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Futbol, You Bet

IT security managers are kind of like goalkeepers when it comes to protecting their networks and their companies from attacks and exploits

10:58 AM -- If you're not one of those crazed soccer fans who'll try to watch from your desktop when the World Cup kicks off in Munich today, you probably don't know who Kasey Keller is.

Keller is the U.S. World Cup team's likely starting goalkeeper, and he could have his hands full (literally) with global soccer powerhouses such as the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ghana: The three teams Team USA will meet in the first round of the World Cup. Keller knows that once the opposing team's offense gets past his defense, he will be the only thing standing between a win or a loss for his team and country.

IT security managers are kind of like goalkeepers when it comes to protecting their networks and their companies from attacks and exploits. They rely on their defensive team of firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, encryption, and other tools to keep the net clear from any attacks. But a wily attacker can penetrate any defense, even the best of them, so the IT security manager, like a goalkeeper, has to make some saves on his own sometimes.

Here's where the analogy ends: You may not personally be the last line of defense for stopping malware or some type of security breach. But the buck stops with you, and you'll probably need to add or alter your defense as attacks change, whether that means adding new security tools, or tweaking the ones you have. Like a soccer game, the game of security is a fluid one.

So even if you're no soccer fan, you can probably at least relate to Keller's job at this World Cup. But let's hope it won't come down to him alone to get the U.S. team to successfully crack out of the tough first round.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

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