Barry University Stops Cyber Attack in Progress with Vectra Networks

September 29, 2015

Vectra Networks, the leader in real-time detection of in-progress cyber-attacks, today announced that Barry University has selected Vectra to protect its high-value data as advanced persistent attacks (APTs) surge. Vectra’s automated threat management solution enables the university to detect cyber attacks as they are happening – automatically and in real time.

“Initially, I was skeptical,” said Dr. Hernan Londono, associate CIO at Barry University, a Catholic liberal arts university in Miami. “I didn’t want another security gadget.”

But immediately upon installation, Vectra enabled the university to stop a targeted attack in progress. “I was shocked,” said Londono. “Vectra detected a serious threat that we needed to mitigate right away. I didn’t think it was possible to have visibility into attacks as they were actually happening.”

Vectra combines data science, machine learning and behavioral analytics to detect cyber attacks in progress. Without relying on signatures or reputation lists, Vectra identifies, correlates, scores and prioritizes active attacks so security teams can rapidly mitigate threats that post the greatest risk.

Unlike other security systems, Vectra continuously listens and learns to identify all phases of active cyber attacks such as command-and-control behavior, internal reconnaissance, botnet monetization, lateral movement, and data exfiltration.

“Without Vectra, the malware would have clearly spread,” said Londono. “There were indications of an attempted exfiltration, but we saw it quickly and stopped it. If we didn’t have Vectra, we would have ended up in a very difficult place.”

As at most universities, students, faculty and staff connect their personal laptops, tablets and smartphones to the campus network for learning, business and fun. Students expect BYOD connectivity, and Barry University is going mobile by issuing laptops to employees.

“We are embracing mobility everywhere,” said Londono. “People travel back and forth to campus using devices with different levels of protection. When they connect, they bypass our perimeter security, and once they authenticate, they’re inside the network. We don’t know if their devices are infected with malware.”

But while the convenience and productivity benefits are unassailable, mobility – especially BYOD – can increase security risk. A strong perimeter defense protects the university, including firewalls, intrusion detection, sandboxing systems and endpoint protection, but it’s not enough, Londono said. Mobile devices come and go regularly – and so do the threats.

“There’s a huge amount of risk that comes with mobility,” he added.

In many unexpected ways, Vectra continues to prove its value. For instance, Vectra identified some misconfigured printers that created vulnerabilities and left the network susceptible to attack. Those vulnerabilities were swiftly eliminated.

“At Barry University, like others in higher education, mobile devices have become essential to learning,” said Rick Geehan, Vice President of North American Sales at Vectra Networks. “But as students and faculty use their mobile devices off-campus on networks with different levels of protection, security risks rise. With Vectra, the university can mitigate the risk of mobility while fostering an open, collaborative environment.”

About Vectra Networks

Vectra® Networks is the leader in real-time detection of in-progress cyber attacks. The company’s automated threat-management solution continuously monitors internal network traffic to pinpoint cyber attacks as they happen. It then automatically 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 2015, Gartner named Vectra a Cool Vendor in Security Intelligence for addressing the challenges of post-breach threat detection. The American Business Awards also selected Vectra as the Gold Award winner for Tech Startup of 2015. Vectra’s investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, IA Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures. The company’s headquarters are in San Jose, Calif., and it has European operations in Zurich. More information can be found at


Vectra and the Vectra Networks logo are registered trademarks and Security that thinks, the Vectra Threat Labs, and the Threat Certainty Index are trademarks of Vectra Networks. Other brand, product and service names are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective holders.

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