Cybersecurity and Data Protection: Safeguarding the 2024 Euros

Cybersecurity and Data Protection: Safeguarding the 2024 Euros

Cybersecurity and Data Protection: Safeguarding the 2024 Euros

The Euros are in full swing, with some great goals having already been scored, however alongside the excitement, there’s always a concern that most people wouldn’t think of: the threat of cyberattacks. Major sporting events like the Euros can present a real opportunity for cybercriminals. Here at Cybata, we specialise in GDPR compliance, data protection and cybersecurity and are here to highlight the importance of safeguarding data during high-profile events.

The Rising Threat of Cyberattacks

Large scale events can attract cybercriminals for a number of reasons. With an influx of personal data, financial transactions and increased online activity, this can create a rich opportunity for various cyber threats, including phishing, ransomware and DDoS attacks. As the Euros has a massive global audience and numerous stakeholders, it’s a prime time for attacks to occur such as:

Phishing Attacks:
Cybercriminals will often use phishing attacks to steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting fans. These can range from trying to sell fake tickets and using counterfeit merchandise websites to creating fraudulent streaming links to trick individuals to divulge their sensitive information.

Highly populated areas such as cities or large organisations involved in the Euros could be targeted by ransomware attacks, where criminals encrypt data and demand a ransom for its release. These attacks can disrupt operations, compromise sensitive information and could even cause huge financial and reputational damage.

DDoS Attacks:
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) are attacks that can overwhelm servers which causes websites and online services to crash. Hackers will use these attacks to disrupt ticket sales, live streaming and other essential services which can affect fans and stakeholders alike.

The Importance of Data Protection

For large events such as the Euros, data protection is paramount. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has stringent requirements for handling personal data and non-compliance can lead to large fines and even legal repercussions. It’s important for businesses (particularly when they are involved in large events such as the Euros) to ensure they protect the data of clients and staff to ensure they are also complying with GDPR regulations. Here are some ways of doing that:

Compliance with GDPR:
As mentioned, all businesses must adhere to GDPR regulations, which includes data minimisation, purpose limitation and ensuring the security of data. Personal data, whether that is clients, potential customers, other businesses or staff should only be collected for specific, legitimate purposes and be protected against unauthorised access and breaches.

Data Encryption:
Encrypting sensitive data can be crucial in protecting it from cybercriminals. It ensures that even if the data is intercepted or accessed without authorisation that it remains unusable and unreadable.

Regular Security Audits:
Conducting regular security audits can help to identify vulnerabilities and to ensure that robust security measures are in place. Audits normally include penetration testing, vulnerability assessments and reviewing data protection policies and procedures.

Best Practices for Cybersecurity During the Euros

As we’ve already mentioned, cyberattacks are rife during events like the Euros, so adopting best practices for cybersecurity and data protection can be incredibly important. Here are some of the key strategies we suggest:

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
Multi-Factor authentication can add an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more verification factors to access sensitive information, such as football tickets! This can reduce the risk of unauthorised access and the issues this could cause, even if login credentials have been compromised.

Educate Stakeholders:
Making sure you have regular training for employers, volunteers and even stakeholders are essential. They should be educated about common cyber threats such as phishing and email scams as well as trained to recognise and report suspicious activities. Whilst events like the Euros are on, it’s also important to provide extra training for event specific scams that could happen, what to look out for and how to report this.

Develop an Incident Response Plan:
Creating an incident response plan that’s effective can ensure that your business can quickly and efficiently respond to cyberattacks. The plan should include the steps that need to be taken in the event of a breach, including communication protocols, containment measures and recovery procedures.

Monitor Network Traffic:
During large-scale events, network traffic can increase in some areas. Using continuous monitoring of this traffic can help to detect anomalies and potential cyber threats. Using advanced threat detection tools and security information and event management (SIEMENS) systems can be used to identify and respond to any suspicious activity.

Secure Remote Access:
With hybrid and remote work having become more of a norm, having a secure remote access for staff is vital. Make sure you implement virtual private networks (VPNs), ensure secure configurations and regularly update your remote access policies particularly when working on where your staff may be handling large amounts of data or global information.

The 2024 Euros has already been an exhilarating event but the associated cybersecurity risks cannot be ignored. Make sure you implement robust cybersecurity measures and adhere to data protection regulations such as GDPR. Businesses can then safeguard the personal data of all staff and customers. At Cybata, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of data protection and cybersecurity, ensuring that your focus remains on enjoying the beautiful game.