“Like the athletes who will be at the Games, we are preparing”, explained Franz Regul, the head of cybersecurity within the organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Accompanied by experts from Atos and Cisco, partners of the event, everyone is already on the bridge to ensure the security of the network and the technologies that will be deployed for the occasion.
Ticketing, broadcasting, social networks, timing… Nothing should slip through the cracks. “The technological footprint is very important”, confirmed Mr. Regul at a press conference, specifying that the visibility of the event and the economic impact that will result from it make it a prime target for cybercriminals. In all, nearly forty competition sites will have to be protected.
To carry out this mission, the organizing committee has developed a strategy based on four pillars. Awareness and training, first, while cyberattacks are still often based on human error, such as opening an attachment in a malicious e-mail for example. But the idea is also tobuild from the beginning safe Games”, in particular by supporting the development of the hundred applications which will have to be deployed in 2024 and ensuring that they are indeed “secured by design”.
No particular concerns at the moment
The Games will also be able to count on a “cyber control tower”, where analysts will be able to detect suspicious activity signals using artificial intelligence-based tools and orchestrate responses in the event of attacks.
This continuous monitoring work has already begun, particularly on social networks. For now, noserious activity” alerted these cyber patrollers, Franz Regul said, but he noted some “opportunistic activities” such as the domain name reservation exploiting the intellectual property of the event by a few usurpers for phishing purposes.
Finally, there is training and simulations. Cyber teams regularly conduct scenario-based exercises”credible”. “We rely on feedback [des Jeux] from Tokyo and Beijing”, underlined Mr. Regul. The organization should soon open its system to the “bug bounty”, a program that rewards hackers who put their finger on potential vulnerabilities.
“A team sport”
“It’s important to do this cyber gym”, said Christophe Thivet, Chief Integrator Officer at Atos. Because “cybersecurity is a team sport“, recalled Franz Regul, while the organizing committee has surrounded itself, as in each edition, with partner companies. The French Atos, technological partner of the Games since 2001, will supervise the “cyber control tower in 2024.
“These are teams that will work 24/7 and will monitor what is happening on the systems.”, detailed Mr. Thivert. The American Cisco is also in the game. The multinational is not at its first attempt since it was she who took care of the cybersecurity of the last Superbowl.
In addition to the technical partners, this coalition of cyber experts works closely with the services of ANSSI and the Ministry of the Interior, with whom they meet every week. As the cyber threat continues to grow all over the world, securing the electronic systems, networks and data of the next Olympic Games promises to be a particularly delicate and very critical mission. Between the Rio Games in 2016 and the Tokyo Games in 2020 alone, the “weak signals” had been multiplied by eight.
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Cybersecurity: how the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are preparing
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