Symantec says: Olympic Cybersecurity is like protecting a Major Company

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How do you go about managing the cybersecurity for an event which is massive and popular as the Olympics? According to the Symantec’s Vice President for Americas, Rob Potter treat the event like a fortune 100 company.

Potter said “I think it’s very very similar, both in dollar amounts and in terms of interaction and people, as a fortune 100 company for the period of time that the Olympics are”.

“How do you look at how you’re going to do business with multiple countries and in this case, hundreds of countries? And how do you make sure recognise what the threat landscapes look cross all of those multi-international organisation? And how do you leverage that against the intelligence you have?”

Symantec is going to be providing the network security for the Olympic games which is an endeavour that has been in years of preparation. The summer games start on Friday 5th August in Rio de Janerio.

Referring to the London 2012 summer games, Potter said The planning to be involved in and support the games began right after London”.

Potter also said that the hosts of such an event would have to plan for the needed IT infrastructure They have to start to think about their infrastructure not just from their ability to host the people that will come, and not just from the ability to maintain a physical security presence, but new it’s become critical that they have to take a look at their ability to host the IT infrastructure”

There are types of cyber incidents that you need to prepare for. Potter has said that there are three main areas that corporations will need to worry about as well; cybercrimes, insider threats and hacktivism/terrorism.

There is still the concern around the insider, so you have that concern in any major sporting event” said Potter, listing tickets and financial fraud as two major targets. The next area is how you combat against all of the criminals that maybe are going to take advantage of some of the information they have about people to do phishing and spear phishing attacks on specific individuals”.

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The Olympics in London had netted $1 billion (£766,638,291.75) in revenue, which according to Potter, it can tempt the cyber criminals to get in on the massive influx of money.

And then you’ve got more worrisome efforts that go on with hacktivism. The Olympics, like any major sporting event is a key opportunity to get some type of political statement expressed” Potter said. There’s no surprise that terrorists have begun to use the internet as well, and so with any major event like this there’s always some worry about what that target might look like.”

So far this year, some of the cyber concerns have stemmed from the state of cybersecurity as a whole in Brazil. The challenge that you have in any of these environments is that your economic and political environment always have an impact” said Potter.

After the recent political disruption and economic crisis in the country making an uproar in the cyber state. When you look at the Symantec internet security threat report, the Brazil region is a top 10 region for cybersecurity threats”.

Based on Potters experiences, here are some recommendations that he has for spectators and competitors to make sure they minimise their security risks:

  • Stay on top of your device“Make sure that you’ve got a device that’s up to date with its applications. And if you’re bringing your own communication devices whether it be an iPad or a cell phone, if you ‘re going to connect that to a wireless network down there, make sure that you’ve looked at the applications on your device to close down any communications that you maybe allowing in your home country”.
  • Assume you’ve been compromised“If you’re going to be logging in and using your device, when you leave or even while you’re there quite frankly, you should not leave there thinking that your user ID and your password are still reliable. You should leave there with assumption that you’ve been compromised and do everything you can to change your passwords and update your phone”.
  • Don’t use your critical information“Minimise the amount of interaction you do with your critical data. The convince that people have communicating socially with that device means many people will take the risk of accessing information on that device and leveraging networks that are free”.
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Potter is worried that in all the excitement of digitally participating in the Olympics it will cause a lot of people to forget the dangers in which they can inherent in using their mobile devices while being there. He has also suggested that people don’t let their guard down, even when they get back home a few days or even a week later. That is when this information is used in a fraudulent way” he said.

He has also said that if anyone wants to get a better understanding of the risks that happen in these event; DHS, Symantec and other cybersecurity experts offer resources on their websites.

“If you’re travelling overseas, I think it’s worth your while and a good investment to read some of these types of documents and take a good look at your personal device that you’re bringing” Potter said.