The Olympic Games represent the pinnacle of athleticism and excellence on the world stage like no other event. The scale of the preparation and production that goes into them is absolutely massive. That’s why providing connectivity and security to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio was both a challenge and a great honor for Cisco.

Let’s put some context on the significance of connecting Rio 2016.  Connectivity was required in 37 competition venues and more than 100 support venues. Rio 2016 needed support for 25,000 media members and 123 broadcast organizations all the while delivering 170,000 hours of video content for 5 billion TV viewers.  The configuration for this alone would break world records.  Yet Cisco was asked to do all this and more, securely.  Cisco is the only company that has the training, resources, and the talent necessary to meet the network demands of the Olympic Games, and we delivered.

For DNS requests within the network, Cisco Umbrella provided the first line of defense against threats.  We used Umbrella to protect an average of 22 million DNS requests and block 23,000 suspicious sites daily on the Rio 2016 network.  Umbrella protected hosts from a range of spam, ransomware, and even exploit kits.  The Angler exploit kit was blocked from being downloaded 135 times from 12 different requested domains.  This can occur by hosting a malicious ad on a legitimate website.  Unbeknownst to the user, Angler can take advantage of vulnerabilities on the host computer and inject malware such as ransomware.  To learn how Umbrella can protect users on and off the network,  please visit here.

Cisco’s security offerings paired seamlessly together to provide an end-to-end solution that is simple, open, and automated.  Instead of traditional VLAN segmentation, we were able to segment the network using our TrustSec technology, which took a fraction of the time typical segmentation would for a network of that size.  This was for a network that handled over 2 PB of data.  Over the course of the Rio Games, our intrusion prevention system mitigated close to 7 million security events.

The result was an amazing experience for everyone in Rio. Cisco provided us with the connectivity and security that allowed Rio 2016 to connect with the world,” said Marcelo Souza, Technology Systems General Manager of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

It is a credit to the talent of our people and the strength of our portfolio that we were able to securely connect the Rio 2016 network.  I invite you to learn more about Cisco’s security at Rio 2016 by reading the case study here.


Thomas Licisyn

Product Marketing Manager

Security Marketing Group