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    Avant Masters a Rapidly Expanding IT Environment With Axonius


    550+ Employees
    Key Challenges

    Using manual processes to maintain visibility across their IT environment — despite rapid growth spanning a wide array of services, systems, and assets.

    With Axonius, Avant centralized and enhanced its IT data, revealing security gaps (like endpoints missing coverage) and decreasing incident response time. The company was also able to increase and automate policy enforcement.

    Avant enables middle-income borrowers by closing gaps in traditional loan processing services. Their advanced technological solutions provide more context into a borrower’s qualification level than just FICO scores, unlocking access to loan products and even credit cards.

    Seeking Efficient Visibility During Explosive Growth

    Rapid company growth brings operational challenges — particularly when systems crucial for daily operations proliferate at the same rate. Avant’s security team struggled to gain visibility into a mountain of services and IT assets, dependent on an IT team that was stretched thin maintaining all those systems.

    As a result, the information security team met various roadblocks, from limited portal access, to incomplete asset inventories. Gathering accurate data required “swivel-charing” — bouncing between numerous sources. Yet the team lacked insight into where the gaps in their inventory and processes were.

    This disconnect put significant strain on their workflows. Jared Gray, senior manager of security operations at Avant, noted his team was “spending way too much time... gathering information, [and] understanding host information and user information.”

    Security engineer Andrea Youwakim expanded on those challenges. “When we were launching an incident response investigation, [...] we had to look in all of these different places to try and pull a user profile on who was involved in exactly what had happened.”

    Actions like policy enforcement similarly suffered from a data-poor, manual approach. The team quickly realized that their existing manual processes couldn’t keep up.

    Radical Visibility With Axonius

    For Gray, the Axonius platform offered “a modular approach to inventory visibility,” backed by unparalleled flexibility and service.

    Axonius stood out because of its immediate value-add. “All the adapters came out of the box, and we were able to quickly get a good idea of what our user base looks like, what our user profiles look like, what our [...] inventory looks like, without being so dependent upon other solutions and the upkeep of traditional inventory systems.”

    Avant’s team also chose the Axonius system because of its robust customer support.

    Gray noted that with competitors, “you go through POCs [proofs of concept], you have excellent support. Then you buy the products, and it starts to phase out a little bit.” However, “Axonius has been fantastic with support levels, training, and touchpoints — and that’s one of my favorite things about it.”

    "I’ve been able to accomplish more robust investigations and gain more security knowledge without having to try nearly as hard."

    Andrea Youwakim, Security Engineers, Avant

    Centralizing IT Data for Better, Quicker Results

    The immediate value that Axonius brought to the Avant team was simple: centralized, accurate, and comprehensive data on their environment.

    Gray noted that, with Axonius, it takes less time to gather information because his team no longer has to go into individual systems to pull data. “Everything is just right there. It’s customizable. The query language is easy and the Query Wizard is easy.”

    This means day-to-day process improvements for analysts like Youwakim. “I know if I’m launching an investigation and I’ve got to find information on an endpoint, or an asset, or a user as fast as possible, I only have to look in one place — and that’s on my dashboard.”

    For Youwakim, the biggest advantage is that the team’s core workflows run smoother. “Axonius really enabled us to conduct a fully robust investigation, quite literally in one place. It’s incredibly easy to build a user profile when an investigation comes up — and that means investigation across any board, whether that be incident response or vulnerability management. I think that very few solutions are able to provide something like that.”

    Expanding the Team’s Capabilities With Automation

    Avant has also leveraged the Axonius enforcement center to enhance security controls. Using that centralized hub of information, analysts can see which assets are violating policies or missing agents. They then use the center to generate a response, automate execution, and monitor reporting in near real-time.

    The platform allows the team to be more comprehensive and confident in their security activities. “Because of these capabilities that Axonius has given the team, we can not only conduct more investigations and protect more of our endpoints, but also get a deeper view into [assets missing security solutions].... Axonius gives an incredibly easy way to track those,” shared Youwakim.

    Building Security Posture Around Axonius

    With the clean data and simple execution enabled by Axonius, the Avant team has built an efficient, scalable security system that handles the demands of their growing environment. The platform provides immediate, tangible value across workflows, and delivers unprecedented control through “clean and granular API work ... and an extremely easy integration,” according to Youwakim.

    At the same time, Gray’s team has carried the benefits of Axonius into unexpected areas, including compliance and PCI requirements, audit workflows, and more.

    “Working with the team at Axonius has been fantastic,” Gray emphasized. “They’ve been more than supportive every time we’ve come for a custom adaptor to be enabled, or just questions, or to go over certain topics. They’re fantastic. Very responsive.”

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