Hero Honda, New Delhi, India
Hero Honda Motors Selects Cyberoam for Reliable and Cost-effective Network Protection
About Hero Honda, Automobile

In April, 1984 Hero Cycles, India and Honda Motor Company, Japan inked a joint venture and the world's single largest motorcycle company was born. Hero Honda Motors Limited (HHML) is the World No. 1 two wheeler company and one of Honda Motor Company's most successful joint ventures, globally. HHML's performance was nothing less than a revolution on two-wheels. Hero Honda has sold over 15 million motorcycles and has consistently shown a double digit growth since its inception. Today, every second, a motorcycle sold in the country is a Hero Honda.

In two decades, Hero Honda has built two world-class manufacturing facilities at Dharuhera and Gurgaon in Haryana. These facilities now churn out over 3.5 million motorbikes per year.

"Cyberoam's maximizes Return Over Investment. We are fully satisfied with Cyberoam Unified Threat Management solution.”

Mr. Avnesh Jain
Sr. Manager, Information
Systems, HHML
Hero Honda

“Our external mail server forwards the corporate mails to the internal mail server that is deployed in our LAN over SMTP. The internal mail server is a central mail repository from where all the employees pop their individual mails. We have ISP level security which consists of a firewall, spam filter and antivirus,” Mr. Avnesh Jain (Sr. Manager, Information Systems, HHML) informed. “However, we soon found that ISP level security was inadequate.”

HHMLfaced Internet access and security issues related to:

  • Spam mails
  • Malware attacks originating from mail and Web
  • Web filtering
  • Bandwidth choking

“HHML received around 26000 mails per day, which translated to almost 1GB of storage space. Out of these at least 70% were spam. That was around 18500 spam mails per day. The ISP was able to filter out around 50%. Still, almost 9000 mails hit our internal mail server each day.

We did try out a few standalone, software-based spam filters with little success,” said Mr. Jain.

“Mails are the front-end for any organization. Apart from a vast number of employees, HHML also has a vast chain of dealers and service stations spread across the country. So mails exchange often got lost in the maze of spam and the business suffered. Often business mails were wrongly classified as spam false positives and deleted while spam still poured in.”

Mail boxes were clogged with spam mails. All the employees based in New Delhi, Dharuhera and Gurgoan plant, POP their mails from the local mail server.

Approximately 9000 spam mails hitting the local mail server was simply not acceptable as:

  • Downloading the legitimate mails and approximately 9000 spam mails from the external mail server to the local mail server was a painfully slow and quite frequently a frustrating process.

  • Bandwidth consumption did not just increase, it shot through the roof and to keep adding bandwidth was not a viable solution.

  • Once the mails reached the individual's mailboxes, they had to be checked and deleted manually. Many times the recipients were tempted to read the spam mails and the mail processing time kept increasing at the cost of productivity.

  • Legitimate mails were often lost in the maze of spam.

  • The management began questioning the IT department regarding the extent of spam, which was mostly unanswerable, despite IT's best efforts.

  • Employees stationed at remote locations like Gurgoan and Dharuhera plant were the worst hit. For them, the mail was first downloaded to the local mail server and then had to be POPed to their remote individual mail box. The download time of an individual mail was very high this was particularly frustrating since at least 50 % of the mail was spam.

  • The spam mails had a good share of Phishing mails which slipped through the primary security layer stationed with ISP.

    Malware entering through mails and Internet browsing was also a major source of concern.

  • A lot of mails contained malicious payload which consisted of viruses, spyware and Trojans. These malware, once it entered the network, consumed the bandwidth and caused system crashes.

  • Unprotected and unrestricted Internet browsing also left gaping security holes. Malicious site surfing left the organization vulnerable to malware, malicious tracking cookies, spywares and keyloggers.

    In absence of web filtering and access accountability, the little bandwidth that was left was consumed by unrestricted surfing. This proved detrimental to the organization's productivity. Lack of Internet usage accountability led to malicious sites being surfed, which in turn infected the network with a host of spyware.

    As a remedy to slow browsing and other bandwidth problems, HHML was forced to upgrade its initial 64kbps Internet connection to a 4MB pipe. Yet, the complaints persisted.
The Cyberoam Solution

“HHML purchased a total of four Cyberoam appliances; one 250i Cyberoam UTM appliance for our corporate office in New Delhi and one each for the production plants at Dharuhera and Gurgaon,” said Mr.Jain. “We have purchased a 100i for our upcoming new facility Haridwar unit. We have deployed all the Cyberoam appliances in bridge mode. While the first layer of defense existed at the ISP level, while Cyberoam provides the crucial second layer of defense as the entire mail and web traffic passes through it,” said he added.

“Cyberoam maximizes Return Over Investment. It even exceeded our expectations,” said Mr. Jain.

Cyberoam's anti spam feature effectively got rid of 9000 odd spam mails per day. The employees were pleasantly surprised to find spam-free inboxes.

“We reclaimed our inboxes they now are clean and safe,” said Mr. Jain. “We saved time and our legitimate mails were no longer buried in a heap of spam.”

As spam disappeared, inter-office connectivity benefited greatly. Employees at the remote site no longer have to wait indefinitely for their mails to be downloaded. Bandwidth used to connect remote offices was also saved.

Cyberoam's anti-spam solution not only blocked spam, but also proved effective against any type of mail-based threats. The solution used Recurrent Pattern Detection technology. It is content-agnostic and equally effective against image based spam. Pattern detection technology ensured minimum window of vulnerability, providing zero hour protection to the HHMLnetwork.

Cyberoam's anti-virus solution scans SMTP, IMAP, POP3 mail protocols and HTTP and FTP protocols, leaving no security gaps. As all the web-based traffic is scanned for spyware and malware, clean and secure web surfing became a reality

Cyberoam's identity-based web filtering ensures employee accountability, which in turn leads to decrease in harmful and unproductive surfing. The IT department has created groups and assigned Internet access rights based on their business profile in HHML. Cyberoam's HTTP client is used to authenticate the user. As the web filtering rules are implemented on the user's identity and not just on the IP address, IP spoofing has been curbed effectively.

Internet access is now productively focused. This is amply reflected in the bandwidth usage. Once insufficient, bandwidth availability is now satisfactory. Total bandwidth consumption fell sharply and the ISP bills also took a nose dive.

Clean network, safe and responsible surfing and spam free mail boxes resulted in a drastic fall in IT helpdesk calls. The company's IT resources are productively focused.

“We are satisfied, completely with Cyberoam UTM,” said Mr. Jain.