How the Tour de France secures its broadcast from disruption

Few sporting events have the scale and logistics challenges that the Tour de France presents. Event organizer ASO uses the cloud and tight physical security to avoid cyberattacks and broadcast integrity.

Tour de France cyclists racing / global digital broadcast connections
Sharply Done / Maxger / Getty Images

Once a rarity, cyber incidents in the sporting industry are becoming common. While sports organizations have large amounts of sensitive, valuable information, the incidents themselves are often tied to the political climate.

The 2018 South Korean Winter Olympic Games were hit by a cyberattack during the opening ceremony. The attack – known as OlympicDestroyer and thought to be a Russian-sponsored attack in retaliation for barring entry for its athletes – brought down services including the official ticketing app. The attack also targeted the event’s IT services provider.

Both the World Anti-Doping Agency and athletics governing body World Athletics have been hacked in recent years, leaking medical data on many of the world’s athletes. FIFA has also suffered following a breach.

The fact that so many people watch sporting events makes broadcasts attractive targets for attackers with a message. Islamist hackers have attacked French and Israeli broadcasts in recent years, including disrupting the Eurovision song contest to send false missile alerts.

As the organizer of the Tour de France, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is responsible for putting on the largest cycling event in the world and needs to ensure that the all the information it broadcasts out is robust and safe from interference.

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