Paris Olympics 2024: Reinforcing against Cyber security threats

The Paris Olympic organising committee expects a surge in hacking attempts
An undated image of Paris Olympics 2024 poster. — Olympics
An undated image of Paris Olympics 2024 poster. — Olympics

As the Paris Olympics 2024 approaches, organisers are gearing up to tackle a different kind of threat — cyberattacks. With technology playing an increasingly crucial role in the Games, cybersecurity has become a top priority to safeguard against potential disruptions and ensure a smooth event.

The Paris Olympic organising committee, led by Franz Regul, expects a surge in hacking attempts as the countdown to the Games progresses. Unlike companies and governments that plan for possible attacks, Olympic organisers can predict with certainty the time frame during which they expect the highest risk — July and August.

Cybersecurity concerns have escalated in recent years, with hacking groups and nations like Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran demonstrating advanced capabilities to target not just computer networks but also critical systems integral to the Olympics, such as digital ticketing and event timing systems.

The threat is not simply theoretical, as evidenced by past incidents like the cyberattack during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. 

To prepare for potential threats, Paris 2024 cyber security officials have been conducting "war games" and collaborating with partners to bolster defences. These efforts include hosting simulated attacks by ethical hackers and offering rewards for identifying vulnerabilities through bug bounties, as reported by The New York Times

Despite these proactive measures, the risk remains significant, with millions of cyberattacks expected. Organisers are alert against various tactics employed by malicious actors, including phishing scams and impersonation attempts targeting Games staff members.

The growing reliance on technology in organising major events like the Olympics underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures. As the Games draw nearer, the focus on defending against cyber threats becomes paramount to ensure the security and success of the Paris Olympics 2024.