University of Namibia Namibia, Africa
Cyberoam UTM Ensures Safe and Productive Internet Surfing in University of Namibia
About University of Namibia (UNAM), Education

The University of Namibia (UNAM) was established by an Act of Parliament on August 31, 1992 as recommended by a Commission on Higher Education. Thus, a unique confluence bound the birth of the new nation of Namibia in 1990 with that of the University of Namibia.

The University of Namibia (UNAM) is a leading public, higher education institution having a student population of close to 13,000 students each year. UNAM is ranked one of the top African Universities. In 2006, UNAM was rated as the best higher education institution in Namibia by the Professional Management Review of South Africa and won a Golden Arrow Award. In 2010, a Geneva based Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice nominated UNAM to be the recipient of the Foundation’s Gold Medal for Excellence in Business Practice.

To date UNAM has graduated over 17,000 students who are serving the country in various sectors of the economy with most occupying prominent positions in government and the private sector.

We needed to establish effective measures to control access to the Internet and protect the students from accessing unproductive or dangerous websites.

Mr. Sacky Shilongo
Network Administrator
University of Namibia

Internet throws open a vast arena of resources for the benefit of students, faculty and administrators. Through the Internet:

• Students and faculty can carry out extensive research in their fields of study and expertise.
• University can provide E-Learning and Distance Education to students.
• Various administrative tasks like student registration and online-banking can be handled
• University can have a global presence and attract students from all over the world.

According to Mr. Sacky Shilongo, Network Administrator at UNAM, the university was facing the following security and connectivity challenges related to its business activities.

Vulnerability to Cyber Threats

UNAM wanted to allow online access to students, faculty and administrators, while simultaneously protecting its network from increasingly complicated blended threats. This posed a major challenge for the university. “Unrestricted surfing and downloads invite a deluge of malware and spyware”, said Mr. Shilongo. All Phishing, Pharming and Malicious Websites needed to be blocked. Therefore, the university needed an intrusion prevention solution and a firewall to protect the network against intentional and unintentional intrusion attempts, and Denial of Service attacks.

Unproductive Web Surfing

UNAM faced the challenge of constantly monitoring its vast network where it is very difficult to physically oversee all student activity online. UNAM also faced challenges with non-academic surfing, gaming, shopping, instant messaging and e-mails. There was no system in place to monitor or restrict surfing.

“We needed to establish effective measures to control access to the Internet and protect the students from accessing unproductive or dangerous websites”, said Mr. Shilongo.

Choked Bandwidth

UNAM sought to keep an eye on and limit its students and staff from accessing unproductive sites involving music, video, gaming and social networking. Uncontrolled and harmful surfing and downloading crippled the education network. Bandwidth intended for scholastic purposes was gobbled up by illegitimate and harmful malware that strangulated the network’s bandwidth. They wanted a suitable content filtering solution with reporting feature for showing graphs and traffic results on specific sites accessed by staff as well as students.

The Cyberoam Solution

After scouring the market for all possible solutions Mr. Shilongo zeroed in on Cyberoam. He looked into a number of security products including Barracuda and Cisco, but was not satisfied. Finally, he chose to deploy One (1) CR1500i model of Cyberoam UTM in gateway mode at UNAM Main Campus in Windhoek, Namibia. Explaining the logic of choosing Cyberoam, he said: “Cyberoam has Content Filtering, Application Filtering, Firewall, Anti Virus and Intrusion Prevention Solution which ensure total control and security over all Internet traffic and optimal usage of bandwidth.”

  • Protection from Malicious Threats
    Cyberoam’s ICSA and Checkmark certified firewall provides granular access controls over Internet traffic and the network resources. This helps to determine if a data packet should be permitted or discarded through the firewall to the internal LAN. Coupled with Intrusion Prevention module, Cyberoam UTM can counter any Denial of Service attack. With a comprehensive database of 4000+ IPS signatures, Mr. Shilongo now feels that data of the university is well protected from several variants of spyware attacks, spoofing and DoS attacks in addition to keyloggers, Trojans and more.

  • Safe Browsing

    Cyberoam allows Mr. Shilongo to instantly block web sites, enforce acceptable usage policies on users and have access to audit trails for entire user activity. Cyberoam has a content filtering database of more than 44 million Websites, categorized in 82+ categories. All unauthorized downloads, P2P applications, pirated audio and video streaming and other harmful content is now safely blocked.

  • Judicious Bandwidth Management

    Cyberoam allows user-based limit on bandwidth, access time and volume of data transfer. Hence, Mr. Shilongo can control user behavior on the internet by assigning varying bandwidth to users according to their need, controlling the time in which they can have access to the internet and limiting the volume of data which a user can upload, download or both.

  • Maximum Network Uptime

    Cyberoam’s Multi-Link Load Balancing and Automated Failover manage the 6 ISP links that UNAM has. Cyberoam allows the Internet traffic to be balanced over multiple ISP links. In case of failure of one link, the entire traffic is redirected to a backup link ensuring continuous Internet connectivity and maximum network uptime.

  • Identity-based Security

    Cyberoam UTM delivers unexpected value additions such as the award-winning identity-based security feature which protects against insider threats by giving absolute visibility into “Who is doing What?” in the network and allows creation of user identity-based policies. After integrating Cyberoam into the UNAM network infrastructure, Mr. Shilongo used its Active Directory Services (ADS) to include all UNAM Internet users in the database so their online activities could be further monitored.

  • Enhanced Reporting

    Cost-free On-appliance comprehensive reporting is one of Cyberoam's most celebrated features. The sophisticated monitoring and reporting mechanism helps Mr. Shilongo and his team to perform timely and accurate in-depth risk assessment. Reports available enable him to modify access policies based on the academic requirements. Reports include Internet bandwidth usage, top accessed sites, as well as Google search reports, which enhance the visibility of user’s online behavior. The “Traffic Discovery” report also helps the administrator identify the amount of bandwidth used by various applications.

  • To Conclude

    “After introducing Cyberoam into our network, we have been able to save cost on bandwidth and increase Internet surfing speed and productivity. Cyberoam has given us the best value against money”, said Mr. Shilongo.