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Secureworks puts McLaren in pole position with holistic solution

Secureworks puts McLaren in pole position with holistic solution

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Intelligent CISO spoke to the McLaren Group’s COO, Jonathan Neale, to find out more…

The McLaren Group has deployed a Secureworks solution to secure its data across multiple locations and assess threats in real-time, helping the high-performance car manufacturer stay competitive on race day and beyond.

Motorsport is all about taking calculated risks. From overtaking, pushing tyres and engines to the limit and timing pit stops, every decision before, during and after a race influences your position during the season.

Knowing when to push hard or hold back can be the difference between a podium or not finishing and increasingly these decisions are driven by data.

With the huge quantities of telemetry, environmental and competitor data being processed every second by engineers in the pit, keeping this information secure and available when needed is essential.

For McLaren, having a cybersecurity defence is part of the manufacturer’s winning formula, both on and off the track.

One of the biggest challenges for McLaren’s Formula One operation is the sheer quantity of data required to keep the car competitive – let alone the extra information and refinement needed to stay at the very top of the sport.

There is only 4% product performance difference between the fastest car and the slowest car on the grid. But that 4% is achieved through hugely diminishing returns on resources.

Ultimately, data is the foundation of making the car go faster and the group’s IT technicians are responsible for ensuring that this data safely reaches the right people at the right time.

Within each car there are between 200 and 300 sensors which deliver 100 gigabytes of data during a race weekend.

As well as assisting during the race, McLaren also uses this data for future design and engineering – using sophisticated modelling to optimise the performance of every component within the car.

Off the racetrack, McLaren Group is in significant growth and much of this success has been driven by its own Digital Transformation.

As an organisation, it is moving away from a traditional on-premise data centres approach, where a firewall boundary around the organisation was all that was needed to protect and manage its data.

With a goal to increase efficiency and innovation throughout the group, McLaren has embraced workforce trends like flexible or remote working, meaning that its staff are no longer all based at the McLaren Technology Centre.

However, they still need to access their data wherever they are in the world and across various corporate devices like smartphones and laptops.

Providing superior managed security services to McLaren’s expanding network perimeter

24×7 cybersecurity is so important for McLaren across many areas of the group, from its customer data and products to the organisation’s internal IT infrastructure.

Secureworks deployed a holistic cybersecurity solution which not only protects data but allows safe and quick access to key systems for users.

Taking a consultative approach, Secureworks assessed how McLaren manages its cybersecurity to ensure its data is well protected without limiting access to its employees.

For McLaren, having a trusted partner to take an objective and measured view of the group’s cybersecurity risk and where it might want to position itself whilst delivering flexibility about how that could evolve over time was essential.

The solutions in use today include Secureworks iSensor, which allows McLaren to leverage Secureworks security experts who scour the global threat landscape for latest threats, delivering a risk profile and strategy to help ensure that their sensitive data is kept secure and accessible.

The Secureworks platform leverages Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to evaluate telemetry gathered from multiple security controls, which includes everything from the car information on race days to customer data.

Threats are highlighted in real-time to the on-premise cybersecurity team with Secureworks Advanced Endpoint Threat Detection Powered by Red Cloak to make sure vulnerabilities are dealt with instantly, keeping McLaren’s data secure.


Secureworks Advanced Endpoint Threat Detection (AETD) leverages Carbon Black technology to gather data across multiple locations, both fixed and temporary, which is then evaluated by Secureworks automated systems and our expert analysts.

This endpoint detection and response solution has allowed McLaren to make the leap from an on-premise cybersecurity focus to a distributed cybersecurity focus, where Secureworks provides enhanced visibility and detection across the McLaren environment.

Secureworks Managed iSensor assesses threats in real-time as they appear, with 24×7 monitoring and analysis of 30 billion log events for McLaren each year, which is considerably more than can be achieved by an in-house team alone.

Secureworks AETD and Managed  iSensor solutions include thousands  of unique countermeasures and watchlists developed by the Counter Threat Unit (CTU) Research Team,  and unmetered support from our elite team of researchers, engineers, analysts and consultants working in our fully staffed global Security Operations Centers (SOCs).

Secureworks Client Portal provides specific KPI/KRI metrics for use in the presentations to the board of directors, ensuring that they are always prepared with precise actionable information.

Secureworks Client Portal provides a snapshot of what has transpired McLaren’s network since they last logged into the portal. McLaren have the flexibility to view information such as top events, attacks and severity levels to create a personalised dashboard based on the information they would like to see first.

Intelligent CISO spoke to the McLaren Group’s COO, Jonathan Neale, to find out more…

What security challenges has Digital Transformation created?

We know that as sensors go towards zero dollars and weight towards zero kilograms, the payload of the sensors in everything is getting bigger. This means that more data insights are available across our thread of technology. Looking at our journey through sensor integrations, edge computing, secure data distribution, data modelling and ultimately out to the cloud where we have neural networks and Artificial Intelligence now processing some of that data, that thread widens what the historical security envelope would have been.

If we add that to mobile workforce and heterogenous technology stacks where you want the best of breed, it’s a really challenging environment. Digital Transformation and our connected world create for us the opportunities of greater insights coupled with the potential to lose IP, lose customers data and ultimately be exposed to vicious threats and challenges.

What were your main priorities when looking for a vendor?

We’re looking for much more than a good vendor, we’re looking for a good partnership together with common values. Those common values are a belief that the appropriate use of technology transforms the workplace and our customers experience.

We want to work with people who are relentless in their pursuit for better because that’s close to our DNA. Most important to our partnership is that they can be trusted. Trusted to have honest conversations. Relationships take work and sometimes the conversations when things are not right are just as important as finding the opportunities where you can work together. So shared company values are something that fundamentally underpins a good vendor.

Why did you choose Secureworks?

Based on the trust of our technical partnership, we want to be focusing our time on the applications layer, the data and our customer and product experiences. The global nature of Secureworks and their ever-changing threat analysis means that we couldn’t possibly be as good or attentive.

Secureworks analyses around 30 billion log events for us on an annual basis and that is an eyewatering number for a company of our size.

The company’s ability to use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to spot the threats within that data is second-to-none. We have peace of mind that Secureworks is looking at what’s going on in the emerging technology space and we know that it is monitoring threat profiles which are constantly changing. Great partnerships are fundamental to the way we go about racing. It’s a partnership that McLaren is very proud of.

Can you outline the challenges of distributed data and how Secureworks tackles this?

With data fundamental to our business success, security needs to be second-to-none and Secureworks has enabled us to achieve this. Not only do we have security today, but we are able utilise its expert team, who spend endless hours scouring the global threat landscape to deliver a risk profile and strategy that will enable us to ensure our data is continuously kept secure and accessible.

The Secureworks platform leverages Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to evaluate telemetry gathered from multiple security controls, which includes everything from the car information on race days to customer data. In addition, threats are highlighted in real-time to our on-premises cybersecurity team, allowing us to make sure vulnerabilities are dealt with instantly.

How would you summarise the main benefits of the solutions?

We know that this complex environment is always changing. The fact that Secureworks work with so many blue-chip organisations to analyse the threat environment, the solutions and help people embrace different technologies means that it is far better placed to do the heavy lift of that work and allow us to focus on areas where we need to pace drop. In addition, the client portal has enabled us to demonstrate our success to the board as we can provide specific KPI/KRI metrics.

How far has this future-proofed the company?

Nothing is ever taken for granted and who knows where the future threats are coming from. It’s difficult to rest easy but we have confidence working together in partnership with an organisation at scale. Secureworks works with a range of blue-chip organisations which are using these products and services to continually update them. This is a much better place to be in than fighting it alone and puts us in a strong position to anticipate threats and react.

How have the solutions enabled efficiencies?

As this partnership has allowed us to outsource the majority of our cybersecurity resources; our in-house team are able to focus their time and resources on any projects that bring direct benefits to McLaren.

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