Company profile: Vectra

Network Middle East profiles Vectra, a cybersecurity company that offers AI-based network detection and response (NDR) solution for cloud, data center and enterprise infrastructures in real time

Ammar Enaya, regional director, METNA, Vectra.
Ammar Enaya, regional director, METNA, Vectra.

What is your company’s history-including Middle East History?

Vectra was founded in San Jose, California, in late 2010, and we released our initial product in 2014. Since then, we’ve had multiple rounds of investment, the most recent being a $100M Series E in June 2019. These investments have provided the resources to drive continued research, innovation, and product development, that have served as the foundation of our rapid growth in the network detection and response (NDR) space.

We began our Middle East operations in early 2018 and since then, we have grown our partner network and customer base substantially. Today, we are helping numerous organisations across the GCC, North Africa, and Turkey, to detect and respond to cyberattacks at speed and scale.

What is your company’s core competence?

Vectra’s capabilities and strength lie in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and respond to cyberattacks in cloud, data centre and enterprise infrastructures in real-time—while empowering security analysts to perform conclusive incident investigations and AI-assisted threat hunting.

Our core team consists of threat researchers, data scientists, security engineers, and UI designers. We are passionate and committed to making a difference in a world where cybersecurity is of paramount concern.

What are some of the trends impacting your sector?

As nations and organisations in our region increasingly become digital enterprises, the protection of data, services, and infrastructure has become a high priority. The provision of local cloud services will be a core contributor to many digital transformations too. These factors are drivers that will see around US$1.9B spent on enterprise information security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this year. Security vulnerabilities plague cloud architectures, and The SANS Institute says that one out of five businesses were hit by unauthorised access to their cloud environments in the past year.

As more enterprises turn to the cloud for grander operational scale and cost efficiencies, it’s critical to address these security vulnerabilities, so businesses can innovate, free from external threats. Couple this with a significant cybersecurity human resource and skills gap, and we have a market opportunity to address strategic security challenges for our customers through automation of threat detection and response.

Discuss the latest solutions from your company and the impact you see in the market

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Vectra and its flagship Cognito threat detection and response platform enables organisations to automatically detect and respond quickly to hidden cyber attacks in the cloud, datacentre and enterprise environments.

The Cognito platform consists of Cognito Stream, Cognito Detect and Cognito Recall. Cognito Stream delivers network metadata enriched with security insights in Zeek (formally Bro) format to data lakes and security information and event management (SIEM) applications without the complexity, constant tuning and scale limitation of the open-source Zeek platform.

Cognito Recall is an investigative workbench that enables AI-assisted threat hunting and conclusive incident investigations while Cognito Detect automates the real-time detection of hidden attackers from cloud and data centre workloads to user and internet-of-things (IoT) devices.

The genesis of the Cognito platform is based on a simple principle for finding hidden threats - use an authoritative source of data and seek out the fundamental threat behaviours that cybercriminals can’t avoid when they carry out an attack. To do this, the Cognito platform relies on the only source of truth during a cyberattack – infrastructure traffic. Only traffic in cloud, data centre and enterprise environments reveals the truth with fidelity and independence. Low-fidelity perimeter security only shows what you’ve already seen, not the hidden attacks that were missed.

The Cognito platform delivers a more efficient way of analysing infrastructure traffic at scale. Instead of traditional payload inspection, it uses AI, machine learning and behavioural traffic analysis to expose the fundamental behaviours of attackers as they spy, spread, and steal – even in encrypted traffic.

What is your presence in the Middle East?

We’re active across the GCC, North Africa and up into Turkey. We have a growing number of client engagement managers, consulting engineers, customer success professionals, and channel partner managers. The region also has dedicated sales development resources, marketing, and 24/7 support. Our reach is further extended by our distributors and value-added resellers who provide system integrations and additional security services.

Describe some of your biggest successes in the region.

We have secured some of Vectra’s largest deployments from clients in our area. We’ve quickly established Vectra as a leader in our particular security market segment. That recognition has also been validated by our network of channel partners who have recognised the value our Cognito NDR platform provides for them and their customers.

What are your regional goals for the rest of the year and beyond?

Vectra is rapidly expanding in the region, and I have and confidence that this growth will continue in our region.

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