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The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

Javid Hamdard
IT Manager
Kabul



The Background

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is a non-governmental organization working to help rebuild Afghanistan after decades of war and destruction. SCA is today active in 16 provinces in the eastern half of the country, primarily in the fields of education, health and disability. Through its activities, SCA aims at fighting poverty, supporting economic and social development and strengthening democratic development and gender & human rights. Today the association has over 3660 members in Sweden and two management offices in Stockholm and Kabul. The organization employs over 5500 staff, 99% of whom are Afghan. SCA programmes are mainly funded by the Swedish government through Sida, Forum Syd, UN agencies, EU, World Bank and the Swedish public. SCA's IT operations in Kabul are overseen by IT Manager Javid Hamdard, who looks after 400 users on 350 PCs.

The Network

No of Users: 400

The Requirement

The SCA needed to implement firewall and web filtering protection for their project-based staff and carefully control their bandwidth use. Internet connectivity in Afghanistan is satellite based due to the country's lack of a physical infrastructure. As a result, bandwidth is extremely limited and connections can be unreliable. SCA also needed a security system that would be easy to use and manage, especially for users with limited knowledge of networking and security protocols.

The Solution

Having already used the free (GPL) version of Smoothwall (Express) Javid decided to evaluate Advanced Firewall (with the Guardian content filtering module) and was pleased to find it just as easy to install, manage and use.

The Results

Javid says SCA are now using Smoothwall as 'a comprehensive network security and management umbrella' which delivers all the features they need to manage and monitor web access, bandwidth use, network security and their DHCP and DNS services. Javid was also particularly impressed with the reporting features (not included in the GPL version), describing them as 'the best he has ever used'.

The Network

No of Users: 400

Customer Comments

We needed an easy to use and manage security system and we found those features in Smoothwall.
The internet is one of our most expensive and vital sources of information and communication and therefore we have to make sure it is utilized in the most efficient way possible
I have tried similar alternative solutions but with Smoothwall it is very simple and easy to adapt and get used to the platform - not only for experienced technical users but also for users with little or mid level IT and networking knowledge
the best logging and reporting tools and templates I have ever used