Grayston Preparatory School, Johannesburg, South Africa
Cyberoam Helps Grayston Preparatory School to Make Their Internet Connections Secure
About Grayston Preparatory School, Education

Grayston Preparatory is a co-educational, Independent Preparatory School in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. Grayston provides world class education using state of the art facilities, technology and professional, dedicated teachers.

The primary aim is to encourage each pupil to be a self-confident, inquiring, tolerant, positive, a well-rounded character with an independent mind.

Education, citizenship, diversity, participation and personal development are the underpinnings of the School and provide the foundation for each pupil's growth toward becoming a responsible adult.

Grayston Preparatory School contained data which were under constant threat from spyware attacks. So they needed a strong Firewall and IPS solution.

Mr. Success Ngobeni
IT Administrator
Grayston Preparatory School

The Internet has changed the way the world behaves, does business, and thinks. Even school children search the web for study material to support their homework. Today, academicians do not need to spend much time on library research poring over bulky tomes and taking copious notes. They have the facility of faster and surer access to a much wider range of information through the Internet. Hence, Internet research has come to be recognized as an essential study tool in all higher education courses in developed countries. And the same goes with Grayston Preparatory School too.

According to Mr. Success Ngobeni, I.T administrator, the school was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its business activities.

Firewall and IPS

‘The priority for our school is child protection, and with the increasing use of technology by staff and students it is vital that we have an internet security system that is highly reliable and allows us to be confident in adopting new technology. Our firewall system has to be the best. We were using Untagle but it did not sufficed our needs‘ commented Mr Ngobeni.

Grayston Preparatory School has a responsibility to guard users from network threats, and keep the network up and running. A top security priority was to establish a private network to keep confidential information safe from unauthorized users, hackers, and other threats. This lack of perimeter defense made the network vulnerable to external threats such as Denial-of-service attacks and IP spoofing. The organization, therefore, needed a gateway firewall to regulate user authentication and access control and a strong IPS solution which would be capable in retorting these threats.

Control Browsing Patterns

With a number of students accessing the Internet at any one time, Grayston Preparatory School had growing concerns of protecting its students and network from unmanaged Internet access.

The surfing patterns indicated by school are as follows:

  • With many of the online games played by students, there is a drain on the bandwidth available for other users.

  • The problem of students introducing viruses and other problems into the school system by surfing unnecessary sites- either accidentally or deliberately.

  • The students playing rather than working on task - wasting their own time.

  • ICQ, instant messaging and chat rooms frequently used by students.

Installing a content filtering solution can eliminate all the above mentioned problems.

Business Continuity Concerns

One major concern was the connectivity problem. "If Internet was down, all of our activities would close down," Mr. Ngobeni said. To avoid a single point of failure, Grayston Preparatory School had multiple ISP links. So, multiple ISP links load balancing, and failover is also a critical need.

The Cyberoam Solution

After going through a walkthrough of all the security solutions in the market, Mr. Ngobeni zeroed in on Cyberoam. “We selected Cyberoam because of the quality of the product with a reasonable cost. We liked the way the GUI ran on the appliance and that it meet the needs for what we were looking for in a firewall/content filter solution.” said Mr. Ngobeni. They purchased a Cyberoam CR200ia appliance after it met their desired requirements, later deploying it in gateway mode at their head office.

It led to immediate benefits for the school as discussed under:

  • User Integration

    Cyberoam UTM adds up with a unique identity-based security solution which protects against insider threats by giving absolute visibility into “Who is doing What” in the network and allows creation of user identity-based policies. Mr. Ngobeni used Cyberoam‘s Active Directory (AD) facility to achieve the task of integrating Grayston Preparatory School users in the network through a wizard to trade in users.

  • Access and Application Control

    Cyberoam UTM‘s Stateful Inspection Firewall implements policies based on User Identity in addition to source, destination zone, IP address and application and provides access control over all the Internet traffic.

    Stateful inspection firewall and Intrusion Prevention solution guard the LAN and the DMZ network from unauthorized access and intrusion attempts. All applications that tried to access Internet were logged and any un-productive application was blocked. Coupled with Intrusion Prevention module, Cyberoam UTM can counter any Denial of Service attack. Mr. Ngobeni now felt the network is secure.

  • Web Security

    Cyberoam‘s 82+ categories tough Web Content filtering technology kept the school‘s internet resources effectively focused. The Content filtering feature makes sure that all P2P and Instant Messengers are blocked and that there is no breach of data. It blocks access to harmful websites, preventing malware, phishing, pharming attacks and undesirable content that could lead to legal liability and direct financial losses. Cyberoam helps manage students and staff‘s access to websites, minimizing lost time on the internet, and lowering operating costs.

  • Always-On Network

    Cyberoam supports more than two WAN links. Here in Grayston Preparatory School, multiple ISP links were load balanced ensuring business continuity as per Mr. Ngobeni requirements.

    He is also able to maintain Quality of Service (QOS) by using the Bandwidth Management feature of Cyberoam. The link failover feature ensures that in case of a link failure, another one takes over automatically to ensure total business connectivity.

  • Flexible Reporting

    Cyberoam on-appliance reporting feature offers real-time graphical reporting with dashboards and drill-down reports to the third level with identity-based information related to network events and user activity. It gave Grayston Preparatory School constructive statistical results in the form of reports such as Internet Usage patterns, the number of sites which were non-productive or unhealthy and in knowing what exactly their users were doing in the network and what unproductive websites should be further blocked.

  • To bring to a Close

    “The service we received from Cyberoam Support was excellent. Also we were very impressed with Sales staff as they made us feel very comfortable about selecting the Cyberoam UTM. I would recommend Cyberoam to other school too.” said Mr. Ngobeni