FIFA World Cup 2018- Don’t Let Your Enterprise Networks Pay a Penalty

One of the biggest sporting extravaganza of the world is currently on in Russia. The 2018 FIFA World Cup, which commenced on the 14th of June 2018, will see 32 teams compete across 64 games and four adrenaline and emotionally packed weeks in Russia.

Let’s begin with some eye-opening statistics. According to a number of sources, the 2014 World Cup was watched by 3.2 billion people worldwide, making it the largest ever in FIFA history. In total, 280 million people watched matches online or through a mobile device. Experts expect that the viewership numbers in 2018 will see an increase between 65–70% due to improved accessibility of live-streaming on mobile devices.

Wondering what this has to do with you?

Because several people from the projected 5 billion who will be watching matches probably work in your organization.

Given that most of the matches will be telecast on weekdays and during working hours. Chances are that a lot of employees will be live streaming matches using the office Wi-Fi or internet. FYI: The World Cup Final on the 15th of July will be telecast at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT), in case you were curious.

Why should you be worried about it?

Because you don’t want your critical business application’s performance to suffer because of low-bandwidth availability, jittery and dropped voice services, or video conferencing calls pixelated for the rest of the organization.

Spirits high, network down

During most large-scale sporting events, many organizations witness network congestion. Recent technology like on-demand live streaming services and user-owned mobile devices makes it easy for employees to watch these events from their desk. Most organizations try to dissuade employees by issuing a notice banning employees from live streaming matches on the office network and ask IT to increase their monitor of network hogging and misuse during these times.

As we all know, that strategy doesn’t always work because tech savvy employees find proxies. Overall, all that policing leads to a lot of tension between end-users and IT – a situation that can be easily avoided.

With increased digitization, most companies are already battling problems like data explosion and bandwidth constraints. Without the ability to prioritize network traffic and applications by importance, type and user – your network may struggle under the weight of non-business oriented heavy bandwidth consumption.

The answer to this challenge is SD-WAN.

Security

As with many high-profile and televised events, cyber-criminals are well-aware that these sporting events are followed and streamed by billions of people and can be ideal for phishing for potential victims. Spam and phishing attacks delivering fake notifications of prize winnings linked to FIFA sponsors as well as fake product sales are on the rise. IBM’s analysis shows that 65 percent of World Cup related spam was sent from IP addresses hosted in the United States, while 23 percent was dispatched from Italy and the remaining 12 percent from the rest of the world. Companies like Fortinet and publications like Computer Business Review have warned enterprises to keep a look out for employees breaking security norms to gain access to suspicious live-streaming sites and other methods.

Having your cake and eating it too.

One of the biggest benefits of a software-defined approach to the WAN is to eliminate these concerns through automation and dynamic intelligent application steering. Application based traffic steering is a core component of the overall SD-WAN framework.

It enhances the performance of your mission-critical applications by directing all business-critical traffic to dedicated, high-availability and stable connectivity links (MPLS or enterprise-broadband) and routing the peripheral applications, personal use and non-critical traffic through other available links. Based on pre-set policies SD-WAN uses factors like application experience and performance to dynamically adjust how the network is steering the traffic and takes into consideration the conditions of the overall networks and the application user experience.

Link aggregation and dynamic path selection ensure the most critical business services are up, even when employees are busy live streaming bandwidth-rich media.

Through most SD-WAN solutions claim to boost security, Versa’s SD-WAN solution with integrated security can deliver a rich and comprehensive set of advanced security services, including stateful and next-generation ICSA Labs certified firewalls, malware and virus protection, URL and content filtering, IPS, DDoS and secure site-to-site connectivity to protect your enterprise data and users. Versa’s threat intelligence works tirelessly to identify new threats to keep your network and sensitive business information protected from emerging threats and cyber-criminals

It creates a comprehensive enterprise network security architecture and a more secure experience to cloud-based services driven by application experience.

The FIFA World Cup will be over in another fortnight. Business will resume to normal. But here is some food for thought. If you haven’t deployed SD-WAN yet and are facing network issues at your business, are your branches and WAN really prepared for emergency scenarios? Are they resilient and agile enough to accommodate and dynamically adjust to the need of the hour- whatever that might be?

If not, then maybe this is time to redefine your network. Reach out to us at info@versa-networks.com or click here for a demo.