CISA and NFL Collaborate to Secure Super Bowl LVIII

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in collaboration with the National Football League (NFL), Allegiant Stadium and Super Bowl LVIII partners, has conducted a cybersecurity tabletop exercise this week in preparation for Super Bowl LVIII. The exercise aimed to assess and enhance cybersecurity response capabilities, plans and procedures for the upcoming event.

The Super Bowl LVIII Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise assembled over 100 participants from the NFL, Allegiant Stadium and various levels of government to review and refine plans for safeguarding against, responding to and recovering from a significant cyber-attack during the highly anticipated sporting event. 

“It is very encouraging to see this exercise was organized by the NFL and partners and CISA,” commented George McGregor, VP of Approov.

“Such events have a highly dynamic cybersecurity attack surface which changes rapidly as multiple partners and vendors, and thousands of fans come together and interact with ticketing systems and points of sale using stadium Wi-Fi and via mobile devices.”

Read more on attacks against these systems: Former Employee Behind Earthquakes Stadium Hack

Spanning four hours, the exercise also allowed participants to identify available resources, capabilities and best practices to bolster their resilience.

“Exercises like this are a great mechanism for examining our plans and procedures when responding to significant cyber incidents, like those depicted in the scenario,” commented Steve Harris, CISA’s deputy executive assistant director for infrastructure security. “This exercise will help ensure we’re ready for any challenges that come our way on game day.”

The exercise scenario included hypothetical situations involving phishing, ransomware, a data breach and potential insider threats, which could have cascading impacts on physical systems. Notably, the exercise was proactive rather than responding to any specific threat.

“At the NFL, we understand how important it is to practice like you play, and this week’s exercise is the first of many simulations we will conduct prior to Super Bowl LVIII,” said NFL senior vice president and chief security officer, Cathy Lanier. “We are grateful for CISA and our federal, state and local partners who are working together to ensure the Super Bowl and its events are as safe as possible for fans, players, and personnel.”

This marks the tenth consecutive year of CISA’s partnership with the NFL and Super Bowl organizers in conducting an annual tabletop exercise.

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