This year NBC is streaming the games live, mobile activity is higher than ever before, and online ticket booking seems to be the way to go (along with web purchases for hotels, transportation, etc.). With all of this web-based activity associated with the games, personal information, credit card numbers and other sensitive data is all ripe for the picking for cybercriminals without proper precautions.
Of course, users can make sure that they are protecting themselves as much as possible by only going to trusted sites, avoiding clicking on banner ads, selecting very strong passwords for various accounts, keeping up-to-date on their anti-virus software, etc.
But what should NBC, hotel groups, ticketing providers, and game organizers be doing to protect user information from being a target in the first place? A multi-layered approach to security is a must, but certainly with all of the web-based activity taking place around these games, online security needs to be a priority.
Criminal behavior is inherently different than a normal users’ activity. Users don’t typically work to steal money, scrape data or rapidly check hundreds or thousands of credit card numbers to determine if they are legitimate or not. As a result, monitoring behavior in real-time is absolutely key to identifying abnormal usage patterns. When there is a web session that deviates from the norm, website owners need to be notified, and this is exactly what organizations need to be doing to protect their customers during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
As the athletes and organizers know, preparation is the key to success, and if all vendors selling/working with customers at the games follow that rule of thumb when it comes to cybersecurity, these games are much more likely to go off without a hitch.