Here we go again, another fascinating Miami Dolphins story that has me thinking of technology concepts. Last week was a very embarrassing week for Miami Dolphin fans with lots of exciting news being leaked to the local and national press related to the fact that team owner Stephen Ross, his good friend and former Kansas City Chiefs big-wig Carl Peterson and Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland were putting out feelers to potential coaching prospects and then made an infamous trip to California to actually talk to one prospect in person. This was followed by many rumors and stories that may or may not have been true, and if you follow the blogs in Miami you’ll notice that Mr. Ross is being called many creative names, and trust-worthy and honest are not among them.
So I began to say to myself, “I bet this organization wished they had some type of network-based data loss prevention (DLP) solution so that they could manage and monitor how information was being disseminated outside of the front office walls.”
This data could have easily been handled from within the corporate walls by catching and blocking key words such as “Harbaugh”, “Gruden” and “Cowher” (all coaches mentioned in the press as possibilities) at the entry points of their networks. Email, Web, IM and other applications could have been monitored easily with the option to quarantine, block, warn and/or notify management of the policy violations. But like many organizations do, the Dolphins chose to go a lesser route that had only “potential” to prevent information leakage. However, as organizations do after a big PR nightmare, in hind sight they’re probably realizing that investing in a proper DLP solution would have kept this private information away from the public’s eye, avoiding the nightmare all together.
Think of the consequences: the Dolphins ended up signing a new, higher- priced contract with the same, average coach, Tony Sparano. And the press conference to release the news of this signing was a “lowlight” on ESPN instead of what it should have been, a highlight.
What’s the bottom line? Companies need to proactively engage a DLP solution strategy to avoid embarrassing leaks with potential to put the entire company’s operation at risk. With a properly designed network DLP solution implementation you can help prevent embarrassing and potentially career ending data leakage from within the corporate walls. Combined with a companion discovery, and endpoint DLP product, you’ll have a solution that will make it virtually impossible for even the hardest working reporter to get data off the corporate campus. And, with compliance being such an important issue, you have the ability to search and track sensitive data whether it is located within a database or is file-based. As proven by the Dolphins, protecting sensitive information can be a huge life saver for both enterprise corporations and government entities that need to prevent data from falling in to the wrong hands.
Now, I wonder if any other NFL teams were wishing they had a DLP solution…perhaps Denver and New England would have benefited from one during SpyGate?