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Campus Net Abuzz With BCS Win

Another year, another championship. Now, that's not meant to sound snobbish or trite, but the past few years have been very good for University of Florida athletic programs. Last night was a great example with the Gator football team wrapping up the BCS National Championship with a win against the Oklahoma Sooners. After seeing the preparatory buzz of activity yesterday, I expected to see more visible excitement as I walked a
Another year, another championship. Now, that's not meant to sound snobbish or trite, but the past few years have been very good for University of Florida athletic programs. Last night was a great example with the Gator football team wrapping up the BCS National Championship with a win against the Oklahoma Sooners. After seeing the preparatory buzz of activity yesterday, I expected to see more visible excitement as I walked around campus today, but it looked like a normal beginning of a semester -- aside from the flurry of e-mail and social networking activity.I've personally received e-mail, instant messages, and tweets (messages via Twitter) regarding the win. Salespeople have used it as a way to greet me this morning, as if congratulating me would help them get their foot in the door. Hey, I did nothing to help the team win -- I'm just an alumnus and IT security guy -- but I still get congratulated. It's quite humorous because it happens every time the Gators do something amazing. It's not just my time that's taking a hit today, but IT resources, too.

Being able to statistically show what impact events like this have on a network would be pretty interesting. I know that admissions people track activity and could easily show the impact, but what about Web and e-mail server admins? Who saw spikes? Did the registrar's Web site get more hits as prospective students started looking up admission requirements because they wanted to go to a school with a successful football program?

I don't have that information at hand, but what I saw on nearly every computer screen I encountered while at lunch today was users chatting on Facebook and looking at football party-related pictures. One person, in particular, caught my eye because after taking a seat near me, she pulled out her MacBook, logged into the wireless network, and then walked off leaving it unattended. After nearly having a stroke from her carelessness, I watched her flip back and forth between a class she was watching online and Facebook, where she was chatting with multiple friends and looking at a few hundred pictures of the partying that took place around town last night.

It's apparent that Facebook has done a good job at capacity planning to help ensure the availability part of the CIA triangle (confidentiality, integrity, and availability), but what about other services out there? Being a Twitter user, I can say that's not something it has done. Though the Gator victory didn't seem to impact Twitter's service last night, MacWorld certainly brought it to its knees for a while earlier this week.

What about your IT infrastructure and the services your company provides to internal users and possibly the public? Do you have the resources to handle an influx of traffic when particular events occur? What if a data breach occurs and the customers you've notified all begin calling?

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.