What the Pinewood Derby Can Teach You About Cybersecurity

Pinewood Blog 1 Featured Image

Taking the spirit of a popular classic childhood event and transforming it into a day of competition and fun + relating this to cybersecurity? Challenge accepted.

The Pinewood Derby, a rite of passage for kids in the Boy Scouts of America, is a wood car racing event. Traditionally, each Cub Scout receives a block of pinewood, plastic wheels and metal axles to create a crewless, unpowered miniature car. Although simple in concept, the art and skill come in crafting a car that reduces friction, has an aerodynamic design. The competition also takes into account all-around sportsmanship and collaboration.

These concepts can also be applied in many ways including your cybersecurity posture.

On September 8th in Salt Lake City, in collaboration with Spectra Alliance we are hosting our first-ever Pinewood Derby event, with a cybersecurity twist! In the weeks leading up to the event, we will share a series of blogs featuring tips for winning the Pinewood Derby and winning cybersecurity strategies.

 

Part 1: Endpoints and Wheels

Endpoints are your first line of defense for malware, and protecting your endpoints is crucial for a successful Zero Trust strategy. Wheels are the connection between your car (your company) and the track (the outside world). The wheels are your endpoints; they are where friction, debris and other threats can creep into your otherwise smooth-running machine and cause chaos.

Pinewood Derby Tip

The wheels that come with the BSA kit are mass-produced. As a result, the wheels have many imperfections: A mold mark that leaves a bump on the outside tread, a non-concentric tread circumference and axel bore, or “mold flash,” which is extra plastic in various parts of the wheel, and other differences that can make your wheels unbalanced. To further compound the problem, each wheel is slightly different. The net result is increased friction, thus making your car run s-l-o-w-e-r.

The first tip for reducing friction is to monitor the distance between wheel and car. Wheels that are too close will result in a grind against the body and act as a break. Too far, and they will cause a wobble.

  • Wheel spacing should be 1/16”-1/32” from the car body

Endpoint Tip

Just as you can make seemingly simple changes in a pinewood derby car to reduce friction and stabilize the body, there are things you can do to reduce friction in your endpoints and reduce risk to the stability of your cybersecurity infrastructure:

  • Go on the hunt for threats: Don’t wait for attacks to happen; proactively seek them out. A good endpoint solution won’t just respond to threats; it will actively seek and destroy them before they can become a big issue.
  • Automate backups: Any interruption in access to data is an interruption to your business running smoothly. With automatic backups, you know your data is safe and available to you in the event of a breach.
  • Incident Response (IR): Do an IR tabletop exercise with a company like Presidio who can help you understand how prepared you are to respond to a cybersecurity incident with careful planning, coordination, communication, and an understanding of capabilities.

 

Interested in attending our in-person Pinewood Derby event on September 8th in Salt Lake City, UT? Register here to have a kit mailed to you and join us at the race if you are in the area! If you are unable to attend, tune in to our social media channels for coverage of the race!

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