Major League Baseball used to be powered by arms, legs, gloves and bats. Today, it is also powered by data – “Moneyball” analytics driving big decisions ranging from when top inch hit, to which free agents to sign.
For Randy George, Vice President of Technology Operations and Information Security for the Boston Red Sox, protecting this data-driven enterprise from compromise is job 1.
“Most people think ‘Fenway Park’ or ‘the Green Monster’ when they think of the Red Sox,” he says. “I think of technology, and securing the data that makes our club tick – from scouting reports to ticketholder personal information. And for that job, our ‘ace’ is Mimecast.”
The Red Sox underwent a significant digital transformation a decade ago, fueled by the “Moneyball” analytics success of the Oakland A’s, and the need to bring the entire organization into the digital age. “As a result, our datacenter footprint has exploded since I joined the team in 2002,” says George. “That really made information security a top priority.”
As email became the main form of communication for the organization, George needed a way to protect against attackers trying to gain unauthorized access to systems and data. “With the sophistication of attacks constantly on the rise, it’s critical that we prevent attacks from ever arriving in an employee’s mailbox,” says George. “But we also needed to go a step further and ‘harden’our employees against attacks with a security awareness program.”
The first boost to the security lineup came in 2013 when Major League Baseball created a league wide security operations center (SOC) to help clubs respond to cyber incidents. But George and the Red Sox didn’t stop there. He needed to remove any threats to email continuity, since it is the lifeblood for everything from concessions operations to field maintenance, competitive intelligence and ticketholder loyalty programs.
At the time, Proofpoint wasn’t offering the level of continuity George desired. But Mimecast did. And he decided to make the switch. “There was no comparison. Mimecast was simply ahead of the competition on the continuity and disaster recovery front,” he says. “Email is as important to our business as power and running water. We needed to know that messages and data would always be available and secure. And Mimecast delivered.”
“Most people think ‘Fenway Park’ or ‘the Green Monster’ when they think of the Red Sox. I think of technology, and securing the data that makes our club tick – from scouting reports to ticketholder personal information. And for that job, our ‘ace’ is Mimecast.”
Randy George, Vice President of Technology Operations and Information Security
George says the added layer of redundancy that Mimecast provides is paying off. “This was a critical point in our decision to partner with Mimecast for email security.” says George. “And Mimecast’s products are very user-friendly, allowing our staff to securely manage junk mail right in Outlook or even on the go with Mimecast’s mobile app.”
Mimecast is even helping George spread the word on email security throughout the Red Sox organization with Mimecast’s security awareness platform. “It is far and away the best security awareness training I’ve seen on the market. The humor they incorporate is important to make sure employees don’t view it as ‘just another training exercise’. It’s a big hit.”
Now, when the Red Sox see bad actors trying to steal home – they know Mimecast is there to block the plate and tag them out, every time.