Ready to face the spike in scams, malware, and other attacks the Winter Olympics will bring? Here are 15 ways IT admins can keep their companies safe.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are set to run from February 9 - 25, with NBC promising 1,800 hours of live streaming coverage along with extensive on-demand content. Whether IT admins like it or not, many employees will be getting their updates and video highlights at work, which means organizations can expect their network traffic to soar. With the increased volume will come increased risks, and attackers certainly won’t let the opportunity to prey on over-eager employees go to waste.
Rather than trying to block out the Olympics completely (which can be a losing battle and push employees to take risks), here are 15 things you can do to provide employees with secure watching options and ensure your security is ready to handle any active threats.
Make it easy for employees to watch the games safely and appropriately
Rather than trying to block out the Olympics completely, provide employees with secure watching options.
Establish a separate Wi-Fi network for personal devices If you don’t have one already, the Olympics can be a good catalyst for creating a second, partitioned network for guest and employee personal devices.
Provide dedicated spaces/times for employees to watch coverage Setting up a TV in a breakroom or conference room can help give employees a viewing outlet while keeping them focused and productive at their desks.
Block unofficial streaming sites Apply additional network filtering to prevent employees from visiting potentially dangerous torrent sites.
Monitor bandwidth usage Consider establishing bandwidth limits and keep an eye out for resource-hogging employees to avoid congestion.
Don’t forget outbound traffic Additional checks for unusual outbound activity can help you identify infections and breaches.
Set and share clear guidelines Be up front with employees about what is allowed, what isn’t, and why.
Make employees aware of risks
Prepare employees for encountering Olympics-related scams and attacks.
Explain the dangers of streaming content from unofficial sources Let employees know attackers often use videos as distractions while malware gets downloaded in the background.
Tell employees to be especially wary of update pop-ups Let them know not to trust prompts informing them they need to install an update for a web page or video to properly load.
Make sure endpoints are properly protected
Realizing no employee is perfect, take additional steps to ensure attacks can be prevented and repelled.
Utilize email filtering to block common malware attachment types In addition to the obvious (.EXE, .BAT), consider blocking script files (.JS, .VBS, etc.), archive files (.ZIP, .JAR, .7z), and (if you can swing it) even Microsoft Office files and PDFs.
Use ad-blockers Even legitimate websites can serve as infection points thanks to malvertising.
Disable macros (or at least enforce stricter macro controls) Start by blocking macros in Office files downloaded from the Internet. Macros are frequently abused to download malware and launch malicious scripts.
Apply application controls Limit the execution of .exe’s, DLLs, and scripts with AppLocker.
Use smarter endpoint protection Antivirus solutions leave endpoints vulnerable to many of today’s modern attacks. Think beyond AV and invest in security that blocks exploits, scripts, and fileless techniques. (Hint: Barkly can help!)