Guangzhou Mobile outsources data analysis without security worries using XenApp
Guangzhou Mobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Mobile Communications Corporation (China Mobile). Officially established on April 20, 2000, China Mobile has a registered capital of RMB 51.8 billion yuan and assets of more than RMB 700 billion yuan. China Mobile is the only operator that focuses its business on mobile communication operations in China, and it has the world’s largest telecom network and customer base.
As a member of the Fortune Global 500 for seven consecutive years, China Mobile has climbed to No. 180 according to the latest rankings published, and it was also named official partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The challenge: Providing security for data analysis outsourcing
With fierce competition in the telecommunications market, China Mobile depends on its business support department to provide timely, accurate and scientific analysis of data for the marketing and customer service programs in order to determine how to increase the effectiveness of specific activities. As demand for data analysis grew beyond the capacity of its own staff, the company and its subsidiaries had no choice but to outsource parts of the process to the leading service provider in the field. Analysis results would be sent back to the requesters in the marketing department of Guangzhou Mobile.
However, this would expose critical and confidential business information to external analysts, who require applications such as the business support system, Analysis CRM (ACRM) and Operation CRM (OCRM) to conduct data analysis. Greatly concerned about security across the full data lifecycle—extraction, analysis, transmission, storage and deletion—Guangzhou Mobile realized that it was extremely urgent to establish a security operations center. The short-term goal was to establish a management and monitoring system to keep data access and use by external analysts under complete control over the data lifecycle.
Implementing application virtualization from Citrix
With application virtualization using Citrix® XenApp™, Platinum Edition, Guangzhou Mobile keeps its applications and data securely behind its firewall in the datacenter, and delivers only the user interface to the outsourcing company’s analysts. These analysts can work with the applications over the Internet without downloading them to the desktop.
Meanwhile, Citrix SmartAccess policy-based control and sophisticated encryption and authentication technologies, a capability of XenApp, Platinum Edition, enable the IT team to centrally control which users can access applications and which actions they can take, such as printing. Moreover, the SmartAuditor functionality of XenApp can record and audit user actions and data operations based on strict security policies and access control policies. This record can be maintained as long as a year at an affordable cost while consuming minimal storage space and bandwidth.
Intelligent monitoring and management enhance data security
Users must authenticate to the XenApp environment using passwords. To simplify this process, XenApp enables single sign-on access to multiple password-protected applications. These passwords are automatically managed by Citrix Password Manager™, enhancing information security and defense against external attacks.
“With Citrix XenApp, Guangzhou Mobile strengthens data security by keeping applications in the datacenter instead of on the desktop. We also enhance internal control over information access and comply with most applicable rules and regulations worldwide, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the European Union Data Protection Directive,” said Mr. Wang Zhihua, IDC mezzanine director, Guangzhou Mobile.
Using application performance monitoring tools included with XenApp, Platinum Edition, administrators can monitor application usage, errors and performance, identify the source of problems, and either prevent or quickly resolve issues to ensure a better user experience.
Virtualization technology enables efficient and secure delivery
XenApp delivers all applications over the Internet using Web Interface functionality, and users connect to their applications via any standard browser. With proper credentials, users can access the applications by simply clicking the icons on their browser interface.
The introduction of XenApp has improved application performance over the WAN, as the Citrix Receiver™ protocol transmits only compressed and encrypted data including mouse and keyboard movements and screen refreshes between the central server and remote terminals, and each connection consumes less than 20KB of bandwidth. While making network bandwidth plans, it is easy to calculate the total bandwidth needed. For example, if Guangzhou Mobile needs to support 90 concurrent users, including 60 data analysts and 30 data requesters, the maximum bandwidth demand would be 90×20KB =1.8MB.
With XenApp, Guangzhou Mobile gains complete control over network access and addresses the demands of the data security operations center through delivery of virtualized applications to outsourced data analysts, centralized management of data analysis tools and use of network access control technologies.