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Success story

Essar upgrades access security for global HR portal

To support its growing workforce, multinational corporation Essar decided to upgrade the infrastructure of its human resources portal. Following a successful proof-of-concept (POC) test, the company selected Red Hat® JBoss® Web Server to replace its existing Apache web server community version. The global portal now offers secure access to employees’ personal information, bringing Essar into full compliance with applicable regulations such as the UK Data Protection Act of 1998. Thanks to the ease of maintenance, configuration, and operation, Red Hat JBoss Web Server is also reducing the company's operating costs.

Customer Since

2013

Mumbai, India

Energy Industry

Objective

Comply with data protection regulations by offering secure access to employee information.

Software and services

Hardware

  • HP blade servers based on Intel x86 processors

A thoroughly tested, interoperable, and easy-to-configure platform, Red Hat JBoss Web Server is critical to the success of Essar’s HR portal implementation across its global sites.

Jayantha Prabhu, Chief technology officer, Essar

Rising concerns about security of HR portal

From its founding in 1969, Essar has grown from a local construction company into a multinational corporation involved in steel manufacturing, energy production, shipping, as well as a wide range of infrastructure products and services. The company employs about 73,000 people in more than 25 countries.

Essar’s human resources department manages payroll, leave, travel, and other HR functions via a global portal called Myequations. Even though Myequations is not connected directly to the Internet, and users access it via local or wide-area networks, the sheer number of transactions began to raise security concerns. When Essar decided to migrate its United Kingdom subsidiary to Myequations, these concerns reached a tipping point. The UK Data Protection Act of 1998 imposed regulations about data storage and movement that would be difficult or impossible to meet with the existing platform. To ensure compliance and provide secure access, the company would have to rethink its infrastructure.

Security that starts with an enterprise-grade platform

A needs assessment by Essar’s IT team pinpointed two primary requirements: Increase access security for the portal, and encrypt sensitive employee information. As IT architects began to design a solution that would meet these imperatives, they realized that the existing open source web server platform, the community version of the Apache web server, lacked the necessary levels of performance and security.

To achieve the project’s goals, Essar needed a platform that was robust, rigorously tested, highly integrated, and, above all, fully supported—an enterprise-grade platform. After evaluating the available options, the IT group chose Red Hat JBoss Web Server.

Convincing proof of concept

Before making the final decision, Essar tested the Red Hat solution via a proof of concept, looking carefully at the full range of features. The POC demonstrated conclusively that Red Hat JBoss Web Server delivers on its security promises and offers the right combination of performance, maintainability, and cost effectiveness for Essar’s needs.

Based on this successful evaluation, the IT group selected Red Hat JBoss Web Server for the new Myequations platform. The one-month implementation went smoothly, without impacting existing operations, in part because Red Hat JBoss Web Server interoperates with two key software products used in Myequations: SAP human resources software and Oracle Database.

Compliance with security regulations—and more

The Myequations platform project has met all of its objectives. Red Hat JBoss Web Server provides secure HTTPS access to the Myequations portal, preventing unauthorized access to sensitive employee information. As a result, Essar was able to achieve full compliance with the UK Data Protection Act of 1998.

Beyond the heightened security, Red Hat JBoss Web Server is paying off for Essar in other ways. The new platform is easier to configure and maintain than the previous one based on the community version of the Apache web server. The IT team has learned how to administer and manage the platform with minimal training. Ultimately, Red Hat JBoss Web Server is contributing to Essar’s goal of keeping long-term IT costs down, without sacrificing either performance or security.

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