cybersecurity

Allot MobileTrends Report Finds Fans Risk for Cyber Threats Doubles during UEFA Euro 2016

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Allot and Kaspersky Lab highlight the behavioural profiles most at risk of online threats during sports events, and how CSPs can deliver network-based services to protect their experience

New research published today on the network activity of 1 million European mobile phone users has revealed the threat of a cyber-attack more than doubled during the games – with 40% of fans at risk of malicious online activity than the 18% at risk before the games started.

Mobile and enterprise network experts Allot teamed up with cyber security firm Kaspersky to find out how secure Euro fans are in the online world when using their mobiles to place bets, use sports apps and other activity.

The research highlights that CSPs could be doing more to protect end users from potential threats.  The increase in risk taking by sports fans raises a number of questions about how enterprises can protect the corporate network from attacks.

Key Findings:

  • 17 per cent of mobile users who exhibited little or no use of sports apps or websites before the games, became active sports fans during the games. Nearly 50 per cent of these “casual fans” transitioned into sports fans behaviour profiles with high potential risk for malware.
  • The total number of mobile sports fans at high risk for cyber threats more than doubled during the games.
  • Increases in online sports betting and social networking are major contributors to increased cyber security risk.
  • The number of mobile sports fans accessing betting sites more than doubled during the tournament’s matches. Before the matches, 1 in 9 users visited sports betting sites. During the matches, 1 in 4 visited sports betting sites.
  • During matches, the average time users spent on social media apps or sites tripled over their pre-tournament activity.

Alexander Karpitsky, Head of Technology Licensing, Kaspersky Lab noted:

“Cyber-criminals often use big events to lure users with phishing emails and fake websites, exposing fans to intensified and new potential cyber risks. Users should be aware of potential threats and lookout when clicking on links, entering their credentials on websites or making financial transactions.”

“We at Kaspersky Lab recommend sports fans take a proactive approach to their online security, especially when mobile, safeguarding their devices with IT security solutions at all times.”

Yaniv Sulkes, AVP Marketing at Allot Communications added,

“As sports fans are going mobile and devices are used widely for watching, recording, and sharing experiences, users must protect themselves online, and CSPs are in the best position to deliver these value added services to subscribers,”

“Since major sports events are shown to be times of high risk for mobile users, it’s also when mobile service providers have an opportunity to educate customers regarding malware risks and to offer network-based security services to protect mobile devices. With Rio 2016 Summer Olympics on the horizon, mobile operators who adopt a proactive cyber protection strategy for their customers will be able to leverage monetisation opportunities.

Methodology

The Allot research team analysed the mobile app and website usage of one million randomly selected mobile subscribers from countries participating in EUFA Euro 2016, before and during the matches. Based on data from Kaspersky Lab, Allot’s data science experts segmented the digitally active sports fans according to their online behaviour and correlated them with their potential risk according to specific online use categories with a high potential risk.

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