The Oracle Red Bull Racing team needs no introduction in the world of Formula 1. It is the hottest team on the circuit today, having just secured its second consecutive Constructors’ Championship. Its star driver Max Verstappen had already sewn up his third straight Drivers’ Championship even before he continued the team’s dominance in winning the 2023 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas earlier this month.
The logistics involved in moving cars, equipment and a lot of people around the world week after week make supporting the team a monumental task. Providing cybersecurity services on the go to protect the underlying communications infrastructure is even more difficult. Thus, I was intrigued when Arctic Wolf offered me the opportunity to speak with ORBR in late September in London to discuss its security strategy on and off the track.
A Winning Partnership
Arctic Wolf partnered with ORBR nearly two years ago to provide cybersecurity solutions across the team’s existing technology infrastructure. I’ve written about Arctic Wolf in the past; its concierge security services model is unique, and it aligns nicely with the way ORBR operates. Red Bull Racing chief security officer Mark Hazelton explained to me why supporting an average of 20 races per F1 season is so daunting. In essence, each race requires spinning up a mini data center quickly, reliably and—most importantly—securely.
To achieve these objectives, ORBR leverages Arctic Wolf’s Security Operations Cloud to ensure end-to-end data and identity access management protection. Off the track, the team is also using Arctic Wolf’s help to enable engineering innovation at its factory and headquarters in Milton Keynes, England, as well as awareness security training for employees. The flow of data from qualifying and race-day operations back to the United Kingdom is critical so the team can make needed improvements in car performance and future designs. Providing suppliers and contractors with access to ORBR’s network for supply chain considerations is equally essential—and both present unique challenges.
Identity access management and data security are likely the two biggest obstacles that ORBR faces daily. Hundreds of suppliers from tire manufacturers to engine component providers require access to the team’s network. Supply chains represent one of the most exploited areas of IT infrastructure, as evidenced by the SolarWinds exploit that made headlines a few years ago. Arctic Wolf manages this complexity, applying zero trust principles to ensure that outside parties are authenticated to access only those supply chain systems that are necessary rather than to all of ORBR’s network, which could risk lateral movement of threats and the introduction of malware.
Data protection is equally essential, given that data represents the crown jewels that yield valuable insights to ensure that the ORBR team continues its winning streak. On average, an astounding 1TB of data is generated per race, and the team generates more than 1 billion events every ten days that require security analysis. Arctic Wolf plays an instrumental role in evaluating potential vulnerabilities, thus reducing alert fatigue for ORBR while ensuring the highest levels of protection.
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ORBR is wise to partner with Arctic Wolf for its security operations, given the highly distributed nature of professional racing. Remote employee and supplier access as well as data protection are critical elements that require the highest levels of security. Arctic Wolf may be one of the many sponsor logos on the ORBR race car, but it is also an essential contributor to the team’s success.