Most Helpful Review
Gives us the capabilities of a Tier 4 analyst without hiring one; at a glance we can see what's happening in our...
Find out what your peers are saying about Awake Security Platform vs. Plixer Scrutinizer and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
406,607 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
The solution's ability to reduce alerts, by rolling up numerous alerts to create a single incident or campaign, helps in that it collapses all the events to a particular host, or a particular detection to a set of hosts. So it doesn't generate too many alerts. By and large, whatever alerts it generates are actionable, and actionable within the day.
One of the most valuable features of the platform is its ability to provide you with aggregated risk scores based on impact and certainty of threats being detected. This is both applied to individual and host detections. This is important because it enables us to use this platform to prioritize the most likely imminent threats. So, it reduces alert fatigue follow ups for security operation center analysts. It also provides us with an ability to prioritize limited resources.
It is doing some artificial intelligence. If it sees a server doing a lot of things, then it will assume that is normal. So, it is looking for anomalous behavior, things that are out of context which helps us reduce time. Therefore, we don't have to look in all the logs. We just wait for Vectra to say, "This one is behaving strange," then we can investigate that part.
One of the key advantages for us is we define a 24/7 service around it. We use far more of Vectra alerts than we do with our SIEM product because we understand that when we get an alert from Vectra we actually need to do something about it.
This solution’s encrypted traffic analysis helps us stay in compliance with government regulations. It is all about understanding data exfiltration, what is ingressing and egressing in our network. One common attack vector is exfiltrating data using encryption. My capabilities to see potential data exfiltration over encrypted traffic is second to none now.
Other solutions will say, "Hey, this device is doing something weird." But they don't aggregate that data point with other data points. With Awake you have what's called a "fact pattern." For example, if there's a smart toaster on the third floor that is beaconing out to an IP address in North Korea, sure that's bizarre. But if that toaster was made in North Korea it's not bizarre. Taking those two data points together, and automating something using machine-learning is something that no other solution is doing right now.
The query language makes it easy to query the records on the network, to do searches for the various threat activities that we're looking for. The dashboard, the Security Knowledge Graph, displays information meaningfully and easily. I am able to find the information that I want to find pretty quickly.
The most valuable feature is the ability to see suspicious activity for devices inside my network. It helps me to quickly identify that activity and do analysis to see if it's expected or I need to mitigate that activity quickly.
It helps us determine what is going on with our Internet and who is hogging it all up. If we get a real high throughput or a throughput that's going over and getting dropped fairly quickly, we can tell who (or what device) is consuming that traffic.
Visualization of the network traffic is the most valuable feature. It allows you to drill into information quite quickly.
The solution helps to enrich the data context of our network traffic. It allows me to see what applications are most in use on a slightly historical basis, going back a day or week at tops. It allows me to tune QoS or traffic shaping around what's being used. It saves me from having to unnecessarily upgrade, if I don't need to.
We have had many requests to understand in the network which devices are connected to others. Most people don't have this information or are able to establish a map of data flow everywhere around the network. Scrutinizer can really help with this. We are using it to understand who is talking to what, how, and which protocols can help us to improve security and analyze flow.
It shows us the saturation of the network of devices. It gives us a clear view of the flows in the network to understand, for instance, planning upgrades in the network to get an idea of what's going on the network on traffic flows. It gives us insight, for instance, on what's going on on our VPN Client. There are a lot of things where it provides very helpful information. It also gives us our security reports with quite detailed information on what's going on in the network, and whether there are data exfiltrations and so on.
As a network engineer, the ability to identify what traffic on the link is consuming all the bandwidth at any given time, and provide immediate feedback to the business, is the most valuable feature.
The reporting and generating troubleshooting reports would be the best feature; our host-to-host conversation reporting.
It's agnostic as far as what your network gear is. As long as it supports an sFlow, JFlow, NetFlow, some kind of flow monitoring, Plixer will support it very well.
One thing which I have found where there could be improvement is with regard to the architecture, a little bit: how the brains and sensors function. It needs more flexibility with regard to the brain. If there were some flexibility in that regard, that would be helpful, because changing the mode of the brain is complex. In some cases, the change is permanent. You cannot revert it.
You are always limited with visibility on the host due to the fact that it is a network based tool. It gives you visibility on certain elements of the attack path, but it doesn't necessarily give you visibility on everything. Specifically, the initial intrusion side of things that doesn't necessarily see the initial compromise. It doesn't see stuff that goes on the host, such as where scripts are run. Even though you are seeing traffic, it doesn't necessarily see the malicious payload. Therefore, it's very difficult for it to identify these type of host-driven complex attacks.
We would like to see more information with the syslogs. The syslogs that they send to our SIEM are a bit short compared to what you can see. It would be helpful if they send us more data that we can incorporate into our SIEM, then can correlate with other events.
The solution has not reduced the security analyst workload in our organization because we still need to SIEM. Unfortunately, while Vectra, for us, is a brilliant tool for network investigations, giving wonderful visibility, it doesn't go the whole way to replace our SIEM that is needed for compliance. So, I still have the same amount of alerting and logging that I did before. It gives us more defined ability to see incidents, but it doesn't give us enough information to satisfy a PCI or 27001 audit.
I would like to see the capability to import what's known as STIX/TAXII in an IOC format. It currently doesn't offer this.
I would like to see a bit more in terms of encrypted traffic. With the advent of programs that live off the land, a smart attacker is going to leverage encryption to execute their operation. So I would like to see improvements there, where possible. Currently, we're not going to be decrypting encrypted traffic. What other approaches could be used?
I enjoy the query language, but it could be a bit more user-friendly, especially for new users who come across it... They should push it more into a natural language style as opposed to a query language.
There's room for improvement with some of the definitions, because I don't have time and I'm not a Tier 4 analyst. I believe that is something they're working towards.
I wish the reporting side was easier to work with, but it does a decent job. I also wish the reporting side was a little more intuitive or they offered more reporting examples.
It would be useful if there was a way to back up the configuration information. E.g., if you wanted to deploy a new instance or disaster recovery, you could quite easily deploy and restore the config, as opposed to having to restore all the NetFlow data. If there was just a button that said "backup config information", that would be good.
The visual acuity of how it presents data can sometimes be confusing. It takes a bit for people to spin up how to look at the graphs.
For updating the Scrutinizer platform, when we have the actual data, it never happens in one day. Every time we have the data, we are obliged to install a new server in order to integrate the old data, and every time it has a problem. Most of the time, we were obliged to scrap all the data because we couldn't transfer it to the new server. So, it would be very good if they could improve this part.
Data retention needs improvement. Data retention is a thing where we are looking for a better way to collect flow data for a longer time to do forensic research on security incidents. By default, data retention is quite low. We need detailed data in safe storage for a longer time, e.g., for a couple of months. An improvement would be a way to export data into a secure long-term storage.
There is room for improvement around the data that they have on the website about solutions... they should have more templated solutions on their website. Going out and identifying how to do RTP performance with a Cisco router, or how to do application response times in an Arrista data center deployment was where most of the work was... They should spend some more time documenting solutions and putting together white papers.
Knowing that they're coming out with a new user interface, that is an area where there is room for improvement. There are so many variables. They should limit the variables in the user interface and create some classes, like "simple," "novice," and "expert" to narrow down the variables within it.
They're working on the security areas, so it can provide more insight. What they have is still pretty much IP-concentric. If they were to make it IP and URL, they'd be a little bit ahead on that.
Pricing and Cost Advice
We have a desire to increase our use. However, it all comes down to budget. It's a very expensive tool that is very difficult to prove business support for. We would like to have two separate networks. We have our corporate network and PCI network, which is segregated due to payment processing. We don't have it for deployed in the PCI network. It would be good to have it fully deployed there to provide us with additional monitoring and control, but the cost associated with their licensing model makes it prohibitively expensive to deploy.
At the time of purchase, we found the pricing acceptable. We had an urgency to get something in place because we had a minor breach that occurred at the tail end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017. This indicated we had a lack of ability to detect things on the network. Hence, why we moved quickly to get into the tool in place. We found things like Bitcoin mining and botnets which we closed quickly. In that regard, it was worth the money.
The license is based on the concurrent IP addresses that it's investigating. We are around $300,000 a year for three years. We have 9,800 to 10,000 IP addresses.
There are additional features that can be purchased in addition to the standard licensing fee, such as Cognito Recall and Stream.
We are running at about 90,000 pounds per year. The solution is a licensed cost. The hardware that they gave us was pretty much next to nothing. It is the license that we're paying for.
The solution has saved thousands of dollars within the first day. Our ROI has to be in the tens of thousands of dollars since October last year.
There are no extra costs. It's about $8,000 a year. The bang for the buck (cost) is definitely a plus.
We have increased the license over time. We have added more licenses as the network has grown.
There is a recurring maintenance fee after the initial purchase or if we want the license upgrade.
The license is per device. We have 50 devices.
We just renewed. The pricing is 5,000 euro per year. This is the final price. All tax (20 percent) is included.
We recently bought a license upgrade, so we will integrate more exporters. We upgraded from a 25 exporter license to a 50 exporter license. Therefore, there will be more flows, and this will be an extension. I don't know when we will purchase a faster server, because the server that we have is quite new.
It's about €10,000 a year for initial license and yearly maintenance costs. In addition, the hardware costs are about €10,000 once every five years.
We pay our one-off cost for the licenses, per device, in blocks of 50. And then we pay an annual maintenance fee of about $15,000 Australian, which is, at this point in time, about $9,000 US, for those 250 devices. The upfront costs for the 250-license use, were about $50,000 Australian, which is about $32,000 US.
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Also Known As
|Vectra AI||Awake Security||Plixer|
Vectra® is the leader in network detection and response – from cloud and data center workloads to user and IoT devices. Its Cognito® platform accelerates threat detection and investigation using artificial intelligence to collect, store and enrich network metadata with the right context to detect, hunt and investigate known and unknown threats in real time. Vectra offers three applications on the Cognito platform to address high-priority use cases. Cognito Stream™ sends security-enriched metadata to data lakes and SIEMs. Cognito Recall™ is a cloud-based application to store and investigate threats in enriched metadata. And Cognito Detect™ uses AI to reveal and prioritize hidden and unknown attackers at speed.
Awake Security is the only advanced network traffic analysis company that delivers a privacy-aware solution capable of detecting and visualizing behavioral, mal-intent and compliance incidents with full forensics context. Powered by Ava, Awake’s security expert system, the Awake Security Platform combines federated machine learning, threat intelligence and human expertise. The platform analyzes billions of communications to autonomously discover, profile and classify every device, user and application on any network. Through automated hunting and investigation, Awake uncovers malicious intent from insiders and external attackers alike. The company is ranked #1 for time to value because of its frictionless approach that delivers answers rather than alerts.
The Scrutinizer incident response system leverages network traffic analytics to provide active monitoring, visualization, and reporting of network and security incidents. The system quickly delivers the rich forensic data needed by IT professionals to support fast and efficient incident response.
Learn more about Vectra AI
Identify hidden network threats
Learn more about Plixer Scrutinizer
|Tribune Media Group, Barry University, Aruba Networks, Good Technology, Riverbed, Santa Clara University, Securities Exchange, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association||Coming Soon...||Oxford Networks, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, UltiSat, Wipro, West Aurora School District 129, SUNY Geneseo College, Bloomington Public Schools, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, Kitsap Credit Union, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Houston Texas, Carilion Clinic, Banner Health, IDEXX Laboratories, Phibro Animal Health Corporation, Goodwill Industries, Parmalat, Armstrong Coal Company, Flybe, James Walker|
Comms Service Provider24%
Software R&D Company21%
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Financial Services Firm29%
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