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Founded in 1960, Technology Credit Union (Tech CU) is among the top 1% of the nation’s largest credit unions with nine full service branches in the Silicon Valley. The San Jose-based credit union prides itself on providing a combination of high levels of member service and cutting edge technology. With more than $1.3 billion in assets and still growing, Tech CU is a leader in the Silicon Valley. So it is no wonder that when their IT Department needed a comprehensive log management and analysis software package that they would turn to the industry leader in this field: Boulder, CO-based LogRhythm.
Every credit union’s IT infrastructure is overflowing with log files generated by: servers, workstations, routers, switches and firewalls. It is virtually impossible for any IT Department to effectively monitor these important log files manually. Dean Davis, AVP of Network Operations at Tech CU, explains that “it was a real challenge for us to monitor our 100+ servers. It took up a lot of our network administrator’s valuable time.” Dean was determined to improve this situation and set out to find a solution that was both powerful and affordable. He recalls performing “six to eight months worth of research and due diligence on a handful of vendors.” Dean and his team called technical support lines, talked with other credit unions, and went on site visits in their efforts to find the right system.
With over twelve years of IT experience, including time as professor of Information Systems, Dean knew how important it was to carry out a very thorough investigation into a system that would touch all of his file, print and Web servers. “We wanted to make sure that we would be using a package that would allow us to not only save time and labor, but permit us to use industry best practices,” says Dean. He also tapped into the knowledge, opinions and real world experience of the three network admins that were working for him. He notes that “they were going to use it on a daily basis and I really wanted them to be comfortable with our choice.” According to Dean, the final decision was made to go with LogRhythm because “we recognized the potential of their solution to meet all our needs for both log and security event management.”
While Dean admits that there was work involved in rolling the system out to his one hundred+ servers, once that task was accomplished he and his staff now enjoy a platform that is much faster and far less labor intensive than what they were doing before with scripts and manual efforts. Another big fan of the system: internal and external auditors. Dean confirms that “there was a fairly big push from the auditors for us to pay closer attention to log files for compliance and security reasons.” Dean especially likes many of the standardized reports that LogRhythm includes in their system because they are quite helpful in documenting his systems’ security posture to auditors. Not only do log files contain valuable insights and warnings about security and audit issues, but they also can play a key role in maintaining network availability and deliver an in-depth view into the overall health of the credit union’s network.
Another key feature that LogRhythm provides that is unique in the industry is the ability to encrypt transmissions across the network. Dean explains that “this feature is very important to us because we are committed to protecting private member data at all times.” Tech CU can now securely and easily collect, search, analyze, archive and retrieve their server log data - automatically. Plus technical support is just a phone call away, and Dean describes it as being “very prompt and helpful. We also appreciate that they listen to our requests and ‘wish list’ items and incorporate them into their software.” At the end of the day, Dean says that “we have a very close relationship with LogRhythm and their executive team, and we really like the functionality of their system.”
“Most people in IT are concerned that new products will increase their workload. In fact, the LogRhythm solution has significantly decreased the amount of time and effort my IT team spends on log management,” said Dean. “This gives us more time to spend on other IT support issues.”