM‘s SSL VPN solution bridged the geographical distances between the branch and head offices. This now ensures that the user can connect securely from any location and use the resources.

Also, Cyberoam ensures transparent VPN failover for branches in order to provide uninterrupted connectivity for branch users. When an Internet connection fails, this feature dynamically switches traffic over to the active connection, maintaining uninterrupted VPN service.

Business Continuity Restored

Driven by business need of organization‘s connectivity over Internet, Century Financial Brokers has two (2) ISP links. Cyberoam‘s Multi-Link Manager intelligently load balances the traffic and manages link failover between the two (2) broadband links. These links terminate on Cyberoam. The Multi-Link Manager constantly monitors the performance of the links. In case of a link failure, the load is automatically transferred to the working link, seamlessly, which leads to 100% Internet uptime, and round the clock availability of requisite bandwidth. In case of a link failure, Cyberoam automatically switches the traffic to the working link. So the organization gets a transparent multilink management with no human interference. On the way, it also bridges our connectivity and productivity requirements.

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 Mr. Shabber Mohammad Ali, “This has led to increased productivity as the staff knows that they are being monitored or restricted from accessing blocked sites.”

Round Off

“Cyberoam is very user friendly in terms of ease of use and management, plus it is extremely easy to teach our IT staff how to use it. With Cyberoam in place, we have the confidence of a secure and protected environment.”said Mr. Shabber Mohammad Ali.