The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) report cyber-attacks on UK sports industry have increased. At least 70% of sporting institutions in the UK have suffered a security incident in the past 12 months.
Some of the cyber-attacks on UK sports industry are disclosed in the report Cyber threat to sports organisations. They include blocked turnstiles at stadiums after systems were taken offline by ransomware. This almost led to the cancellation of a football match. A £15,000 loss to a racecourse after a staff member fell victim to an eBay scam. It promised equipment that never materialised. Similarly, organised criminals tried to sabotage a Premier League transfer deal by hacking into emails worth £1m.
The NCSC said cyber criminals tended to use common tactics. They target the sports industry with cyber-enabled fraud and shutting down critical systems with ransomware.
Cost of the damage by cyber-attacks on UK sports industry
About 30% of the incidents reported to the NCSC caused direct financial damage to the victim. On average £10,000 per attack and the biggest single loss clocked in at £4m. Some 40% of the reported incidents involved malware and a quarter of those were ransomware attacks.
“Cyber security might not be an obvious consideration for the sports sector. Sports are slowly returning as lockdown eases. The impact of cyber criminals cashing in on this industry is real.” Said Paul Chichester, operations director at the NCSC.
Chichester added, the sports sector struggles to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Organisations could reduce their risk by paying more attention to increasing their security of attacks.
“Sport is a pillar of many of our lives. We are eagerly anticipating the return to full stadiums and a busy sporting calendar” he said. “I would urge sporting bodies to use this time to look at how they can improve security. In conclusion, acting now will help protect them and fans from the consequences of cyber-crime.”
British Olympic Association
Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: “Improving cyber security across the sports sector is critical. The British Olympic Association sees this report as a crucial first step. It will help sports organisations to better understand the threat and highlights practical steps to improve cyber security.”
Rugby Football League
Tony Sutton, chief operating officer at the Rugby Football League, added: “The issue of cyber security is one that all sports, including rugby league, take seriously. We are growing our digital capabilities and online platforms. Protecting the governing body, members, customers and stakeholders are important and we welcome the guidance from the NCSC report.”
Make sure you are protected
Unfortunately, LIS are unable to predict when your team will win their next match. However, enjoy watching your favourite sport whatever the result.
Above all, do not make the same mistake as the sports industry. Do you have any concerns about your IT security? Then contact the LIS Help Desk and our friendly team will recommend the latest solutions to upgrade your security. However, stay safe, secure and protect your business.
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