MEI and techUK consider the Cyber Security Threats to Major Sporting Events


On 12 April 2016, MEI in partnership with leading tech trade association techUK teamed up for a briefing highlighting the growing attraction of cyber-attacks to major sporting events. The major events that most are familiar with are the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, the Football World cup to name a few; however, most may not know of the Pan American Games, the European Olympics or the Military Games as examples. What these have in common are the fact that they are all major events in the world that are all at threat of cyber attackers.  


With expert speakers drawing on their expertise from the London Olympics and the more iconic sporting events, seminar attendees were walked through the different potential targets from transport systems to wifi networks for hackers and ‘hacktivists’ looking to launch an attack, or multiple attacks, on the implications a cyber attack would have on a large scale sporting event. These speakers included Dennis Mills, chief executive of Major Events International, Matt Horan, Security Director of C3IA and Andrew Taylor, CEO of Bronzeye IBRM.


The main issues covered that were covered are the implications of cyber security attacks and what that would mean on a global basis. Major events naturally attract the media and that drives attention both globally and regionally which tends to incite cyber attackers due to the large amount of money involved, the coverage, and the potential PR impact it can cause on the events. Each speaker appropriately included case studies on companies that have fallen victim to cyber attacks, and most importantly the ways to prevent them from happening with the steps major events should take to adhere to information and cyber security.


MEI plan to continue to work closely with techUK to develop the narrative on cyber security considerations for major events, which will be one of the themes of October’s Major Events International Summit held at the London Aquatics Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.



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