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World Cup Woes for Your Network

Is your Web surfing policy in place? You might want to double check. The 2010 World Cup -- running from June 11 through July 11, 2010 -- may suck up a lot of your bandwidth otherwise.

A press release from Internet monitoring firm SpectorSoft Corporation says the sporting event "is anticipated to be the most widely-viewed and followed sporting event -- exceeding even the Olympic Games." Over 30 teams are participating in 64 matches, each Webcast three times per day. The company says a new study warns that over half of UK workers (54 percent) said they plan to watch World Cup games on their office computers during work hours. SpectorSoft also points out that "major broadcasters including the BBC, ESPN, ITV, and Tudou plan to stream live matches on their websites."

Uh oh.

It's not just the games themselves that will consume network resources. SpectorSoft Corporation says the event may "erode business profitability, productivity, and corporate security" as employees watch news and highlights of the games, participate in Facebook discussions about them, or visit online gambling sites to place bets.

You can also expect a rash of e-mail scams and infected messages using World Cup-related subject lines.

“Business owners should take note of the business risks before the World Cup begins, and establish an ‘acceptable use policy’ that allows for employee flexibility -- without compromising productivity or security,” said SpectorSoft president and founder C. Douglas Fowler, in a statement.

Of course, policies are worthless without enforcement, SpectorSoft warned in the release. No doubt. The company's Spector 360 tracks employee behavior, recording and storing all PC and Internet activity, including e-mail, chats, instant messages, and Web sites visited.

However you enforce your policies, it's a good time to review what your policy covers and how it's communicated to your employees.

- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 06/07/2010 at 11:53 AM