Super Bowl Time is Super for Cybercrime

Next Monday’s water cooler chat will involve plenty of discussion on the Super Bowl and the ads. But as employees gather around someone’s computer to watch game highlights on YouTube, they may be putting the company at a security risk. 

Mark Maciw at Clearswift told me that along with the drop in productivity the day after the Super Bowl (last year, U.S. companies lost $1 billion in productivity post-Super Sunday), post-game time is prime time for cybercrime that is spread through social engineering. The link to a video of that huge quarterback sack sent from a buddy’s Facebook page might be a malicious link spiked with a Trojan like Zeus, putting company information at risk. 

Maciw provided the following advice to pass along to businesses regarding Super Bowl festivities:


  • Companies should help employees share the excitement safely rather than drive them to seek out ways to bypass the filtering systems, which may lead them into the hands of the scammers. 
  • Although the event is only one day, pre-match buildup (now) and after-match analysis will continue for a week or two, and might call for setting up a communal screen or computer for sharing in the office. That will restrict the number of ways that employees can access game-related material online, and tighter policies can be put on a single machine that is only used for that purpose. 
  • Set a Super Bowl policy and communicate the policy. Remind them they’re still expected to work, but during this time more flexibility will be afforded.

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