Texas A&M University system saves $7 million in one year with Vectra

May 23, 2017

Vectra Networks, the leader in automating the hunt for in-progress cyber attacks, today announced that the Texas A&M University System selected Vectra to speed-up the detection of cyber attackers in its networks and protect critical, high-value assets across 11 university campuses, seven state agencies and numerous research institutes. Texas A&M and Vectra will also host a webinar on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. EDT, followed by a Q&A session. Registration details are below.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced was the lack of cybersecurity talent, which is a huge global issue right now,“ said Dan Basile, executive director of the security operations center at the A&M System. “It’s difficult to hire and retain skilled cybersecurity professionals.“

“The other challenge is that we spend $4.2 billion in total expenditures,” Basile added. “Vital research is performed with many important organizations like the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA and U.S. Department of Defense. This makes us a target for nation-state cyber attackers.“

The A&M System’s Security Operations Center successfully detected and mitigated seven network cyber attacks in one year using tools such as Vectra. And there was little need for expensive post-breach forensic analysis, which only provides a rear-view mirror of an attack, often months after cybercriminals have made off with your crown jewels.

“You’re looking at about $1 million every time you call in a post-breach forensic analysis firm,“ said Basile. “By eliminating the need for post-breach forensics, the Security Operations Center saved the A&M System $7 million in a year and we cut threat investigation times from several days to a few minutes.“

Vectra provides real-time attack detection and non-stop automated threat hunting powered by artificial intelligence and always-learning behavioral models. Instead of reacting to threats after a theft, the A&M System’s Security Operations Center team relies on Vectra to quickly find and stop hidden cyber attackers inside the university’s networks.

“With about 250,000 people on our networks at any given time, I thought that identifying cyber attackers among these users would be a formidable task,“ noted Basile. “But with Vectra, one person can investigate about 50 threats in just two hours.“

Student workers are effective as the front line of the Security Operations Center and Vectra enables them to make rapid, accurate decisions on whether to escalate a detected threat for further investigation.

“Vectra continues to shrink the time it takes to detect threats,“ said Basile. “At the same time, student workers have become a vital part of the Security Operations Center and they’re learning valuable cybersecurity skills in the process. That’s a big win for both students and the A&M System.“

“The dwindling cybersecurity talent pool is making Vectra incredibly relevant today,“ said Hitesh Sheth, CEO of Vectra Networks. “We augment existing security teams with artificial intelligence that automates manual, time-consuming threat hunting and detection.“

“This enables security teams to respond quickly and decisively to cyber attacks before damage is done and allows the highly skilled security analysts to focus on more strategic issues like incident response, loss prevention and eliminating network vulnerabilities,“ Sheth added.

As one of the largest research university systems in the U.S., the A&M System is tackling some of the world’s biggest problems and creating new knowledge. With Vectra, the Security Operations Center can protect that innovation actively – and efficiently.

To register for the webinar on May 31, please visit: https://info.vectranetworks.com/drowning-in-a-data-lake-looking-for-cyber-threats. Attendees will hear first-hand from Dan Basile about the A&M System's use of Vectra.

About the Texas A&M University System

The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.

About Vectra Networks

Vectra Networks is the leader in automating the hunt for in-progress cyber attacks. Using artificial intelligence, Vectra correlates threats against hosts that are under attack and provides unique context about what attackers are doing so organizations can quickly prevent or mitigate loss. Vectra prioritizes attacks that pose the greatest business risk, enabling organizations to make rapid decisions on where to focus time and resources. In 2016, Vectra was named “Most Innovative Emerging Company” in the Dark Reading Best of Black Hat Awards. InformationWeek also named Vectra one of the Top 125 companies to watch in 2016. Vectra investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, IA Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and DAG Ventures. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. and has European regional headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. For more information, visit http://www.vectranetworks.com/.

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