The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) recently showcased its cybersecurity preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 during Oman’s Future Tech Summit and Expo, which was held earlier this month.
During her presentation, Maryam al-Muftah, the SC’s IT director, highlighted the importance of cybersecurity preparations and the challenges that come with hosting a mega sporting event, such as the potential for cybercrime, data security breaches and information systems failure, sc.qa reported.
Speaking about the lessons learned from other major sporting events, al-Muftah drew examples from the recent FIFA World Cup tournaments and Olympic Games, when organisers were targeted by sophisticated online scams.
She said these threats may lead to a complete cessation of enterprise activities in light of the current reliance on modern technical means and the rapid growth in the use of smart services such as the Internet of Things, cloud storage services and others, Qatar News Agency (QNA) added.
Al-Muftah said, “It is likely our threats will expand as we draw nearer to the tournament, meaning it will be necessary to build our cybersecurity skillset, grow compliance and maintain all our current capabilities. We have developed strong partnerships with major cybersecurity partners and will continue to nurture these relationships.
"We all need to be vigilant and continue to expand our expertise to tackle all aspects of this issue."
She said the threats are not limited to large institutions only, but also extend to small- and medium-sized companies and individuals alike, citing examples from the Beijing and London Olympics in 2008 and 2012, and the FIFA World Cups in Brazil and South Africa in 2010 and 2014.
These included cyber-attacks targeting organisers' websites as well as organised scams that individuals were exposed to, QNA said.
“Based on the experience of previous mega sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup and Olympics, we have to anticipate the same players and adversaries will look to target Qatar 2022,” al-Muftah added.
Organised by Muscat Expo LLC and the White Paper Summits, the Future Tech Event aims to provide a live platform to discuss and spread awareness of the latest market trends along with educating and enlightening attendees about ways in which they can adapt to the demands of the digital and technological revolution.
The conference was held using virtual event technology, which offered attendees virtual exhibitor booths, networking and presentation rooms.
Other sessions saw the participation of a wide range of experts in fields such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data protection, digital transformation, the Internet of Things, blockchain technologies, financial technology and fifth generation communication services.