Stephen Gostkowski, SOC Analyst

January 25, 2016 Kevin Whalen

Well, the Patriots lost another heartbreaker in Denver, and it happened because of something that nobody, and I mean nobody saw coming. A missed extra point.


You see, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski had made an NFL record 523 consecutive extra points. This streak became even more significant this year when the NFL made a rule change making the extra point more challenging. Perhaps the only thing the Roger Goodell-led NFL got right last offseason was a rule change to move the ball back to the equivalent of a 33 yard field goal instead of a 20 yard field goal, which was made at a 99.6% proficiency.  Didn’t matter to Gostkowski, he kept the streak going, making 55 straight this year.

I was watching the game with my twelve year old son, and when they mentioned Gostkowski hadn’t missed an extra point since 2006, I looked next to me and tried to think of my son as 2 year old. That’s a long time ago.

All it takes to lose the game is to get it wrong one time. That’s a ton of pressure and a real challenge.

In network security, the increasing sophistication of attackers, combined with the number of ways into an organization has changed the rules of the game for us. Instead of moving the ball back, as in football, we’re no longer focused on prevention at the perimeter. We’ve come to accept that you cannot prevent a persistent attacker from breaching a complex enterprise network environment. Instead, our focus today is on better detection, identifying them once they are in, but before they are able to execute their game plan. This is the challenge we face.

After the game, Gostkowski stood at his locker and took it like a true professional, taking the blame, talking about his disappointment. He will probably wake up this morning feeling bad for himself. He should thank his lucky stars he’s an NFL kicker and not a SOC analyst, they have a way more difficult job.

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