Security firm helps build ‘the most secure house in the world’ to keep Ferrari safe
When you think of motor racing, often only one name comes immediately to mind – Ferrari. The Italian firm is one of the most immediately recognisable and iconic brands in the world, with its prancing horse logo a marque for speed and quality for decades.
It is no doubt, a sexy brand. But even the world’s sexiest brands need protection, and when you are looking to secure a multi-million dollar manufacturing process that creates some of the world’s most lusted-after vehicles, you need a company who can provide the best.
TechWeekEurope sat down with IT security firm Kaspersky at the recent Blancpain Endurance Series event at Silverstone to find out just how security and motorsport work together to make a strong and successful partnership.
Kaspersky first began working with Ferrari back in 2010, and since 2012 has notably had its logo featured on the company’s Formula One cars.
But this year has marked its first direct entry into racing via the GT3 Blancpain Endurance Series, where a team of three drivers (pictured) including Alexander Moiseev (far left), managing director Europe of Kaspersky Lab, and Garry Kondakov (centre), chief business officer of Kaspersky Lab, alongside Italian driver Riccardo Ragazzi (right), has taken on some of the motorsport world’s biggest names in a Ferrari 458 GT3.
“The initial idea (behind the partnership) was seeking for new ways of visibility…but also for new technical challenges,” says Moiseev.“Right now, we know that we have a competitive advantage of a few years compared to anybody else in the industry.”
The partnership covers nearly all of the Ferrari operation, including the company’s legendary Maranello factory, where millions of pieces of data are analysed to ensure peak performance.
A Kaspersky employee is also always present with the team on every race weekend, ensuring that any security issues are dealt with quickly and safely, minimising any possible risks and the company provides special training to Maranello workers concerning best practices.
“We are building the most secure house in the world,” is how Moiseev describes the work Kaspersky is doing with Ferrari, a program he describes as, ‘the ultimate solution’ for the company.
The services it provides are made up of a combination of many components, he explains, which start when the manufacturer begins melting aluminium to build the chassis, all the way up to testing and race day.
This includes protecting critical infrastructure within the factories, updating systems which may have been built up to 20 years ago, when the current threat landscape was unthought-of.
Following a sale, car thieves are an obvious threat, but the sheer amount of data being generated, even by Ferrari’s road cars, means that having IT security capabilities are crucial.
This is also helping protect the customers themselves, as computers now control many vital functions in road and racing vehicles, any failures of which could put lives at risk.
“We need to be 200 percent secure,” Moiseev says, “the threat landscape has changed.”
As with anything relating to security, trust is a key part of any relationship, and Moiseev emphasises that the level of co-operation and understanding between Kaspersky and Ferrari is what really helps the two companies benefit.
“They have allowed us to test and run experiments, in a real factory, on real cars, on a pit wall, on all the computers of the team,” he says.
“Right now, they are the only company in the world with that level of protection.”
And when asked what the best thing about working with Ferrari is, Moiseev says the level of understanding between the companies is vital.
“It’s simple – we understand each other,” he says. “We share the same passion – about the cars, and the security…you need to have something out of the monetary scope.”
“Sooner or later, sexy brands find each other!” Kondakov adds, noting that both companies are named after their founders, marking another level of partnership, showing the passion and drive they both have.
“This isn’t just about putting logos on cars…we need to be the experts.”
Ultimately, it has been a successful partnership so far, and one that both companies are keen to continue. “We prefer things to do things we know will be successful,” Moiseev says, “Now, it is like we are working as one team.”
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