March Madness Puts The Squeeze On Corporate Bandwidth

Traffic to tourney sites jumps 10,000%

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Beware the Ides of March, Shakespeare famously warned in Julius Caesar. The Ides of March bring a different madness in the modern world, usually associated with college basketball, and extends to your IT department. All that mad video streaming can have a huge impact not just on productivity, but also on the company’s bandwidth bill.
CBS Sports, NCAA
Last year, sites like NCAA.com and CBSSports.com enjoyed the other side of that traffic flow, to the tune of a 10,000 percent increase, much of it coming from office computers, says security company ScanSafe. The company conducted a study of March Madness related traffic on behalf of clients in 80 countries, clients likely looking for numbers they can point to in a company memo that goes out before Thursday.

ScanSafe says much of the video streaming of the tournament occurs during work hours, resulting in some cases in a disabled or slowed network, which can interfere with daily business operations. Collectively, the bandwidth costs alone totals in the millions of dollars.
“The amount of corporate bandwidth used to view these basketball games during work hours is astonishing,” said Spencer Parker, ScanSafe’s director of product management. “Most employees don’t know the bandwidth impact of these streaming sessions. Companies are literally losing millions of dollars to college basketball in March.”

Enough employees watching games separately and simultaneously can slow dominate a network gateway, impairing internal traffic and possibly causing applications to run slower or documents to take a long time to open.

“IT professionals need to plan and be prepared for the extra bandwidth usage during this period,” said Parker. “Having well-defined internet usage policies, particularly pertaining to streaming video, can ease the bandwidth squeeze during March Madness.”

As a security company might, ScanSafe also wants to inform businesses that cybercriminals just love popular sporting events. They note how Super Bowl XLI host Dolphin Stadium’s website was hacked days before the game, and how earlier this year MLB.com played host to malware.

March Madness Puts The Squeeze On Corporate Bandwidth
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