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4 Steps to Protect Your Business from March Madness Malware

Published on Mar 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm in Events & Contests.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The NCAA college basketball tournament is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, but March Madness brings one big issue for businesses: games during the workday. As many as 100 million people tune in to the action, and a very large percentage of those viewers watch games online. With an estimated $1.9 billion in lost enterprise productivity during last year’s tournament, it’s undeniable that employees will be streaming games, checking their brackets and following news on their mobile devices and the company network. This activity opens the door for mobile security and malware threats. And that’s a game you don’t want to play.

You might think that the best way to avoid online security issues is to block tournament-related websites like cbssports.com and espn.com. While this seems like the easiest solution, it’s not the best one. Employees will try to circumvent the blocked sites and end up on ones with malicious infections.

Some serious malware threats and productivity issues to watch out for during March Madness include:

  • SEO poisoning. Cybercriminals create malicious websites that appear to be tournament-related, and use search engine optimization so they show up prominently in Google results.
  • Video players that appear to stream games but actually install malware.
  • Phishing emails and links that masquerade as content related to brackets, streaming video and basketball news.
  • Malware infections installed through downloads on March Madness-related sites, both official and phony.
  • Contracted viruses or data breaches through insecure internet gambling sites. Hackers go where the money is!
  • Network/bandwidth slowdowns from employees streaming games throughout the day.

23Despite the threats, employers can still let employees enjoy games while maintaining their company’s online security. Here are some ways to ensure March Madness doesn’t drive you mad:

  1. Mobile device management software serves as a watchdog for employees’ phones and tablets that connect to the business’ network or host company data. It can stop mobile threats before they strike by detecting, blocking and managing malware issues. This reduces the risk of data hacks and leaks from infected March Madness-related links.
  1. Keep backups of the company’s most sensitive information on the cloud. All it takes is one employee stumbling upon a malicious site to create chaos for the rest of the organization. Cloud-based services will protect email, calendars, contacts and network data from countless threats lurking online. Anti-virus and malware software also provide one layer of protection, and businesses can take it a step further with content filtering.
  1. Good old-fashioned education goes a long way towards preventing cyber attacks. Many security breaches happen unintentionally, so make sure employees are aware of the digital dangers targeting their favorite tournament sites and know how to spot them. Emphasize the importance of verifying URLs rather than blindly clicking on links on sites or in emails. Inform everyone about the safe websites to visit to watch games and check content. This is also a good opportunity to review the elements of the company’s bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
  1. You know employees will be watching games, but you can make sure the streaming doesn’t interfere with internet productivity by throttling video streams. Slow down the internet connection speeds for viewing live video. This will allow them to watch the games as they happen and limit the amount of bandwidth they use to do so. Business can carry on without the disruption from important match-ups. (Note: Throttling live feeds could cause buffering, which may cause employees to burn time troubleshooting the issue. And mobile devices can disengage from the wireless connection, which might put strain on your phone bill. We suggest communication and transparency about throttling to avoid these potential situations.)

When the Big Dance begins on March 17, make sure your business is prepared. Keep watch for suspicious activity throughout the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure your team is aware of the rules as they follow their favorite schools through the Elite Eight and into the Final Four. In the end, keeping networks secure is the ticket to coming out of the tournament on top.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”Pick a perfect bracket and score $1,000,000!” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%20Condensed%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]To celebrate online safety during the NCAA college basketball tournament, check out Concept Technology’s $1,000,000 Bracket Challenge. Submit your predictions for all 63 games in this year’s March Madness tournament by March 17. If you pick a perfect bracket you could win one million dollars!

There are also cash prizes for predicting at least 60 games correctly and for scoring the most (and least) points in our pool.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][wproto_button link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fconcepttechnologyinc.com%2Fconcept-technologys-1-million-bracket-challenge||” title=”ENTER TO WIN” size=”extra-large” style=”orange-gradient”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][wproto_image image=”10751″ link_type=”custom” custom_link=”http://concepttechnologyinc.com/googlefiber/” image_align=”aligncenter”][/vc_column][/vc_row]