Olympic Games 2024: cybersecurity takes center stage

Every edition of the Olympic Games is a declared battle between a cyber bubble, responsible for protecting the Games, and the ever-increasing number of attacks. Never has an event like Paris 2024 been so exposed.

Fanch Francis
May 5, 2023
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NANO's Perspective

Every edition of the Olympic Games is a declared battle between a cyber bubble, responsible for protecting the Games, and the ever-increasing number of attacks.

Never has an event like Paris 2024 been so exposed.

Anticipation is one of the available weapons; we must learn from previous editions:

  • Rio Olympics - 2016 About 400 attacks countered every second / 500 million IT security events throughout the fortnight of the games.
  • Tokyo Olympics – 2020 4.4 billion threats of this type detected during the Tokyo Games.
  • Projection for the Paris Olympics - 2024 The Ministry of the Interior expects figures 3 to 4 times higher

Beyond the uncertainties that naturally weigh on this type of event, the organizers' decision to entrust the entire telecom infrastructure of the Games to a single operator introduces an additional element of vulnerability.

Cybersecurity planned for 2024

For Paris 2024, cybersecurity includes:

  • A Security Operations Center (SOC);
  • An alert center and reaction to IT attacks and threat detection (CERT/CSIRT);
  • Dedicated hosting of sensitive data.
According to various sources and press releases, the budget for the Paris edition on cybersecurity amounts to more than 17 million euros.

It includes:

  • A prevention and defense program with full-scale simulations,
  • A secure application code, integrated into the development of the hundred applications deployed in 2024 to ensure their “secured by design” nature,
  • An effort to seal network and server layers in infrastructure design,
  • Security audits
  • The establishment of a SOC.

NANO Corp's Solution Applied to the Olympics

The 2024 games will be the most connected games to date.

Today, the user experience of a sporting event goes beyond simply renting a seat in a stadium.

🔎 If we were to take stock of the networks and equipment required for a modern stadium, we find at a minimum equipment to satisfy the following needs:

  • Smart navigation
  • Management of parking spaces, seat management
  • Crowd control, ultra-fast high-speed indoor and outdoor network; 5G coverage, security cameras
  • Management of opening and closing of doors and gates
  • etc…

Each of these categories has its own equipment and specific network needs, and of course, comes with a provider and a dedicated integrator, complicating the capacity for global supervision.

First observation: it is not possible to count on equipment with intrinsic and coordinated cybersecurity capabilities. Network supervision remains the best coverage of the attack surface.
Second observation: it is illusory to hope to have "strategic" interconnection nodes allowing the use of a few probes. It is necessary to be able to deploy fleets of probes across a wide variety of networks.

👍 NANO Corp allows a unique point of view for supervision of all networks and regardless of the connected equipment.

NANO Corp's solution falls into the category of Network Detection and Response (NDR) solutions, that is, tools specialized in:

  • analyzing network traffic
  • detecting anomalies
  • assisting in incident response based on the interactions of the various network nodes.
In the field of cybersecurity, the major interest of this tool is its ability to detect anomalies and attack patterns extremely early, before they are cataloged in databases.

👉 It allows for effective combat against zero-day attacks, that is, the exploitation of a flaw allowing the launch of a cyberattack via a vulnerability previously unknown. The interest is its ability to complement tools using signature comparison with tools using network behavioral analysis.

👉 It also allows for the control of the compliance of security policies implemented within a system. Thus, alerts are launched as soon as non-identified connected devices appear, the use of suspicious or unauthorized protocols or protocol sequences, or the detection of non-compliance with network segmentations.

💡 Some of the differentiating criteria of our NANO Corp solution:

  • It is strictly software and deploys on standard hardware
  • It is extremely lightweight, requiring up to 10 times less resources than the competition It is compatible with any type of infrastructure
  • It is ZeroTrust, it controls every packet circulating on all networks
  • It has a unique control point deployable on the client's infrastructure or in the cloud

The final word

Future sporting events will always be more connected than the previous ones. The geopolitical context indicates that the risk of cyber attacks on very high visibility events has a strong probability.

In the context of cybersecurity for the Olympic Games, this solution allows on any site (stadium, village, fan zone, urban competition venue) to benefit from:

  • a dynamic and real-time mapping of any device connected to the networks
  • access control gates and other devices
  • cameras (security and broadcasting)
  • point of sale machines of concessions and Ticketing Booths
  • IoT devices responsible for lights, thermostats, or security.
  • display boards
  • temporary network equipment for 4/5G wifi, bluetooth...
  • dissemination of an identification of authorized equipment
  • a scripted detection of anomalies of contextualized alerts
  • multiple specialized dashboards by recipient (analyst, expert, decision-maker) allowing to improve security, performance, and network control.

Since the next Games will be the most attacked, let's make them the most secure. This involves the permanent mastery of the attack surface, and the supervision of all connected devices across more than 120 sites linked together (stadiums, villages, fan zones, stations, airports, press centers...) not to mention the hundreds of thousands of collective and individual equipment. A beautiful challenge as only the Games know how to propose.

Fanch Francis
May 5, 2023
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