Most of this strikes Bolt as not deep-down malicious but just basketball fans going zany at their computers for a short spell. But there are also attacks that suggest someone would like to infiltrate the Phoenix Suns, perhaps for more nefarious purposes.
Bolt says his IT team, which includes three technicians, keeps close watch on information related to Microsoft vulnerabilities and dangerous new malware types, and when there are worries, will write custom anti-malware signatures or temporarily block access to certain Microsoft servers. "When we interact with the outside, we're always cautious to protect the systems bringing traffic back in," says Bolt. "I'm using a lot of security products."
Bolt pointed out that the Phoenix Suns website is hosted by Turner Entertainment in Atlanta as part of a contract with the National Basketball Association and its teams. The Phoenix Suns uploads content to Turner. And in other complexity, the IT staff at the Phoenix Suns is responsible for assisting with events taking place at the US Airways Center arena.
"So if the circus, for instance, comes for a visit, it asks for Wi-Fi resources so they can do their business while in the building. Or they may want to do simulcast. We give them the bandwidth they need," says Bolt, adding these kinds of visitors get network credentials to log in to a separate VLAN with access to the Internet.
Since a lot of events go on in the evening, it's helpful that the LogRhythm monitoring is set up to automatically watch whether the variety of databases, servers and network resources are not only up and running but working optimally. "One of the most serious things it discovered was it warned me databases were potentially running out of space," says Bolt, adding that would have left a lot of employees doing nothing if it hadn't been detected.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.
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