How DHS is providing security tech, cyber support for Super Bowl LVIII

The Department of Homeland Security is working with the National Football League and state and local partners to deploy an array of security technologies and measures to help protect players and fans at this Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

During a press conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said his department has deployed 385 personnel across the city to provide security assistance to local law enforcement to ensure the safety of the estimated 65,000 people attending the big game. 

“To be clear: there are no known, credible, specific threats to the Super Bowl or to Las Vegas at this time — but we are vigilant, and we are prepared,” he said. 

Mayorkas noted that the Jan. 28 AFC Championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and Chiefs was delayed for an “administrative timeout” because an unidentified drone flew over the stadium, adding that “it does not require much imagination to understand the significant threat such an incident could pose.”

The NFL — as well as federal, state and local officials — have already declared the Super Bowl game to be a drone-free zone. And Mayorkas said agencies across DHS are working to provide the NFL and law enforcement personnel with resources and support to prevent other threats. 

He noted that DHS’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office “has deployed cutting-edge detection technology to safeguard against the calamity that such weapons can cause,” and that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has conducted workshops, planning exercises and vulnerability assessments with local partners. 

Mayorkas also said that the NFL has partnered with CISA “to encourage fans, NFL teams and league personnel to take four simple steps to help keep themselves and their customers safe online.”

DHS said in a press release that the department “is leveraging its significant technology assets and dedicated personnel to protect the Super Bowl stadium, Super Bowl week events and city of Las Vegas against potential threats.”

The department said the NFL received a SAFETY Act designation from DHS, which allows officials “to invest in the most current security technologies, procedures, services, controls and systems contributing to structural and physical security during the Super Bowl.”

“These measures grant providers of those technologies’ liability protections in the event of a terrorist attack,” the department added. 

DHS also noted, in part, that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is “providing assets including aviation security, video surveillance capabilities and non-intrusive inspection of vehicles and cargo” to help mitigate potential threats to the stadium.

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