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Cybersecurity Preparedness for the 2024 Olympics: A Billion Viewers and Billions of Cyberattacks

When the 2024 Olympics in Paris commence with the opening ceremony on July 26, an estimated one billion viewers will be tuning in remotely, while several hundred thousand will witness the spectacle in person. However, amid the excitement, there will be those seeking to exploit this global attention for malicious purposes.

A recent report from cybersecurity firm DataDome estimates that 4 billion cyberattacks will be launched during the games, primarily targeting businesses in adjacent industry sectors. Industries in the line of fire include travel, hospitality, ticketing, retail, media, sports betting, financial services, social networks, and public sector infrastructure. These attacks are expected to employ a wide range of techniques, from sophisticated botnets and ransomware to credential stuffing, account takeovers, social engineering, and other forms of online fraud.

Vincent Strubel, head of France’s national cybersecurity agency ANSSI, highlighted the unprecedented cyberthreat levels targeting the 2024 Summer Games. He stated that the agency is preparing for a torrent of malicious activity far exceeding the estimated 450 million cyberattacks that hit the Tokyo Olympics infrastructure in 2020. “There will be cyberattacks during the Games and the Paralympics,” Strubel said at a briefing in May. “Some won’t be serious. Some will be serious but won’t have an impact on the Games. And perhaps there will be some that are serious and liable to have an impact on the Games.”

Marie Vandewalle, a threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, warned, “The Olympics present a unique challenge due to the sheer volume of digital interactions. Businesses must invest in advanced threat detection and response systems to stay ahead of cybercriminals.” Jake Moore from ESET emphasized the need for “multi-layered security approaches, including user education and real-time monitoring.”

DataDome, headquartered in France and the United States, is offering French companies a premium version of its new SOC (security operations center) monitoring service to counter the Olympic-sized threat volume. “The 2024 Olympics period promises to be crucial in terms of cybersecurity,” noted DataDome Chief Strategy Officer Benjamin Barrier. “The cyberthreat will be considerable because the Games will attract the attention of the whole world to France and represent a ‘golden’ opportunity for cybercriminals to disrupt the party. DataDome’s SOC service allows cybersecurity teams to detect and remediate threats before they cause significant impact on business operations.”

Businesses can adopt additional tactics to help deter and defend against expected attacks, including deploying advanced bot detection and mitigation strategies, enhancing account security with multi-factor authentication (MFA), and protecting digital marketing investments against ad fraud.

Understanding the threat landscape and implementing robust security solutions is crucial for businesses to navigate large-scale events like the 2024 Olympics unscathed. Preparing now with advanced security strategies can reduce risks and protect businesses—and their customers—from being victimized by potential cyberthreats during this high-profile global event.

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