Dainfern College, Sandton, South Africa
Cyberoam UTM Protects Internet Surfing Activities for Dainfern College
About Dainfern College, Education

Founded in 1996 by Russell and Stella Upneck, Dainfern College has grown from small beginnings to the impressive school. Dainfern College is a place of learning where acceptance and belonging prevail, and "character, competence and community" are the foundations upon which they continue to build.

Dainfern College develops the skills for life required to unlock unique personal potential and to nurture creative thinkers with the confidence to become leaders - through the provision of an innovative, relevant and quality education.

Dainfern College sensitive servers are under constant threat from spyware, and DoS attacks. So they were in need of Gateway firewall and Intrusion Prevention solution for protection of their entire network.

Mr. Nick Parker
Network Manager
Dainfern College

Internet offers vast, diverse, and unique resources to students and faculty. Through the Internet, students, faculty and administrators may now have access to:

  • University library catalogs, and other research sites
  • resource collections for browsing
  • electronic mail communication to people all over the world

According to Mr. Nick Parker, Network Manager at Dainfern College, the college was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its business activities.

Firewall and IPS

As an educational institution, Dainfern College is committed to nurturing an environment of academic freedom in which cutting-edge research and learning is promoted. However, the college has a requirement to protect students and staff while accessing online materials. The college is interested in allowing online access to information, while simultaneously protecting itself from increasingly complicated cyber threats and this posed a major challenge for the college.

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

Sieve over the Web

“We wanted a device that would fit into our everyday working environment and do its job effectively without causing us any hindrance. It was also essential that any device we decided to install could provide both security for our students, staff and effective management of bandwidth usage.” Mr. Parker said.

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. Parker 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.

Continuous Network Uptime

“The college has 2 ISP links but we were unable to utilize any of them effectively”, said Mr. Parker. Continuous Internet connectivity with no breakdown or downtime was the most important requirement for Dainfern College. "Dainfern College requires load balancing and reliable performance while providing sufficient bandwidth for teachers and students to access web-based resources safely and securely," says Mr. Parker.

The Cyberoam Solution

Dainfern College looked into a number of security products including Microsoft TMG 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 200i at their headoffice in Gateway mode.

Identity based Security

Cyberoam UTM delivered unforeseen value additions such as the award-winning identitybased security feature which provides full visibility of user activities in the network. To elaborate, after integrating Cyberoam into the Dainfern‘s College network infrastructure, Mr. Parker used its Active Directory Services (ADS) to include all Dainfern‘s Internet users in the database so their online activities could be further monitored.

The Barricade of Fire - Firewall

Cyberoam firewall is ICSA and Checkmark certified - provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. This helps to determine if a data packet should be permitted or discarded through the firewall to the internal LAN. The LAN contained separate internal zones related to student‘s data, examination results, and student‘s private details which were now protected. Also, staff employees were able to seamlessly continue to access Internet resources ensuring that no security loopholes are left open.

Safe Browsing & Judicious Bandwidth Management

Being an educational institute, they needed the ability to instantly block web sites, enforce acceptable usage policies on their users and have access to audit trails for entire user activity. Cyberoam addresses all these issues and more, by providing a flexible content filtering solution that puts the network administrator firmly in control.

Cyberoam has a content filtering database of more than 44 million Websites, categorized cleanly in 82+ categories, providing extensive control over Internet usage. All unauthorized downloads, P2P applications, pirated audio and video streaming and other harmful content is now safely blocked.

Any phishing or pharming Website is disallowed to ensure that no personal information accidentally falls into the hands of criminals. The content filtering categories allow the college to create policies to block access to sites associated with spyware, phishing, keylogging, malicious mobile code and malware. All content access over HTTP, HTTPS and FTP over HTTP is controlled, scanned and made malware free.

Business Continuity Restored

Cyberoam supports more than two WAN links. Here in Dainfern College, multiple ISP links were load balanced ensuring business continuity as per Mr. Parker‘s requirements.

The link failover feature ensures that in case of a link failure, another one takes over automatically to ensure total business connectivity. The level of reliability is simply awesome.

Enhanced Reporting

On-appliance comprehensive reporting is one of Cyberoam's most significant features. The On-Appliance sophisticated monitoring and reporting mechanism in Cyberoam helps Mr. Parker and his team to perform timely and accurate in-depth risk assessment, which has time and again, proved to be quite productive for Dainfern College. Reports available enable him to modify access policies based on the academic requirements.

Reports include ‘Internet bandwidth usage‘, top accessed sites‘ as well as Google search reports, which enhance the visibility of users‘ online behaviour. The ‘traffic discovery‘ report also helps the administrator identify the amount of bandwidth used by various applications.

“In short, Cyberoam has given us the best value against money”, said Mr. Parker.