NCAA March Madness is of great interest to many people. However, keeping up with all the games, as they occur puts a serious strain on many (if not all) networks. Add in the fact that so many sites have bracket competitions, coupled with links to advertisers, and you could have a web-security nightmare on your hands. With maxed out bandwidth comes the potential for tapped out firewalls. With even a minimal failure of the firewalls used to protect businesses, cyber threats such as spam, spyware, malware and viruses, can gain access to company systems.
This is a risk most companies simply do not want to take, but very rarely do they beef up security to prevent such issues. Many corporations have terminology in the work agreements with employees, stating how their network/bandwidth can be used. This generally doesn’t include Live March Madness Game Streaming.
With times as bad as they are, un-employment lines as long as they are, it would be a shame to loose one’s job over March Madness. However, it is far more serious for a company’s critical information to be turned loose in the hands of the many thousands of cyber criminals. I say that if you value your job, this just isn’t a risk you want to take.
The moment the 65-team field for the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament became public, cyber criminals began their latest attacks on web security.
The threat is especially dangerous because of the popularity of the field in the workplace. Employees spend time watching games and highlights in the office, so web security experts believe that cyber criminals may focus their attacks on businesses.
Beyond malware, watching live streaming video can seriously impact the capability of a network. In the earliest stages of the tournament, most games are played in the early and late afternoon when businesses are in peak operation.
“The amount of corporate bandwidth used to view these basketball games during work hours is shocking. Most employers don’t know the bandwidth impact of these streaming sessions and are unaware of any financial implications,” said Spencer Parker of ScanSafe.
In 2010, cyber criminals have exploited the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile along with the Winter Olympics to spread malware. Web security professionals advise users to avoid clicking links or downloading from any site that they do not immediately recognize.