Old Mutual Improves Management with Migration to Check Point R80 Unified Security

“With Check Point, what you can achieve and how you can manage the security gateways is much better when compared to other technologies.”
– Victor Chishiri, ICT Security Manager, Old Mutual Zimbabwe

Overview

Old Mutual Zimbabwe
Headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe, Old Mutual Zimbabwe offers insurance and banking services to the Zimbabwean people as part of the Old Mutual Limited group. With 30,000 employees, Old Mutual Limited is a premium pan-African financial services group that offers a broad spectrum of financial solutions across key markets in 14 countries. Its customers include individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations and institutions across several market segments.

Business Challenge

Need to protect confidential finance data
As a financial institution and a bank, Old Mutual Zimbabwe has many applications that are accessed from outside its network and, particularly through the Internet. This creates a lot of exposure to hackers and malware. It needed solid security solutions that would enable it to protect both personal data and confidential financial information.

File management was difficult with Old Mutual’s existing security solution and central management was simply not available. It was also difficult to analyse logs and data, and troubleshooting problems often required the use of third party tools. These management issues caused many timeouts.

Solution

Ease of migration
Having been a Check Point customer for eight years, Old Mutual is currently running Check Point 6500 Security Gateway on R80.30, having migrated from its previous environment which featured Check Point 4500 appliances on R77.30.

“Moving from the R77.30 to R80.30 was a smooth transition because the service provider that we used held our hand,” says Old Mutual Zimbabwe’s ICT Security Manager, Victor Chishiri. “We did the transition in one night. We just backed up the initial appliances and all the configurations were put into the new appliances with no downtime. We are now running a couple of security protections on the appliances and the reason why we chose to go to R80 was due to the increased ease of management.”

Results

Improved management processes
In addition to the deep security Check Point provides, the new solution has now plugged all the gaps that Old Mutual had with its legacy system.

“A good example is the IPS signature updates. We have automated them, so we don’t need to keep track of them, which is very helpful,” says Chishiri. “Another benefit of R80 is the Smart-1 management appliance. It provides central access to the files which brings improved management across the whole environment.”

Also, unique to Check Point is the multi-tasking ability in R80 Unified Security. With the new solution, two people can log in at the same time to make changes and updates, whereas in the previous versions it was only possible for one user to be active at one time.

Another welcomed feature is that the reporting module enables engineers to see the health and status of the appliances, enabling them to easily manage the appliances themselves. The deep log analysis that is available with Check Point is also a major improvement for Old Mutual Zimbabwe. Now the team can see source destinations, points where traffic is dropping and why it is dropping.

“It really helps with the resolution of issues and improves the turnaround time of some projects which increases productivity,” adds Chishiri.

What’s next for Old Mutual? As business moves closer to the cloud, looking ahead Old Mutual plans to implement Check Point’s cloud and mobility solutions.

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