For Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman and his defensive teammates, stopping Quarterback Peyton Manning and the vaunted Denver Broncos offense will clearly be the deciding factor if they are to win Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.


Not to discredit Seattle Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense, or to dismiss Denver Cornerback Champ Bailey and the Broncos’ defense, but even the casual observer has to assume that the game will likely come down to the matchup between Manning, Sherman et al.

After all, Manning, a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback in his own right, has led an offensive assault that achieved nothing less than breaking the NFL single season scoring record. Across the field, it has been the Seattle defense, led by shutdown corner Sherman, which has carried Seattle into the NFL season finale.

How can Seattle hope to achieve such a task? One can easily compare the challenge facing the Seahawks’ defenders to the grueling task tackled each day by enterprise IT practitioners in attempting to stop today’s avalanche of malware threats.

To break it down, Seattle’s coaching staff and players can enlist a few basic tactics in trying to stave off the Broncos’ offensive onslaught including:

• Reviewing game tape to isolate and prepare for Denver’s tendencies.
• Creating an innovative game plan to deter the Broncos’ offense.
• Reading and reacting during the game as effectively as they can.

The same can be said of enterprise security and IT risk management experts in attempting to stave off attacks via methods including:

• Reviewing network security controls to isolate potential weaknesses.
• Creating an innovative security/risk management strategy to deter attacks.
• Monitoring and best responding to current conditions and threats.

To create the strongest likelihood of success, NFL teams invest massive resources in the best available players, coaches and multimedia equipment – even computer modelling applications that model all possible conditions (think “Moneyball”).

Enterprise organizations similarly recruit leading IT security management and operational pros, and certainly invest as much if not more than their NFL counterparts on solutions aimed at best preparing against any potential attacks.

Yet, much as even the most efficient NFL defenses can be vanquished, today’s headlines still carry news of massive security failures such as the recent Target breach.

So what cutting-edge cyber-security Moneyball sabermetrics can today’s enterprises employ to try to outwit and outlast the league of threats they face?

As our President and Founder Jody Brasil highlighted in his blog reviewing the Target breach and attack escalation, FireMon Security Manager platform represents a totally unique and unparalleled capability to maintain visibility into the current state of network defenses to stop today’s real-world malware campaigns.

In addition to providing critical, real-time game film to understand and improve potential gaps in defense, Security Manager also identifies all the possible “attack paths” available across the network and surfaces the real-world exposure of any underlying vulnerabilities, as well as automating security policy management.

Consider that no NFL defense will always make the first tackle or defense every pass before it’s caught, plays must be stopped downfield more often than not.

Likewise, coaches must drill players on how to react once a play has breached the defensive line, small gains must be prevented from becoming big plays.

And, before the ball is ever snapped, coaches must align players in the most strategic formations possible, constantly adjusting alignment to address offensive maneuvers.

At the end of the day, whether you’re Seahawks’ Head Coach Pete Carroll or one of today’s enterprise IT security practitioners you have to prepare as relentlessly as possible and best configure your defense to make the big plays on game day.

Much like Peyton and his orange-clad teammates, today’s attackers are hungry for their next big score.

Play to win; take a closer look at FireMon Security Manager platform today, and upgrade network security and IT risk management to Super Bowl level.