Security Operations

Since 2020, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has relied on Dataminr Pulse
to ensure the safety of more than 2,000 employees worldwide and
its critical facilities that manufacture life-saving medicines.

About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals:

  • Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2,000+ employees in 20+ countries
  • Specializes in RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics
  • Advances a pipeline of RNAi-based medicines in four areas: geneticmedicines, cardio-metabolic diseases, infectious diseases and centralnervous system (CNS) and ocular diseases

The global security team at pharmaceutical company Alnylam has one priority: to ensure the safety of employees and assets vital to the production of life-saving medicines. With over 2,000 employees and multiple offices worldwide, the team recognized the importance of having innovative, effective technology and tools that enable it to protect its staff, facilities and brand.

We talked to Jeff DiPrimio, Alnylam’s Senior Director of Global Security and Building Operations, and Mike Bissen, Alnylam’s Global Security Operations Center (SOC) Manager, to understand how Dataminr Pulse became a trusted solution for their security operations.

A more sophisticated security operation

When DiPrimio joined Alnylam to build a global security program, he realized the organization needed to transform its security capabilities to support the growth of the business. It needed a global security operations center (SOC) to strengthen the overall security posture and increase technology integrations across its global offices.

As he was building the SOC, DiPrimio started to deploy more technology and automated tools to broaden the scale and efficiency of his team. That included exploring alerting solutions that would keep his team informed of risks and critical events with the potential to threaten the safety of employees and/or disrupt business operations. After a period of relying on free alerting tools, subscriptions and websites—which required his team to manually navigate through thousands of alerts to discover potential threats— DiPrimio realized he needed a more sophisticated, automated solution, one that would be less time- and resource-intensive.

That’s when Alnylam turned to Dataminr’s real-time alerting solution Dataminr Pulse.

“We wanted to make sure that the information we receive is relevant, accurate and timely,” said DiPrimio. ”That’s where Dataminr came to play.”

Bissen added, “We’ve moved from manually gathering information and going through it to using Dataminr [Pulse], which serves as the first filter so we can really get the alerts that may impact us.”

Dataminr Pulse’s ability to provide Alnylam with only the real-time alerts that are most relevant to the organization—based on its priorities and needs—enables Alnylam’s global SOC threat analysts to more effectively carry out assessments before escalating risks to senior stakeholders.

“We’re in a much better position now to have our analysts assess risks before they need to escalate those risks to me,” said DiPrimio. “Most of the time, alerts have to go through our assessment process before they get to my decision making.”

Detect risks faster with real-time information

Through Dataminr Pulse’s real-time alerts, Alnylam’s global SOC is now informed of risks and high-impact events as soon as they emerge. The alerts are generated from over 800,000 public information sources, including social media, blogs, IoT sensor data, audio transmissions, the deep and dark web and more.

In several cases, Dataminr was the first to alert DiPrimio and Bissen on incidents that were reported 15 minutes—sometimes even hours—later by other sources.

“I can tell you it’s Dataminr first. Probably over 95 percent of the time it’s Dataminr that gives us the first awareness of something that’s happening,” said Bissen. “It’s almost instantaneous.”

Pulse’s alerts also enable Alnylam’s global SOC to maintain situational awareness as incidents unfold—in real-time—so it can better prepare for potential impacts.

Being able to stay ahead of crises and threats has also helped DiPrimio and Bissen gain senior leadership’s trust and build credibility. By leveraging Pulse’s real-time information, these security leaders have been able to demonstrate that they can identify and respond effectively and quickly to incidents before their executives hear about them.

“In the past, I would get emails from executives asking about an incident and whether it had any impact on the company. I had very little information. It was such a disadvantage for me because I didn’t have the critical information at my fingertips,” said DiPrimio. “Now, Dataminr has put us in a much better position to respond to executives who ask us about [an event]. I can share the impact of the situation and our response plans.”

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Employees

Increased employee safety

With access to Pulse’s real-time information, Alnylam’s global SOC has been able to more effectively ensure the safety of not only the company’s facilities, but also its most important asset: its employees.

Take, for instance, when Pulse alerted the security team to a street crime outside one of Alnylam’s U.S. offices, ahead of the authorities. Bissen was able to alert his team and swiftly lock the main lobby doors, preventing any potential harm to onsite employees.

Additionally, as the majority of Alnylam’s workforce has adopted a hybrid work model since the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more crucial that the company’s SOC has the right technology and tools to fulfill its duty of care, even when employees are working remotely.

Learn More: How Security Leaders Can Manage and Protect a Secure Workforce

Thanks to Dataminr’s diversity of global, regional and hyperlocal data, Bissen and his security team can maintain complete visibility, in real time, of any high-impact events or risks occurring in the proximity of its employees’ locations. For DiPrimio, being able to effectively protect employees is the best return on investment a security leader can receive.

“When we can protect our people, not only from a work standpoint but also on a personal level, there’s no question on our investment for the benefit of employee safety,” said DiPrimio.

Learn More: Determine the ROI of Real-time Information

The value of real-time information

Below are a few more examples of how Dataminr Pulse has a proven itself a critical tool in enabling Alnylam’s security team to safeguard its people and maintain business continuity:

  • Provided advance notice of extreme weather events, most recently the December tornadoes in Texas, allowing the global SOC to quickly inform and guide employees in affected areas and confirm their safety.
  • Helped the SOC stay abreast of geopolitical events in Tokyo and Istanbul as they developed, ensuring the safety of company executives in the cities or traveling to them.
  • Alerted the security team of a fire near a critical manufacturing plant after business hours. The team was able to quickly contact the site manager, who lives near the building and, as such, personally assessed the situation before security patrol officers arrived.
  • Identified a global network outage as soon as it happened. This allowed the SOC to notify Alnylam’s IT, which was then able to mitigate any potential business disruptions.

Having seen the value of Dataminr Pulse, DiPrimio and Bissen are now looking to expand its use within Alnylam to strengthen the company’s overall security posture against today’s ever-evolving and complex threat landscape.

“We’re excited to get Dataminr more exposed at different levels in the organization, so that it’s not just seen as a solution for physical security risk but also for the wider enterprise or converged risks,” said DiPrimio.

Learn More

Learn more about Dataminr Pulse and why it is a crucial tool used by organizations around the world to detect the earliest indications of high-impact events, threats and other business critical information.

July 20, 2023
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