Darktrace Review

A 10/10 solution with an awesome interface, good stability and scalability, flexible pricing, and good support

What is our primary use case?

We deployed Darktrace for one of the biggest telecommunications companies in Latin America. It is deployed on-premise, but it is more like a service because we don't care about the appliances. Even though it works with appliances, it is more related to the services to the connections that the solution can handle. Because of that, it is on-premise, but it also has a component with sensors that works for remote instances, almost like a cloud solution. 

Some of the clients, especially in the security area, think that this appliance will replace a firewall or a prevention system solution, but it doesn't replace them. It actually complements them because the firewall decides to allow or deny a connection, and a prevention system is designed to avoid any type of risks to the connection or intrusion on the network. Darktrace allows you to find the unknown threats inside the network and identify them by using some artificial intelligence. It can do all the tracking inside or outside the network.

It is connected directly to the core switch, and in the first stage, it probably takes about a month to learn the behavior of the network and the users. With that, it starts to know what type of information is correct inside the network, and what type of information probably would be a risky connection or risky data moving from one site to another. It then starts doing the alerting. After the first stage or the learning stage is complete, we can find the size of the network. The second stage is the use of a different model inside the solution called Antigena. It works like the antibodies inside our body. Once it detects something that is wrong inside the network, it not only does the alerting but also takes the decision to block that type of connection in order to avoid any information leak or any possible risky connection. If somebody is doing some data mining, it disables connection to the engine that is doing the data mining.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been giving results not only to the security or compliance area inside of a company but also to the legal department. If someone is doing something wrong in terms of compliance, they can take directly take action against the person or group doing that.

We also give results to the infrastructure people and the network people. Based on our experience, most of the customers don't really know the size of their network. With this type of solution, we can know the complete network. We can know the real size, and how many resources are connected to the network and the internet. For example, one customer said to us, "I only have 18,000 connections on the network." We did the sizing with 18,000, and when we started the deployment, this customer had one thousand and twenty hundred connections. They didn't realize that until we arrived.

What is most valuable?

It is very easy to work with Darktrace once you know how it works and the type of permissions that you need to get related to the security over a network. The interface is awesome. I'm sure that you have seen Ironman, and you know Jarvis, the computer of Tony Stark. The interface of Darktrace is very similar, and you can see in 3D, like a hologram, the whole network, traffic, and all the traces inside the network. The interface is awesome, and it provides a lot of information. At least for us, it is very easy to handle this interface, get the reports, and do the interpretation of those reports.

Darktrace also provides mobile monitoring. With an app on your mobile phone, you can view the information live, which is very useful for area directors and field engineers. Darktrace can be also correlated with any type of big data solution, such as Splunk.

What needs improvement?

It would be good if they can include some endpoint protection for remote workers. Nowadays, most people are working remotely. Therefore, they should include some type of sensors that can be installed on the endpoint in order to directly report the main usage and protect remotely. Phone protection will also be a great feature to add to Darktrace.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Darktrace for at least four years. I recommend and sell it to customers. A long time ago, I used to be a technical guy. Now I am on the sales side. Our technical crew and sales crew are certified for this solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the past four years, I have only seen two crashes in two appliances. That was because the customer sent more traffic than what the solution or that specific appliance could handle. It was solved by using another appliance to do the appropriate balancing. The second crash was because it was a human error and somebody by mistake disconnected the cable and connected it to a different interface.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very easy to scale. When you need more appliances to support the infrastructure, you can use them as LEGOS. In order to place them, the only thing that you need to have is a rack, and you can start connecting them to the switch, and that's it. Once that you have it on the main console, you just assign the role to every single appliance, and that's it.

We're very focused on big companies, but we also have medium customers. The reason why we don't sell it to the small companies is that this type of solution is very expensive for them to finance. So, probably the assets that they have are very important, but based on the budget that small companies have in Latin America, they cannot afford a solution like this.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support that we have in Latin America is very good. It is a very good company to work with. They have offices here. I would rate them a ten out of ten.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy. The setup of the solution takes probably half an hour. The only thing that we need to place Darktrace on a customer site is a connection on the core switch with a mirror port. We need to have some space on the rack, and then we connect the appliance to the core switch, and that's it. We go back to the customer a week later to see what Darktrace is catching and start sharing with the customer our discovery inside the network.

The biggest deployment that we have done took about two months, but it was in 26 different sites. The main challenge was the transport. We had to take care of all the logistics to transport all the appliances and find the appropriate time to run all the appliances because most of the customers do not allow to rack them at any time. Therefore, it needs to be done at midnight when almost nobody is using the network. That was our main challenge, but it is very easy to set up.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is very flexible for Darktrace. Sometimes, a customer does not have the appropriate budget, but Darktrace can handle that. They offer monthly payments, so the customer can acquire the solution very easily.

What other advice do I have?

Over the past years, I have seen some customers say, "No, I have Endpoint protection. I have intrusion prevention. I have a firewall. I don't need anything like that." My advice is that first of all, open your mind to new solutions because this type of solution will catch everything that the rest of the solutions that you have won't catch. That's the first thing. The second thing is that do not limit the work of the people who work with Darktrace by saying that you know your network because we can assure you that you don't know your network and the threats that are inside and outside the network and the size of the network.

We always start with Darktrace Enterprise Immune System, which is the first model. The reason for this is that it is easier to adopt the Antigena model at the second stage because the solution by itself needs to learn inside of the network and what is good and what is bad. When we place Antigena, the deployment stages are exactly the same as when you first deploy the Enterprise Immune System in order to let it learn. After the solution starts learning, it will take at least a couple of months or probably three months to deploy Antigena. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to make customers spend more money on a solution in the initial stages and go for a solution that they would not be using initially. This also provides the appropriate sizing of the network. Most of the time, the customer needs to acquire more services from us in order to support all the infrastructure that they have.

I would rate Darktrace a ten out of ten. I am a very happy user and a happy seller of Darktrace.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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