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ReliaQuest GreyMatter: A Sure Bet On Security For Hard Rock International

With a massive global presence, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally recognized brands. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, memorable dining experiences, Hard Rock Live performance venues and more.


Securing an Expanding Organization

In August of 2019, Hard Rock International was preparing to embark on a multiyear digital transformation and cloud migration journey when Mike Novak joined the organization as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Vice President of Information Security, Compliance, and Data Protection. Due to the challenges that came with securing a globally distributed workforce (270+ locations across 76 countries), Novak sought out a solution that would help accelerate his team’s ability to detect and respond to threats, improve efficiencies across investigation workflows, and ultimately assume a more proactive approach to their security operations.

Upon choosing ReliaQuest in early 2020, Hard Rock’s security team achieved fast time-to-value, gaining visibility into 80% of their environment within just 60 days.

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The Solution

GreyMatter, an Open XDR-as-a-Service platform backed by 24/7 technical expertise, provides the Hard Rock team with contextual intelligence and visibility into real-time insights, helping them stay one step ahead of risks with automated threat hunting and attack simulations. Not only does the platform provide Hard Rock with validation that the solutions they have in place are working effectively, but it also drives faster threat detection, investigation, and response with greater coverage across their diverse set of tools and business applications.

Novak says that with help from ReliaQuest, the Hard Rock team made rapid progress towards their goals almost immediately thanks to a quick onboarding process—going live in less than three weeks.

The team’s aim is to become even more proactive in combating threats, according to Novak, and “get to a point where we can solve the problem, stop the attacker and attack, and move on.” He notes that to do that, they need to align “visibility, event correlation, orchestration, and response,” which is what they’re working toward now with help from ReliaQuest security expertise and GreyMatter. With ReliaQuest GreyMatter, the security team now has relevant, real-time, data-driven insights that help accelerate their incident response workflow. “We couldn’t implement a true incident response plan without understanding what’s happening, where it’s happening, and why,” says Novak. “GreyMatter gives us that insight. Now, we can understand what’s unfolding—and what’s real—so we can take action.”

Some of the quick results the Hard Rock team realized after partnering with ReliaQuest and onboarding the GreyMatter platform include:

Increased enterprise visibility to 80% within 60 days

Surfacing three key findings through “red team” simulations and five key findings through strategic threat-hunting exercises

Up-leveling team performance through incident response tabletop exercises and workshops

The Outcomes

Streamlining Security Operations’ Results with Improved Response Times

Working with the ReliaQuest team and GreyMatter has also allowed Novak and his team to step back and rethink how they’re supporting the Hard Rock International business at large. “I can say that because of our partnership with ReliaQuest, IT is now an enabler of the business. It’s paved the way for us to ask things like, ‘What are we doing that doesn’t make sense’ and ‘How can we enable the best possible outcomes for the business?’” says Novak. “We’ve been able transform IT into a steering committee where we’re proactively bringing solutions to the table, versus the business bringing solutions to IT.” 

Additionally, the insights Novak and team now have into tool efficacy allows them to justify additional spend to make strategic improvements. “Through GreyMatter health reporting, we captured data that has led to improved architecture recommendations,” says Novak.

Gaining Visibility and Insight to Better Manage Risk

Novak adds that partnering with ReliaQuest experts and the transparency into process they get from GreyMatter is also helping his team to grow professionally. “My staff now has more opportunity to take ownership of applications, get training and improve their performance,” he explains. And with more skills and expertise—and more confidence—the Hard Rock team is better positioned to help the business achieve its digital transformation and cloud migration objectives while continuously fortifying security.

  • More proactive, 24/7 incident response, without adding personnel
  • Increased enterprise visibility driving improved risk posture
  • Elevation of IT as a business enabler, increasing justification for security investments
“Before ReliaQuest, we lacked visibility into our data, tools or a unified view of current threats. ReliaQuest helped us achieve quick response, tool efficacy, and data-driven results. Our increased efficiency allows us to focus on business growth—and not worry about having to scale our team to get to the outcomes we need.” Mike Novak CISO, VP of IT Security, Data Protection and Compliance
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Increased Security Posture by 44%
Increased Visibility and Insight
Reduce Yearly Security Costs by at least $100K

Security Operations Made Possible with ReliaQuest GreyMatter

Increase visibility, reduce complexity, and manage risk across your existing tools with comprehensive protection unified under a single security operations platform.

GreyMatter's security operations platform dashboard