The holidays are a time for joy, family, and giving. Unfortunately, they’re also a time for increased cybercrime. According to the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, ransomware alone goes up 30% during the holidays. This happens for several reasons, most commonly because long periods of being offline can allow suspicious activity to go undetected. With all of the gifts and promotions during the holidays, social engineering attempts can take many forms and are typically very convincing. The increased rate of e-commerce is also one of the primary factors.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business from becoming a victim of holiday cybercrime:
1. Be Aware of the Dangers
The first step to protecting your business is to be aware of the dangers. Understand that cybercriminals may try to take advantage of the holiday season to target businesses. Be especially vigilant during this time, and review your security protocols.
2. Educate Your Employees
Your employees are your front line of defense against cyberattacks. Educate them on the dangers of clicking on links from unknown sources, opening attachments from unknown senders, and giving out personal information online. Remind them that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Update Your Software and Antivirus Protection
Ensure your software is up to date and that you have robust antivirus protection. Cybercriminals are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, so it’s crucial to stay ahead by keeping your software updated.
4. Back Up Your Data Regularly
In the event that your business does become a victim of cybercrime, it’s essential to have backups of your data so you can quickly recover. Back up your data regularly and store backups in a secure location (preferably off-site).
5. Monitor Your Networks Closely
During the holiday season (and year-round), closely monitor your networks for any suspicious activity. If you see something unusual, take action immediately to investigate and mitigate the threat.
The holiday season is a great time for businesses—but it’s also a prime time for cybercriminals. This uptick displays the importance of investing in your cybersecurity strategy before it is too late. By taking steps to increase awareness, educate employees, update software and antivirus protection, back up data regularly, and monitor networks closely, you can help protect your business from becoming a victim of holiday cybercrime.
To learn how Alliant Cybersecurity can protect your business, please visit: www.alliantcybersecurity.com to book a meeting with one of our cybersecurity practitioners!