Case Study - Tokyo Motor Show


Security Visualization Tools Help Protect the Tokyo Motor Show

The theme of the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013 was "Compete! And shape a new future." This was the largest event of its kind in Japan, with a total of 178 participant companies exhibiting 181 brands from twelve countries across the world.

The Show

The Tokyo Motor Show occurred November 23 through December 1, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. The event drew well over 800,000 visitors and brought more than 15,000 members of the media to report on experimental technologies and concept vehicles.

To serve members of the press who covered the show, Comnet System, Inc. was contracted to provide a media-only network providing secure performance that withstood both heavy traffic and major traffic spikes. To facilitate this, they chose WatchGuard® Technologies as the event's official Unified Threat Management solution. It was the fourth consecutive year that WatchGuard had filled this vital role.

Network Challenges

The cadre of international journalists covering the show relied on a safe and secure connection to transmit terabytes of images, video and insights into the future of automotive technology. Hordes of reporters filing stories simultaneously could have caused serious network disturbances. For instance, immediately following the press conference, there was a brief but severe traffic spike as members of the press transmitted articles, photos, and videos to their offices or file-sharing sites. The network needed sufficient bandwidth to maintain adequate speed throughout the traffic spikes, but also guarantee security.

"Along with undisturbed Internet connectivity, the news people needed a consistently stable and safe environment," said Ms. Norisaki Yoshino, Chief Investigator of the Tokyo Motor Show Public Relations Department coordinating with the media.

With over 15,000 people connecting to the network, the show was challenged with minimizing security risks from malware infection or other attacks that might affect performance. In addition, they had to keep close tabs on the potential impact of P2P software on traffic.

The WatchGuard Solution

WatchGuard's hardware on site, which featured the XTM 2520 next-generation firewall, provided 35GB/second throughput to more than 20,000 users and 2.5 million concurrent sessions. It also provided the ability to fight the blended threats that could have hampered connectivity at such a large-scale event.

"The concentration of connections and the amount of data being sent makes an environment like this a robust target for cyber criminals," said Corey Nachreiner, WatchGuard's director of security strategy. "Being able to monitor not only network performance, but also be able to identify any potential threats as they occur is vital to the stable experience the media expects. WatchGuard allows users to simply focus on going about their business and not worry about cyber attacks. But of course, users of any open network should take extra precautions to ensure their data is safe."

This year, Comnet System also used WatchGuard Dimension™, the new network security visualization tool. With it, administrators ensured stability and security by monitoring network performance with real-time data, presented in easy-to-analyze charts and graphs. This allowed network administrators to quickly develop the best security policies and protect users in real time. The show was able to isolate any potential viruses, drive-by download threats, or even dead drops from USB drives. Comnet System staff members commented that Dimension showed them the importance of simplified, real-time network visualization and monitoring.

"Offering this level of protection for such a prestigious event is a monumental task — one that WatchGuard is well equipped to handle," said Masato Negishi, WatchGuard Japan's country manager. "The increase in blended threats is especially challenging for multimedia professionals because of the change in the way journalists work. We were able to quickly implement the WatchGuard platform and enable the world's media to upload stories and file reports. I am confident that with WatchGuard Dimension, monitoring the network in real time is informative for the network administrator."

Below is a diagram of the solution architecture, showing connectivity via multiple WiFi Access Points (AP) into the WatchGuard XTM devices. The logs are sent to the Dimension server over an encrypted channel, which interprets the information for presentation. Dimension can accept logs from hundreds of WatchGuard XTM devices, and present them as consolidated groups or individual devices. The raw log data is also available and can be searched using advanced tools.

Dimension has several 'Executive Summary' options with drill-down capability and selectable time periods. These provide a quick overview of top users, applications and protocols while the Security Dashboard shows detected malware, intrusions, data loss events, and blocked applications and URLs. A ThreatMap shows a map of the world, highlighting where attacks are originating from.

A unique view of data, known as a TreeMap, is presented in the FireWatch tool. This tool allows administrators to identify who and what is using bandwidth at any point in time, or for a selectable time period. The largest box represents the biggest user – simple. Each box also has a drill-down option to really get into what a user or application is doing.

Other reports show bandwidth usage, as in the example below which shows devices downloading almost 5GB and uploading 3GB in a 10 minute block, highlighting the volume of traffic generated by media-intensive applications.



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WatchGuard XTM provided good functionalities and capabilities, including load distribution with round-robin and link aggregation, which made installation very easy.

Hideaki Ohmori,
Comnet System



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