The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy was established by the State of Qatar in 2011 to deliver World Cup Qatar 2022’s infrastructure – including transport, accommodation, and the provisioning and operation of the event’s eight stadiums – and support the event’s legacy into the future. “Legacy” is a key word in the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy constitution – from infrastructure and education to support for regional innovation, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy is forging a better future for Qatar and the Middle East.
World Cup Qatar 2022 was a breathtaking event. More than 1.5 million fans attended across eight stadiums including the showcase 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium, and, thanks to Qatar’s size, fans were able to watch multiple matches in one day. A world-class event of such magnitude required excellence at every stage of its preparation process.
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s primary goal was to set a new standard in World Cup infrastructure – at every level.
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s commitment to that standard of excellence extended to the stateof-the-art cybersecurity infrastructure installed for the tournament stadiums, which spanned everything from internet of things (IoT) and stadium Wi-Fi to industrial control systems and cybersecurity operations. Setting a new cybersecurity standard for a major worldwide tournament was an opportunity that the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy embraced with enthusiasm.
Palo Alto Networks was one of the trusted partners chosen to deliver this ground-breaking stadium cybersecurity strategy. Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s Manager, Information Security, Kamran Shah, says, “We needed multiple, connected sources of intelligence across a wide landscape. Palo Alto Networks is totally focused on information security. It has made forward-thinking business acquisitions, and its people are continually innovating. Palo Alto Networks has a 360-degree presence across our stadium security requirements and was one of the most important partners for World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums.”
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy identified that the Qatar World Cup 2022 stadium cybersecurity strategy needed to:
A complete, unified Palo Alto Networks portfolio provided World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums with simple, automated, intelligent cybersecurity. The portfolio spanned network, endpoint, and cloud security – backed by modern threat intelligence, AI, and automation.
A connected suite of more than 100 ML-Powered Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) protected the event’s physical and virtual networks. Innovative features included the machine learning (ML) used by the NGFWs to protect the network; zero-delay network updates; and accurate identification of IoT devices, such as stadium digital signage and pitch irrigation systems.
Subscription-based Cloud-Delivered Security Services (CDSS), Advanced Threat Prevention, WildFire, GlobalProtect, Advanced URL Filtering, and DNS Security complemented the network security strategy. Together, they delivered best-in-class comprehensive coverage without compromising NGFW performance.
An integrated Cortex XDR platform protected all endpoints and servers both in and beyond the stadiums, applying ML to network, endpoint, and cloud data. Simultaneously, Cortex Data Lake collected and integrated the security data, continually learning to evolve the event’s defences.
Cortex XSOAR correlated events from more than 30 integrations, orchestrating operational response in the World Cup Qatar 2022 Security Operations Centre (SOC). From a single screen, three Resident Engineers and teams from Unit 42 and Cortex Threat Research were able to monitor every system in all eight stadiums – from the security of the temperature-controlling operational technology (OT) systems to the impressive Wi-Fi services.
An intelligent Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) platform – Prisma Cloud – correlated Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s cloud assets. The team had complete visibility across the environment, enabling them to eliminate blind spots, improve threat detection, and automate response. By providing Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy with full visibility into container dependencies, Prisma Cloud also eliminated vulnerabilities in legacy containers.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy partnered with Unit 42 to undertake a Palo Alto Networks Compromise Assessment of all assets, including OT workstations, services, and IT systems. Penetration testing, for example, was regularly conducted to test security controls on the infrastructure, including key areas such as IoT security cameras and digital stadium signage. The Unit 42 team also performed Compromise Assessments for all assets, including OT workstations and servers.
An integrated portfolio of cyber risk management and incident response services was used to discover potential compromises, understand their impacts, and provide mitigation recommendations. Data mining, for example, was used to quantify sensitive data that would be at risk in the event of a data breach, including personal health information (PHI), personally identifiable information (PII), payment card industry data (PCI) data.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy strategy, created in collaboration with Palo Alto Networks, safeguarded data before, during, and after World Cup Qatar 2022. This ensured the whole world was able to watch an exciting and spectacular football tournament while benefitting from world-class cybersecurity protection. It also meant that Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy could: