Are you streaming sport this summer? Is it secure?
BE PREPARED FOR A SUMMER OF STREAMING SPORT
Major international sporting events present something of conundrum for businesses. Do you let employees watch them on a TV in the office, allow a mass migration to a local bar, or do nothing and risk a spike in “sick leave”?
This summer the problem is likely to get even bigger, not just because of an abundance of sporting events – soccer at the Euros, Copa America and the Asian Cup throughout June, followed by the Olympics in August – but because more employees will have access to mobile devices than in any previous year. And mobile devices empower people to watch what they want, whenever they want.
For organizations already wrestling with ways to control employee use of smartphones and tablets, it’s a real headache. Streaming sports services are ubiquitous. Type any event into Google and an abundance of options will appear – many of which will be illegal streaming sites. The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the most streamed live event in US history and it’s estimated that as many as half a million people were watching some matches via pirate web sites.
Illegal feeds AND SECURITY ISSUES
Two years is a long time in technology. We go into this summer’s sporting bonanza with more devices in the hands of more people and the expectation that there will be more illegal feeds than ever before. This matters to businesses for a whole bunch of reasons.
First of all, do you want to stand over company employees visiting web sites that infringe the copyright of broadcasters who are licensed to show the events? It might even bring you to the attention of ISPs who take a proactive approach against illegal downloading.
Secondly, legal or not, streaming video eats up data, so unless you put a lid on watching sport you risk ramping up some hefty overages as employees go over their data limits in the coming months. (Our blog on streaming the Rugby World Cup can give you an idea of real costs)
A spike in bills is one problem – security is another. BBC reports that pirate websites that stream video are a big source of malware. They quote a recent study, by Zubair Rafique of Belgium’s KU Leven university, which shows that big soccer games are particularly high risk. Some sites ask you to download an extension that enables the streaming service to work, posing a threat to your device and the security of the data that’s kept on it. Others take a more direct route to fraud and ask you to register credit card details.
Another threat is the online adverts that generate revenue for these sites. They often carry malicious software that can infect devices pre and post click, and spin up the same pop-up ads on subsequent sites the user visits.
Stop the stream/ Protect your perimeter
Take it as a given that streaming sites are going to be everywhere this summer – even if there was a purge, it’s all too easy for those in the know to shut down one url and quickly open up another – so the onus is on you to protect your perimeter.
When it comes to mobile devices, Asavie Moda can eradicate the problem completely. Through our web portal, customers can set rules and policies for employees on a SIM-by-SIM basis. The simplest measure may be to simply block every streaming video service. Or you can micro manage content, perhaps allowing access to safe and popular sites, but not others.
Not only will this help you avoid excess payments from exceeding your mobile data packages, it might stop a breach of the company network. You might lose some productivity when the office grinds to halt to a watch a match, but you could lose a lot more if you let employees watch what they want on one of your devices.