For Sports, Sensitive Data Could Be A Little Bit Of Everything

Jul 25, 2019

NCAA Chief Information Officer Judd Williams talks about what could qualify as sensitive data for a sports organization. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

At the Cybertech Midwest conference in Indianapolis Wednesday, the NCAA, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pacers Sports and Entertainment detailed how they focus on cybersecurity. 

Cybersecurity representatives from sports organizations in Indiana say their biggest focus is training employees to practice better habits. But NCAA Chief Information Officer Judd Williams says each organization has a different specific concern. 

“So anything that happens with us, we always have to be very careful. And it makes us ask – I mean, I ask all the time – what exactly is sensitive data to us,” Williams says.

The NCAA has data for every high school athlete applying for eligibility. But sensitive data could also be their brackets. In 2016, a third-party vendor’s employee leaked the bracket before the official announcement.

But for other organizations, like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, sensitive data is what's coming off the track. President Doug Boles says each IndyCar is a rolling computer. 

"In racing, data is the key to being successful," Boles says.

All the cybersecurity representatives pointed to better training for employees as the first solution for better protecting data.