Protecting Wimbledon – game, set and match IBM


Wimbledon is famous for good reason: for two weeks every year, The Championship attracts millions of digital visitors from a global audience, who engage in a quintessentially British celebration of world-class tennis.

Wimbledon balances tradition with innovation, it is built on grass courts, tennis whites and a digital experience that attracts fans, with real-time coverage of the world’s best tennis tournament. In 2021, cognitive security technology and constant vigilance from IBM helped protect and the Wimbledon brand.

The digital experience is now more crucial than ever to help grow the value of the Wimbledon brand, by attracting a new “digital native” audience. Inevitably, such a high-profile sporting event and iconic brand attract a huge amount of unwanted attention from cyber attackers, whose aim is to disrupt and cause reputational damage.

With unprecedented levels of peak traffic across these digital properties, IBM Cloud proved up to the task. The infrastructure is easily scaled to accommodate event-day traffic spikes, without compromising performance, and with robust security capabilities in place, that blocked millions of threats during the fortnight. To meet these demands, a multi-layered approach to security was taken, which ensured that every part of the infrastructure was protected. One of the keys to this strong security program is expertise and experience: IBM Security Analysts constantly monitor the infrastructure, using world-class technology: IBM QRadar Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), to identify potential attacks and rank the incidents by the level of urgency.

The first step in responding to a suspected attack is, for the Security Analyst, to gain a better understanding of what is happening and the potential scope and scale of the incident. The initial investigation typically involves analysts searching multiple information sources and can take around an hour to complete – which could be too long in a high profile, fast-paced, time-critical event like Wimbledon.

This is where augmented intelligence steps in, to enable rapid threat investigation. IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson technology enriches data provided by the SIEM solution, offering a recommended set of actions based on its analysis of a given threat, and enabling the IBM security team to react to incidents 60 times quicker.

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