IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

Vectra AI Valuable Features

Operational Security Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

The most valuable feature for Cognito Detect, the main solution, is that external IDS's create a lot of alerts. When I say a lot of alerts I really mean a lot of alerts. Vectra, on the other hand, contextualizes everything, reducing the number of alerts and pinpointing only the things of interest. This is a key feature for me. Because of this, a non-trained analyst can use it almost right away.

It's very efficient. It can correlate multiple sources of alerts and process them through specific modules. For example, it has some specific patterns to detect data exfiltration and it can pinpoint, in a single area, which stations have exfiltrated data, have gathered data, and from which server at which time frame and with which account. It indicates which server the data is sent to, which websites, and when. It's very effective at concentrating and consolidating all the information. If, at one point in time, multiple workstations are reaching some specific website and it seems to be suspicious, it can also create detection campaigns with all the linked assets. Within a single alert you can see all the things that are linked to the alert: the domains, the workstation involved, the IPs, the subnets, and whatever information you might need.

The key feature for me for Detect for Office 365 is that it can also concentrate all the information and detection at one point, the same as the network solution does. This is the key feature for me because, while accessing data from Office 365 is possible using Microsoft interfaces, they are not really user-friendly and are quite confusing to use. But Detect for Office 365 is aggregating all the info, and it's only the interesting stuff.

We are still in the process of deploying the features of Detect for Office 365, but currently it helps us see mailboxes' configurations. For example, the boss of the company had his mailbox reconfigured by an employee who added some other people with the right to send emails on his behalf, and it was a misconfiguration. The solution was able to pinpoint it. Without it, we would never have been able to see that. The eDiscovery can track down all the accesses and it even helped us to open an incident at Microsoft because some discoveries were made by an employee that were not present in the eDiscovery console on the protection portal from Office 365. That was pinpointed by Vectra. After asking the user, he showed that he was doing some stuff without having the proper rights to do so. We were able to mitigate this bit of risk.

It also correlates behaviors in our network and data centers with behaviors we see in our cloud environment. When we first deployed Vectra, I wanted to cross-check the behavioral detection. After cross-checking everything, I saw that everything was quite relevant. On the behavioral side, the Office 365 module can alert us if an employee is trying to authenticate using non-standard authentication methods, such as validating an SMS as a second factor or authenticating on the VPN instead of the standard way. The behavioral model is quite efficient and quite well deployed.

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Operations Manager at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees

An attractive thing about Vectra AI is the AI component that it has over the top of the detections. It will run intelligence over detections coming across in our environment and contextualize them a bit and filter them before raising them as something that the IT team or SOC need to address. 

While the device itself is deployed on-prem, the hybrid nature of what it can monitor is important to us.

Its ability to group detections for us in an easier way to better identify and investigate is beneficial. It also provides detailed descriptions on the detection, which reduces our research time into what the incident is. 

There are also some beneficial features around integration with existing products, like EDR, Active Directory, etc., where we can get some hooks to use the Vectra product to isolate devices when threats are found.

On a scale of good to bad, Vectra AI is good at having the ability to reduce alerts by rolling up numerous alerts to create a single incident or campaign for investigation. My frame of reference is another product that we had beforehand, which wasn't very good at this side of things. Vectra AI has been a good improvement in this space. In our pretty short time with it so far, Vectra AI has done a lot to reduce the noise and combine multiple detections into more singular or aggregated alerts that we can then investigate with a bit more context. It has been very good for us.

There is a level of automation that takes place where we don't have to write as many rules or be very specific around filtering data. It starts to learn, adapt, and automate some of the information coming in. It works by exception, which is really good. Initially, you get a little bit more noise, but once it understands what is normal in your environment, some of the detections are based on whether an action or activity is more than usual. It will then raise it. Initially, you are getting everything because everything is more than nothing, but now we are not getting much of that anymore because the baseline has been raised for what it would expect to see on the network.

We use the solution’s Privileged Account Analytics for detecting issues with privileged accounts. Privileged accounts are one of the biggest attack vectors that we can protect ourselves against. This is one of the few solutions that gives you true insight into where some of those privileged accounts are being used and when they are being used in an exceptional way.

We have found that Vectra AI captures network metadata at scale and enriches it with security information. We have seen that data enriched with integrations has been available and implemented. This comes back to the integration of our EDR solution. It is enriching its detection with existing products from our EDR suite, and probably some other integrations around AWS and Azure. In the future, we will see that improve even further. 

One of the core features is that Vectra AI triages threats and correlates them with compromised host devices. From a visibility perspective, we can better track the threat across the network. Instead of us potentially finding one device that has been impacted without Vectra AI, it will give us the visibility of everywhere that threat went. Therefore, visibility has increased for us.

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Senior Security Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

It does a reliable job of parsing out the logs of all the network traffic so that we can ingest them into our SIEM and utilize them for threat hunting and case investigations. It is pretty robust and reliable. The administration time that we spend maintaining it or troubleshooting it is very low. So, the labor hour overhead is probably our largest benefit from it. We spend 99% of our time in Vectra investigating cases, responding to incidents, or hunting, and only around 1% of our time is spent patching, troubleshooting, or doing anything else. That's our largest benefit from Vectra.

We've got machine learning and AI detections, but we also have the traditional ability to create our own custom detections and rules that are important to us for compliance. When we were demoing other vendors, a large number of vendors let you make your own rules, but they don't provide their own rules and ML and AI rule engine, or they provide AI and ML, but they don't allow you to make your own rules. Vectra is very nice in that sense. We have detection rules that Vectra provides that are very common to the security industry, such as whenever there's a major event like the SolarWinds event. Those rules get built and deployed for us really quickly. We can manage our own, but then we also have the ML and the AI engine. We really like that. It is one of the few platforms that we've found to be supporting all three options.

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Buyer's Guide
Vectra AI
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about Vectra AI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
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Project Manager at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees

The hosts are critical hosts, which are really good when used to look up things as fast as you can because these could be very risky situations. Furthermore, within detections, we try to clean up a lot of things that are low in priority. It is same thing for the accounts within Office 365: Everything that is critical has to be solved as fast as possible.

The triaging is very interesting because we can do more with less work. We have more visibility, without too many false positives. It is a work in process because there are a lot of clients in the network, and everything has to be researched to see if it is valid, but most alerts and detections are solved with a bit of triaging.

The interface is very intuitive and easy to use. It gives a good overview, and it is important to understand what is happening on the network.

The integration within our virtualization infrastructure allows us to see the traffic that is going between virtual machines, even within our host. That gives us a lot more insights.

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Head of IT Security, Acting CISO at a retailer with 10,001+ employees

Cognito Streams gives you a detailed view of what happens in the network in the form of rich metadata. It is just a super easy way to capture network traffic for important protocols, giving us an advantage. This is very helpful on a day-to-day basis. 

The Office 365 detection is a great add-on. It will not only see the local traffic, i.e., the local user but also how the user is connecting to the cloud. If communication has been initiated within our network, we would capture anomalies with on-premises mechanisms. If it is a connection from the Internet to O365 SaaS services, we gain visibility through the Vectra add-on. It depends where the communication was started, but we do have a good, complete picture in a single view.

Vectra AI is really focusing on the most critical, severe detections. That is the key point of this platform for us. It gives you enough details and data, if you need it. However, for daily operations, we are just getting the priority 1 alerts that we need, and nothing more.

We use the solution’s Privileged Account Analytics for detecting issues with privileged accounts. This is important to our organization because you need to monitor and control privileged accounts.

The detection model and correlation of events, e.g., you are only having one priority event a day, go hand in hand. They have awesome detection models and very good algorithms. Out-of-the-box, you get a decent severity matrix and great consolidation. This is what has made this platform so usable to us over the last three to four years. We can rely on these detections and on its event generating mechanism that clearly focuses on the most important priority one cases.

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Mark Davies - PeerSpot reviewer
Security Operations Specialist at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The dashboard gives us a scoring system that allows prioritization of detections that need attention. We may not necessarily be so concerned about any single detection type, or event, but when we see any botnet detections or a brute force attack detections, we really want to get on top of those. 

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Head of Information Security at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees

The administrative privilege detection feature is the most valuable feature. The admin accounts are often highly accessible to the high-risk component of the environment. If those accounts are compromised or are being used in a suspicious manner, those are high-fidelity events for us to look into.

Its ability to reduce alerts by rolling up numerous alerts to create a single incident or campaign for investigation is very useful. Given that we are not a dedicated SOC environment, having to trawl through several false positives is not something that we have the capacity for.

Cognito theoretically provides us with visibility into behaviors across the full lifecycle of an attack in our network beyond just the internet gateway. It has not been fully tested. But hypothetically it would give us full visibility into your attack chain.

We use privileged account analytics for detecting issues with privileged accounts.

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Security Center Coordinator at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees

It works over the hours when an analyst is not available, so the work keeps going. It can help you prioritize certain traffic patterns and things that you need to handle.

It is a good system that goes hand in hand for both junior and senior analysts. I see it as a nice add-on there.

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Buyer's Guide
Vectra AI
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about Vectra AI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
622,063 professionals have used our research since 2012.