*Reassuringly dull cyber security

Sport & cyber security


The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published a report ‘The Cyber Threat to Sports Organisations’. The NCSC found that inside a year (to spring 2019) in the UK 70% of sports institutions had suffered some form of cyber-attack. Around 30% of incidents led to a loss, and the average loss was more than £10,000 per incident. A wide variety of sports were targeted, including football, horse racing, rugby, tennis, cricket and athletics.

The report gives case studies of various threat trends:

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC) led to a criminal intervening in an English Premier League player transfer, posing alternately as each club in the transaction to divert funds. The attack was thwarted by bank security flags;
  • Cyber-enabled fraud (a fraud facilitated by cyber technology) led to a UK racecourse being defrauded in relation to grounds keeping equipment;
  • Ransomware led to the shutdown of the CCTV and turnstile systems of an English Football League club, resulting in several hundreds of thousands of pounds of losses, even though the match was able to go ahead.


The Club subsequently identified that:

  • the IT estate had grown organically and few security controls were in place. Office networks had internet connected industrial control systems bolted on, and then physical security hardware added – there was no planned security architecture.
  • a lack of network segmentation.
  • no emergency response plan and no previously conducted response exercises.
  • the club had not recognised how digital/cyber reliant their business was, therefore, cyber security investment was low.

In effect, this means that the Club, like many other organisations, did not put enough thought or investment into cyber-security.

Appointing NormCyber as our virtual DPO has given Ferrero the best of both worlds – access to data protection experts who understand what we stand for as a business, without the hefty overheads usually associated with appointing an in-house DPO.

Harpreet Thandi
Regional Counsel, UK & Ireland, Ferrero

We were looking for a virtual DPO service that offered all of the benefits of a fully qualified data protection lawyer, without the overheads of an in-house hire. The DPaaS solution from norm. has been invaluable in helping us to ensure we respect the integrity of our customers’ personal information, while using it to continue to deliver differentiated products and services which support our growing customer base.

Mike Whitfield, Compliance Manager

CSaaS allows me to step away from multi-vendor management as the Security Operations Centre coordinates all of the technology for me.

David Vincent, CTO

We were in the market for an independent Data Protection Officer service that was well versed with both UK and EU regulators. We’re thrilled to have acquired this service knowing that an expert is available 24/7.

Suzanne McCabe, Head of Project Management
James Hambro & Partners

Norm’s penetration testing layer, along with the suite of CSaaS modules has enabled MA to exceed all its audit requirements for its major clients.

Rob Elisha, ICT and CRM Manager
Montreal Associates

The speed of your Data Protection Officer’s response was very impressive – it was far quicker than I would have expected even from an in-house DPO

Will Blake, Director of Technology and Analytics
CRU Group