Instituto FederaI de Educacao, Ciencia e Tecnologia of Sao Paulo (IFSP)

Brazil

After switching to the Forcepoint NGFW, we are now compliant [and] have full visibility of information security.

Diego Cesar Valente e Silva

Overview

The Instituto FederaI de Educacao, Ciencia e Tecnologia of Sao Paulo (IFSP) (Federal Institute for Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo), is a federal education institution located in São Paulo. IFSP was established in 1909 and is a highly recognized provider of excellent quality tuition-free public education.

Challenge

Protecting the network and remaining compliant › One of the major challenges facing IFSP is to ensure the protection of its IT network and communication resources. This requires maintaining the integrity, confidentiality and availability of information regardless of where it is located and, above all, ensuring compliance with applicable government regulations. After suffering a number of injection-type attacks and system interruptions due to hardware and other bugs, the IT team decided to look at several NGFW (Next-Generation Firewall) options available in the market.

Employee retention › IFSP also found that its former security solutions were a contributing factor in employees leaving the organization.

“We had been using an open-source solution and found that it held our technicians back, making it difficult to retain intellect as turnover is high among technology professionals.”
— Diego Cesar Valente e Silva, Director of Infrastructure and Network Division, IFSP

We were able to optimize our previous plans for the application and monitor the entire implementation. This was of great value as we had absolutely no documentation of our previous firewall. The training process was essential for teaching the campus technicians about the technology, and allowed them to become familiar with the advantages of a NGFW solution. Today we have 30 professionals who can contribute to its growth and optimization. This will also ensure the firewalls’ operational continuity, since if the relevant professional is unavailable at one campus, we can send someone from another campus to assist.
​— Silva

Focus on costs › Silva also pointed out that it was important to implement a solution with the best TCO (total cost of ownership). IFSP had a limited budget and wanted technology that would not require additional licensing and whose functionalities would not stop at the end of the license.

Solution

Selecting and implementing Forcepoint NGFW › IFSP selected Forcepoint’s NGFW because it provides broad, highly available and flexible protection that meets IFSP’s needs. The Forcepoint NGFW combines application control, sophisticated evasion prevention and an invasion prevention system (IPS) in a single solution that’s easy and affordable to implement. It has proven ability to identify advanced evasion techniques (AETs) and provides protection against exfiltration using application and endpoint intelligence.

The IFSP team, with the support of integrator Active Solutions, started the process to implement Forcepoint Next-Generation Firewall.

Results

Immediate resolution › In the 30-day assisted operation test following implementation of Forcepoint NGFW, the solution incident report showed 90% resolution for mild and medium incidents, and 100% resolution for severe incidents. There was also a qualitative improvement across the computing environment, since their old firewall lacked any monitoring capabilities.

“Managers, directors, and even the dean, have full visibility of information security in charts and statistics that include the geolocation of attempted access made to the IFSP system. This resulted in a new vision of the institution’s security context, which, when taken to our committee, enabled us to include all of the campuses under a single management policy and rewall, yet each one with its own independent management using SMC Domain.”
— Silva

Reducing costs › Silva mentioned another result from improved cybersecurity performance and increased IT team productivity:

“With our team no longer encumbered by network unavailability due to firewall stops, with visible gains in information security management, we were able to follow with the implementation of QoS, a significant improvement in our video-conference system. This drastically reduced our costs with conventional telephony and improved the quality and availability of video-conferencing, which in turn cut back on our travel costs.”
— Silva