Let the games begin!

Friday, March 4th, 2016

ball

Once again, it is time for some basketball! Every year at this time, bandwidth hogs, productivity losses, and malware catch our eye. But the business world has become more accepting of personal device use and personal time on corporate devices. It is up to each business to design an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that works for them. So as this year brings on the games we wait all year to watch, taking a look at what we should expect for March Madness viewing numbers and working in some refresher employee training are key to making it through the season.

Watching March Madness on mobile devices was big last year but no matter the device, your network has the potential to get bogged down or pick up malware. Just check out these NCAA viewing stats from 2015:

  • 2015 set all-time records with 80.7 million live video streams and 17.8 million hours of live video consumption.
  • Record-setting live video streams were up 17 percent over 2014, with hours of live video consumption up 19 percent vs. 2014.
  • Mobile consumption also surged with live video streams and hours of live video consumption both up 20 percent over 2014.

Now is the time to prepare for even higher amounts of viewing this year. Whether game watching at work is acceptable at your company or not, your business still needs to function smoothly. Make sure you have bandwidth management in place and be proactive on the distribution of these resources. Set bandwidth usage thresholds so that game watching does not freeze up mission-critical operations. If you don’t have a bandwidth management solution in place that allows you to set multiple thresholds with alerts, it should be something to seriously consider. Even during normal business days, you can have bandwidth hog issues that could affect critical business operations.

Malware tends to spike during March Madness as well. Random clicking can be devastating to your business. Make sure you have protections in place. Refresh your employees on your current AUP, remind them about phishing techniques and ads that are almost too enticing not to click, and be proactive by having a comprehensive solution in place that blocks access to malicious URLs.

Prepare to secure and protect your network and mission-critical operations before the games begin, and March Madness season will be enjoyable for everyone!

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit http://www.wavecrest.net.

Into the Madness of March…brackets, bandwidth, malware, and all.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

BracketMarch Madness begins on March 17th this year. We all know that employees check out highlights or even stream a whole game. According to Turner Sports’ Will Funk’s interview with AdWeek,Turner did 70 million live streams on broadband and mobile during March Madness 2014. That is a lot of streaming. With all the streaming and new apps that are out since last year, 2015 will likely set another record.

This year, have the choice to allow your employees some freedom to watch and enjoy! CyBlock Web Security Solutions will help protect your business, blocking sites known for malware and proactively controlling bandwidth consumption, while allowing responsible viewing.

With Wavecrest’s Bandwidth Management in CyBlock, there are numerous ways to be able to control access when you need to. With Real-Time Data Usage Monitoring, you will be able to easily view current data usage for the entire enterprise, detect unexpected spikes that could indicate excessive data use, or just observe the last 5, 10, or 15 minutes of real-time updates.

You can also make sure the critical business operations remain functioning efficiently, even during the games, by using the Bandwidth Throttling features. Be more restrictive as the noncritical usage gets higher by setting one of the automatically triggered, higher-usage policy thresholds to throttle more or even block. E-mail alerts will keep you informed wherever you are. Once a policy is activated, policy-specific traffic is throttled or blocked, allowing business-critical applications (VoIP, CRM, etc.) to continue operating as needed.

Don’t forget about protecting your company from malware. March Madness search results have had a history of being known for malware in past years, and this year will likely be no different. As your employees search for brackets or results, CyBlock blocks traffic to the constantly growing number of sites that generate and/or promote malware. Keep out viruses, Trojan horses, phishing attacks, and more.

March Madness has become a way of life. Decide how your company will handle the traffic and proactively prepare for it by letting CyBlock help protect and secure your business and your employees. Find out more about all the Web Security product lines at Wavecrest Computing.

 

March Madness Starts This Week! – Estimated $1.9 billion Lost for Every Unproductive Hour

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

This week is the beginning of one of the most popular events of the year… March Madness!  An exciting month for sports fans everywhere!

The exMarch Madnesscitement during the tournament is addictive! Employees have office pools and discuss the games all through the day. The trouble with March Madness? It occurs during the work day. “An average of 10.7 million people watched March Madness games in 2013, the most since 1994.” During this time, an organization does need to worry.

Management needs to be concerned about low productivity, “An MSN poll in 2012 found that 56% of respondents, equivalent to 77.1 million employees, planned to devote at least one hour to March Madness. Using those figures, the damages rise to $1.9 billion for every unproductive hour.” IT, as well as management, needs to worry about the risk of lower bandwidth for critical business operations, “Turner Sports, which operates the NCAA’s website, said 6.8 million unique visitors watched games online during the first week of last year’s tournament. Visitors spent an average of 1 hour and 51 minutes online each time they opened a stream.” These disruptions can cause major problems with the normal operations of any business.

March Madness begins March 18th and runs through the beginning of April. Revisit your organization’s AUP and let your employees know the negative impact their actions could have on the organization.

It is a good time to think seriously about making one of Wavecrest Computing’s CyBlock Advanced Web Security solutions a priority. Whether you are thinking you would like to block all access to sports, or thinking you would like to allow some time for your employees to enjoy March Madness while maintaining control over crucial business operations. CyBlock Advanced Web Security solutions can do both. CyBlock can easily block sports or, just as easily, allow for filtering by time frame. Implement flexible filtering by day, hour, or half hour while controlling bandwidth, threat protection, and enforcing your AUP in an easy to manage interface. With deployments options of CyBlock Cloud with the optional CyBlock Mobile Security App, CyBlock Software, CyBlock ISA/TMG, or CyBlock Appliance, Wavecrest can help you find the solution that you need now.  Many of these options can be up and running the day you purchase. Do not wait until the Final Four’s final basket!

 

*Excerpts from Foxbusiness.com, March Madness Ready to Distract Workers Nationwide, By Matthew Rocco Published March 11, 2014