IT managed services company MySky Networks has partnered with Networks Unlimited to implement the Fortinet Security Fabric at Respublica Student Living, a provider of 10 upmarket residences for students in tertiary education around the country.
This has allowed Respublica to continue offering its tenants ongoing secure access to unlimited online services at a time when being able to remain online has been so important to both business and education services alike.
This is according to Dylan Horsten, CEO at MySky Networks, who explains: “Education plays such a huge role in empowering South Africa’s citizens to keep moving forward, both as individuals and for the country as a whole. Our client plays a big role here by offering clean, modern accommodation to over 8 000 tertiary education students in five key national hubs, namely Pretoria, Johannesburg, Midrand, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.
“The students attend universities and tertiary institutions in the area where their particular residence is located. Uncapped WiFi today is obviously a requirement for places of learning, including the residences that operate as homes for tertiary education students during term times. It was a business imperative for our client to be able to keep the students’ online access intact during this pandemic era.”
Horsten clarifies that Respublica has been a client for two years, and that MySky has been providing a full managed security service across all 11 sites, including the company’s head office, since the contract began. He outlines that the client’s initial requirements were as follows:
- Provide WiFi to all tenants;
- Report on usage and have smart policies in place to prevent abuse;
- Be able to block content to prevent unwanted content;
- Integrate into their student management platform for control of who has access; and
- Provide the ability to turn the WiFi off if a tenant is in arrears on payment.
After conducting a thorough analysis of the different security solutions available on the market, MySky identified Fortinet as the preferred vendor capable of providing broad, integrated and automated cyber security solutions through its Fortinet Security Fabric approach.
This included a number of key capabilities, including per user bandwidth capping and dynamic shaping policies, content blocking policies, local user identification/authentication and support for single sign on (SSO), support for virtual private networks (VPN), reporting and log retention, advanced threat protection including intrusion prevention (IPS), distributed denial of service (DDOS) protection, anti-virus and anti-spam, sandboxing, URL filtering and SSL support.
Thus, MySky relies on the following Fortinet products and services:
- FortiGate Next Generation firewall (NGFW);
- FortiManager, for a single interface for management;
- FortiAnalyzer Security Fabric Log management, analytics and reporting solution providing monitoring and reporting, which includes a 180 days live data retention and 365 days of archived data logs;
- FortiClient, for secure remote access; and
- Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, providing data and application prioritisation and utilisation of all internet links at site for better performance and redundancy.
Says Horsten: “The Fortinet Security Fabric protects the entire attack surface through actionable threat intelligence sharing – provided through FortiGuard, Fortinet’s internal threat research and intelligence arm; automated protection; and efficient operations that meet Respublica’s needs. Additionally, MySky has partnered with Networks Unlimited, a Fortinet distributor, since March 2015.”
“It’s wonderful for a business to have best-of-breed IT technology, but it needs to be managed properly,” says Keegan Moodley, IT Operations Manager at Respublica. “Respublica is now enjoying the following benefits: bandwidth management; network segmentation and security; PCI compliance on reporting; and simplified management of their IT requirements via a single managed service provider. We believe the managed services model is a cost-effective and superior solution for business, allowing us to focus on our business and let a reputable partner take care of the IT infrastructure and services.
“And this is where MySky Networks comes in – they implement best-of-breed technology solutions by using world-class technology partners and service providers, such as Fortinet and Networks Unlimited. When we are proactive with our managed IT services rather than reactive, we are enabled to concentrate on our business and work towards experiencing positive results that directly affect the bottom line,” he concludes.
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