Aruba ClearPass enables secure and robust connectivity for thousands of users in a multi-vendor environment
UST Global is a leader in digital transformation, enabling Global 1000 companies to offer innovative customer experience, streamline operations, and drive business value. With over 20000 employees, the company is bringing about digital transformation for clients and Sunil Kanchi, Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President, wants to improve connectivity, while securing critical business data housed on the network.
"As our operations are spread across the globe, our associates always need secure connectivity. This means that rather than having a stable and flexible wireless network, we also had to ensure the highest levels of data security".
Seeking a Comprehensive Enterprise Solution
Network Access Control is one of the strong security layers that we built. Aruba Clear Pass made access control tasks very easy and intuitive. Praveen Raveendran, Director & Global Head of IT, UST Global
An IT and ITeS company, UST-Global functions across multiple disciplines like Consulting, Cyber Security, Embedded Engineering Product Development, Data Management, Business Intelligence and BPO services.
As its associates were on the move in their campus, UST-Global required a network that would provide the flexibility and freedom of movement thus encourage groups to work with the same efficiency be it in an open space, closed office or meeting rooms.
"On an average during peak hours, we have over 4000 end points connected to the corporate network. To manage the connectivity, we were in need of added infrastructure. We needed a solution for establishing a secured wireless network that would work seamlessly with our existing wired network setup," says Praveen Raveendran, Head of IT, UST–Global.
Supplementing Wired with Wireless
UST-Global deployed a campus-wide wireless network with the help of Aruba 802.11ac access points (APs) and 7200 Series Mobility Controllers. We also deployed Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager and ClearPass OnGuard to secure their environment.
"While deploying wireless, we also sought to make our wired network smarter," said Praveen. "We were concerned about how we would accomplish this, as our complete environment has multiple vendor OEMs in place".
An innovative solution, Aruba ClearPass that is hardware agnostics, enabled the IT team of UST-Global to unify their complete network ecosystem, which comprised of devices from multiple OEMs, and provide one streamlined experience to its users.
ClearPass Boosts Security, Streamlines Access Management
To provide a secure and integrated Wi-Fi environment for employees and visitors, UST-Global deployed ClearPass Policy Manager. With this solution, IT team at UST- Global established controls using wide-ranging parameters, not only to protect its existing setup, but also prepare itself for the influx of smart devices into its network.
"We noticed a trend where our users would connect to our wireless network on their personal devices, and access the internet using our network. This opens up our network to a whole new set of attack vectors and risks", notes Network Consultant Chandran Hari.
"We faced a challenge with our existing wired setup, realising that anyone with an Employee ID and password could connect to our infrastructure using any device. We were looking for a filtration system that would only grant permissions after proper user credentials and endpoint identity is validated".
UST-Global grants access to its guests and visitors by a process wherein the host approves the network access request for the visitor. They also automated the Guest Internet access, allowing self-registration and seamless transition between buildings.
"This way, we always know who is on the network, and we can also identify who they are meeting at the office, so that we can always contact them if required", says Praveen Raveendran – Global Head of IT, UST Global.
"Network Access Control is one of the strong security layers that we built. Aruba ClearPass made access control tasks very easy and intuitive. It allows us to define access based on the user identity, endpoint profile and posture assessment with more than fifteen thousand endpoints connected to the network ecosystem everyday. It enables proactive and predictive analysis".
Managing the traffic smartly
"Users often use the internet for a myriad of activities and this chokes the bandwidth. We had to prevent this from happening. We also had to ensure that not everyone connecting to our network can access everything," states Praveen.
Deploying ClearPass has played a vital role in separating the incoming traffic, and granting them pertinent access, a process that was previously being done with the help of multiple SSIDs. ClearPass has also made the network truly elastic, by increasing bandwidth when needed, and reducing speeds when needed; making the overall experience a truly pleasurable one.
ClearPass OnGuard helps with Device Health Check
To further protect the network, UST-Global allows connectivity only to those devices that have the latest security patches and software installed. ClearPass OnGuard performs advanced endpoint posture assessments, on leading computer operating systems to ensure compliance is met before devices connect to UST-Global Corporate Network.
To simplify troubleshooting, endpoint control and compliance reporting, ClearPass Policy Manager allowed the IT team at UST-Global to centrally manage health-check settings and policies. They were also able to view endpoint activity, including user and device data for each device that connects using OnGuard agents.
"With ClearPass OnGuard, we have automated the process of checking each endpoint device before it accesses our network," says Chandran Hari.
ClearPass OnGuard benefits
"What's better is that in case a device is not updated, we can quarantine, remediate and then connect back to the network. End device health check is critical for us, and we rely on Aruba ClearPass to perform it effortlessly", says Chandran Hari.
Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager is also integrated with Microsoft Intune and AirWatch MDM Platform to allow only registered devices to connect to UST Corporate Wireless segment.
Creating a Secure, Flexible and Reliable Environment
UST Global provides advanced services for public and private sector organizations around the world, including Fortune 500 companies across a broad spectrum of industries – banking and finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, technology, and more.
The company has developed a unique global engagement model that combines local onsite resources with the cost and quality advantages of offshore operations.
The users at UST-Global have reliable, high-performance network access based on a comprehensive role-based module, which has not only enhanced the user experience but has also solved critical security concerns for the company.
In addition, Aruba tools give UST-Global accurate insights on the connected devices, helping them identify and analyse network usage patterns, which will further contribute to the overall development and optimization of the network.
Delivering efficiently, from the start
As UST-Global continues to grow to various new geographies, we are integrating ClearPass and Aruba right from the beginning; an exciting prospect for the whole team. We are now looking at how we can improve some of our services like integration using APIs to our approval console and preparing for the BYOT (Bring your own Thing) phenomenon. We are working closely with Aruba to understand how we can meet these requirements
“We’re extremely happy with the way Aruba handled the entire process. We were kept informed at every stage and given adequate training on how to deploy and work with the system. The Aruba Executives were always available for us and were happy to solve any concerns that we had,” adds Praveen.
"UST-Global's Partnership with Aruba has brought phenomenal transformation to our wireless end user mobility segment, providing a secure and scalable platform with better user experience while protecting our existing investments, "said Sunil Kanchi, Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President, UST-Global.