Sporting Events – policies that enable more

Love it or loathe it, football is going to be a key feature in all our lives over the next month or so as the World Cup gears up in South Africa.

As with any event of this type, we’re now seeing the usual wave of IT security experts warning of imminent threats and malicious attacks using the tournament as a vehicle. However, whilst this certainly can be the case, it’s easy to remain focused on these more specific (and often negative) threats and overlook some of the ‘bigger picture’ issues that come into play with an event such as the World Cup.

Employee productivity, morale and bandwidth utilisation are just three examples of potentially serious business issues that can be effectively addressed through a good security strategy.Many organisations accept that it is more effective to harness the enthusiasm and passion employees have for the World Cup. Indeed, the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) states that “where employers demonstrate they care about their staff and their interests outside work, employees are more likely to go the extra mile for the organisation…”. In line with this, setting up a communal TV screen is a good way of allowing people to watch key games at work to save a mass exodus through holidays or ‘illness’, whilst also reducing bandwidth that would be occupied through streaming.

If this isn’t possible, your security solution should provide you with other options: Although enabling media streaming is now often considered a fairly standard business requirement, it may be worth considering temporarily blocking streaming from certain sites showing the games during the tournament to ensure that core business functions can continue unaffected. Alternatively, consider restricting streaming on individual PCs to 90 minutes a day, which will also help to prevent excessive drops in productivity.These small suggestions demonstrate just some of the positive ways in which a well-thought out security strategy, together with flexible security solutions, can help support a business and its core functions. The World Cup could well prove to be welcome light relief after a difficult year, and with the correct controls in place, it has the ability to be a positive thing for both business and employee.