MGM Resorts International operates 27 resort properties worldwide, including more than 420 bars and restaurants and 282 retail establishments. SVP, Chief Information Security Officer Scott Howitt oversees security for the entire global enterprise, which encompasses 20,000 endpoints, various operating systems, and applications that span the gaming, hospitality, entertainment, food and beverage, retail and hotel industries. MGM Resort International’s reputation rests heavily on keeping its customers data safe and secure.
Howitt and his team work relentlessly to block threats and mitigate risk as quickly and efficiently as possible. He has overseen the transformation of MGM Resort International’s security ecosystem and continues to evolve it to stay ahead of ever-changing threats. Implementation of solutions such as McAfee Investigator and use of the Open Data Exchange Layer (OpenDXL) have reduced the time needed to block and remediate threats, keeping its businesses and customers safer. Howitt has also adopted some key strategies on top of these critical tools to help build a culture of security among his team.
Continually adapt and learn
Keeping ahead of zero-day attacks and new advanced threats requires a security infrastructure that continually gets smarter. By bringing in innovative technologies, such as machine learning and AI used by McAfee Investigator, MGM Resorts International’s defenses can adapt and learn to protect, detect, and correct faster.
Leverage technology that advances team learning
Using McAfee’s Investigator tool has also matured the team, helping them learn from each other. By providing greater continuity in the handoffs during an incident response process, everyone has a clearer view of the investigation, leading to increased efficiency. This also makes it easier to transfer knowledge from veteran staff to newer team members via the tool, advancing the team much faster.
Think longer term and build a layered defense architecture
The company has moved over the years from a security environment made up of a collection of point solutions to an adaptive ecosystem of interconnected security solutions and services that work together. McAfee Threat Intelligence Exchange and OpenDXL have supported Howitt in realizing this vision of a comprehensive, layered defense architecture. This approach not only helped build a more integrated security environment, but vendor consolidation saved money and simplified operational overhead.
Use the community
Once a quarter MGM Resorts International gathers representatives from McAfee and its three other major security partners to discuss possible use cases and how to leverage OpenDXL. Howitt admits their partners were hesitant at first to work closely with competitors, but they embraced it when they saw how working together could make their tools more efficient and powerful through collaboration. “… the more collaboration you have, the more likely you are to find better ways to use a tool or make it work better and be more secure,” says Howitt.