Singapore-based education provider NTUC LearningHub has installed vendor Fortinet's platforms to secure its multiple sites and lower users' bandwidth consumption.
NTUC LearningHub is the largest organisation of its kind in Singapore, providing training programmes for employees. It has four facilities spread across the island-nation
"We were won over by this solution suite's ease of use and deployment. The FortiAnalyzer reports, for instance, give a clear overview of our operations that lets us make decisions and take action instantly," said Ibrahim Muslim, IT manager of NTUC LearningHub.
Ibrahim added that Fortinet's licensing scheme has also allowed NTUC LearningHub to scale up their current VPN user base cost effectively, and he appreciated the prompt and knowledgeable support provided by the vendor and its channel partners.
The institute had opted for Fortinet's FortiGate integrated multi-threat appliances, FortiAnalyzer centralised reporting appliance, FortiManager centralised management appliance, FortiAP wireless access points and FortiToken two-factor authentication tokens.
In 2011, NTUC LearningHub was trying to optimise its IT total cost of ownership while simplifying management and improving service levels.
For example, the use of a third-party vendor to manage and secure connectivity between its four sites had been costly and difficult to manage, and comes with a three- to five-day waiting time for requirement change requests. The excessive bandwidth consumption by users had also been pushing up costs.
Consequently, the institute wanted to take over connectivity management by establishing a virtual private network that it could run on its own, and perform Web filtering to limit users' access to bandwidth-intensive websites and applications. The new solution also had to allow wireless access management for users logging onto the network - with minimal intervention from IT staff.
Once installed, the FortiGate appliances give NTUC LearningHub a consolidated security platform hosting the full range of security functions, including application firewall, VPN, Web filtering, IPS, anti-virus and anti-spam. In properly planned and sized networks and appliances, these features can be turned on without degradation of firewall performance. FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer allow the institute to easily change firewall restrictions to block applications and URLs which are consuming the most bandwidth. FortiAnalyzer also makes security management simpler - by securely aggregating, analysing, and reporting on log data gathered from the FortiGate devices, NTUC LearningHub can now get detailed information on traffic, events, viruses, attacks and Web content to determine its security stance.
Following the deployment of the Fortinet solutions, NTUC LearningHub has reduced connectivity cost by 52 percent and bandwidth use by 37 percent. User management has also become much more efficient for the IT staff, and network updates and requirement changes can be handled in minutes instead of days.
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