The Climb: Securing the Hybrid Enterprise

Carmen Harris

Christian Fairfax was hanging from the rigging off San Jose City Hall. It was a sunny day, 80 degrees and getting hotter by the minute. Christian, dressed in a business blazer, spent two and a half hours climbing, hanging and rappelling up and down the 20+ story building.

Christian is a professional rock and stunt climber and is the star of FireMon’s new corporate video. As the hero of the story, Christian represents the security and network professionals on the frontlines trying to protect their organizations from cybercriminals while maintaining a security compliance infrastructure in an ever-changing IT landscape. The journey our climber takes up the walls of San Jose City Hall mirrors the journey of our customers as they negotiate the challenges facing them on their IT journey—from on-premises to virtualized, software-defined and cloud-native platforms.

The location of the video, San Jose City Hall, is a gorgeous, post-modern building in the heart of Silicon Valley. It has been featured in several videos including the CBS television show, Unforgettable.

Preparing for The Climb

Like many security professionals, the day starts early. The shoot started with roll call at 6 am. To ensure Christian’s safety, professional riggers and climbers, Connor Jeffress, Andres De La Rosa, and Levi Weddingen, lay safety ropes and monitored Christian’s climbs throughout the day. Support staff file in to complete all paperwork and the production crew sets up the camera for the first shot. The Director, Andy Hill, is barking orders and ensuring people are in place and the shoot stays on time.

The opening scene of the video introduces us to our IT professional. The image of Christian standing still as the crowd moves around him represents the primary challenge security pros face today: speed. Business demands often move faster than the security teams’ ability to keep pace.

As Christian climbs, there is a deeper discussion of the challenges security organizations face with managing security policy across hundreds of firewalls and cloud security controls, many from different vendors. It is nearly impossible for organizations to manage tens of thousands of policies and ensure compliance with internal and regulatory standards.

 

As Christian makes his way to the top of the building, it’s mid-afternoon and the heat of the day is in full effect. A crowd gathers to watch Christian, trying to figure out what is being filmed. As we film the accompanying videos featuring Don Closser, FireMon’s Chief Product Officer, and Ofer Elzam, Vice President and General Manager for FireMon’s Global Policy Controller, we do multiple takes as the audio is ruined by passing airplanes landing at San Jose’s Norman Y. Mineta International Airport.

The final scene is located at the very top of the building on top of the elevator stack. The view is of Silicon Valley framed by the Santa Cruz mountains on the left and the edge of San Francisco Bay to the right. Drones aren’t allowed due to City Hall’s proximity to the San Jose airport. To capture the final image, a long crane had to be hauled by pulleys up to the top of the building.

The scene that shows Christian at the top of the mountain overlooking the valley represents a sense of accomplishment. However, we all know the job of a security professional is never done and they must remain ever-vigilant.

The shoot wraps up around 4 pm. Pancho, who interviewed Don and Ofer all day, goes into the rigging gear to close out the interview video. As the sun sets and the rigging comes down, the production team ensures that the place is all spruced up. After they were done, we could hardly see any evidence of all the hectic activity during the day.

Many thanks to the production team who made this possible. GB-Films (https://gb-films.com) is a Bay Area creative and production company that works with organizations to help them tell compelling stories with excitement and meaning. It was a lot of fun working through the creative process and doing this shoot with them.

Now that you have heard about how The Climb came to be, check out the full behind the scenes video and leave us your feedback. If you want to learn how FireMon can help your company with “The Climb” towards more manageable security policies for your hybrid environment, visit: https://www.firemon.com/products/.