Minn. Company that Oversaw Super Bowl Cybersecurity Looks Ahead to 2018

February 26, 2016 06:33 PM

Super Bowl LII will be held at the new U.S. Bank Stadium in just two years. Ahead of that, a Minnesota-based cybersecurity company told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that cyberthreats are becoming some of the biggest dangers to security.

Barrier 1, a Minnesota company, was chosen to team up with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on cybersecurity for football's biggest event this year.

"During Super Bowl 50, we detected over 24 billion attack events coming from 151 different countries," Barrier 1 Chief Technology Officer Rob Demopoulos said. Demopoulos added they were all thwarted in time.

"The biggest concern we had, honestly, during the Super Bowl, is that something had become infected, oh, a year ago, and it was designed to come alive during the Super Bowl," he said.

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As it turned out, the timing of potential attacks proved to be odd.

"The early rate of attacks in the day, that was kind of unusual," Demopoulos said.

It all highlights what's at stake for Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

"It's going to be faster, it's going to be more complex and it's going to take another element of cybersecurity to make that smooth and safe," Barrier 1 President Jim Libersky said.

Demopoulos said there's a list of problems potential attacks could create.

"[One could set] off the alarm system, cause a panic, take over the Jumbotron, put some bad images on there," Demopoulos said. "You could turn off power, you could disrupt their point-of-sales systems, you could do just about anything physically to the stadium because it's all controlled digitally," Demopoulos said.

There's no word yet on whether Barrier 1 will be selected to be part of the cybersecurity team for Super Bowl LII, but even if the Minnesota-based company is chosen, that will likely be kept under wraps until after the big event, just like this time around, for security reasons.


Brandi Powell

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