Fortinet helps secure entire network of leading financial services provider – from data centre to endpoints and 400 branch offices in between
Shriram Group picks Fortinet for its easily managed high-performance solutions and strong support infrastructure.
Fortinet, a global leader in high-performance network security – announced that Shriram Group, one of India's largest asset financing companies, has deployed its FortiGate network security platform, FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer centralised management and reporting appliances, and FortiClient endpoint security client to help secure its data centre and 400 branch offices across India.
Shriram Group chose Fortinet over several other next-generation firewall vendors for this project, based on the company's ability to deliver high performance, low latency and easy-to-manage solutions, as well as its strong partner and support ecosystem.
Founded in 1974, Shriram Group has 45 000 employees and manages assets worth Rs.60 000 crores for 9.5 million customers. Its core financial services are commercial vehicle finance, general and life insurance, consumer finance, retail stock-broking and chit funds.
Many of Shriram Group's branches are in tier-III cities where Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)/Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity is not feasible, making security and control over applications at those branches difficult. The huge data load passed onto the gateway firewall resulted in extremely low throughputs from the data centre.
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To improve network performance, Shriram Group worked with Fortinet to define common policies for users to access applications by enabling a broad range of security features, including anti-virus, anti-spam, Web filtering, VPN and application control. The financial services provider also wanted to improve Internet access management at MPLS locations. Centralised management, low total cost of ownership (TCO) and hardware stability were other top criteria defined by Shriram Group as part of the vendor selection for the deployment of this new infrastructure.
"We needed high performance firewalls to reduce latency while enabling our users to access applications," said Sendil Kumar, AVP – IT at Shriram Value Services, Shriram Group's IT and ITES division. "The FortiGate appliances, which included high throughput at the data centre and multi-functionality at the branch level, suited our needs perfectly. The icing on the cake was FortiClient, a simple yet powerful tool, which we effectively use to control user access and secure endpoints."
By providing separate firewalls for its Internet gateway and MPLS connection, which included deploying a FortiGate-3040B cluster at the data centre, FortiGate-1000A, FortiGate-600C, FortiGate-310B and FortiGate-300C appliances at the corporate offices and more than 400 FortiGate-60C and FortiGate-40C boxes at the branch offices, Shriram Group has been able to greatly reduce network and application latency. The security architecture, deployed as a two-layer firewall with data centre zoning, replaced all the routers at the branches, helping the group's branches provide secure network access and Internet connectivity via 3G modems conveniently plugged into the USB ports of the FortiGate appliances.
The FortiGate 3040B has distributed loads across multiple Internet service provider connections, and with eight 10GbE ports, it has increased the firewall throughput. The FortiManager virtual appliance centralises policy management and controls the endpoints via the FortiClient software installed at the branch offices. Thanks to FortiClient's Web filtering and application control features, Shriram Group is able to restrict Internet and Web-based application access at a granular level. The FortiAnalyzer-1000C centrally performs network analysis and reports on network anomalies.
In addition to Fortinet's innovative technology, Shriram Group was also pleased with the dedication of system integrator, SNS, whose team helped overcome the challenge of deploying the Fortinet appliances in hundreds of remote locations throughout India. SNS co-ordinated technical support for those branch offices and afterwards put the customer in direct contact with its engineers for personalised support ? without having to go through call centres or multi-level procedures.
"The Shriram Group implementation underscores the fact that Fortinet's broad product portfolio is flexible and scalable enough to enable high performance and low latency network security from the core data centre down to the endpoint," said Rajesh Maurya, Fortinet's Country Manager for India & SAARC. "The FortiGate feature set, combined with the ability to easily deploy a variety of appliance models to meet the security needs of each site, helped Shriram Group reduce hardware costs, simplify management and ultimately improved their security posture."