March 2, 2018

The “Madness” of March

As winter finally begins to wind down (in spite of Punxsutawney Phil’s February prediction) the time between the end of basketball’s regular season and baseball’s opening day includes some of the most unproductive work weeks of the year – attributed almost entirely to an event known as college basketball’s “March Madness”. The “madness” typically begins shortly before Selection Sunday as fans check various online resources for so called expert predictions (i.e., bracketology) in hopes of winning the “unofficial, “non-company sanctioned” bracket contest. Once the teams are decided, it’s time to complete an online tournament bracket, or multiple brackets, as by this time, email inboxes are filled with invites from friends, co-workers, hackers, etc. Thanks to great technology some bracket applications will even autofill or select teams just by allowing a little “extra” access to your system or device. The real madness, of course, starts when the games begin conveniently during the work day, this allows fans to live stream multiple games directly to their individual workstation; no longer is it necessary to burn a PTO day sitting at home in front of the TV. As the games progress so does the madness. Fans can continue to monitor their bracket(s) and those of their competitors by visiting various legitimate or fake websites. Some fans may prefer to use a real or malicious mobile application to make sure they stay on top of their progress towards winning their personal March Madness bracket challenge.

As you can see, there is some risk associated with the “madness”. And while no security professional wants to take away the fun, someone has to act as a referee to keep things from getting out of hand. If this individual in your organization happens to be you, take some time now to remind staff to enjoy the excitement of the tournament, but also be extra vigilant because other games are being played at the same time with much higher stakes, and with players not concerned with playing by any rules.

Past Weekly Security Tips – WST