July 14, 2012

Watch Olympians “Go for the Gold” at Work - Safely

Joshua Rosenthal

On July 27, for the first time ever, all of the summer Olympic game events will be streamed online by a network. In addition, we’ll see thousands of other sites re-streaming or hosting the content. The internet will be awash with Olympics.

And while I’m as excited as most, all this online Olympics access raises two major concerns:

  1. An increase in social engineered attacks - Cybercriminals will leverage the Olympics to launch social engineered attacks to gain access to an individual or organization’s system. Social engineering gets them to the doorway by tempting users to click on a malicious link or file. But, for some companies, the door isn't going to be strong enough to stop the bad guys from coming in. There is going to be a huge influx of new sites being created and hosted just around the games. And many organization’s reputation-based defenses won’t classify them accurately. This compounds the issue of degradation of traditional signature-based defenses.
  2. Corporate network bandwidth stress – An event of this proportion can consume an enormous amount of corporate network bandwidth. In particular, EMEA and APAC countries are heavily impacted due to the sheer number of events that coincide with the middle of the workday. And, mobile users on restricted or metered data plans will not be looking at mobile devices for their viewing. They will be looking to their work machines with a perception that there are big pipes available for viewing.

All that burning bandwidth and streaming media can come at a significant price to organizations. In preparation for the games, Websense is providing its customers with innovative ways to protect and manage their organization’s online profile during the Olympics.

To help companies understand and manage the bandwidth load of the Olympics, all streaming and internet media from the Olympics will be placed into a ‘Special Events’ category. This category is used by Websense for all major global events and makes it easy for Websense customers to see the bandwidth use and place limits and controls on that bandwidth as appropriate to the organization.

In addition to the activation of the Special Events category to help customers manage Olympic related bandwidth risks, Websense has recently made two other announcements that are of interest. First, several new URL categories were recently introduced to provide additional malware and other cyber threat defense options, a menace which is sure to leverage Olympic themes in their attacks at this time. And the most recent Websense TRITON release introduces a number of unique and innovative capabilities to help customers assume a stronger, more proactive security posture.

Through this important mix of technologies, we are working to ensure that your Olympic experience is both:

  • Within reasonable bandwidth expectations (Go ahead and let them stream the track finals!)
  • Secure by protecting you from the real-time threats likely to evolve out of social engineered attacks related to the Olympic games.

Do you have any tips on how you manage your network when large events take place? If so, leave a comment below.

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.