Microsoft Highlights Escalating Cybersecurity Risks at Major Sports Events
Microsoft Highlights Escalating Cybersecurity Risks at Major Sports Events

Image: Tadas Sar (unsplash)

Microsoft has raised an alarm about the danger posed by cyber intruders to stadium functions, cautioning that the cyber risk landscape at live sports events is “quickly enlarging.”

According to a Cyber Signals report relayed to The Hacker News, the tech giant declared that data on athletic performance, competitive benefits, and personal details forms a tempting target. “The repositories of valuable data that sports teams, major league and international sports organizations, and entertainment venues possess are attractive to cybercriminals,” conveyed Microsoft.

Regrettably, the same report reveals, this data can become increasingly susceptible on a large scale, owing to the multitude of interconnected gadgets and networks in such settings.

Specifically, Microsoft identified medical institutions providing vital health and support services to fans and players as potential victims of ransomware assaults, leading to service interruptions.

As countermeasures against such threats, Microsoft suggests the following:

  • Corporations should turn off unnecessary ports and ensure proper scanning for illicit or makeshift wireless access points.
  • Event-goers should keep their apps and devices updated with the latest patches, avoid accessing confidential information over public Wi-Fi, and steer clear of scanning QR codes from unreliable sources.
  • Commercial systems should ascertain that point-of-sale (PoS) devices are updated, functional, and connected to a separate network.
  • Stadium operations should incorporate logical network segmentations to establish barriers between IT and OT systems and restrict cross-device access.

In Microsoft’s ideal scenario, organizations and security teams could configure their systems prior to the event, complete all necessary testing, take snapshots of the system and devices, and prepare them for prompt deployment by IT teams when necessary.

The tech giant emphasizes that these efforts could effectively deter adversaries from exploiting poorly configured, makeshift networks within the enticing and target-rich environments of large sports events.