“Educational intuitions need to look towards ways to protect their network and data from internal threats,” he said.

Fending off internal threats means deploying technologies that tell IT officials exactly what kind of devices and applications are being used on the Wi-Fi network. Apps that don’t meet certain security thresholds, Clementelli said, can be blocked before causing serious problems that could, at worst, expose sensitive student and faculty personal information.

“It’s always important to block incoming threats,” he said. “But it’s also important to understand what is using your network,” especially during high-bandwidth times such as NCAA Tournament games.

Taking precautions with network security tools that go well beyond the standard firewall could prove vital for colleges and universities anticipating the annual late-March spike in the number of students using the local network to stream basketball games.

March Madness has proven such a reliably nightmarish time for college IT departments that many schools keep a close eye on bandwidth usage in the hours before, during, and after their school’s team plays in the single-elimination tournament.

The University of Detroit in 2012 saw a remarkable 30-percent jump in bandwidth usage during the second day of March Madness.

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