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In College Sports and Network Security, Picking Winners is No Easy Task

March 20, 2014 by Ixia Blog Team

Today kicks off the first day of March Madness, and the road to the Final Four. Leading up to today, people were scrambling to complete their brackets and attempt to pick the winners of each of 63 games in the tournament in a field of 68 teams. It seems easy enough to select the winners: there are win/loss records from the full season, scouting reports, and plenty of media projections and hype. But despite all of this information, it is difficult to pick the national champion and almost impossible to pick every game correctly. In fact, the odds of doing that are in the neighborhood of 1 in 128 billion (the lottery odds are better). It is so difficult to have a perfect bracket that this year, if you pick every game correctly, you can win $1 billion in a challenge sponsored by Quicken Loans and Warren Buffet.

Getting the NCAA championship bracket choices 100% correct is no simple task, and neither is getting security right. Much like the NCAA Tournament, March Madness, and the individual teams in the tournament, your security program has many variables. Your “security challenge” is to:

  • Correctly select what devices and systems to deploy (NGFW, IPS, FW, DDoS Mitigation, Malware Prevention),
  • Optimize their configurations for your network and application environment,
  • Train your staff to manage them, and
  • Be ready to respond to security incidents.

All of this makes preventing intrusions and breaches, maintaining optimal service delivery with security enabled, and achieving resiliency to DDoS attacks difficult to say the least. A formidable challenge to be sure, but the odds are definitely better than picking all of the NCAA tournament brackets correctly!

Testing and assessment play a big role in making good security choices. Much like season records and scouting reports, actually testing and performing assessments of your security can provide insights into device selection, deployment configurations, and help optimize security for secure yet resilient application delivery. It can definitely reduce the security risk and some of the uncertainty you face.

Good luck on your bracket picks, and check out http://security.ixiacom.com to see how Ixia can help you with your security challenges.

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