Olympic Live-Streaming Compromises Enterprise Cybersecurity: Analysts

Plenty has been made about the potentially disastrous consequences of poor cybersecurity for mobile users attending the Olympic Games in Rio this month, whether they be athletes, coaches, government officials, or the average spectator.

But what about those back home, watching their favorite competitions on mobile devices or using company networks to access live streaming broadcasts? Surely they can’t be as susceptible to hackers as those in Rio, right?

Wrong. Industry analysts believe those watching the Games from afar may be at an even higher risk than those being scammed in Brazil.

In a survey conducted by TEKSystems, a provider of IT staffing, management and services, the majority of more than 600 polled IT professionals believed their enterprise’s networks would see greater risks during the Olympics.

Thanks to a perfect storm – Western Hemisphere time zone and increased Internet access – many events will be taking place and streaming live during normal business hours. As a result, 94% of responders in the TEKSystems survey said they expected an increase in Internet usage on their enterprise’s network.

And while 52% of survey takers said they planned to introduce filters, firewalls or other software in their networks as preventative measures, 84% said their enterprise would issue no formal guidelines or communications regarding the use of network bandwidth or accessing unauthorized sites during the Games.

It’s those unauthorized sites that pose the largest threat to individuals and enterprises, according to a report in continuitycentral.com.

Some 80% of Olympic-related web domains were found to be scams in previous years, according to research from ThreatLabZ cited in the report.

“Businesses need to ensure that they are able to identify phishing sites and detect scripts which are running in webpages which could be malicious,” Zscaler CISO Chris Hodson told continuitycentral.com.

“A large number of organizations are not adequately preparing to guard against the increased risk to corporate networks from this activity,” said TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman in a statement. “Current mandates along with tracking Internet use or streaming associated with viewing a particular sporting event are insufficient. This goes beyond simply viewing or streaming by employees; the international nature of the games and a heightened level of interest related to the host nation of this year’s games potentially exposes corporate networks to a variety of risks. Organizations should conduct a thorough risk assessment on their networks and determine whether their level of preparedness is adequate.”

The same issues being faced in Rio and inside the enterprise, Mobile Cloud Computing and Security, will be the topic of Enterprise Mobility Exchange’s upcoming October event in Miami, featuring 40 CIOs, CISOs, and security directors from across all industries. Find out more about the event here.