Intrusion Detection Keeps Churchill Downs on Track

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-12-06 Email Print this article Print

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Churchill Downs' Reuben Moretz estimates that intrusion detection has saved the racetrack operator $1.2 million.

Reuben Moretz
Data Security Analyst
Churchill Downs Inc.
Louisville, Ky.

Manager's Profile: Oversees security policy and technologies for racetrack operator with $70 million in revenue in 2005.

His Project: Moretz joined Churchill Downs in 2003, charged with revamping its existing network infrastructure. Securing that network was a top priority. Already using Cisco routers and switches, he opted for the firm's 4215 intrusion detection sensor to monitor traffic patterns and spot any incoming attacks, citing its integration and standardization with existing hardware, and pricing (he paid less than $10,000, including service, support and licenses). "Our comfort level with Cisco was very high at the time," and still is, he says.

Catching Up: While Moretz says the product provided an "intimidating" amount of intrusion signatures—definitions of common network attacks—he points to the Cisco Web site, which eased confusion by explaining each signature as well as potential false-positive anomalies.

The Homestretch: In addition to using the product on his corporate network, Moretz deployed the sensor on a wireless local-area network at the 2005 Kentucky Derby to allow betting on wireless devices.

Winner's Circle: By factoring in how many workers would have to drop other assignments to fix problems, and how much an outage would cost over time, Moretz estimates that the racetrack operator has saved upward of $1.2 million by avoiding network failures. Many technology managers deem network security as a cost of doing business. Moretz, on the other hand, says, "To me, it's a cost of losing business."



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