Graphic Communications Group Accra, Ghana Africa
Cyberoam UTM Security Proves Productivity Promoting for Graphic Communications Group
About Graphic Communications Group Accra, Advertising / Media

Graphic Communications Group (GCG) is the leading information medium, newspaper publisher, commercial printing and packaging company in Ghana. Having been in business since 1950, they have the perfect combination of skill and experience to deliver quality service every time.

Over time it has distinguished itself as a credible organization in quality news presentation, to the extent that its flagship newspaper, the Daily Graphic, has become synonymous with newspapers in Ghana.

The company has been responsible for the introduction of modern printing technology in the country. It was the first to introduce web offset and photo typesetting. It now has a computerized editorial system and the most modern printing plant in Ghana, providing scope for full colour production. Newspaper production is on a network of Mac computers, using industry-standard editorial and graphics software.

The company was looking for a gateway level Internet security solution as the IT department often felt they were waging a losing war against Web-based multiple blended threats, indiscriminate surfing, spam menace and bandwidth management.

We needed a good firewall, anti spam, and virus, content filtering and intrusion prevention. Internet is the primary business enabler as it is used for back-office administration, mailing and maintaining the contact with the outside world.

Mr. Joe Acquah
Manager ICT Department

Internet is a business enabler resource. It is used to communicate and transfer files from different regions of Ghana. The internal IT resources of the company can be securely shared over the internet to legitimate users. All the advertisements published by the various publications of GCG are sent and received over the Internet. Internet is also a huge source of information for the Foreign Desk at GCG. In view of this criticality of Internet, a gateway security solution had become imperative.

Mr. Joe Acquah, the Manager at ICT Department at GCG had a wish-list that was fueled by his visit to India where he was exposed to various security products. His requirements were:

Ease of Deployment

The organization wished to deploy a solution that did not demand many changes in the existing network. The solution should provide non-intrusive, business-friendly security. The solution ought to be affordable with regard to capital expenditure and recurring operational expenditure. It should be easy to manage, be user-friendly and not demand specific expertise or knowledge.

Control over All Internet Activity

The Accra-based head office and numerous branch offices spread in Ghana involved a large number of employees. Only authorized Internet-based applications need to be allowed access. Authorization should be well-planned and designed as per the employee‘s professional requirements. All unauthorized downloads needed to be blocked. Downloads or login into all types of P2P and other unproductive applications must be prevented. All harmful and improper surfing was to be stopped and any such attempts needed to be logged. Unrestricted access led to bandwidth consumption for unproductive errands while business critical applications starved and crawled at snails pace.

Malware and Spam Menace

Unrestrained surfing by users, often lead to virus, Trojans, spyware and other malware infiltration into the network from the Web. Spam mails entered from the Internet in huge numbers.

The inboxes were bursting with unsolicited, harmful and often embarrassing emails which led to tricky situations for employees if they accidentally opened the mail. Managing these spam mails was an arduous task. A few employees actually opened the spam mails and clicked the URLs mentioned in them.

Audited Access

All Internet-based activities had to be logged. Logging and reporting should be user identity-based and not just IP Address-based, where the administrator cannot identify the actual user behind it. Reporting should be clear and should be able to provide clear visibility to the administrator about all Internet usage and surfing patterns.

The Cyberoam Solution

Mr. Acquah had evaluated a few leading products in the Internet security field like McAfee. After a careful consideration, he decided to deploy Cyberoam UTM‘s CR500i appliance in gateway mode in their Accra-based head office.
Quick Configure and Fire Solution
To gain maximum advantage from Cyberoam‘s Identity-aware content filtering feature, it was integrated with the organization‘s Active Directory. The hassle-free login and authentication process are totally transparent and non-intrusive to the end user. Cyberoam blended seamlessly into the existing network with minimal changes.

Firewall and IPS Security

Cyberoam‘s dual-certified Firewall and Intrusion Prevention System protects the organization‘s network against unauthorized access attempts that originate internally and externally. Both the features are identity-aware. Apart from identity Cyberoam also uses IP address and MAC address as an access decision parameter. Hence the administrator can define Internet access and security policies based on these three parameters. This leads to intense granular control over the user‘s surfing behaviour. This makes the Cyberoam security impregnable.

Identity-Aware Filtering

Cyberoam‘s Checkmark certified identity-aware Content Filtering solution enables the administrator to reign in all unproductive and harmful Internet surfing. He is able to assign surfing rights to match the professional profile of the employee. Whenever needed, Cyberoam‘s reports provide him with the user‘s identity. The information about the actual person using an IP Address can be easily gleaned from the reports as the reports contain complete information about the machine‘s MAC address, the network IP address and the user‘s login name. Hence the administrator can see - who is doing what, at a glance.

Productive Internet Usage

The comprehensive content filtering capacity of Cyberoam is powered by 82+ category strong database of 44 million URLs. It can also control HTTPS-based websites, thus eliminating any security loopholes. In addition, Cyberoam allows customizable messages for the Web pages that it blocks. This helps the organization educate the end user about the company‘s Internet policy. Reports like Top 10 Web Surfing and Data Transfer categories of reports help Mr. Acquah quickly zero-in on potential policy violators. The highlight of all these types of reports is that they carry the username. Hence, using these reports helps the administrator quickly locate the person who has accessed the Internet and downloaded the most.

All unauthorized and harmful sites and downloads are blocked; so are all P2P and IM applications. All phishing and pharming sites are out of bounds too.

End of Malware

Cyberoam‘s gateway anti virus solution watches over the web and mail traffic. All the Web traffic: HTTP and FTP, as well as mail traffic over SMTP, IMAP and POP3 is scanned for malware and sanitized. All compressed files are decompressed and checked for any hidden malware.

The all round anti virus security prevents virus outbreaks, which translates into reduced housekeeping calls to the IT department.

With Cyberoam, Say No to Spam

Cyberoam‘s gateway anti spam solution checks all inbound and outbound mails for spam. “It is a ‘Deploy and Forget” solution,” said Mr. Acquah With a spam detection rate of 98 % and a false positive rate as low as one false positive per 100,000 mails, Cyberoam‘s superior spam filter ensures that the organization‘s in-boxes are spam-free and no mail-based business opportunity is lost. All this efficiency is achieved by the solution‘s inherent adaptive intelligence. Irrespective of the language and the content of the mail, spam is detected and action taken.

The anti spam solution also has a unique feature - Virus Outbreak Detection (VOD). Using this feature, Cyberoam detects and blocks any zero day attack and vulnerability exploits.

The volume of spam dropped to almost nil and the inboxes were clean and spam free. This also reflected in bandwidth saved.

To Round it off

“Cyberoam is a wonderful tool in controlling the abuse of the internet that is to be used for productivity in the office. The device is very easy to use, install and control access to web sites. Before its installation, our bandwidth was very slow and we did not know