Get the braaivleis and biltong ready because this year’s highly anticipated rugby world cup in Japan will be the biggest and most tech-enabled event the world has ever seen.

From 20 September, 1,8 million tickets will change hands and 400,000 rugby fans will descend on the Land of the Rising Sun to watch their teams scrum, tackle and drop kick their way to victory.

Online activity will also be off the charts. In 2015, there were over 270 million social media video views, 2,8 million official app downloads, and the #RWC2015 hashtag appeared twice a second. Expect records to tumble again this year as cybercriminals get match fit to breach the security defences of organisers, sponsors and fans alike.

To avoid falling victim to cybercrime:

  • Limit public Wi-Fi use or use a private network or virtual private network (VPN) with data encryption capabilities
  • Ensure devices have the latest operating system and patches installed
  • Question messages with links or attachments – a trusted brand wouldn’t immediately ask for personal data or financial information
  • Use trusted websites with the HTTPS prefix and avoid search engine-assisted ecommerce Spelling mistakes and design flaws are obvious warning signs, but they are getting harder to spot
  • Only download apps from trusted sources

As the influence of IoT and 5G gets louder and louder, it is important to note that hackers are no longer just out to disrupt critical infrastructures – they’re also actively seeking business and trade secrets. This means it is critical to have adequate defences that can detect unknown attacks and correctly identify malicious app connections.

Fortunately, a range of new technologies are available for selection. For example, AI solutions can analyse traffic in real-time to spot unusual behaviours and anomalies previously out of sight. However, there will always be a need to apply security at every level and on every surface: endpoint, application, and infrastructure. Remember, applications require consistent, intelligent and adaptable policies wherever they reside (on-premises, in the cloud or in a multi-cloud environment). Protecting perimeters is no longer enough.

Simon McCullough, F5 Networks, Major Channel Account Manager