The solution's behavior analytics, in terms of detecting cyber and insider threats, are very effective. We are getting actionable results. When I say actionable results, not every finding is going to be a threat, but every finding is worth investigation. Depending on the investigation, some of them are real threats, some are just bad hygiene, and some are a good finding but not a threat for us. So there is work we still need to do. But whatever they are pointing us to is worth investigating. And that is what I expect from the product.
The solution's behavior analytics help to prioritize advanced threats. That's exactly what I mean by "actionable threats." One of the key pain points for us, previously, was that the solution we were using was giving us a lot of low-value indicators which we couldn't even act on. With this solution we have fewer alerts but they're actionable alerts.
From there on, it is on our analyst to then decide which ones are threats. And based on that, what we have done with a few things. In some cases we have changed our security policies so that we can have more rules in place to give us stronger access control and better governance around our workstation usage policy. There were certain things we could do to improve our employee behavior and it enabled us to take those steps. Based on some of the cyber-related threats it identified, we were able to upgrade the software we were using for our endpoints so that we had the strongest possible defense. There are certain things that are real threats and certain things that are bad hygiene and in both cases it's still valuable for us to take action.
Moving from on-prem to cloud, our analyst's time and effort have been reduced by half. I had to have two people working on the product before we got Securonix. We are a small company so we had two people dedicated: One was creating use cases, maintaining the application; the other was the analyst who was investigating. When we moved to the cloud, the operations part was taken care of by Securonix. They manage the use cases, they manage the upgrades. Now I don't need to have a dedicated person to do that. And my analyst gets higher-value threats to investigate.
In summary: First, I have been able to reduce my overhead by half. And second, my analyst is a lot more efficient and the noise in my environment is reduced by at least 70 percent. I was getting seven times more alerts to look at to get to the same results. Now my analyst can go deeper, versus having to rule out seven other things which are not useful.
Also, there were a couple of instances of insider threats where we had employee accounts compromised through phishing. Someone got an email from an email address that looked like a valid email address but it was not. It had the first name and last name correct, but the company name was misspelled. The employee clicked on it and his account was compromised. That compromised account was then used to access intellectual property in our environment. Securonix was able to detect that threat. If that data had been leaked, that would have been millions of dollars in losses for us because everything we do is our intellectual property. Securonix, with its behavior analytics, was able to detect that this account was behaving differently, that it was trying to scan all our shared folders and access a lot of documents in a very short period of time. They were all source code files and the employee whose account was compromised was not even a developer. That was one of the biggest threats it detected.
The other thing it is very good at identifying is that now, with everything in the cloud, there are no firewalls involved. People can, through social engineering, find out what your email address is and then try to guess your password and access your cloud environment. We see a lot of these brute-force types of activities in the cloud, and Securonix is able to detect a lot of those threats as well. We have some automation in place where we can block or challenge the user with additional credentials. We were able to put that in place as well, as a preventative measure, to stop our cloud environment from being compromised. That's is a big area of concern for us.
In terms of operational overhead, one of the benefits is configuration. With our previous product, the issue was that we had to figure out the use case. It was "do-it-yourself." But Securonix is providing us with packaged "apps" for insider threats or cyber threats. So now I don't have to create my own content. In addition, when we were doing this on-prem, we had to have hardware, to worry about patching the hardware. Then we had to worry about patching the operating system. Then we had to worry about patching the Securonix application. All of that, maintaining compliance, was a full-time job. Now, with SaaS, we don't need to do any of that. Securonix maintains it. The third advantage is availability. With on-prem, if you have a network issue, you tend to lose the data for that period of time. With the cloud solution, we have SLAs with Securonix for 99.9 percent uptime. That means I don't have to worry about an outage in the data center or a loss of data. I can hold the vendor accountable for that. So another overhead that I don't need to worry about is disaster-recovery planning for my implementation internally. That is something that the vendor takes care of and I can just focus on monitoring the SLAs that I have with them.