In his latest article for SecurityWeek, Mark Hatton shares his observations about predictive security and football.

Offense sells tickets; Defense wins championships"~ Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant Jr.

Not unlike most people this time of year, I try to make a point of taking in at least one football game on the weekend. And if you live in Boston like I do, that means watching the New England Patriots. If you will indulge my regional bias for one moment, I’d like to take the opportunity to explain how their last- minute victory over the New Orleans Saints this past weekend did more than add another game to the win column, but how it served as a blueprint for the way organizations should approach security.

Now they say football is often used as a metaphor for war based on the military terminology and strategy. You regularly hear players refer to their time on the turf as “doing battle” or “going to war” and if you’ve ever caught George Carlin’s famous riff on football, it’s easy to see why: “In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.”

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I also see it as a model for network security and, more specifically, predictive security. While most people have been caught up in the last minute and ten seconds of that game when Brady marched the team down to score the go-ahead touchdown with only five seconds left, the reality is, this game was in part decided earlier in the week. That’s when the coaching staff decided to isolate and eliminate New Orleans’ biggest threat, tight end Jimmy Graham. By applying the principles of predictive defense or security, the team identified the biggest threat to the success of their organization and dedicated the resources necessary to neutralize it. The results were that one of the most dangerous offensive players in the entire league was completely shut out for the first time since his rookie season.

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Mark Hatton, President, CEO