UFC – Defense in Depth

Denim Group Boosts Security and Availability of UFC®’s Critical Applications Denim Group helps UFC® keep a sports and entertainment heavyweight on top of rapid, global expansion

Background

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Zuffa, LLC is the parent company of the popular UFC® mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. UFC’s rapid growth as a sports and entertainment venture and MMA fans’ increasing demand for UFC news, multimedia and interactive content, means UFC has invested in cutting-edge Web-based applications to help run a global, 24x7x365 enterprise. Tapping the powerful flexibility of internal and public-facing apps to power sales, fan support and business management, UFC’s software strategy keeps its growing empire nimble in the face of customer demand and opportunity.

UFC’s executives recognize that along with speed and efficiency, the digitization of critical management and revenue-generating services also introduces diverse business risks in the digital world. Cyber threats and security incidents can seemingly come from anywhere at any time – from issues that trigger prolonged system outages costing millions of dollars, to digital break-ins or data breaches that could erode customers’ trust, incur heavy clean-up costs and threaten regulatory penalties.

UFC recognizes strategic security advantages that come from developing and deploying software applications within a centralized, corporate-wide security program – instead of reactively trying to “bolt-on” security measures to evolving IT systems, after the fact. The team turned to Denim Group, the company’s go-to security software partner, to help address a host of interrelated measures dramatically enhancing the reliability and security of the company’s critical applications.

Blocking Hacktivists’ and Criminals’ Blows

Like any business relying on the Web for commerce and productivity, UFC demands the maximum uptime possible to ensure its applications can serve Web content, process ticket and merchandise sales and support managers’ time sensitive communications and decision-making. Yet, because high-profile companies and brands like UFC’s are sometimes targeted by hacktivists, opportunistic cyber criminals and other adversaries, it became apparent UFC needed comprehensive safeguards to mitigate the risk of an intrusion that leads to a defaced website or overwhelming distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that could flood the company’s servers and choke-off its apps.

Denim Group was already helping to support UFC’s online presence and Web hosting infrastructure and stepped up to develop an expanded, “defense-in-depth” strategy to counter online attacks that began to surface from the attacker community. The difficult part is notifying the system of the expected massive traffic spikes from a headline fight on a Saturday night versus equally colossal traffic from a DDos attack. By adding application level protections to divert purely malicious traffic and insulate UFC’s sensitive apps from suspicious overloads, Denim Group’s experts helped deploy new content delivery network (CDN) and DDoS-mitigation capabilities that soon thwarted subsequent attempts to knock UFC’s brand presence offline while simultaneously serving passionate fans the latest stats and videos they expect when visiting the site.