Cybersecurity in Sports
5 minute read · Issue Number 124 · June 10th, 2022
Cybersecurity is one of the most relevant tech trends of the last decade, and it's now becoming a top priority in the sports industry.
This week, I interviewed on the podcast the CEO of Valorr – a risk management firm that helps sports organizations deal with different cyber-threats. The episode is a must-listen.
However, I consider this an essential topic, so I want to talk more about it today.
What is cybersecurity?
Due to the rise of multiple software and hardware technologies in the last 30 years – computers, smartphones, the internet network, servers, etc. – governments, companies, and people migrated their data, processes, and systems online.
To do things easier, faster, and cheaper — the cyber world provides the real world powerful leverage to execute more with less, more efficiently, and less scarcity.
The cyber world is far from perfect. It can be vulnerable to attacks, viruses, theft, scams, and other cyber threats.
Cybersecurity was born to deal with these threats.
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.
Cybersecurity in Sports
Whether you realize this or not, most experiences in sports happen within or involve some digital ‘touch points.’
As a fan – streaming a match on T.V., engaging with other fans on Twitter, betting on your favorite team, checking the stats on ESPN, buying tickets for a game, building a fantasy team, or even buying merch – they all include some digital processes.
Professional players build and sustain most of their reputation through online data and public digital profiles.
Organizations, teams, and leagues that use software and tools like CRMs and databases to enable sales, deliver content, market their products, track inventory, or even communicate internally, rely on digital systems.
In fitness – scheduling yoga lessons, tracking sleep with a Whoop band, buying the latest leggings, and analyzing performance – digital.
Given the degree of dependence on digital systems, the diverse stakeholders inside the sports industry are vulnerable to digital attacks.
As you can see, most (if not all) stakeholders in sports rely on the cyber world to deliver experiences and operate.
Without proper cyber protection, businesses in sports might not only be risking their operations and revenues – but their reputation as well.
Cybersecurity should remain a top priority for the stakeholders whose business or reputation relies mainly on digital tools, prioritizing the ones that hold the most vital value within the delivery of the service or product of the stakeholder.
“It starts by structuring a ‘supply chain’ list of digital tools and systems that your business uses to exist, establishing a priority list, and learning how to protect them.”
– Greg Tomchick, CEO of Valorr, on The Halftime Snacks Podcast
🔗 Learn more:
Why Sporting Organizations Need An Exceptional Cybersecurity Posture – a good Forbes article by Henry Doyle that outlines some examples of the digital vulnerabilities within sports.
Professional Sports Front Offices And Sports Agencies Are Using Cybersecurity As A Competitive Advantage, You Can Too – a solid piece from Valorr’s blog that covers the threat themes they’ve seen in sports and how to prepare better for them.
The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity in Sports – a quick read by Merav Savir on why sports are a good target for cyber attackers.
🎙 Halftime Snacks Podcast
Cybersecurity for Sports and Entertainment
Greg Tomchick is the CEO of Valorr – a team of cybersecurity experts that helps sports and entertainment organizations tackle their most challenging cybersecurity risks and capture their greatest competitive advantages.
They deal with cyber threats, privacy and security, workforce shortages, compliance, and other complex implementations.
In this episode, we discover what’s similar and different between professional sports and cybersecurity. We discussed the diverse cyber threats sports organizations might be facing and ended up learning best practices, tools, and guidance for sports organizations to start taking action on their cybersecurity.
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