Chhattisgarh State Power Companies (CSPC), formerly known as Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB), is the electricity generation, transmission and distribution company of the Government of Chhattisgarh. CSPC is an umbrella entity under which the state’s five power companies function. In 2009, CSEB was re-organized in accordance with the provisions contained in the Electricity Act 2003, thus leading to the formation of CSPC.
Considering CSPC is the mainstay for the electricity and power needs of the entire state of Chhattisgarh, it bears immense responsibility of ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the state’s residents. According to Vikas Sharma, Executive Engineer at CSPC, two key applications that CSPC is highly dependent on - bill payment and e-bidding – are completely online. Additionally, it also runs a portal that allows the consumers to file complaints, apply for new connections and various other online tasks.
Internet traffic being browsed without effective checkpoints › One of the key challenges for CSPC was that their previous web security solution would bypass the URL filter. As a result, the encrypted traffic was running alongside non-encrypted traffic. So, if for example, someone accessed an unauthorized site, it would open up unchecked, since the platform was unable to filter out undesirable traffic.
Proxy issues create further complications › Another key challenge was that the URL filtering solution didn’t have a proxy. There had been a separate proxy installed which was integrated with the URL filter. Since both were separate solutions, however, there were dependency issues, which meant that if one of the solutions had to be upgraded, the other would stop working. This also led to support and management issues.
Comprehensive security is key - CSPC looks to upgrade to a stronger solution › There were also challenges with the category database being weak and not very comprehensive, with multiple categories missing. Furthermore, the process of updating the database with a new category was quite complicated, causing difficulty in making any new additions.
The inadequacy of the existing solution led CSPC to search for a seamless URL filtering solution that included a proxy and was easy to update without the intervention of tech support each and every time. According to Sharma, they were very clear on the fact that both URL filtering and the proxy needed to be a single point solution coming from one vendor.
Evaluating market leaders in web security leads to Forcepoint › As part of the process, various solutions in the market were evaluated. However, most of the solutions were not capable of addressing advanced threats in real time. After months of research and following the bidding process, CSPC narrowed down its search to two vendors – Symantec (Blue Coat) and Forcepoint. Forcepoint Web Security emerged as the vendor of choice, as it provided a comprehensive web security solution for real-time protection against advanced threats and data theft, as well as a powerful URL filtering offering. Excellent after-sales support, cost effectiveness, easy management and user friendliness were some of the other elements that worked in favor of the Forcepoint solution. The implementation of Forcepoint Web Security was carried out efficiently and quickly by Sonata Information Technology.
Securing users, data and the network against new and emerging web related threats › Forcepoint Web Security helps CSPC gain full control over the web content that can be accessed on its network. With options for user based filtering, content based filtering as well as protocol based filtering, it is now able to successfully filter out and block access to all unacceptable content/websites and has the power to block or control user access. Thus, the Forcepoint solution places full control in the administrator’s hands.
Another key benefit of Forcepoint Web Security is a strong and comprehensive category database. While it has a greater number of categories than the previous solution, the database is also much more powerful. Even the process of adding more categories is simple, with a case lock to Forcepoint taking care of the job.
With the proxy being a part of the overall solution, the dependency issues were mitigated, while making the management and service support much easier. Overall, Forcepoint Web Security has led to marked improvements in CSPC’s efficient use of the internet.