In order to safeguard mission-critical data and cope with an increase in the number of internal and external users, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) has installed a new security solution.

The software protects its IT network and provides enhanced service to its staff and more than 45,000 members.

The chamber selected Stonesoft's StoneGate firewall, virtual private network (VPN) and intrusion protection system (IPS).

System integrator Bayanat-DPS installed the solution at the chamber's headquarters and four other offices.

ADCCI, which had almost 15 million hits on its website during the first half of 2004 an increase of almost 50 per cent on 2003 decided to upgrade its IT network security as it plans to introduce new online services for its growing number of members, and required a stable highly scalable solution that can be managed easily.

"We have initiated a number of major IT services since 1996, including an SMS service, email and electronic faxing service for staff and members, and internet/intranet access for employees," said Mohammad Al Nuaimi, assistant director general for information technology and memberships relations.

"It is vital that we protect our network from malicious attacks, ensuring the security of sensitive information."

Bayanat-DPS, which has been active in the local market for over 20 years, deployed the system across all five ADCCI sites. The company will provide ongoing technical support to the Chamber.

"Securing IT infrastructure is one of the key issues facing decision-makers across the Middle East," said Georges Hannouche, managing director, Bayanat-DPS.

Since deploying the Stonesoft solution, the chamber has experienced almost 100 per cent network up-time. The IPS capability of the StoneGate application reduced the number of false positive alerts, freeing up IT managers to concentrate on detecting malicious attacks.