Stater Bros. Markets

With revenue and reputation at stake, retailer relies on FireEye

Retailers are a prime target for cyber crime. Why? They possess valuable information within their networks — personally identifiable customer information, financial data, employee records — that are highly sought after by those intent on stealing it. As more breaches occur, consumers become more wary of where they shop...which means revenue is at stake.

The Stater Bros. Markets name and reputation is built on trust, integrity, and stewardship to the families and communities they serve in Southern California. The company’s brand is “the” competitive advantage in the already-crowded Southern California grocery retail space. Company executives recognize that even a minor data breach of its systems would instantly damage the brand and break a nearly 80-year-old promise to its millions of customers.

As a result, Stater Bros. Markets is in a perpetual search for cyber security solutions—always on the lookout for the tools needed to stay ahead of those with malice in mind. They’ve prided themselves on staying up to date on the latest solutions to do that, because “sometimes the tools you have work well for years but then the technology changes and you need to be able to retool,” said Ben Cabrera, Network Supervisor for Stater Bros. Markets. When the company decided it was time to revisit their cyber security approach in late 2014, they chose FireEye for the diversity of products and services it could offer.


Ben Cabrera, Network Supervisor, discusses how FireEye products integrate easily and produce quality alerts

“FireEye isn’t just a product. It’s kind of like a martial art ... and we wanted to be able to defend ourselves like a street fighter.”

- Ben Cabrera, Network Supervisor, Stater Bros. Markets

A Powerhouse of Products

Stater Bros. Markets uses a combination of FireEye products for its security needs. It relies on the FireEye Email Threat Prevention (EX series) Platform to detect and block spear phishing and other threats to its email security. The tool is able to detonate and analyze suspicious email attachments and embedded URLs to help Stater Bros. Markets prevent, detect, and respond to email-based cyber attacks.

The company also uses the FireEye Network Security (NX series) products to detect and block malicious files, communications and exploits to improve its web and network security. The NX helps to ensure that threat actors are less likely to compromise Stater Bros. Markets’ key systems and perform reconnaissance or establish long- term control and access.

Endpoint security is key, and Stater Bros. Markets counts on the FireEye® Endpoint Security (HX Series) as their “authoritative source of security information. We derive value from it daily.” Prior to the FireEye solution, the company measured its ability to keep up with encroachments in days or more. Now? They can be measured in minutes, even seconds. “Our ability to detect and react to an incursion is no longer a manual method but a well-structured process centered around the HX platform.” Together with the FireEye Central Management (CM) Series as a threat intelligence hub, Stater Bros. Markets is armed with an ecosystem that allows total connectivity across platforms within its security architecture. The result? The most thorough cyber security approach, with deep visibility and end-to-end protection.

The Cost Factor

Whether it is stolen credit card information or Point-of- Sale (POS) breaches, attackers are increasingly targeting retailers as a source of rich commercial and personal information. Cabrera said combining the strengths of the FireEye products “gives us options, and those options become even more valuable as the attacks change very quickly. We are able to retool and modify as necessary. I like that flexibility.”

Stater Bros. Markets estimates the FireEye solution has stopped at least three dozen significant threats against its business. “The FireEye solution saves approximately $225,000 per annum in hard ROI through elimination of manual efforts to track down incidents with questionable efficacy. The potential brand damage is estimated to be in the tens of millions; enough to change the Southern California grocery landscape. “We have to do everything we can to protect ourselves. All it would take is one breach and 80 years of success would be gone.”

Stater Bros. Markets said one of the best benefits to the FireEye solution is its lack of noise. “If HX says something is wrong, then we look into it. There is so much noise with other solutions, you don’t really have time to go and investigate. But when the FireEye HX blinks, we take notice.”

Stater Bros. Markets

Stater Bros. Markets

Industry: Retail

Stater Bros. Markets, the largest privately owned grocery chain in Southern California, sells groceries to millions of customers in the region. Stater Bros. Markets traces its beginnings back to a small grocery store on West Yucaipa Boulevard in Yucaipa, California. Twin brothers Cleo and Leo Stater purchased the original Stater Bros. Markets with a $600 down payment and opened it for business on August 17, 1936. Today, Stater Bros. Markets operates 168 full-service supermarkets with more than 18,000 employees. Its new state-of-the-art 2.3 million square foot corporate offices and distribution center is located in San Bernardino, California.

More Than Appliances

FireEye immerses itself in discovering and thwarting attackers and their methods, pouring its heart into research and development to stay current with the ever- changing cyber threat landscape. The enterprise search capabilities pay off for Stater Bros. Markets regularly, and provide a peace of mind they deeply appreciate. “R&D is a key to the success of any organization, and there is a huge return with the FireEye products. There are teams of people working day and night to continually make the product more efficient, and that resonates with me.” observed Cabrera.

But Stater Bros. Markets confidence in FireEye goes beyond the product offerings. They find great benefit to attending the FireEye Cyber Security Defense Summit, where they hear the experts share the latest on the state of attacks. The threat intelligence information proves invaluable, as does the insight on incident response that Mandiant (“the special forces of IT security”) provides so thoroughly.

The FireEye and Mandiant combination “is like superpowers coming together. You get them together and you can’t lose.”