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Boston Red Sox protects sensitive data in evolving threat landscape with Acronis

Boston Red Sox protects sensitive data in evolving threat landscape with Acronis

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A well-known sports franchise, Boston Red Sox is an attractive target for cybercriminals. The organisation is utilising Acronis solutions to keep its sensitive data secure. Intelligent spoke to Brian Shield, VP of IT at Boston Red Sox, to find out more about the implementation and how it has helped to future-proof the organisation.

Can you give us an overview of the kind of cyberthreats facing an organisation in your sector?

Sports franchises have a unique risk profile – we resemble a retailer in that we process a large number of transactions in support of selling tickets, merchandise, concessions and other game day related experiences. We also resemble a hospital in that we are custodians of player health and medical related information. 

In addition, we maintain baseball-related systems that contain sensitive and proprietary scouting, player development and analytics-related information that is core to how we create a competitive advantage for ourselves on the field. 

Our entire cybersecurity programme is built around protecting these three silos of digital assets. Lastly, being a well-known sports franchise makes you an attractive target to cybercriminals so it’s therefore critical to have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

When did you implement the Acronis technology and why did you decide to work with this vendor?

We started implementing Acronis several years ago, initially as a data protection strategy for our baseball scouts around the globe – adding the ability to restore critical data from endpoints at a moment’s notice. 

While we leverage a very extensive portfolio of cybersecurity tools as a result of our relationship with Major League Baseball, we were lacking a solution to address ransomware concerns as well as a product that we could leverage in other critical cybersecurity areas.

One of the many benefits of Acronis is that you have a single pane of glass to administer multiple cybersecurity capabilities. As a result, it reduces your learning curve for your cyber team and simplifies administration.

What challenges were you looking to address ahead of selecting the Acronis solution?

We were looking for a more robust data protection tool so that our remote users could survive any incident that might impact productivity. From ransomware, laptop theft, damage, etc. we needed the ability to restore critical data anywhere in the world in a short period of time.

In addition, we were looking for a product that could evolve as our cybersecurity needs continued to evolve. Lastly, we were ideally looking for a product that was relatively easy to install and administer without having to expand our cybersecurity team.

How are you using Acronis technology currently – what phase of the project are you at?

While we started with Acronis addressing the needs of remote workers, we quickly expanded our scope to provide data protection across the entire organisation. In addition, we began leveraging the Acronis Cyber Protect agent as an additional layer of threat intelligence and endpoint security. 

Currently, we are partnering with the Acronis engineering team on other use cases such as replicating our video library of content into the Acronis cloud to provide protection for another key corporate asset.

Did you experience any challenges during implementation? If so, how were these resolved?

We experienced very few issues during implementation. While the product overall is very user friendly and administration is straight forward, we had a few questions for Acronis support engineers on specific security needs in the area of single sign-on, handling of data encryption and user isolation of data.

In the limited number of times we had to reach out to the Acronis engineers, we found them to be professional and very willing to address our edge cases.

How do your staff find the technology?

Our internal operations staff found the implementation straightforward and on-going administration to be a major strength of the product. One of the real advantages of the Acronis platform is the relatively low learning curve compared with other cybersecurity tools.

For organisations that don’t have large cybersecurity teams, the ability to centrally administer the product with a low learning curve together with number of compelling features makes Acronis a compelling cybersecurity solution. 

How far would you say this solution has future-proofed your organisation?

While cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, we feel like the Acronis solution provides a key foundational level of protection that meets are current needs and can evolve with the changing needs of our business.

The single agent solution that provides multiple needs, data protection and cyber serves to consolidate several capabilities under a single intuitive and centrally managed platform.

This capability allows our organisation to reduce agent count and system overhead through the single agent solution, so as additional functionality is added into the platform, we anticipate realising long-term benefits.

What advice would you offer other organisations looking to implement similar technology?

Look for cybersecurity products that in addition to providing needed protection are relatively easy to install and administer. In today’s cybersecurity field, no one tool can meet all your needs rather it requires a portfolio of products.

Be thoughtful in your selection so that your team has the capacity to fully leverage your cybersecurity products. Too often companies only take advantage of 50% of the capabilities of a product due to available time or unnecessary complexity.

Lastly, ensure that you document your use cases and requirements and test, test, test. Dedicate the time necessary to validate your use cases or risk a protracted rollout schedule.

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