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Sangfor NGAF Enables UE to Protect Its Network Against the Latest Threats

04/07/2018

Sangfor NGAF Enables UE to Protect Its Network Against the Latest Threats 


Overview

The University of the East also known as UE is a private university located in Manila, Philippines. It was founded in 1946 and offers degree programs in commerce and business administration, law, dentistry, engineering, arts and sciences, fine arts, education, computer technology, nursing, physical therapy, medicine, hospitality management and graduate studies.

Business Challenges
In a bid to achieve the best practice of networking design and data security and availability of the business system, the segregation must be done through data-flow control and inspection between different zones in the data. Access control of data-flow and traffic are allowed to travel across the different areas, for example, the DMZ (de-militarized zone) which will access through internet, the production zone handling core financial system, enrollment system and database, as well as the academic zone. All of these zones are isolated and being secured by dedicated firewalls.



The current state of universities in the Philippines has all zones mentioned above with DMZ, production and academic merged. The sole measures that have taken regarding protection are to deploy a firewall at the gateway facing the internet, with shortcomings regarding network security. 

The IT manager of the University of East realized that they were facing potential security hazard, mainly having no effective solution on segmented zones causing attacks targeting data center being hard to stop. Suffering from this dilemma, the IT team of the University of East decided to look for a converged security solution that could satisfy all that their needs with effective cost.

1. Private Data Leakage against DPA
Most of the time, there would be mission-critical applications deployed at data center zone with email, e-learning, and homepage website system deployed at the DMZ and enrollment, financial, FMS & database deployed at the production zone. The information stored in these systems are quite critical which are strongly requested to be well-protected against information leakage.

The UE website’s homepage merged with online application portal, student portal, faculty portal and parent portal. End-user enters into UE website with their dedicated account and password. On the other hand, private data (including individual name, SSS ID number, address and phone number) from end users are stored in UE’s datacenter, which is the reason why the IT head of UE is evaluating solutions that can completely protect all exposed systems and fit the requirement of the DPA (Philippines Data Privacy Act).

2. Challenge Against Accessibility & Availability of Business System
In a bid to ensure the experience and service of students and faculty when they access the system, all universities should keep the system online and continuously accessible. But there are some attacks aiming at these applications that might influence the availability of systems. 

The IT Head of UE is worried about the website defacement and ransomware. One of another concern here is denial of service. Slow or inaccessible system will affect the user experience. UE IT Head is reaching out for a solution to address these two challenges.

3. Increasing Dwell Time and Invisible Vulnerability
Given that there are frequent accesses to the internal system with untrusted devices, there was a strong possibility that Botnet could attack business systems. 

According to a recent research, the dwell time of a cyber-attack is around 146 days, and it is increasing with the creation of advanced attacks, which means most of the people won’t take any actions even if the attacks happened five months ago.

Under such a passive situation, the ability to detect the vulnerabilities and identify the assets with continuous protection is getting critical. Therefore, the IT team was expecting a solution that could automate the process of vulnerability scanning, continuous inspection of the entire network as well as visualize the security hazard and exploits with an advisable recommendation to these security issues.

Sangfor Solution
1. Layered Protection with Sangfor NGAF
Deployed at the data center zone, Sangfor NGAF can provide layered protection with visualization as well as intelligent analysis to secure the core data and stabilize business systems. Moreover, with another NGAF deployed in the gateway, these two layers of defense guarantee complete security to protect the entire network against different types of attacks.

2. Data Privacy and Anti-leakage
The WAF (Web Application Firewall) module protects the website from application layer attack like SQL injection, command & control attack, minimizing the hazard of data breach pertaining to personal information of students.
Moreover, the IPS module identify malicious content about network payload including
inappropriate packet. IPS will nip the risk in the bud before any core system can be hacked.
 
3. Availability of Business System
The APT module with risk assessment and cloud platform orchestrated together provide with the IT team with the latest security trends, intelligence and full security panorama to scan the entire intranet with deep packet inspection technologies which could locate vulnerability at the workstation level and rapidly maximize the response time. 

The Anti-defacement module can protect the website’s homepage and database away from manipulation, and in particular protection of e-documentation, images and other structured data of homepage.

To defend against DDoS attacks, Sangfor NGAF inspects packets based on payload, TCP/IP and other advanced protocols like HTTP. A certain degree of control is provided starting from network to application control with complete visibility. 

4. Automated Vulnerabilities Scanner and One-Click Defense
Sangfor NGAF can discover the IT assets from the risk assessment, mark core business assets and offer continuous vulnerability detection before an accident happens in the network. Likewise, NGAF can trace the cause even after the crash occurred in the production network, such as usual problem caused by web shell, webpage defacement, the illegal weblinks and remote control. 

Its mechanism can detect and trace risks starting from the moment of attack and continuously monitor it so that it can help end-user find the potential problem and solve it as soon as possible.  

Sangfor inspects and examines hidden threats along with potential vulnerabilities of each asset. Besides, inspection results are categorized with a “pending issue” module, so that IT manager need to click once to add all pending issues and automatically created proper policies which can significantly simplify the security maintenance.

The Benefits
The IT admin does not need to be worried anymore about potential risks because all vulnerabilities & dangers are supervised and monitored by NGAF platform, as well as the periodical policies enforcement executed based on the suggestions provided by Sangfor NGAF.

“Thanks to Sangfor layered defense platform, our confidential data, and critical business systems are well-secured”. 
IT Team at UE

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