With the FIFA World Cup approaching quickly, there are more and more concerns raised about cybersecurity. The advancement of technology can provide tools to the hackers, but it can also help the organization of the competition itself. Will FIFA World Cup 2018 be a cybersecurity competition?
This year, malware is back with a vengeance, after ransomware attacks have dropped in frequency. The trend is likely to continue, and we may see as many as 11 billion malware attacks by the end of 2018 according to SonicWall’s report.
Another cyber threat is hackers using the Internet of Things to carry out cyber attacks. Our hyperconnectivity can be just as dangerous as it is useful. But do football associations and teams have anything to fear during the upcoming World Cup in Russia when it comes to cyber threats? It seems so.
FA Concerned About Cyber Security
The English Football Association (FA) is worried about cyber security for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, owing to recent hacking attacks on FIFA and IAAF. The FA wrote to FIFA to express those concerns, and FIFA stated they were as committed as ever to preventing security attacks.
Still, that wasn’t enough for the FA, as some reports state that England’s players and staff will attend the World Cup under strict guidelines. They were advised not to use public Wi-Fi, including hotel connections, and also to watch their behavior on social media. Strengthened firewalls and encrypted passwords are part of precautions the FA intends to take to ensure the cybersecurity of their sensitive data such as tactics, injuries, etc.
For the hacking group Fancy Bears; any information seems to be fair game, as they were the ones who leaked anti-doping information in 2015, on football players among other athletes. Since then, Fancy Bears have been linked to a Russian spy agency, so the concerns of the FA are legitimate.
Technological and cyber concerns do pose a serious threat to the FIFA World Cup, but there’s an upside to them as well — tech advancements and innovations. We’ll see some of them in Russia:
Hublot’s SmartWatch and Adidas Telstar 18
Hublot’s first Smartwatch is the Official Watch of FIFA, and it’s designed to track the game for its wearer. Hublot worked with Intel and Google on this watch, and it’s an upgrade from the TAG Heuer Connected watch, with a cute little layer based on Android Wear which was added by Hublot.
The revolutionary thing about the Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Connected Watch is that it will be connected to Goal Line Technology. It will track the trajectory of the ball on the field, which will make it able to determine whether the ball crossed the goal line. Requested by FIFA specifically to help referees, its use on the World Cup kick-off match will be the first time referees have had digital video assistance on the biggest football competition of all.
That’s not the only tech innovation of the upcoming FIFA World Cup, since the newly unveiled official match ball Telstar 18 includes an NFC chip that can connect the ball to a smartphone. This functionality offers special competitions and challenges as well as adidas football content for now.
Enjoy a Secure Connected World Cup.
While IoT and connectivity do bring more significant risks, they also make our lives easier. All you need to protect your devices is taking proper precautions, and you’ll be safe to enjoy connectivity — as well as some quality football.