SCANGROUP LIMITED Nairobi - Kenya, Africa
Cyberoam Provides Secure Creative Drive to Scangroup Limited
About Scangroup Limited, Marketing Communications

Scangroup Limited is a marketing services holding company listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Scangroup offers a comprehensive and integrated range of Advertising and Communication Services in Traditional Advertising, Media Investment Management, Marketing Consultancy, Public Relations and Experiential Marketing. Scangroup is an associate of the WPP Group, the world‘s leading communications services group.

Scangroup has offices in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and buys media in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, Gabon, DRC and Mauritius.

The company contains the contract document and other client sensitive information and data that can be possibly targeted by attacks from external entities and outside access attempts. Thus they needed a strong Firewall and IPS solution.

Mr. Saurin Gawarwala
Chief Information Officer,
Scangroup Limited

Below mentioned are the challenges faced by Scangroup related to its business activities:

Access Control and Intrusion Prevention

The Scangroup network basically comprised of web and mail servers and project with no focused doorway security outline. The company contains the contract document and other client sensitive information and data that can be possibly targeted by attacks from external entities and outside access attempts. The organization, therefore, needed a gateway firewall to regulate user authentication and access control.

Also, the sensitive servers were under constant threat from spyware, DoS attacks, fragmented and malformed packets, blended threats and more. Therefore, they needed a strong IPS solution which would be proficient in retorting these threats.

Virus Control

Internet blockages that started in Scangroup caused "big problems" for advertising businesses in Africa. "It‘s very important for my business to be able to communicate with potential clients from other countries, said Mr. Saurin Gawarwala, the Chief Information Officer at Scangroup. The organization was looking for a gateway anti-virus solution to prevent both web and email-borne malware from entering the network.

For Scangroup, a regular virus attack in the network, particularly in a mixed form, translated into a lot of unwelcomed problems – corrupt files, defaced web pages, and huge downtime. For this, they wanted their anti-virus solution to scan viruses for HTTP and FTP over HTTP/HTTPS traffic on the web.

Controlling Surfing Practices & Choked Bandwidth

Marketing communications company Scangroup wanted to curb unproductive Internet surfing without hurting the creative abilities of its workforce. Scangroup have always found it challenging to put off employees from misusing access to the Web. Rather than utilizing it for accessing information and content that helps them do their jobs better and more efficiently, employees were often busy pursuing other agendas such as accessing social networking sites, music & video sharing sites, etc. for fun, during office hours.

"We had employees who would constantly download music, videos and other bandwidth intensive content. Instant messengers (IM), P2P, ultra proxy, etc. compounded the problems. This essentially meant that quite often very little bandwidth was available for actual work," said Mr. Gawarwala.

The Cyberoam Solution

Scangroup had experimented with Microsoft ISA Server 2006, but they were in need of a full –fledged UTM solution. Reducing exposure to inappropriate web content at work was a key reason why Scangroup was in need of a good content filtering solution.

Taking a careful view of the existing products in the market, Mr. Gawarwala decided to deploy Cyberoam UTM. He deployed One (1) CR750ia appliance at Nairobi head office in Gateway mode with 500+ users on their network.

  • Identity-based Authentication

    The automated Single Sign-On is another trait feature that Mr. Gawarwala 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 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. Identity is used in Cyberoam to encapsulate the user in a security policy that follows him wherever he or she logs into the network.

  • Firewall Protection

    "Just as you lock your car and home, you need to protect your computers and networks". Cyberoam ICSA and Checkmark Certified Firewalls, like locks and walls and moats and dragons, create barriers to attack—they get in the way of someone trying to take control and cordons off Scangroup‘s network against any unauthorized access. Scangroup users are given controlled access to network and internet resources, ensuring that no security loopholes are left open.

    Mr. Gawarwala used default IPS policies from the firewall rule to protect the network from DoS and spoofing attacks and other exploits. He also used IPS to protect their network and other confidential data from intrusion attempts.

    With a comprehensive database of 3000+ IPS signatures, Mr. Gawarwala now feels that the organizations data is well protected from several variants of spyware attacks, spoofing and DoS attacks in addition to key-loggers, Trojans and more. Cyberoam‘s hardnosed promise to security and protection helped them perk up their network competence and performance.

  • Malware Free Internet

    Cyberoam‘s Check Mark Certified anti-virus solution scans the Web surfing (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP) and mail traffic (SMTP, IMAP, POP3) to ensure that no malware sneaked in. All FTP transactions are also scanned for total security. This protects the organization against any virus attack.

  • Controlled and Secure Browsing

    The organization needed to know who was accessing what sites and as such needed an identity based filter that would include a users‘ online behavioral audit. It would also be required to block harmful spyware/malware infested sites. One of the most important vectors of worry was the staff's productivity. The productivity might be affected while spending precious time in unproductive surfing and messaging. Cyberoam UTM‘s web content filtering feature controls Internet access in the entire organization by blocking inappropriate and unsafe Web content, including Phishing and other malware-laden sites. Moreover, Cyberoam‘s identity-based filtering allows sets individual user Internet access policy, surfing quota, time limits and bandwidth restrictions.

  • Enhanced Reporting

    On-appliance comprehensive reporting is one of Cyberoam's most significant features. The On-Appliance sophisticated monitoring and reporting mechanism in Cyberoam helps Mr. Gawarwala and his team to perform timely and accurate in-depth risk assessment, which has time and again, proved to be quite productive for Scangroup. Reports available enable him to modify access policies based on the business requirements.

    Reports include 'Internet bandwidth usage‘, 'top accessed sites‘ as well as Google search reports, which enhance the visibility of users‘ online behaviour. The 'traffic discovery‘ report also helps the administrator identify the amount of bandwidth used by various applications.

  • To Wrap it up

    "One of the most encouraging factors in Cyberoam is post sales technical assistance. We are indeed very happy with Cyberoam support," Mr. Gawarwala expressed.

    "Cyberoam provides security without clipping the creativity of our employees. The solution has blended seamlessly in Scangroup and its culture and work practices. It is indeed a steadfast solution," said Mr. Gawarwala.