Increases in online sports betting and social networking are major contributors to increased cyber security risk
The risks for digitally active sports fans more than doubled during the 2016 UEFA European Championship, according to a new report.
Altogether, 17% 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% of these ‘casual fans’ transitioned into sports fans’ behaviour profiles with high potential risk for malware. This meant the total number of mobile sports fans at high risk for cyber threats more than doubled during the games.
The study, from provider of security and monetisation solutions, Allot Communications in collaboration with Kaspersky Lab, a cyber security company, showed that 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, one in nine users visited sports betting sites. During the matches, one in four visited sports betting sites.
During matches, the average time users spent on social media apps or sites tripled over their pre-tournament activity.
“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,” noted Alexander Karpitsky, head of technology licensing, Kaspersky Lab. “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.”
“Added Yaniv Sulkes, AVP marketing at Allot Communications: “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.”