Give Your Network a Madness-Free March

You don’t need to be a sports fan to know all about March Madness. If you work in an office setting, chances are you’re familiar with the two-day stretch during which Americans are at their most unproductive. Even the most dependable employees have been known to

sneak-stream the noon tip offs and check their brackets online. In this case, underworking employees can turn into an overworked network. If you’re the one in charge of your company’s IT systems, tournament time can feel like a full-court press against your peace of mind.

Instead, reassessing your security settings, policies and protocols before tipoff can help you remain responsive – even if your employees aren’t. Here are some common risks to consider:

  • Unsecured Networks: Logging onto the deli’s Wi-Fi at lunch with a company-issued device is a great way to catch the early games – and malware. Other risks include accounts being hijacked, password theft, and more.
  • Streaming around firewalls: Hackers often use search engine optimization to trick people into clicking poison links or installing bogus video players hiding viruses. So, which sites will your employees find to watch the games?
  • Stressed Bandwidth: Last year, tournament games were live streamed more than 100 million times, a 31% increase from the year before. That number promises to increase this year, but it only takes a few viewers to slow most networks, especially when using Wi-Fi. If you don’t have a guest network setup, this would be a good excuse to do so.

If you’re not sure whether you have the personnel, equipment or experience to adequately handle the Big Dance, it’s a good idea to consult an expert. And if you are ready, making sure your employees and other end users understand your policies – and why they’re in place – can keep you from losing more than just productivity.

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