The Football Association Deploys LogRhythm to Bring Greater Cyber Maturity to the Sport Industry

The Football Association (FA), English football’s governing body, was formed in 1863 to oversee, promote and develop English football at all levels, from grassroots through to the professional game.

Its core objectives include ensuring that The Emirates FA Cup remains the world’s premier cup competition, that Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park continue to be world-class venues, and that success is achieved with each of its 24 national sides.

The FA is responsible for protecting large quantities of sensitive data, including the personal details of its employees, players, and customers. As it progresses on its digital transformation journey, it needed to ensure that it could provide enhanced protection and monitoring to keep critical services and systems up and running when they’re needed most.

It chose LogRhythm for its unmatched security information and event management (SIEM) maturity, embedded security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) capabilities, and competitive pricing model.

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The Challenge

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and enjoyed by fans on a far-reaching global scale. It is an industry that is experiencing rapid digital and market growth, and with these advances comes the heightened risk of cyberattacks on the governing bodies responsible for overseeing the sport.

The FA’s reputation as a globally recognized sporting body makes it an extremely attractive target to threat actors. Its high-profile nature combined with the vast amount of sensitive data it is responsible for increases its vulnerability to severe threats, including ransomware and phishing attacks.

Football will remain one of the most lucrative sports in the market, so it is imperative that proactive measures are taken to stay ahead of mounting threats and minimize risk. To successfully address this, The FA’s cybersecurity maturity assessments and audits identified an opportunity to invest in a SIEM platform. It recognized that it needed a SIEM provider that could also deliver outsourced security operations center (SOC) capabilities and embedded SOAR tools to safeguard its reputation against emerging attacks.

The Solution

The FA chose LogRhythm for its mature and consolidated SIEM offering after undergoing an extensive tender analysis. It deployed LogRhythm based on its need for a reliable platform that could protect its business operations with a more centralized logging view for greater insight into where it may encounter issues.

“Reputational protection is a really key aspect for us as we move through our digital journey and everything seems to move to a more digital landscape,” said John Gibbs, Information Security Manager at the FA.

“We were looking for a SIEM platform with SOAR capability, creation of instant response playbooks, and comprehensive training on the platform. The creation and management of playbooks is really useful for us for trying to understand what we should be doing.” said John.

In addition to its mature cybersecurity offerings, The FA recognized LogRhythm’s affordable pricing model within its selection process. It gains a cost-effective SOC solution built to reduce security expenses, maximize analyst efficiency, and achieve greater Return on Investment (ROI).

“One of the other things that we required was a SOC service and for the price point, there weren’t many that could offer that for us. When we got our final two shortlisted options, it was that competitive pricing point that really just pushed LogRhythm ahead. It was a very good value proposition.” said John.

Beyond this, the continuous support offered by the LogRhythm team was another key competitive differentiator in The FA’s decision to deploy LogRhythm. LogRhythm’s dedicated team made sure it had the expertise in place to make the deployment a success.

“The team has been very helpful, very knowledgeable, and just made sure that everything in our onboarding process has been smooth from the beginning. They realize what it is we’re trying to achieve rather than trying to sell a piece of software and then wash their hands of that. They’ve provided great technology and great support,” said John.

An Industry-Backed Platform

One of the key factors in the FA’s decision was the advocation for LogRhythm’s SIEM offering from industry stakeholders. LogRhythm’s commitment to its promise of delivering new product innovations, services, and integrations every 90 days ensures its customers benefit from the latest cybersecurity enhancements and sets it apart from competitors.

The personal recommendations it received on LogRhythm’s service and SOC quality provided it with assurance that it would get what it wanted out of the process and demonstrated the overall strength of LogRhythm’s solution. As a result, the FA was able to reach a unanimous decision across its board to deploy LogRhythm over the additional supplier in its shortlist.

“When we looked at all of the offerings on the market, we chose LogRhythm for its mature SIEM, the experience it has in the industry, and the feedback we’ve received from some of our other partners or sports affiliates,” said John. “Ultimately, we thought that LogRhythm provided everything we needed and at a level that had backing from other stakeholders that we work with.” said John.