Every holiday season, we see an uptick in requests for cybersecurity in Miami. While many people are celebrating, others are finding ways to take advantage of this time of year to benefit themselves using illegal methods.
Attacks Rise Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s
Research shows that cyber attacks rise between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, so for a period of 5 – 6 weeks, you have to be very cautious of attacks. A quick look at the season should show you why attacks rise.
- Busy the last month or two of the year
- People are buying more
Distractions at this time of year rise, and many businesses fall victim to cyberattacks because employees “let their guard down.” Small- and medium-sized businesses are at particularly high risk of attacks during this time of the year.
However, there are other reasons for attacks:
Employees are short-staffed at this time of year. People take vacation, sales increase and are barely manageable, and cyber criminals know that an attack is likely to go unnoticed as a result.
IT professionals have an increased burden to keep systems and networks running, and an attack may go under the radar for longer as a result.
Overworked IT teams are taken advantage of during the holiday. Preparing ahead of time by working with a company that focuses on cyber security or by hiring new workers will certainly lower your risk of falling victim to a cyber attack.
Rise in Emails
Email remains one of the biggest security risks in businesses worldwide. The main threat is phishing emails that are sent to employees who download files or click on links that they shouldn’t.
The rise in emails during this season doesn’t help.
Hackers can spoof emails from a vendor or coworker and then cause you to click on a malicious link and fall for a scam. Many businesses have fallen victim to malware and ransomware attacks because of an employee opening a phishing email and not realizing the threat involved.
Cyber attacks happen all year long, and hackers will pick their target date carefully. If the attack happens on the night that everyone leaves the office for holiday break, there’s a much higher chance that the attack will go unnoticed.
Often, the attack isn’t realized until weeks after it occurs – if it is recognized.
Since there are fewer people monitoring networks, it makes more sense for hackers to take advantage of lax security during the holidays.
Protecting Against Cyber Attacks During the Holidays
If you want to protect against attacks, you must take a proactive approach to your security. Cybercriminals do not need to impact businesses or consumers during this time of year. Instead, you should spend time:
- Hardening your security
- Implementing stricter firewall rules
- Updating security software
- Utilizing malware and antivirus scanners
- Training employees on how to avoid common attacks
Businesses can also create a zero-trust environment where all data access requires some form of authentication. In this way, you can strengthen your security during the time of year when the majority of attacks occur.