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TV operator OSN selects CounterACT for real-time visibility and endpoint compliance.

Tags: ForeScout Technologies, Inc (www.forescout.com)Orbit Showtime Network (www.osnetwork.com/)
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Network action Since the initial evaluation, OSN has deployed eight CounterACT appliances across the organisation with one device per major office site to ensure full NAC redundancy.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 18, 2013

TV operator OSN selects CounterACT for real-time visibility and endpoint compliance.

OSN is the largest pay TV operator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) offering an array of international television content including the widest choice of new premium Western, Arabic and Filipino entertainment in the region. With more than 100 channels, OSN offers viewers exclusive access to the latest blockbuster movies, top rated series, sports, documentaries, news, kid’s entertainment and live talk shows.

OSN, headquartered in Dubai, has more than 900 employees across the region, nearly 1,000 endpoint devices and eight main office locations in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The challenge

Faced with an increase in computing device types due to the ever growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, as well as growth in the number of security threats, OSN was looking for a network security solution that would provide clear, real-time visibility of all endpoints on the network, plus ensure instant identification and remediation of rogue computing devices. Initial investigation led the IT team to spec an automated, dynamic network access control (NAC)   solution with continuous security posture-checking and endpoint compliance.

“Before deploying CounterACT, OSN was controlling its network through manual processes which was time consuming and unproductive. The plan to put a security control in place was in order to automate these processes and therefore cut down on the man hours. Last year we were spending a lot of man hours identifying non-compliant devices and guest devices – it was a challenging task. This product requires far less resources to manage, in fact one person can manage all devices across the entire region,” said Ronald D’sa IT manager for OSN.

“Prior to the implementation of ForeScout’s NAC solution our response was reactive with regards to controlling guest endpoint devices. We were not able to enforce our security policies on these devices, nor were we able to automate the guest users’ devices registration process. Since deploying CounterACT, these issues have been resolved.”

Why ForeScout?

ForeScout CounterACT for NAC is an automated security control platform that is designed to allow enterprises to see, monitor,  and control everything on its network—all devices, all operating systems, all applications, all users.  ForeScout CounterACT lets employees, contractors, and guests remain productive on the network while enterprises protect critical network resources and data.

Once the IT team determined that network access control would address their security challenges, the OSN team honed in on industry research reports and evaluated vendors named as NAC market leaders. After extensive research and testing, the IT team concluded that ForeScout CounterACT was the solution that would be able to deliver on all of OSN’s NAC implementation objectives.

“ForeScout’s NAC solution is straight-forward and simple to implement, providing significant operational and compliance security advantages without disrupting users. Our systems integrator, Nanjgel Solutions, fully deployed CounterACT in a week, involving only nominal internal IT resources. Overall I am extremely pleased with the ease of installation, range of management controls and its performance. Plus, CounterACT readily supported our existing, heterogeneous network environment incorporating Juniper, Cisco Foundry and Brocade infrastructure, which added additional cost savings,” said D’sa. “CounterACT is capable of managing thousands of devices through a single management appliance, while also giving us visibility into who and what is on our network to help us proactively protect our network, users and resources.”

Since the initial evaluation, OSN has deployed eight more CounterACT appliances across the organisation with one device per major office site.

Customisation

During the implementation of ForeScout’s NAC solution OSN faced some challenges.

“Some of our network switches were not switching over to the VLAN properly. ForeScout’s technical team,  which is very good and very responsive, quickly released the necessary patches to resolve this issue,” D’sa said. “Another issue we had was that, initially, some of our Apple Mac computers were not being controlled by CounterACT properly. ForeScout’s technical team resolved this problem by releasing new patches for our already installed NAC appliances.”

OSN’s OSNPlus DVR boxes were also getting blocked and ForeScout had to create a customised policy to grant them access to the network. “These type of customisations were done to ensure the smooth running of operations. ForeScout network access control is very flexible and can be configured to create customised policies for any specific requirement,” said D’sa.

“We have integrated the network access control solution with our patch management and anti-virus solutions. We have created a white-list and a black-list of applications so that ForeScout CounterACT can control the non-standard applications that are running on our network. We have configured the NAC solution to send us frequent reports on the security posture and compliance of the devices that are connected to our corporate network.”

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