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Summer Olympics Preparedness: Cyberattacks and Heatwaves

June 14, 2024 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Every Olympic host city must contend with its own unique challenges. For Paris, that means preparing for cyber threats and protecting athletes and spectators from extreme weather.

A recent report identified several potential cyber vulnerabilities, particularly for hospitality, transportation, healthcare, and other companies providing services during the games. Because of the increased stress of providing continuous services, these companies are viewed as low-hanging fruit for ransomware attackers. Phishing scams are also being aimed at attendees via email and text messages.

To that end, organizers have been warned to be on high alert when monitoring their cybersecurity capabilities. That said, because those companies and providers don’t operate directly with the Olympics organizers, it’s unlikely a single cyberattack could cause a serious disruption of the games themselves.

Beyond the cyber threats, there are the physical threats of how an expected summer heatwave throughout Europe will impact visitors. An estimated 10,500 athletes and 300,000 spectators will be in Paris for the games, and the International Olympic Committee issued a consensus statement with regulations and recommendations, including:

  • monitoring and communicating environmental conditions with athletes and their staff
  • providing necessary hydration and setting up stress-mitigation facilities, including shade and recovery areas, and
  • giving medical providers specific training on heat stroke management.

Attendees were also warned when purchasing tickets that the event may “imply certain inherent risks, dangers or hazards, including but not limited to, risks of COVID-19 or any of its existing or future variants transmission or other infectious diseases, as well as exposure to hot weather,” and to plan their visits accordingly.

Are you curious how resilience professionals prepare for the risks involved in “mega-events” like this? Watch our DRI webinar on real-world lessons from the 2012 London Olympics.

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