Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability London United Kingdom, Europe
Cyberoam Secures Britain’s Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
About Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability London, Health Care / Hospital

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN), Putney was established in July 1854 by the philanthropist Mr. Andrew Reed in response to a plea from the author Charles Dickens to "give permanent relief to such persons as are hopelessly disqualified for the duties of life. Not to interfere with the endeavours of existing charities, but to take action precisely where their action ceased."

London based RHN is a 260-bed independent medical charity which aims to provide an authoritative and academic approach to all aspects of clinical management of people with rare, complex and chronic neurological disabilities. The institute depends heavily on the Internet for its administrative and research needs.

The hospital was already using a very well known content filtering solution. It introduced a lot of complexity in the network, demanded high operational expenditure and overheads and still dragged its feet when it came to performance.

Mr. Syed Ali
Network & System Manger
Royal Hospital for Neuro-

Mr. Syed Ali, the Network and Systems Manager at RHN, faced the daunting task of finding the exact solution that would meet the institute’s Internet security requirements. To achieve the perfect balance among the institute’s security, productivity and connectivity needs, he was looking for a solution that would meet the following criteria:

  • An easy to maintain appliance

    Mr. Ali was looking for an appliance-based solution that was robust, well-blended and easy to maintain. They had been using a softwarebased solution that was complex and demanded a high level of maintenance. This was not only expensive, but also needed to be installed on a separate machine and hence there was an additional and hidden cost overhead.

  • Simple and Effective Filtering

    As an end user, Mr. Ali was looking to achieve effortless content filtering. He wanted the categorisation to be simple and straightforward so that the administrator could adjust the settings without the need to rely on external support. He believes that internet access is a resource that should not be squandered and so every user’s bandwidth usage ought to be rationed and monitored using content filtering.

  • Comprehensive Monitoring and Active Alerts

    The user’s internet activity and behaviour should be strictly monitored and in case of any violation, the user and the administrator ought to be alerted proactively. The solution should not wait until the administrator accesses the solution to sift through the reports.

While the institute was already using a well-known content filtering solution, they were not satisfied with it as it introduced a lot of complexity in the network, demanded high operational expenditure and overheads and still dragged its feet when it came to performance. Mr. Ali scoured the market for the right solution. Cyberoam, Barracuda, Sophos, Bloxx, Omniguard and Trend Micro were amongst the many solutions considered.

“We were looking for a solution that would fulfil our needs to securely connect to the internet and maximise our productivity with a shallow learning curve, minimum complexity and maximum Return-On-Investment,” Mr. Ali opined.

The Cyberoam Solution

After many careful evaluations of multiple products, Mr. Ali deployed a Cyberoam 250i in gateway mode. Cyberoam UTM is an appliance-based finely integrated Identity-aware solution which comprises of a Firewall, Content Filtering, Gateway Anti-virus and Antispam, Intrusion Prevention, Bandwidth Management, Multi-Link Management and a Reporting solution. Out of this full range, he chose to deploy the Firewall, Content Filtering and Reporting Solution as he found them sufficient to meet all his immediate requirements.

  • Identity Aware Firewall

    Cyberoam’s dual certified (ICSA and West Coast Certifications) firewall uses identity as a decision parameter. Using this feature the administrator is now able to identity-based security rules, offering instant visibility and proactive controls over security breaches. Driven by Fusion Technology which blends all the features into a disciplined force, the administrator can create firewall rules and control the UTM solution from a single interface.

  • Authentication

    The automated Single Sign-On is another hallmark feature that Mr. Ali deployed. Using this feature, all the users transparently log in to Cyberoam when they boot up their machine. For authentication, Cyberoam has been integrated with the Institute’s Active Directory server. Once the user has been authenticated by Cyberoam, the UTM applies the relevant access control policy on the user, irrespective of the machine from which they have logged into the network.

  • Content Filtering

    Based on the authentication, Mr. Ali has created filtering policies to regulate the content accessed over the Internet. He has designed his filtering policies taking into account the professional requirements of the staff at RHN. Cyberoam’s content filtering database has more than 44 million sites neatly grouped into more than 82 categories. With identity and time as additional parameters, he has granular control and unparallel flexibility in implementing the hospital’s strict policy of content access over the Internet.

    As RHN has a strong research drive, the researchers often access sites that are normally banned in a corporate environment. With Cyberoam’s technical assistance the specific sites were re-categorised as per RNN’s requirements. This put all their concerns to rest.

  • Reporting

    “On-Appliance Comprehensive Reporting is one of Cyberoam’s most significant features,” said Mr. Ali. The reporting module includes features like Traffic Discovery, Internet Bandwidth Usage Monitors, Top Accessed Categories and Google Search Reports, which enhanced the visibility of a user’s online behaviour. The active alerts and comprehensive reports are of use not only to the administrator, but also to HR to keep a tab on the Internet usage trends. To top it all, this feature comes at no additional cost.

  • Technical Assistance

    Mr. Ali described Cyberoam’s pre and post-sales as, “another of its star features.” With a transparent intention to empower the institute’s Network and System’s manager, to become proficient enough to do most of the trouble-shooting, the technical assistance proved to be a deal clincher for Cyberoam.

  • To Round it Off

    In conclusion, Mr. Syed Ali pointed out that, “When we started the evaluation, we were surprised to see the full suite of features. After using Cyberoam for some time, we are now considering the idea to deploy its Gateway Anti-virus and Anti-spam features. Cyberoam comes highly recommended and offers all that a healthcare organisation needs. I would say it’s a dream product for us.”