When the 2024 Olympics in Paris kick off with the opening ceremony on July 26, a billion viewers are expected to tune in remotely, while several hundred thousand will be on hand to witness the spectacle in person. Among the throngs will be those who seek 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 could include travel, hospitality, ticketing, retail, media, sports betting, financial services, social networks, and public sector infrastructure. These attacks will likely leverage a wide range of techniques, ranging from sophisticated botnets and ransomware to credential stuffing and account takeovers, social engineering, and other forms of online fraud.

Vincent Strubel, who heads France’s national cybersecurity agency, ANSSI, told the Associated Press that the expected cyberthreat levels targeting the 2024 Summer Games are unprecedented. The agency is bracing 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.”

Cybersecurity Preparedness for the 2024 Olympics

“The Olympics present a unique challenge due to the sheer volume of digital interactions,” warned Marie Vandewalle, a threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, adding, “Businesses must invest in advanced threat detection and response systems to stay ahead of cybercriminals.”

Jake Moore from ESET, another security software provider, emphasized the need for “multi-layered security approaches, including user education and real-time monitoring.”

DataDome, which has headquarters in France and the United States, is already offering French companies a premium version of its new SOC (security operations center) monitoring service, to help 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 come and disrupt the party. DataDome’s SOC service allows cybersecurity teams to detect and remediate threats before they cause significant impact to business operations,” he said.

Additional tactics businesses can adopt to help deter and defend against expected attacks include 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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