Holidays are when everyone is thinking about spending their time in the best viable way. People usually want to stay carefree and stress-free of their work. However, this is what attackers are waiting for. All they need is a little diversion from your side, and they can execute their malicious activities.
- How do holidays put your company under cyber-attack threat?
Attackers do not have a soft corner for businesses and are not ready to give you leisure time during any part of the year. Instead, they look for opportunities when you are less prepared so that they can strike a cyber-attack on your company. This is why holidays put your organization at great cyber-attack risk.
Usually, end-users do not care about cybersecurity when browsing online or sending or receiving emails for holiday wishes. Hence, they may let their safety checks down to a specific degree and get distracted more than before. Higher distraction from the user and lower email scrutiny are efficient entrances for attackers to phish frauds and do other malicious deeds.
Also, companies are short-staffed during the holidays, which further create a situation of substantial risk to important business data with lesser resources to help prevent attacks and breaches in case they occur.
The FBI and CISA observed an increment in ransomware attacks on weekends and holidays. As a result, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a statement to protect your company from cyber-attacks during holidays.
With unavoidable holidays being celebrated now and then, you should take steps to protect your company from cyber-attack. Some of the threats that a company may suffer from are phishing emails, broken passwords, ransomware, DDoS, and data breach. Here are some best ways to protect your company from cyber-attacks during holidays. However, it is suggested to confirm them with your IT teams before applying them:
- Updating patching
Criminals majorly prey on those failing to patch their systems and penetrate your system from known and fixable susceptibilities. Therefore, patching should be updated against all known susceptibilities.
- Be aware of your network.
Allow logs, be careful and investigate quickly. Intrusions should be prevented to avoid any negative impact. Some organizations predict they may get compromised, but they endeavour to lower the compromise impact.
- Change passwords and use Multi-Factor Authentication.
Question your IT team when the last time was. They changed the passwords. Usually, criminals steal credentials; hence make sure you reset the password before leaving for the holidays to avoid hackers from accessing your system. Also, ensure the company has an MFA and make it mandatory for everyone. Change the regulations if you have an MFA but do not use it. MFA lowers the risk of data breaches drastically.
- Handle schedules efficiently
Analyze the staffing plans for your security and IT department to ensure that the company has efficient coverage during the vacations. Also, check with the on-call employees available round the clock during ransomware or cyber-attack. Every minute counts, and any delay may lead to devastating consequences when under attack. Hence, make sure the staffing schedule is set and there are no gaps. Having updated validated information along with strategic planning is essential.
- Aware the employees
Do spear-phishing and other cyber-attack demos to raise employees’ awareness of such attacks. Ask them to report instantly if they notice any unusual behaviour on their computers or phones. Train them not to give access to anyone. Inform them how criminals try to enter the system and execute cyber-attacks during normal days and vacations. Cyber-aware employees work as your best safety against security breaches and risks.
In general, every employee should be aware of:
- What personal and professional use is allowed for emails?
- How to manage professional data at home and office?
- How to react if a cyber issue has occurred?
Educate and train every employee to secure your valuable data and sign your information policy. Use mails, webinars, newsletters, conferences to enhance the cybersecurity culture. Train your employees to access the websites with SSL certificates. These certificates keep the websites secure by encrypting the data transferred between the user and the server. They do not allow any interception of a third person.
Moreover, the company should have an SSL certificate from reputed certificate authorities (CA) like RapidSSL, GlobalSign, Comodo. You can decide according to your business, if you are looking for single domain then PositiveSSL is
best for your domain. If you want to protect your domain and multiple sub-domain then go with Comodo Positive Wildcard SSL, and to protect multiple domains and sub-domains comodo multi-domain ssl certificates are the best.
- Data backup
Ensure that you back up all the primary data. Instruct your IT staff to re-check the backup system and see if it is offline. Always keep them out of the reach of the bad people. Many cyber-attacks are successful because the company’s backup strategy is unreliable or allows criminal access.
- Safeguard wireless access points
For efficient and safe networking in your company, follow these router safety practices:
- Modify the administrative password on the new appliances
- Set the WAP so that it does not broadcast its SSID.
- Modify the router to use Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 with AES security.
- Do not use WEP.
If you offer your employees or customers Wi-Fi, always keep it separate from your business.
- Get rid of your old computer and appliances.
Before throwing or donating your old computer and appliances before the vacation, always remember to clear your valuable hard drive data. Delete all the critical business data from old flash drives, CDs, and media. Then destroy the items or give them to someone. Destroy important papers before throwing them using a shredder.
- Set up email filters
Installing email filters prevents hackers and spam from cluttering your inbox. You can also use blacklist services to prevent users from accessing websites with malware threats.
Prevent your employees from visiting the sites that generate Google warnings. It only takes one worker to browse the wrong website and download malware to infect its entire system.
- Go for cyber-security insurance.
You can safeguard your business using cyber insurance. The price of managing a cyber-attack is a lot more than you can imagine. It involves database repairing, security strengthening and replacement of devices. With cyber insurance, you can cover it with ease.
These are some of the prevention measures you and your IT team should take to avoid cyber-attacks during holidays. Carefully review the measures, discuss with your IT team, and determine which ones you should apply to your company.