Digital transformation and cyber security risk – why Haas F1 team chose Nominet’s NTX

19th July 2019


Stuart Reed
VP, Products

There’s a lot of buzz around digital transformation right now. Done correctly, developing technology like the cloud, mobile apps, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data can amalgamate disparate systems and create new, better, faster capabilities for every organization.

The process enables new business opportunities and new ways of working rather than just increased efficiencies or lower costs. But it also exposes more surfaces to cyber attack, so enhanced protection is necessary.

Transformation for new businesses

Digital transformation is usually associated with companies trying to get away from, or leverage, significant IT infrastructure assets. Why would an organization only four years old be looking to transform?

The CIO of the Haas F1 Team, Gary Foote, told us all about it, and how he’s relying on Nominet NTX to keep the team safe throughout the process, and beyond.

Moving forward

One key point is that the Haas F1 Team was put together in a very different way to other Grand Prix entrants. The unique business model relies on outsourcing as much as is practically possible, making integration between partner firms key; at the personal, organizational, IT and data levels.

A second major imperative is that, because it is only four years old, the team has had to put its technology efforts into building systems and platforms that were immediately necessary.

Now that process is complete, Gary is looking to create real benefits from technology.

“We’re now at a stage where that platform is quite mature, “said Gary, “and we’re able to start looking at our digital transformation journey, start planning out how we can be an enabler for the business.”

“Until now we have not had the ability to do that …. what we didn’t want to do is start that journey too early, and obviously miss out the fundamentals.”

Gary is looking to provide benefits that enable the team on the track to prosper.

“That might be direct benefits, where the car goes quicker or is more reliable,” Gary explained, “it might also be indirect benefit. That might be providing technical solutions to engineers and performance staff to allow them to do their jobs better, more effectively and smarter.”

Protecting data and systems

People will instinctively think that an F1 team’s intellectual property (IP) and performance data is of paramount importance to protect, which of course it is. However organisational data like financial information is just as important and could be very damaging if publicized, so in that respect the team is no different to any other organization. The global platform F1 presents is also attractive to hackers and hacktivists so systems must have the highest degree of protection.

The teams are representing brands who expect to be enhanced by association with the luxury, high-performance cachet of the Grand Prix world, not tainted by tawdry, real-world scandals like devastating cyber breaches.

Balancing digital agility with security

Gary is all too aware that a lot of the work required to effect digital transformation increases the risk of organisations falling foul of cyber criminals. Introducing greater links between systems, devices, data and people exposes more attack surfaces to be exploited.

“Security plays a huge role in digital transformation. As we start to step outside the confines of the core service, we’re obviously going to be introducing risk to the business and we’ve got to make sure that our security platform is continuously evolving as we start to branch out.”

An effective security layer

Gary and the Haas F1 Team have therefore engaged Nominet to protect the team’s network, systems, devices and data – wherever they are in the world. NTX uses advanced DNS analytics, data science and machine learning to hunt down the signs of malware, phishing and data theft.

This addition to the team’s security stack mirrors Gary’s vision for the technology journey: having put a very capable security platform in place as part of the core service build, he sees NTX as a vital extra component that enables greater flexibility, but with increased security.

“The benefit it brings to Haas F1 is an additional layer onto our security platform,” he said. “By adding layers and keeping up with the technology we’re making sure that we’re always one step ahead of the threats.”

“Part of our business is to be fast-paced and stay ahead of the competition and when Nominet showed us their technology and their platform we realised that it had the pace to keep up with us.”

Protection at any time in the journey

The beauty of NTX is that the protection it offers is immediately applied. All networks use DNS extensively, so NTX protects any device as soon as it is connected, regardless of operating system or purpose.

In fact, one imperative of the business is to allow staff to connect their own laptops, tablets etc. (a ’bring your own device’ model, or BYOD). The NTX implementation quickly found hidden malware on some of the personal Android devices that had been brought in.

Although the Haas F1 Team is adopting NTX at the start of its transformation journey, the instant effectiveness of NTX means that any business can benefit from the same level of protection, regardless of where it is on that journey.

Lightning fast protection for your digital transformation

Malware, phishing and data theft are obviated as NTX predicts, detects and blocks these threats when they use DNS – and “almost all cyber attacks use DNS at some point in their lifecycle” according to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

To find out how your business can have the same fast, immediate protection that Haas F1 now enjoys, arrange your no-obligation demo today.

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