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FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.
The London Olympics are set to begin in about 10 weeks' time. And as the excitement and pageantry build, concern also is growing with respect to congestion and IT challenges.
There is little question that London, an already densely populated urban center, will feel the immense weight of the influx of people coming to be part of the Olympic Games. Many aspects of daily life, most notably transportation, will be impacted by the surge of additional visitors moving about London because of the Olympics.
As a consequence, a number of companies are rolling out remote working plans, so that more employees will be able to work away from their usual London offices. Indeed, many employees may work from home even in areas outside of London that will be stressed by Olympic activities and traffic.
To make telecommuting work during the London Olympics, companies need to ensure that they have systems in place that can handle increased demand made by outside connectivity. They will also likely utilize conferencing software such as Cisco's WebEx.
But companies need to be mindful that employees' home Internet connections are not nearly as secure as corporate networks. Accordingly, there can be data security risks.
As my London-based Duane Morris partner Jonathan Armstrong stated to the UK's SC Magazine:
"Organizations might want to make special provisions for employees who are dealing with more secure data; for example, they might want to prohibit online corporate banking from home. They may also need to check software licenses, as some may prohibit use of devices that are not part of the corporate network."
Other IT issues may arise as a result of the London Olympics. For example, visitors may make use of WiFi hot spots. However, such hot spots may not be secure and can lead to the theft of private data. People should take care when communicating via such hot spots; they may wish to avoid communicating highly confidential or sensitive information.
Also, because the Olympic Games attract worldwide attention, it is possible that distributed denial-of-service attacks could be launched to bring down high-profile websites related to the Olympics. Thus, it is important that monitoring and security measures be put in place in advance.
Hopefully, the London Olympics will be enjoyable and as free of IT problems as possible. Let the games begin!
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.