Olympic Games: how Paris 2024 is preparing for the threat of cyberattacks

6:08 p.m., October 21, 2022

On August 4, 2024, around 9 p.m., the runners of the men’s 100 meters will be in the starting blocks for the final of the Olympic Games 2024
, at the Stade de France. For the whole world, who will have their eyes on the athletes, it will be a great celebration. ” But me, that’s not what I’ll see”told the JDD Franz Regul, head of information systems security for Paris 2024. “ What I will see is a computer surrounded by peripherals with about 80,000 spectators inside and a few hundred athletesare. It is a technological system that will allow us to manage the reception of participants, spectators, journalists, the recording and retransmission of competitions, the safety of participants and a whole host of functions related to the operations of this site. “, he lists.

Cybersecurity is a team sport

Less than two years away from the most watched sporting event in the world, the organization of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is preparing more than ever for the cyber threat. It must be said that, in a world that is becoming more and more digital, cyberattacks
do not spare a major event such as the Olympic Games. During the last Tokyo Olympics in 2021, 4.4 billion computer security events were counted, compared to 510 million during the previous Rio Games in 2016. ” Obviously the cyber threat cannot be underestimated. We are preparing for it carefully with my team and it is a subject that is taken very seriously by the general management of the Olympic Games. “says Franz Regul. To deal with this threat, the Paris 2024 strategy is based on four pillars.

A cybersecurity control tower

The first is based on training and awareness, while almost 90% of cybercrime acts are linked to human factors. ” Concretely, we are setting up training courses for participants in the organization, we will distribute awareness guides when the time comes and we have set up activities to raise awareness among our employees, in particular an escape game. », Details the cybersecurity manager.

In addition, its team accompanies and intervenes in the hundreds of applications and projects that revolve around the Olympic Games. Another device: a cybersecurity control tower ”, in which analysts and experts will use tools based on artificial intelligence to detect all signs of suspicious or malicious activity.

Read also – Security: what the government fears for the Paris 2024 Olympics

The idea is to protect against very concrete threats such as ransomware that may have hit the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018 or password theft “, explains Franz Regul. Finally, the Paris 2024 cybersecurity team relies on training, in particular with ” cyber wargames “. ” We will turn to suppliers to attack us in real life, simulate the behavior of hackers and assess our level of preparation “, explains Franz Regul. The Paris 2024 Olympic Games Organizing Committee has chosen the American company Cisco and the French company Atos as partners. Part of their job will also be to be present on dark web forums and monitor what is happening there.

A bug bounty

Paris 2024 should finally launch in a few days its program of “ bug bounty (“Bug Bounty”). This is to address the cybersecurity research community and reward those who find flaws in the system. The organization also works in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the National Agency for Computer Security (Ansi) and the Ministry of the Interior.

Cybersecurity is a team sport sums up Franz Regul. In total, several hundred people will work on the cybersecurity of the 2024 Olympics. For the moment, the organization has not spotted any notable attack. ” We mainly see opportunistic activities, usurpation attempts, domain name reservations, but, to date, no serious activity says Franz Regul.

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Olympic Games: how Paris 2024 is preparing for the threat of cyberattacks

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