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What Sports Teaches Us About Cybersecurity

We can observe many similarities between how sports teams and cybersecurity teams operate. Both types of teams establish a form of teamwork and communication, everyone has a designated role and a distinct strength, which allows each individual to excel in their position. These teams will also develop and practice efficient strategies to use against their opponents to come out on top. Sports teach us about cybersecurity because of the commitment to teamwork and strategy that they require.

Teamwork

Sports teams and cybersecurity teams have a lot of similarities where communication is paramount and everyone is willing to help each other execute to achieve a common goal. The majority of the most popular sports require efficient teamwork – basketball, football, hockey, baseball, soccer, and the list goes on. Everyone knows their position and the importance of playing their part to help the team win. For example, in basketball, the point guard brings the ball up the court and could either pass it to their shooter or set up a post-play with a taller player.

Cybersecurity teams follow a similar pattern in regards to their incident response process. Everyone is encouraged to communicate and has different expertise areas where teamwork is key. Just like in sports, members complement each other’s talents and shortcomings resulting in a balanced team. For example, in cybersecurity teams, an incident responder and an analyst could work together to be in the frontline against an attack where they focus on preventing the attack from spreading by deploying strategic tools, enriching the gathered information, and taking precautionary steps for mitigation. Additionally, there are many similarities to how these teams approach their strategies.

Strategy

It’s a well-known fact that in most team sports the players are presented with a playbook. This contains tried-and-tested plays that have been carefully crafted over the years. Players study and practice these plays, trying to execute them as efficiently as possible. Since there are so many strategies to choose from, the team uses specific plays against specific teams to expose their weaknesses and increase their chances of winning.

Most established cybersecurity teams function in a similar way; they have several playbooks that focus on working against different types of malicious attacks. For example, a playbook to investigate a brute force attack is different from one investigating a command and control attack. Like sports teams, cybersecurity teams will study and practice these playbooks, run attack drills, and figure out the best and most efficient method of defeating their adversaries.

If you’re thinking about building trust and efficient teamwork in your cybersecurity organization’s members, try a team sport! The same type of thinking and methodologies that sports teams use can teach us about cybersecurity team dynamics.

Learn More About CyOPs™ Playbooks

A great way to enhance your teamwork is to implement a SOAR platform such as CyberSponse’s CyOP™ SOAR solution (Security Orchestration Automation & Response Platform). Schedule your demo of our security automation tool and your team will be working together more than ever!

By Software Engineer, Tan Kucukoglu

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