Cyber Security & the World Cup

Annabel Walker
By Annabel Walker
As England played (and won) their opening two matches of this year’s World Cup, it got us thinking about how much preparation goes into events like these.
Cyber Security & the World Cup
Not just the preparation of the players on the field, but the preparation of the venues, the technology, infrastructure, communications, and security…it’s one mammoth task!

From our point of view, we think tackling cyber security at the World Cup must have given quite a few people some serious headaches, and here’s why. Almost every fan in attendance will have a mobile device and that mobile device provides access to banking, emails, social media sites, utility providers, you name it and you can probably find it on a phone. Those apps contain personal information and even financial information, which in the wrong hands, can be a very worrying and serious problem. So how do you keep the fans safe from cyber security threats at events like the World Cup?

A big part of it is education.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a branch of the Government listening post GCHQ said that fans should think carefully about securing their personal data if they’re travelling to Russia for the World Cup. This comes at a time when there are already fears and doubts about the Russian government’s cyber capabilities, so it’s a serious warning and they’ve got the ball rolling with some basic advice about staying cyber safe throughout the event.

They recommend installing antivirus software and apps on any devices being taken to the World Cup and ensuring that software and apps are up to date and fully backed up. They also encourage password protection and two-step authentication for any sites or apps that hold personal information, as well as the advise to avoid streaming or downloading any content from unofficial and even unfamiliar websites. It also advised against using internet banking while abroad at all. Using public and free WiFi is a definite no-no.

It may sound farcical, but there’s good reasons for such advice, especially regarding online banking, as the amount of money stolen through cyber-crime is expected to double by 2021 from £2.2 trillion in 2015 to an alarming £4.5 trillion.

In our opinion this is all good advice and well worth taking on board, so safe travels, have fun, be vigilant and of course ‘come on England’!

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