Ministry of Communication and Information Technology Arab Republic of Egypt Egypt
Smart Schools Network in Arab Republic of Egypt Deploys Cyberoam for Content Filtering.
About Smart School Network, Education

The Smart School Network (SSN) project was launched in 2003 to implement a pilot of the SSN initiative in 38 public and experimental schools, distributed in 16 of Egypt’s 26 governorates.

The main objective of the SSN initiative is to allow Egyptian students to achieve computer literacy after completing preparatory school, enhance student creativity, and enable them to cope with the requirements of the modern workplace.

The Smart School Network has proved itself a successful example of using the Multi Stakeholder Partnership concept to drive the initiative, where benefits can be seen equally to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Ministry of Education, private ICT companies, and of course the schools, teachers, students and parents.

Ministry experts evaluated at least three other Internet security appliances apart from Cyberoam UTM and took an informed decision in choosing Cyberoam UTM appliances.

Internet access control and Web filtering is a top priority for the MCIT. The Ministry primarily wanted to shield the students from unsuitable content on theWeb. In today’s world,Web and application filtering is an important part of Internet Security Solutions for schools. While on campus, supervision of students is a continuous process and right safeguards need to be in place when they are surfing theWeb from the computer lab, the manager of the Network Security Department from the Ministry of Communication &InformationTechnology informed.

In spite of the fact that some schools are located in remote areas, MCIT plans to provide them with wireless network connectivity in the future. Every school has at least two computer rooms with twenty five computers each. In the absence of a gateway security solution, the students had to be personally supervised and prevented from surfing potentially harmful and pornographic sites, which was not always effective.

They were looking for an Internet security appliance that had a primarily firewall, VPN andWeb Filtering which would be the initial phase of implementation. The solutions should also be scalable to meet future security needs and easy enough to manage, so any of the IT staff could make changes quickly, if necessary. Due to the increasing sophistication of its network, MCIT decided to look for a scalable solution that could meet all of its requirements.

The ministry experts made a detailed survey of the existing market for a unified security management solution.

The Cyberoam Solution

After scouring the market for a viable security appliance, MCIT zeroed in on Cyberoam Identity-based Unified Threat Management solution as it was best-fit for their requirements. Apart from their primary need of a firewall VPN and Web Filtering; Cyberoam UTM also has Gateway Anti Virus, Anti Spam, Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP), Bandwidth Management and Multi Link Management modules, which the ministry experts decided to implement in future.

Ministry experts evaluated at least three other Internet security appliances apart from Cyberoam UTM and took an informed decision in choosing Cyberoam UTM appliances.

MCIT installed thirteen (13) CR 100i appliances in various schools in gateway mode. The installation and deployment of Cyberoam was done by Cairo based Gateworx IT Solutions and NewTechnology Co.

“Once we understood the ministry’s requirements, we knew that Cyberoam UTM was the best solution for their needs,” says Mohamed Haroon, General Manager of
Gateworx IT Solutions.

  • Initial Monitor Mode

    During Cyberoam UTM’s Monitor Mode the surfing patterns from schools showed that almost 80% surfing consisted pornographic and malicious sites. P2P applications were also eating into the bandwidth and slowing down the network.

  • Centralized Firewall Management

    Once Cyberoam UTM appliances were installed, the firewall module secured the schools’ networks effectively. Cyberoam’s firewall page provided central control over its member security solutions. This ensured that the policy were centrally managed and implemented.

  • P2Pand Spyware Blocked

    The P2P and Sypware applications were blocked from accessing the internet. The Web filtering solution made sure that the students did not access the P2P or malicious sites. As the malicious applications were blocked, the bandwidth was also put to productive use.

  • Web Filtering

    Cyberoam’s Web filtering solution, with more that sixty four (64) categories ensured that the students do not access pornography, violence and other harmful content on the Web. Cyberoam blocks the pop-ups and the phishing sites. All the harmful Trojans, cookies and scripts sites were also safely out of bounds for the students.

    The ministry official commended Cyberoam as an excellent Web Filtering solution that does not compromise on research needs of students and teachers. He added that they were happy with their decision of installing Cyberoam UTM appliances for the Smart Schools Network.

  • CyclicAccess

    Cyberoam’s cyclic access policy feature allows the students and the teachers to access the web for a specific time period on a daily basis. This automation helps reduce the supervising and operating hassles. Using the granular policies of Cyberoam UTM appliance, the administrators were able to formulate individual firewall and Web filtering policies for the students and the teachers. This helped to inculcate responsible behavior among all.

  • On-Appliance Reporting

    Cyberoam’s excellent on-appliance reporting helps the managers understand the students and teachers surfing patterns. To fine-tune the Web filtering solution, the manager can create a custom category to allow or block the Internet access as per requirement. This feature helps the administrator to keep pace with the changing surfing patterns of the users and control them pro-actively.

  • Future Scalability

    Cyberoam’s Identity-based control over Instant Messengers, Gateway Anti Virus and Anti Spam, Intrusion Detection and Prevention and Bandwidth Management capabilities provided the ministry with future options to implement them as per their requirements.

    With Cyberoam UTM, the ministry officials are assured that the innocence of the children is well-protected.