Monday, 6th July 2020

ED&F Man transforms threat detection and investigation

Commodities trader finds the sweet spot to expose hidden attackers, spot privilege misuse and perform conclusive incident investigations.

ED&F Man selected the Cognito network detection and response platform from Vectra to expose attackers hidden inside its network, spot privilege misuse and perform conclusive incident investigations. A $10 billion company, ED&F Man trades sugar, coffee, molasses, and animal feed and helps customers and suppliers hedge commodity pricing risk.

When a non-data loss security incident served as a wake-up call to the ferocity of today’s cyberattacks, ED&F Man undertook a complete security transformation. It created a security operations center (SOC) triad to gain broad visibility into threat history and significantly reduce the chance that attackers could operate on its network long enough to accomplish their goals. The SOC visibility triad consists of integrated network detection and response, endpoint detection and response, and security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

“Cognito was key in our journey,” says Carmelo Gallo, cybersecurity manager at ED&F Man. “We started with the network because Cognito is easy to install and we get immediate visibility into attacker behaviours that hide in traffic.”

The Cognito platform collects and stores the right network metadata and enriches it with unique security insights. A cornerstone of the Cognito platform, Cognito Detect uses that security-enriched metadata and sophisticated machine learning techniques to detect and prioritise attacks in real time. ED&F also uses Cognito Recall for AI-assisted threat hunting.

With privileged accounts a common entry point for cyberattackers, ED&F Man uses the Cognito suite of Privileged Access Analytics (PAA) detection models to monitor the interactions between user accounts, services and hosts.

“Privileged Access Analytics gives me continuous visibility into the accounts, services and hosts that are most valuable to me,” continued Gallo. “We can easily scrutinise the behaviors on each to see if they represent a significant risk to our organisation.”

With the ability to quickly detect threats and protect the global enterprise, the security team has turned the perception of IT security as a business obstacle into that of a business enabler. “The business has faith that we’re delivering against our objectives,” says Gallo.

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