UNLIKELY SOURCES: Information Security Advice from a Football Coach

Herm Edwards Security Training kc


I heard former NFL football coach Herm Edwards on the radio this morning.  He was talking about … BASEBALL.  I know plenty of Chiefs and Jets fans that will readily admit that Coach Edwards often doesn’t know what he is talking about, but this seemed oddly out of place.

The specific subject was Coaching Strategies — especially when a player has lost the edge.  Apparently, the interviewers were asking the question about how a baseball manager like Tony LaRussa might deal with a suddenly ineffective closer.

Coach Edwards equated that to how he dealt with a misfiring Field Goal Kicker.  He then proceeded to wander a little bit through the analysis.  Again…no shock to Kansas City and New York fans.

My ears perked up, however, when Coach Edwards noted that there are really two kinds of coaching strategies:  Ones that work “on the chalkboard” and plans that work “on the grass.” In short, no matter how great a coach’s plan can be in design and construction, it doesn’t mean much…well, anything…if the plan doesn’t work out on the grass of the gridiron.    The largest success factor is the ability to translate the brilliant designs from the chalkboard into the minds of the players so they can perform “on the grass.”

Herm Edwards coaching "on the grass" and dishing out some nuggets of wisdom on Information Security

It got me thinking.  I see quite a few parallels to Information Security.  The vast majority of in-place Information Security programs are brilliantly designed, well-planned, and strategically implemented.   But they are plans that are successful on the chalkboard.  We still see mountains and mountains of personal information or confidential business data leaving organizations.  Or streams of unauthorized users flowing into and out of an organization’s most valuable information assets.  Why?

It happens because most organizations do not have a really good way to translate their chalkboard plans into success on its corporate information grass.  Some have policies.  Some have procedures.  Some have PowerPoints.  And some even have training materials.  But the vast majority of organizations and business entities are not getting their players the information that employees need so that they can understand the Information Security playbook and they can implement those wonderful, elaborate, and expensive technical solutions to protect the business assets.

That is what we do. Coach Edwards may have said it best.  We translate chalkboard designs to success on the grass.  Or, we can save your grass with better Information Security and Privacy Awareness Training.

Of course, at redpoint … we also PLAY TO WIN. (<—Link to Coach Edwards in his finest hour.)

Blog   |  posted by AM

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