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Expel

Customer story

Venture capital firm gets “peace of mind” with
Expel’s 24x7 managed detection and response
service

Support for multiple products gives Scale Venture Partners the flexibility to use the security signals that best meet business needs

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The company

Scale Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that invests primarily in early-in-revenue technology companies with a focus on internet, cloud computing, software-as-a-service and mobile products. The firm was founded in 2000 and is based in Foster City, California.

There’s real value to the investment Expel makes in research and the intelligence they have on different tools, environments and the success rates of different types of exploits. Those insights help me advocate for new investments that make sense for our business.”
– Bob Genchi,
Vice President of IT and Security

The situation

With investments in dozens of high-tech companies, Scale Venture Partners has access to sensitive data from portfolio companies, potential future investments or other private company data. The team at Scale hired Bob Genchi as the Vice President of IT and Security to ensure critical data assets are protected as a top priority.

In his first 90 days, Bob evaluated Scale’s existing security footprint and determined that although it was already strong, there were some areas for improvement. “We felt like we needed something greater than the standard out-of-the-box tools to protect data assets, both internally and externally, and to secure our modern enterprise. We had those tools turned on but trying to sort all of the information from alerts you’re receiving can be overwhelming,” Bob said.

As Scale looked to acquire a cutting-edge platform while maintaining current staffing, Bob focused on finding innovative solutions to improve the organization’s security posture. “It was a great opportunity to take a closer look at the security tech we’d been using for a while to make sure everything was still working well for us,” Bob recalled.

Evaluating options

Bob’s team started researching solutions and his search led him to Expel. The Expel team quickly set up a trial of its service so Scale could experience it live. The Scale team was evaluating different endpoint detection and
response (EDR) providers at that time and since Expel supports multiple EDR solutions, Bob was able to do the comparison within Expel Workbench.

During the trial, the Scale team deployed a few publicly available hacks, waiting to see how Expel would handle the activity. “The attacks got picked up by Expel’s analysts, who could tell that we were running a red team/blue team exercise,” said Bob.

The Expel team also shared advice on how Scale could make themselves even more resilient to future threats. “Not only was the entire Expel team extremely knowledgeable, they also went beyond what we asked them to do. Expel looked around corners for us, giving us advice for strengthening our security posture,” remarked Bob. “That was hugely valuable for our small team that is responsible for both security and IT at the company. We simply don’t have the bandwidth to regularly conduct in-depth security research.”

Most legacy MSSPs require you to work with certain tech or purchase new tech in order to work with them. That’s not the case with Expel. I had the flexibility to select whatever tech worked best for my org as opposed to what was convenient for the provider.”
– Bob Genchi,
Vice President of IT and Security

How Expel helped

According to Bob, it was quick and easy to activate Expel’s service. He liked the fact that Expel Workbench helped him assemble his own chest of security tools.

“One major benefit of working with Expel is that I can use whatever security tools I want,” Bob said. “Most legacy MSSPs require you to work with certain tech or purchase new tech in order to work with them. That wasn’t the case with Expel. I appreciate that I had the flexibility to select whatever tech worked best for my org as opposed to what was convenient for the provider.”

Benefits

With the company’s security signals now flowing into Expel Workbench, Expel is “on the front lines,” Bob says. “I used to spend so much time sifting through false positives. That’s not the case now that we’re working with Expel.”

Bob also appreciates that Expel is helping him get more value out of Scale’s existing security tools. “The advice we get from Expel on how we can fine tune our security tools to make them work harder for us is invaluable,” Bob said. “The infosec space is constantly changing. There’s real value to the investment Expel makes in research and the intelligence they have on different tools, environments and the success rates of different types of exploits. Those insights help me advocate for new investments that make sense for our business.”

Looking ahead

Bob and his team view Expel as a true partner when it comes to their security. In addition to the 24x7 monitoring that Expel provides for Scale’s environment, Bob gets peace of mind from knowing he can talk to a real person who he knows by name when he has a question, or when he wants more details on the latest software vulnerability that’s making news headlines.

You can’t put a price tag on high-quality service and competency.”
– Bob Genchi,
Vice President of IT and Security

“Attackers are always a few steps ahead of everybody else — what do I need to know to stop them? Is another customer doing something that I haven’t thought about? Is there a security tool I have that I should be using differently? These are the kinds of questions I can ask of the Expel team and I know I’ll get informed and thorough answers.”

“You can’t put a price tag on high-quality service and competency,” Bob concluded.

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