Given the high interest the Summer Olympics games have on the public and the time differences putting many events during the business day, businesses should prepare for the impact they may have on their operations.
If prior events are any indications, even the smallest operation will be impacted by:
- Lost Employee Productivity – During popular or high-profile events, employees may be tempted to stream live games or search the Web for the latest news and results while at work, resulting in hours of lost productivity.
- Drained Bandwidth – Simultaneous video streaming and heavy traffic to bandwidth-intensive sites can negatively impact network performance.
- Elevated Security Risks – Knowing many Web browsers will be looking for all-things Olympics, cybercriminals will roll out their best tactics to try and trick unsuspecting users into clicking on malicious links in popular search engine results or downloading rogue applications offering free video streaming – which ultimately compromises personal information that cybercriminals can use for personal gain.
According to David Attard, product manager at GFI Software a leading provider of SMB IT and security solutions, “While the competition may seem steep, Internet usage best practices, in conjunction with a comprehensive Web monitoring solution, can help businesses conquer the Olympic hurdles and cross the finish line unscathed.”
Among the suggestions he makes to help build best practices to help businesses secure corporate networks, manage bandwidth and maintain employee productivity are:
- Monitoring browsing activity in real-time to cancel bandwidth-intensive activity and immediately remediate violations of pre-defined Internet usage policies.
- Monitoring search engine terms to see what employees are searching for and pages they are browsing.
- Educating employees on browsing best practices – e.g., avoid clicking on websites in search engine results with which they are not familiar to prevent SEO poisoning and other infections.
- Blocking bandwidth-consuming audio and video streaming elements of a website.
- Defining Web browsing policies based on time spent browsing specific types of sites (e.g., 30 minutes per day on sports sites) or bandwidth consumed (e.g., 100Mb of streaming media downloads per week) to better manage network performance and employee productivity.
- Blacklisting malicious websites and blocking sites that could pose legal liabilities