What happens at the Super Bowl should stay at the Super bowl – protect your device against infections

Man-watching-football-on-iPad-iStock

Football isn’t something we regularly cover on our cyber security blog, but when it comes to a game as big as the upcoming Super Bowl, we make an exception. It’s one of the United States’ biggest sporting events, and this year more than one million people are expected to take gather in public events being hosted in San Francisco and the Bay Area at large. While most people are focused on seeing who is going to win, for us, the bigger test is what happens once everyone heads home and back to work.

Unlike players on the field, your employees and their computers are not necessarily geared up for the game. It’s highly likely that many of the devices your football-loving employees brought with them – even just to watch the game at a bar – are now compromised. Whether it’s from the celebratory drinking, spending quality time in airports, opening questionable emails (for example offering sneak preview into half-time commercials), or going on suspicious betting sites, your employees may be putting your company’s data at risk. While it is almost inevitable that attackers cover some ground over the weekend with your employee devices, you still have a chance to avoid a hacker’s touchdown at your data center. Here are some tips for how you can ensure your company stays cyber-safe after the last touchdown is scored.

  1. Scan all devices

Schedule a security scan of all managed devices for Monday morning. This is a good opportunity to run all devices connected to your network through a security scan. This will help identify new infections before they start affecting your internal assets.

  1. Consider a company-wide password change

As an extra precaution, assuming Phishing and personal infection campaigns will achieve a higher than usual success rate over the weekend, request password changes for all devices and all employees. Employees may reuse their passwords on other sites, and they could open you up to a breach if they have been accessing less-than-safe websites to check scores or place bets.

  1. Be on high alert for abnormal activity

Allocate some extra resources the following week to investigating even lower risk alerts and signals. Activities that you may ignore or deprioritize in a normal situation have a higher chance of being compromised after a football fest weekend. Monitor data access and analyze abnormal data usage patterns. While some attackers are willing to engage in a long-term very covert operation, most of them would try to quickly take advantage of any foothold they have in an enterprise.

By implementing some security best practices after the Super Bowl, you’ll be able to assure your team that company data and applications haven’t been compromised. Who said security pros can’t be MVPs?