Cybersecurity Lessons from the IPL

By Harshil Doshi – Country Director (India & SAARC), Securonix


The new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the TATA IPL 2022 has recently begun. While the assumption may be that there is no congruence between cricket and cybersecurity, that could not be further from the truth. The IPL is the premier T20 club tournament in the world – the impact of the tournament and the tactical innovations that teams have used in it have gone on to reshape modern cricket. Just like cybersecurity experts, IPL teams have to constantly adapt and innovate solutions to stay ahead of dynamic, rapidly evolving threats and challenges. Here are a few cybersecurity lessons from the IPL:


The Power of Analytics

Head coaches in the IPL grapple with the uncertainty of team composition by their in-depth analyses of match data – match-ups are the buzzword these days. Companies should use a similar process-driven approach to analytics by using a Security Information and Event Management System (SIEM) – an end-to-end security operations platform that is the foundation of any cybersecurity infrastructure.

Securonix’s SIEM is cloud-native which is ideal to protect companies using both hybrid and cloud environments from sophisticated cyber attacks. Our SIEM is built on big data and collects massive volumes of information in real-time and uses patented machine learning algorithms to filter out noise and identify threats. Our cloud functionality also makes our SIEM very easy to scale, which is a boon for many organisations.


Constant Tactical Innovation

The more that teams analyse match data to formulate strategies to deal with specific players the more these players need to innovate. Cricket has also always seen a cat-and-mouse game between batsmen and bowlers. Batsmen began playing scoop shots, so bowlers developed knuckleballs and slow yorker variations to respond. The most recent innovation was this season, when the Rajasthan Royals decided to tactically retire out Ravichandran Ashwin to bring in a big hitting batsman, Riyan Parag, for the slog overs.  There is a similar need for innovation and adaptability with cybersecurity. New and more complex threats are constantly emerging – it is not sufficient to rest on your laurels.

Securonix has been at the forefront of developing cybersecurity tools that provide up-to-date protection while seamlessly integrating with business operations. Our patented machine learning algorithms enable real-time monitoring of company activity to not just protect against data breaches, but limit business risk.  . Our Open XDR (Extended Detection and Response) solution uses analytics and automation to collect data from all endpoints to detect threats across your entire IT environment.


Anytime, Anywhere

Off the field, the IPL is also a technological marvel. Disney+ Hotstar allows users to livestream matches from whichever device they choose. They regularly average over 8 million views per match and recorded the highest ever viewership for a sporting stream at 18.6 million. For context, the latest Superbowl – the gala mega-event for American football – recorded only 11.2 million. The convenience of being able to access platforms on remote devices, regardless of where you may be, can have obvious benefits in cybersecurity as well.

New Teams = New Threats

There are 2 new clubs this year – the Gujarat Titans and the Lucknow Super Giants – while existing teams look drastically different after the super auction. Teams are still finding their combinations and with few international players arriving mid season, the starting eleven for some clubs will look quite different from Match Day 1. Dealing with the uncertainty of new recruits is a familiar feeling to managers who have to ensure team cohesion and effectiveness while also handing over critical and sensitive data to these new team members.

Traditional security solutions typically are unable to monitor behaviour changes, and therefore only enable action after the damage has already been done – if they detect the damage in the first place. Securonix’s User and Entity Behaviour Analytics (UEBA) helps mitigate the risk of insider threats by taking a more proactive approach monitoring user and entity behaviours. It applies machine learning and analytics to assign risk scores when users veer beyond their typical or sanctioned behavioural patterns. It can seamlessly integrate with your SIEM to highlight high risk users that your security team can add to a watch list or investigate further. Our UEBA alerts you of behaviours such as data exfiltration, privilege account abuse and misuse, compromised users, and botnet infections.


Staying Ahead of the Game

The IPL has been at the forefront of innovation in cricket for more than a decade. The best cricketing minds and talent from across the world come together to formulate creative strategies to respond to match conditions and threats from opposing teams. Cybersecurity is no different – the threat landscape is constantly evolving, requiring a commensurate improvement in response strategies.

Securonix’s comprehensive suite of offerings can provide all cybersecurity needs for organisations in a variety of industries. They can be customised to match needs and can easily be scaled to match growth. It is crucial that organisations build these functionalities in the early stages of their innings as waiting till later makes the task much more difficult, though not impossible – just ask MS Dhoni.

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