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Setting Sights on Security

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Cite Media Holding Group centralised network security monitoring with Novell Sentinel running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Overview

Cite Media Holding Group (Cite) publishes 40 magazines in Taiwan, printing more than 20 million issues each year. Cite also has a catalogue of 15,000 books and adds more than 2,000 new titles each year while printing more than 13 million copies annually. The company has more than 1,200 employees and is a division of TOM Group Limited, an associate of Hutchison Whampoa Limited.

Challenge

The increasing importance of the Internet and other non-physical distribution channels requires publishing companies to focus more and more on protecting and securing their networks. Cite has a large number of Web-based offerings, including online book purchasing tools, blogs, online magazines and game sites, which contribute significantly to its revenues.

The company built an extensive internal network with numerous connections to the outside world and equipped it with a variety of security and monitoring technologies. The difficulty was managing all the different tools to enable rapid, appropriate responses to perceived or actual security threats. Cite IT staff had to manually collect and collate log files from hundreds of different systems, analyze them to determine root causes, then attempt to resolve the issues.

The time and effort required to maintain network security represented a significant drain on resources. Cite was also concerned about the lack of speed in identifying and resolving security issues.

Solution

Following a detailed evaluation of market-leading solutions, Cite selected Novell Sentinel as its central point of control for security monitoring and management. The Novell solution automatically aggregates information from thousands of log files across the Cite network, and provides customizable, real-time reporting on network health.

"Before, it was an enormous challenge to determine the precise location of security issues in the network; we have hundreds of applications and servers and more than 1,400 PCs," said Elaine Kung, general manager of the Taiwan operation center for Cite Media Holding Group. "Novell Sentinel has enabled us to bring together huge volumes of real-time data and distil it into accurate, user-friendly reports on emerging security threats."

Cite implemented Novell Sentinel on three IBM BladeCenter servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The company uses the solution primarily to collate event information from its backbone network equipment. Cite worked with Mikotek, a Novell Partner, to design and implement the solution.

"The service we receive from Mikotek is excellent," said Ms. Kung. "Their consultants are highly proactive and we value the advice and support they continue to provide."

Novell Sentinel empowers Cite to be more proactive in its management of network security, effortlessly identifying potential issues before they have any significant impact.

The solution uses rules set by Cite to create appropriate alerts for given events, helping IT administrators to take the right action in a timely manner.

"The main advantages of the Novell solution are its openness and its customization capabilities," said Hank Young, senior manager of Cite's IT department. "Alternative solutions could only provide reports in standardized formats; Novell Sentinel gives us complete control and makes it easy to add new devices into the central reporting function."

Novell Sentinel also stores a full history of events, creating a detailed knowledgebase that enables Cite to easily identify and resolve issues that have occurred previously.

Results

Novell Sentinel has enabled Cite to gain a clearer view of events across its large and complex network. By removing the need to manually collate and analyze data from hundreds of log files, the Novell solution has reduced the burden on the IT administrators and freed them up to deliver more effective problem resolution.

"Previously, there were gaps in our understanding of events and alerts on the network, because of the number and complexity of systems," said Mr. Young. "Novell Sentinel has simplified and centralized the task of network security monitoring, giving us an accurate picture of the health of the network in real time."

Since introducing Novell Sentinel, Cite has reduced the number of IT staff dedicated to network security from four to three, enabling improved focus on other strategic issues. The Novell solution provides higher-quality analysis than was achievable in the past and enables faster identification of root causes.

"Previously, it might take two hours to find the right log files, collate the relevant information and analyze it; with Novell Sentinel it takes just five minutes and the results are better," said Ms. Kung. "By helping us identify and fix potential network security issues more rapidly, Novell Sentinel improves employee productivity and helps us to provide better security for our online business."

Products and Services:
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
Novell Sentinel

Results:

  • Centralized network security reporting
  • Delivered faster and more effective response to emerging threats
  • Enabled 25 percent reduction in staff dedicated to network security



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