Sharp Electronics, a division of Seartec Industries, has implemented SystemSkan to control and manage its IT infrastructure.
SystemSkan is an internal security management system that is focused on policy enforcement by tracking and controlling all user activity on a computer network. The solution provides the ability to view, record and restrict activities, including Internet, email, instant messaging and application-specific activities.
According to Sharp Electronics IT manager Immo Steffens, the company decided on SystemSkan because it not only offered them a powerful IT policy enforcement tool, but also covered other areas of their requirement with the additional utilities offered by the system.
“In the past, other products were tried and none had actually been able to work on our infrastructure to a satisfactory level. J2 Software suggested that a no obligation Proof of Concept be run to prove the products effectiveness. This was done and the product was installed on a base of users around the country and on various operating systems. Everything ran smoothly and a decision was made to roll out the solution across the entire network.”
SystemSkan is the result of more than 30 man-years of research and development efforts and was developed to protect enterprises from “the enemy within”. It allows organisations to monitor, restrict and control the activities of individuals or groups of users, thereby enforcing company security policies across the enterprise.
J2 Software MD John Mc Loughlin says that, unlike basic monitoring products that only provide a report reactively once a security breach has occurred, SystemSkan also provides proactive security features.
“This proactive functionality prevents policy breaches before they occur by continually and automatically screening all activity, and can be configured to prevent inappropriate activities or lock users’ PC’s when the company’s policy has been broken.”
SystemSkan is an internal security management system that is focused on policy enforcement by tracking and controlling all user activity on a computer network. It provides the ability to monitor, control and report on the activities of individuals or groups of users both reactively and proactively. Administrators have the ability to view, record and restrict individual activities, including document access, application usage, webmail, and Internet activities.
In addition, SystemSkan also includes network utilities such as remote control administration, messaging and task scheduling. SystemSkan is a simple tool to enforce an IT policy, increase productivity and cut bandwidth costs.
SystemSkan has changed the way Sharp enforces and controls the internal IT Security Policy and the Company has noticed marked benefits from using the application. Users no longer play games during office hours as rules have been setup to prevent these time wasting activities from taking place. SystemSkan has been setup to prevent users from using USB storage devices and CD’s, this has stopped unwanted or pirated software and music from being introduced to the network and also prevents the leakage of sensitive company information via these avenues.
Steffens says that since implementing SystemSkan, company data is more secure.
“Furthermore, hardware and software audits are more efficient and easy to conduct; virus prone Internet based e-mail is blocked; and the global messaging facility eases some administration overheads by reaching every online user, irrespective of the application being used.”
* Awareness that computers are being monitored has made the users more security conscious;
* There is easy reporting on suspicious user activity;
* Installation and deployment of updates are quicker;
* Noticeable decrease in bandwidth usage;
* Increased user productivity with less time wasted; and
* As more rules and permissions are created, more benefits are being realised.
The installation was done in stages. The first step was the installation on the server which is based in Johannesburg. A group of 20 users was selected and the solution was rolled out to these users across the country in order to complete the Proof of Concept.
When the full network rollout began, the same server installation was used and staff of J2 Software and Sharp Electronics staff handled the rollout to the other branches.
“J2 Software provided full administrator and technical training to SHARP staff and they continue to support us as the need arises. SHARP offices are located in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein, East London with a total of 230 Users on the system. The installation was extremely easy with only minor issues which were quickly and easily resolved,” says Steffens.
Since the initial installation it was decided to move the administration of the solution and IT policy to the respective regions. The solution is now managed in Cape Town for the costal regions and Johannesburg for inland and runs on separate servers.