Authentication makes it to Sochi in time for Olympics
February 13, 2014

The Olympics are underway, and countless journalists, foreign citizens and government employees have convened in a remote area of Russia to watch athletes compete for the next two weeks. While Sochi security concerns are most often tied to terrorism and other threats to national security, companies that have sent their employees to this area have made it a point to take care of IT security as well. 

Russia's technology infrastructure, especially in this specific area, is not the safest in the world, and major international events often bring cybercriminals out of the dark and into the game. NBC recently announced that it has implemented authentication tools and policies for its journalists to use and follow while using their personal devices for work-related functions in Sochi this February. 

Millions of devices in play
Multichannel News recently reported that the Sochi Games have been recognized by certain television broadcasters and other firms that have business at the Olympics as a significantly risky territory in terms of data and network security. Of course, physical safety is always the first priority, but Russia and the International Olympic Committee are mainly responsible for that component.

According to the news provider, NBC Olympics stated that 9.9 million devices were authenticated at the London quadrennium, and this helped to ensure that they could securely stream the events to the viewers at home. NBC has been one of the major providers of access to video and audio for American viewers of major international sporting events, and has taken security seriously all along. 

"We verified nearly 10 million devices during the London Olympics," Rick Cordella, senior vice president, NBC Sports Group, explained to the source. "With improved tools, including the multi-day temp pass and more providers offering in-home verification, our goal is for temporary pass to really drive usage and adoption of TV Everywhere in a way that hasn't ever been done before."

Why authentication?
ZDNet recently asserted that traditional password usage is becoming extinct, partly because many individuals simply do not use them and otherwise the result of strong authentication options now on the table. According to the source, authentication comes with two significant advantages, the first being a much more streamlined and intuitive experience for the user, and the second simply entails more effective protection of data and devices.

As companies continue to expand upon their technology deployments, authentication deployments should be a high priority.