National Social Security Fund, Uganda, Africa
NSSF Deployed Cyberoam NGFW to Organize Network Infrastructure and Reduce Downtime
About National Social Security Fund, Finance

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is National Saving Scheme mandated by Government through the National Social Security Fund Act, Cap 222 (Laws of Uganda) to provide social security services to employees in Uganda.

NSSF is a provident fund (pays out contributions in lump sum). It covers all employees in the private sector including Non-Governmental Organizations that are not covered by the Government's pension scheme. It is a scheme instituted for the protection of employees against the uncertainties of social and economic life.

Cyberoam helped NSSF to install a security appliance to effectively filter Internet content and reduce Spam. Identity based bandwidth management was implemented and Multi Link Management significantly reduced Internet downtime.

Mr. Simon Kule Mubunga
Network Administrator
National Social Security Fund

Throwing light on the organization’s Internet security requirements Mr. Simon Kule Mubunga, Network Administrator of NSSF said, “We needed a solution that would secure our organization from unproductive use of the Internet. Irrelevant bandwidth exhaustive websites and excessive use of torrent based applications was a cause of concern for us. Moreover, link management was poor due to absence of any failover mechanism.”

To put the requirement in a nutshell, NSSF was looking for a single box solution that would offer:

Need for Internet Traffic Control and Filtering

In the absence of a Web content and Application filtering solution, the employees wasted productive time and precious Internet bandwidth by accessing irrelevant websites that reduced productivity. There was also a widespread use of bandwidth exhaustive torrent applications. This ate up a major chunk of the precious bandwidth that powered the organization’s critical applications. Hence there was a need to monitor Internet access which called for a content filtering solution that could audit data for users’ online behaviour. Redistribution of bandwidth amongst departments was also essential as bandwidth requirement differed amongst departments. The organization sought for an Internet Filtering solution in the pursuit of increasing productivity and optimizing resources. In this way, it would best serve the purpose of the company’s bottom line. “We needed a solution that would enable us prevent un-resourceful bandwidth usage. Department specific bandwidth assignment also needed to be put in place” adds Mr. Mubunga.

Business Continuity Concerns

One major issue was the connectivity problem. "Having offices spread across the country requires considerable amount of coordination and organization, making
seamless Internet connectivity an indispensable prerequisite. Simply having multiple links without a robust failover mechanism in place led to frequent downtimes" Mr. Mubunga said. Clearly, Load balancing and lack of a failover mechanism was a major grey area for NSSF.

The Cyberoam Solution

After sieving the market for the correct solution, NSSF purchased One (1) Cyberoam CR500i NG-XP appliance which was deployed in Proxy Server mode at their Headquarters in Kampala. The business benefits were as follows:

  • Effective Filtering

    The Web is a critical research resource for the employees of NSSF. While trusting its employees to judiciously balance their use of the Internet for work, the organization however recognized its responsibility to both ensure the productive use of this valuable resource and to provide a healthy online working environment. NSSF installed Cyberoam not only to manage and control Internet traffic, but to also save crucial Internet bandwidth for more resourceful applications. Cyberoam's granular controls filter out bandwidth-intensive downloads such as torrents and streaming Internet media thus reducing unproductive burden on the bandwidth. This ensures that the employees remain productively focused.

    Cyberoam’s content filtering database has more than 100 million sites neatly categorized into more than 89 categories. Moreover, Web filtering and content management could be customized based on organizational requirement. Thus giving a lot of flexibility to the organization in terms of chalking out the do’s and don’ts of the Internet usage.

    With Identity based management as an additional parameter, departments could be segregated on the basis of their productive bandwidth usage. The organization could then judiciously allot the required bandwidth to the classified identities which were linked to an active directory for authentication. “In addition, we’re able to set up policies for different departments. Cyberoam makes it easy for us to set up policies based on specific job requirements within our organization.” The organization was also benefitted by subscribing to the Anti Spam feature. “The amount of spam entering our networks has significantly reduced. We are no longer blacklisted by Spamhaus and other such reporting tools. It has helped us indeed, Mr. Mubunaga continues.

    All harmful and unproductive surfing is blocked. No torrent or similar application(s) is allowed to be downloaded or used within NSSF.

  • Round the Clock Connectivity

    Cyberoam’s Multilink manager increases the overall network performance by load balancing the network traffic between the Two (2) ISP links terminating in the company network, delivering continuity in security. In case of failure, the load is automatically transferred to the other ISP link, which leads to 100% Internet uptime, and uninterrupted connectivity to their employees spread across the country.

  • To Conclude

    Mr. Mubunga says, “Cyberoam exceeded my expectations. Cyberoam helped NSSF to install a security appliance to effectively filter Internet content and reduce Spam. Identity based bandwidth management was implemented and Multi Link Management significantly reduced Internet downtime. ”