How Euro 2012 kept a clean sheet against cyber threats

By Sooraj Shah
29 Jun 2012 View Comments

UEFA head of ICT Daniel Marion has revealed to Computing how his team has protected the IT and TV networks behind Euro 2012 from cyber attacks.

Marion said UEFA's International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) in Warsaw had the correct measures in place to ensure that cyber attacks would not impact the football tournament.

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"The TV network is very much independent of anything so this will be secure. From a web perspective, we have best practice implemented; from distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation to intrusion prevent systems (IPS) and intrusion detection system (IDS).

"We have [IT services company] Interoute that monitor what is happening and we also have all of our devices' shipping logs sent to [security monitoring program] Dell SecureWorks which are analysed by the program's algorithms," he stated.

Marion said that UEFA encountered several other challenges aside from cyber security at the event, partly due to the tournament's location in Poland and the Ukraine.

"It was the first time we've been into Eastern Europe and this was a challenge: a language difference, a culture difference and we have had long preparation but we are pleased with the end result – we still have a match to go, but I'll be relaxed after the final," he said.

In terms of the project itself, Marion said that the logistics part was a huge test to overcome.

"We built a network to interconnect all of the stadiums with the IBC facility, which has two feeds of 60GB, which is clearly a massive undertaking – even for the two national sponsors, Orange and Ukraine Telecom that we have."

The UEFA head of ICT explained that Orange and Ukraine Telecom own the network and put it at UEFA's disposal for Euro 2012. He added that another logistical issue was the scale of the event.

"After we built our facilities with all of the devices needed – mobile phones and computers etc – we saw headcount peak at around 6,000 staff including volunteers. This will scale right back in a week or two.

"It may not sound like a lot but the number of people here boomed in early May and is now shrinking, so in terms of the logistics of the IT equipment that is quite a significant, change," he said.

The final of Euro 2012 between Spain and Italy is on Sunday 1 July at 7:45pm.

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