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Mobiliar Makes Secure Remote Access a Reality with NCP engineering’s Help

Background: Mobiliar is the oldest private insurance company in Switzerland and has been a cooperative ever since its inception in 1826. It uses a network of more than 80 agencies and about 60 remote offices to support its more than 1.5 million customers across the country and Liechtenstein. Mobiliar insures both individuals and companies, and provides travel, legal and accidental / liability, among other coverage.

Challenges: Mobiliar needed to stay ahead of its insurance company rivals and equip its staff with highly-flexible technology that would allow them to quickly respond to customer queries. To do this, the company’s managing directors wanted its employees to be able to connect to the company network from anywhere using Wi-Fi, including public hotspots. To ensure security, they also mandated that the network access be carried exclusively through the Mobiliar network. Its existing Check Point VPN solution, however, couldn’t accommodate this requirement without barring access to many public hotspots. So, the insurance company embarked on finding a VPN partner that could successfully connect to public hotspots, while still carrying the traffic through the Mobiliar network. Mobiliar had several other requirements—the insurance company needed a location awareness feature on its firewall because public networks could be within the same IP address range as the Mobiliar Intranet. Without this feature, the end-devices could become vulnerable. Also in Switzerland, registration at certain public Wi-Fi hotspots is carried out via text message-delivered PIN, which added to its system complexity. And complicating this even further, Mobiliar required its VPN client software to support a Cryptographic Service Provider connection and comply with the Microsoft Certificate Store, and be compatible with its Riverbed data optimization solution. Administration of the holistic VPN system had to be efficient, simple and effective. Mobiliar did not want to increase headcount to manage this system, nor did they want to burden end-users with carrying out manual updates. The new system had to provide automatic push-updates and streamlined VPN client management, and not interfere with end-user productivity by hogging bandwidth for large software updates.

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Solution provided by NCP engineering, Inc.: Upon learning about NCP engineering’s remote access solution, Mobiliar found that all of its requirements were met. NCP ensured location awareness and remote access central management, while providing a one-click, easy-to-use VPN client with an integrated dialer, automatic connection authentication and negotiation, and centrally management device firewall features. And after a short test phase, during which NCP integrated the Microsoft CSP connection and the text messaging feature into its VPN client, NCP was awarded the contract. With the help of NCP's software developers and on-site support team, Mobiliar implemented its new remote access solution, including the Secure Enterprise Client, the Secure Enterprise Server (or VPN gateway), the Secure Enterprise Failsafe Server and the Secure Enterprise Management System, in just five weeks. All of these software components seamlessly integrated into Mobiliar's existing network infrastructure. About 2,500 Mobiliar employees now use the VPN solution to access the company network—no matter their location—with total ease. They can do this with a simple, graphical user interface, while the IT department is able to centrally manage and easily update the 2,500 VPN clients. To provide high security and comfort, the IPsec client automatically selects the communication medium, carries out Internet dial-up, sets the VPN tunnel and selects the appropriate firewall policy. The user only has to click once to connect.

Summary: Implementing NCP's next-generation network access technology has paid off for Mobiliar. With NCP’s central management system, efficiency and productivity increased significantly within the IT department; network administrators are now in a position where it takes 15 minutes or less to change security policies. Now, all employees can securely access the company’s network using Wi-Fi, and work on the road just as though they were in the office. Moving forward, Mobiliar plans to port the NCP remote access solution onto a new device platform within the next year or so.

NCP engineering, Inc.
444 Castro St., Ste. 711
Mountain View, CA 94041 U.S.A.

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