Cybersecurity for the Olympic and Paralympic Games

At a glance

On top of the pandemic circumstances under which Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 were held, cyberthreats were at an all-time high. This is how Atos secured the high-visibility sports events.

Outcomes

  • More than 4 billion security events during Tokyo 2020
  • More than 3 billion security events during Beijing 2022
  • Zero impact on the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Olympic games & Paralympic Games logo

In cyber-news

Media coverage of cybersecurity usually depicts how cyber-defenses have been breached. The cyber-news from the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 is the opposite. When the attackers attempted to disrupt the most visible global events, they were defeated.

Atos has been a key IT supplier to the Olympic Games since 1992, and Worldwide IT Partner since 2001. As lead integrator, Atos is responsible for orchestrating and securing all the critical IT systems that run the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Protecting their IT infrastructure is a critical success factor for guaranteeing both data and results.

The last two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, have been held under challenging circumstances. On one hand the participants, the organizers, and the partners and suppliers have had to cope with COVID-19 restrictions. Those restrictions have generated a higher dependency on digital platforms. At the same time, cyberattacks in 2020 and 2021 grew exponentially.

Increased threats

The cyberthreats faced by Atos were heightened due to:

  • A growing variety of resourceful threat actors and their respective attack methods.
  • The complexity of the Games’ IT systems landscape involving different partners and technologies, and an increased reliance on digital services due to COVID-19.
  • The highly visible nature of the Olympic and Paralympic Games with a worldwide audience.

Potential attackers included state-sponsored actors advancing their geopolitical agendas, cybercriminals wanting to make money via ransomware, and hacktivists promoting a cause or seeking publicity.

Fortified defenses

For the past four years Atos has fortified its defenses with an emphasis on organization-wide cross-teamworking.

During the event, Atos managed immense volumes of cybersecurity data and processed billions of security events. Here’s how the company successfully shielded a diverse, complex digital landscape from these threats:

  • A security-by-design DevSecOps approach anticipated issues and vulnerabilities as well as implemented fixes early in the development process.
  • Continuous assessment solutions monitored the Games’ security posture in near-real-time, enabling Atos to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
  • Active Directory monitoring, endpoint protection retooling, vulnerability management enhancement and better automation.
  • Cybersecurity awareness for all staff, including regular phishing campaigns.
  • Coordination of many internal teams, sharing threat intelligence and initiating cross-organizational cyber operations and incident- and crisis-management processes.

Success!

4.4 billion

security events
during Tokyo 2020

Security padlock

3.1 billion

security events
during Beijing 2022

During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Atos processed large volumes of cybersecurity events — 4.4 billion during Tokyo 2020 (815 security events per second) and 3.1 billion for Beijing 2022. The work done by Atos ensured that none of the security incidents had an impact on the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022.

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