4 Reasons Why Cybersecurity In Sports Is Important

Most people don't think of cybercrime when they think of the sports industry, whose market is expected to be worth $614,1 billion by 2022.

Staff Reporter
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Most people don't think of cybercrime when they think of the sports industry, whose market is expected to be worth $614,1 billion by 2022. But sports groups are working hard to educate their leaders and set up new systems to protect themselves from a threat that is always changing and ultimately introducing the concept and practices of cybersecurity in sports. But why does there need to be a system for cybersecurity in sports when they are a hands-on experience? Let's first understand the connection between digital technology and sports in today's age.

Digital Technology Is Important In Sports

Sports are played in stadiums with a lot of technology. Everything from the turnstiles to the VAR (video assistant referee) depends on how well the systems work.

As the ransomware attack on Manchester United in November 2020 showed, the effects of a cyberattack can cause a lot of trouble. These effects can be different from one case to the next, depending on the systems that are attacked and when the attack happens. Imagine what would happen if a key system failed during a Premier League game (the average attendance of which is 29,821 fans per game).

How much do sports groups depend on technology? Most of them have websites, multiple social media accounts, email access, cloud-based servers, online bank accounts, and databases, and they are using digital technology to update their services. But cyber security has to be a big part of every project, and you have to hire experienced people like a CISO (chief information security officer) to help with it. Previously these attacks were limited to streaming on websites but now, the physical, digital, and operational parts of an event are all tied together in a way that can't be separated. Today, an attack can do a lot more to ruin the game for fans.

Now that we understand the connection between technology and sports, let's look at the reasons why cybersecurity in sports is important.

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Most of the time, hackers choose to attack companies they know. They know that names like "FIFA" or "Manchester United" are valuable, and they think that the people with those names have a lot of money to give. All they are looking for is any hit at any level where they can breach data and then use it as ransom. Extortion has been in existence for ages, but it has only recently spread its hands in the sport world.


The other reason is fame. Attackers want to be known, and going after well-known organizations makes sure that their names and the things they did will be talked about.

What's new about cyber attacks? 

Even though attacks on sports entities are getting worse and more common, the sports world is still not very good at protecting its assets. Idan Dardikman, Co-Founder and VP Professional Services of Axioma Cyber Services says that this is because there have only been a lot of attacks on sports organizations in the past few years. This means that sports organizations haven't yet figured out how big a problem that keeps getting worse is, or they haven't taken the right steps to protect athletes.

Lagging Cybersecurity Steps 

There are technologies out there that could protect sports organizations, but what's missing right now is the "know-how."

"Knowledge is definitely the biggest problem right now," says Dardikman. "People already know that cybersecurity in sports is important and can't be ignored any longer, and organizations already set aside money for it." Most of the time, what they lack is knowledge of how the cyber industry works.

Even when organizations set aside money for security products, especially for cybersecurity in sports and buy them, they often buy the wrong ones or use them in the wrong way because they don't know what products they really need. They are set up wrong. For example, using a simple VPN like VeePN can relieve them of many headaches. VPN protects data on media devices and also safeguards against DDoS attacks. The benefits of downloading and installing the free VPN Google extension are many. All it needs is to be introduced in organizations.

If sports organizations want to improve their defences, they should start by getting help from an outside expert in the field of cybersecurity in sports who can help them figure out what their most important security points are and what threats they face. Then, they can better decide how to spend their money. Better yet, basic security steps such as installing a VPN like VeePN can relieve them of spending money and become proactive in securing their devices.

The Olympics in 2020 had an extra year to prepare for cyberattacks, but so did the people who wanted to do harm. While we keep an eye on summer security events, sports organizations should keep their eyes on the ball, which is the fact that security events could happen anywhere.

Since cyber-attacks on sports organizations are becoming more likely, it is important for executives to take steps to prepare for this possibility and focus on cybersecurity in sports.