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MTN Nigeria protects critical infrastructure with Check Point

“Check Point enables us to capture firewall, IPS and anti-malware in a single platform. When you look at the kind of visibility Check Point gives you, it’s way ahead of the platforms from all the other vendors.” Kennedy Kimani, Head of Internal IT, MTN Nigeria


MTN Nigeria
MTN Group’s mission is to be a catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth. The company aims to unleash Nigeria’s strong developmental potential, not only by providing world class communications, but also through innovative and sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Business Challenge

Protecting critical national infrastructure
MTN is Africa’s largest mobile telecommunications provider, providing critical connectivity across the continent. Since MTN Nigeria covers one of Africa’s most important economies and serves its largest corporate customers, it is under near constant attack from cyber criminals.

“We’ve experienced malware attacks, phishing attacks on our users, ICMP flood attacks on our data center infrastructure, URL attacks, ransomware and application layer attacks,” says Kennedy Kimani, Head of Internal IT, MTN Nigeria. “This has impacted service availability. Ultimately it affects our users.”

MTN Nigeria wanted to strengthen its cyber security capability immediately, and establish a more secure long-term position.


A modular platform to accommodate growth
MTN Nigeria uses the Check Point 61000 solution, plus endpoint security together with SandBlast Threat Emulation (sandboxing).

The Check Point chassis-based solution is a high performance and scalable platform, achieving up to 180 Gbps of threat prevention throughput in a single firewall instance. The ATCA compliant, carrier grade design offers unsurpassed scalability, availability and serviceability with high performance and high port density.

Check Point SandBlast Agent extends the proven protections of SandBlast Zero-Day Protection to endpoint devices, as well as to web browsers. Threat Extraction reconstructs downloaded files in seconds, eliminating potential threats and promptly delivering a safe version to users. At the same time, Threat Emulation discovers malicious behavior and prevents infection from new malware and targeted attacks by quickly inspecting files in a virtual sandbox.

“We chose Check Point because of its security capabilities, the quality of support, and because the platform is easy to use,” explains Kimani. “Also, importantly, the Check Point solution is modular. That means if we invest today both at the port level connectivity and throughput on the security power, our investment is protected over the next three to five years.”


Stability, scale and continued innovation
For MTN Nigeria, choosing Check Point has enabled them to consolidate its security architecture, for the first time allowing the capture of firewall, IPS and anti-malware from a single platform. “It’s way ahead of other platforms other security vendors provide,” says Kimani.

MTN Nigeria uses 61000 gateways to segment its network datacenter, to have visibility into the types of traffic going to its servers, and to protect its edge network. “That gives us visibility of outbound traffic – what traffic is leaving or entering our network at the edge and user browsing activity,” says Kimani. “We also use SandBlast and Check Point endpoint point solutions to have visibility into threats users could be facing at the endpoint level.”

Kimani says the solution is easy to work with and that the Check Point support means the platform is stable. “Check Point is easy to reach, whether that’s solving an issue or consulting with future plans.”

The solution also delivers the scale MTN Nigeria needs to accommodate continued growth: “With our hosted services, we can be onboarding up to 50 users in a six- month period. Scalability is a key element for us.”

The next step is automation and integration, making the company’s security position more comprehensive and efficiently managed. “Integration with our private cloud is a future plan,” says Kimani. “We also know Check Point continues to innovate. This year’s threats are different to last year. We know Check Point is going to be ahead of the game.”

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