The greatest IT security threat during past and future Olympics is internal contractors, said experts at RSA.

Marc Llanes, information security manager, Atos Origin, said: “We found that internal threats were the most serious in Beijing, and this is always going to be the case. For example, one of our most serious events was when one of the accreditation workers on the front desk was discovered attempting to export the photos and details of the entire list of celebrities who were cleared to attend.”

The company was responsible for monitoring the entire IT network in Beijing, and is set to perform the same role in the 2012 London Olympics. “We had other issues of course”, continued Llanes in his presentation 'Olympic Games Information Security: The Ultimate Challenge', “there were many attempts to import hacking tools, and our network was dealing with 201 million filtered events per day, which we cut down to 500 real incidents using our custom-built multi-level correlation engine.”

Managing the security of the Olympic IT network was down to a team of just 18, split into two shifts of six. Due to the massive number of network devices and the speed of the roll-out a high level of automation was required to keep track of events, according to Atos Origin.

“In London we are expecting to have many more issues with wireless networks”, said Llanes, “there will be a lot more public networks in the area, and these will be a new issue. However, we also have new technology to deploy, such as an authentication system that wasn't stable enough for Beijing – this will be ready in time for London.”