It’s almost that oh so magical time of the year when over one hundred million fans around the world will watch who will be crowned NFL Super Bowl LVII champs at State Farm Stadium in sunny Glendale, Arizona.
Now if you’re like me, you’ve got mixed feelings about the Super Bowl.
Since the Detroit Lions failed to make it to the Super Bowl for the 57th year in a row (yeah, I know real shocker…), I’ll be honest—I’m indifferent about the game itself.
But I’ll still tune in and watch the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs throw down on Sunday, February 12. After all, the Super Bowl isn’t just about the football.
The Super Bowl is what snack dreams are made of. I’ll be focused on how many pigs in a blanket I can devour and chips I can dip. And really every other delectable, not-the-healthiest foods I can stomach before reaching for a football-shaped platter stacked high with desserts you didn’t think could be made into footballs–but somehow have been.
The halftime show’s been around since the first Super Bowl in 1967. Last year’s performance with music legends like Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige was history-making, and LeBron James deemed it the greatest halftime show he’s ever seen. This year Rihanna takes center stage, and I’ll secretly be wishing there’s a mash up of “Lift Me Up” with a little “Umbrella” and “Diamonds” sprinkled in.
On any other day, commercials are an excuse to take a break from what you’re watching. But when it comes to the Super Bowl, commercials are an event in and of themselves that you don’t want to miss out on. Some are good. Some are bad. Some make you wonder ‘who approved that?’ I’ll be keeping an eye out hopefully for a pull-at-your-heartstrings dog commercial and the Bryan Cranston/Aaron Paul reunion.
Cybercriminals are also gearing up to have fun of their own this Super Bowl Sunday.
Like with the World Cup, the Super Bowl is a primo sporting event where malicious attackers are eagerly waiting in the shadows to claim their next victim.
Scammers love to leech onto distraction. And the Super Bowl has plenty of that.
With emotions high and sense of awareness lower, threat actors will launch some of their favorite tactics, like phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks, to try and make even the most cyber-risk-aware slip up.
Is your organization playing Super Bowl Squares? Or are you trying to catch some advanced trailers and teasers between meetings? What about sweepstakes? Hoping to score a last-minute ticket or signed Super Bowl swag?
As phishing continues to dominate social engineering and remains a favored encrypted entry point for data breaches, one wrong click and your organization might wind up being this year’s biggest Super Bowl loser.
With 82% of data breaches involving the human element and 90% of today’s web traffic encrypted, proceed with caution. Malware might be waiting to spoil your (or your organization’s) Super Bowl fun via a tainted file download or malicious link.
A ransomware gang could especially be looking to make you their next victim and steal headlines—just like it did last Super Bowl when the San Francisco 49ers’ were hit by BlackByte—after the FBI just scored a big win against the notorious Hive ransomware group.
Cybercriminals certainly have an Andy Reid’s playbook worth of tactics to choose from. And as the ransomware threat landscape continues to evolve and phishing campaigns succeed, it’s critical you do everything you can to level up your defense when it comes to encrypted threats.
With the clock ticking down to Super Bowl Sunday, what are you waiting for?