Press Release


Established in 1961, the Naval Medical Information Management Center (NMIMC) functions as the IT and management center for U.S. Navy Medicine. Located on the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, NMIMC provides cost-effective information management technologies, supporting healthcare for U.S. Navy personnel and their families throughout the world. SECURE REMOTE ACCESS BRINGS MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES NMIMC is faced with the task of securely, economically and efficiently sharing healthcare and business communications with 55,000 Naval Medical active duty and reserve personnel worldwide. To enable this communication, the organization maintains an intranet that allows end users to access NMIMC information resources—anytime, anywhere. However, granting and securing remote access to the NMIMC intranet poses a difficult challenge. NMIMC’s previous system for remote access—a series of homegrown, inefficient online databases— was simply too cumbersome to manage and use. According to Lieutenant Nickerson of NMIMC, “The system was built on proprietary technology that was awkward, restrictive and poorly scalable. As a result, user access was extremely difficult to maintain.” NMIMC IT personnel were not the only ones encountering serious headaches with the old system. Notes Lt. Nickerson, “Because granting access was such a labor-intensive process, our customers were complaining about the difficulty of getting on—and staying on—the system.” NMIMC SEEKS A SECURE ALTERNATIVE Clearly, NMIMC needed to find a new solution for securing user access to the organization’s intranet. However, the cost and complexity of traditional VPN solutions proved prohibitive for a project of this scope. For this reason, NMIMC commenced a search for a cost-effective secure remote access alternative— one that did not sacrifice security for savings. After evaluating several competitive products, NMIMC chose to secure its intranet using the SEA Tsunami secure extranet appliance from SafeWeb. Requiring no clients, back-end server agents or major reconfiguration of systems or networks, this intelligent network appliance enabled NMIMC to quickly and economically build a secure, SSL-based extranet, allowing remote users access to all of the NMIMC intranet resources via a Web browser. “We selected SEA Tsunami because not only does it greatly improve the security of our intranet, but its modular appliance architecture also gives us a great deal of flexibility in building our intranet and extranet environment,” notes Lt. Nickerson. NMIMC also chose SEA Tsunami for its exceptional user management functionality and ability to integrate seamlessly with the organization’s existing domain registry. “Since we did not wish to re-create our entire user database or purchase another directory service, SEA Tsunami’s capacity to work with FOR U.S. NAVY MEDICINE, SECURE REMOTE ACCESS IS SMOOTH SAILING ON THE SEA TSUNAMI THE CHALLENGE Offer cost-efficient, secure remote access to 55,000 Naval Medical active duty and reserve personnel worldwide THE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION Secure Extranet Appliance Tsunami™ (SEA Tsunami) from SafeWeb THE BENEFITS Enhanced security, reduced costs, improved user access, increased end user satisfaction, boosted productivity our existing database to conduct user domain authentication was very important to us.” SEA TSUNAMI ROLLS OUT TO USERS WORLDWIDE After a thorough pilot phase, NMIMC’s SEA Tsunami implementation went live in August 2002. The system includes multiple SEA Tsunami appliances, enabling NMIMC to enjoy load balancing and failover capabilities. “The high availability of the appliance gives us 24×7 operations—and that means aroundthe- clock access for our users.” According to the NMIMC team, the system was extremely easy to set up and configure. Explains Lt. Nickerson, “The SEA Tsunami implementation was quick. Within hours, we had the boxes up and running and had created user groups.” NMIMC plans to provide secure remote access to proprietary naval business information to all 55,000 Navy Medicine employees located around the world— a testament to the flexibility and scalability of the SEA Tsunami. SECURE ACCESS MEANS ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY AND USER SATISFACTION Thanks to the SEA Tsunami, Navy Medical personnel can securely access all of the information resources they could normally reach from an office at the NMIMC—regardless of their location. “Now, we can extend our service to the entire reserve and remote user community without compromising security,” notes Lt. Nickerson. “And that means continuance of operations for our personnel. Our users can get their work done no matter where they are in the world, at any time of the day.” In addition, the system’s ease of use has caused end-user satisfaction to greatly increase. Lt. Nickerson continues, “Because the system is so intuitive, our end user community has been very pleased with the simplicity and speed of gaining intranet access.” SEA TSUNAMI EASES MANAGEMENT FOR IT TEAM The SEA Tsunami also reduces the management burden on Lt. Nickerson’s team, freeing up its members to focus on other security and information management efforts. “The system is so reliable that we simply do not have to worry about it,” explains Lt. Nickerson. “For this reason, our team’s productivity has increased volumes, enabling us to concentrate our efforts on new projects.” SECURE EXTRANET SOLUTION LOWERS COSTS AND BOOSTS ROI Low ongoing administration and maintenance costs associated with the SEA Tsunami have contributed to lower lifetime total cost of ownership (TCO) for NMIMC. “Compared to investing in and managing all of the hardware, software, keys, user IDs and more associated with a traditional VPN solution, this solution is very low-cost,” notes Lt. Nickerson. In addition, compared to competitive extranet appliances, the SEA Tsunami offered rapid return on investment (ROI)—almost as soon as it was installed. “We attempted to implement a competitive product for months, to no avail,” says Lt. Nickerson. “But the SEA Tsunami worked immediately. Right away, the SafeWeb solution’s ease of installation offered us a significant cost return in man hours alone.” NMIMC SEES TSUNAMI ON THE HORIZON With the success of its initial SEA Tsunami deployment, NMIMC plans to investigate other applications of the secure extranet appliance. These potential applications include integration with wireless technologies for even more ubiquitous user access and the deployment of the SEA Tsunami behind a new portal environment to provide content to users in a dynamic, secure environment. For these and all of the organization’s future security efforts, NMIMC has found a true technology partner in SafeWeb. “The SafeWeb team has been very responsive to our requests and requirements,” concludes Lt. Nickerson. “We have received excellent support from them every step of the way.” NAVY MEDICAL CASE STUDY

Tara Daly
PR Senior Associate SafeWeb, Inc.
(510) 601-8855 x 109
[email protected]