According to CISA, “Recent 2021 trends show malicious cyber actors launching serious and impactful ransomware attacks during holidays and weekends.” As the holidays approach companies will often switch into holiday mode and neglect cyber security. However, it is during these times when cybercriminals are more likely to attack.
You can prevent a cyber attack during the holiday season by understanding what cybercriminals look for and implementing cyber attack prevention tactics.
Cybercriminals Don’t Take Holidays Off
Cybercriminals know businesses are less prepared to defend against an attack during the holiday season. Many companies lower their guard without realizing it. You might ask yourself how to prepare for a cyber attack. Firstly, it is important to know what signs cybercriminals will look for:
- Companies completely closed for the holidays
- Fewer people available to defend and respond to attacks
- Remote workers using unsecured Wi-Fi
- Increased use of personal devices for work
- Laxer cyber security policies
- Busy companies shifting their focus to meet end-of-year goals
Stay Vigilant: How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack
As a business owner or manager, it’s important to be aware of the heightened risk of cyber attacks and take steps to protect your company. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a cyber attack:
1. Partner with a Managed IT Service Provider
Successful cyber attacks are getting more and more sophisticated, but a managed IT service provider (MSP) has the experience and expertise to help tighten your organization’s cyber security posture.
The holiday season is already busy and difficult to work through, and adding cyber security can make your workload feel overwhelming. However, keeping up with the basic cyber security practices on your own and letting an MSP do the heavy lifting can help reduce the risk of a costly and devastating cyber attack during the holidays. Managed IT service providers can also watch your business when your business is closed.
2. Create an Incident Response Plan
Sometimes cyber attacks are simply unavoidable regardless of how careful your company is. By having a plan in place, you can minimize the damage, reduce the cost of downtime, and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
Your incident response plan should be tailored to your company’s specific needs, but at a minimum, it should include:
- A list of who to contact in the event of a cyber attack
- A detailed plan of how to contain the attack and limit its spread
- Clear guidelines on how to communicate with employees, customers, and the media
3. Update Your Software
When the popup reminder to update your software appears, most of us click “remind me later.” But putting off these updates can leave your organization at risk for cyber attacks. The purpose of software updates is to patch vulnerabilities in your systems, making it a crucial part of cyber attack prevention.
Since cybercriminals are continually looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities, keeping your software up-to-date can make it more difficult to break into your systems. Before you leave for the holidays, take care of any updates you’ve been putting off.
4. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a powerful cyber attack prevention tool that does more than prepare you for a cyber attack. It stops 99.9% of cybercriminals from gaining access to your accounts by requiring users to provide two or more pieces of evidence to verify their identity.
If a cybercriminal were to crack your account’s password while you’re away on vacation, you would get a notification sent to your phone. Without your second factor of authentication, the cybercriminal wouldn’t be able to get into your account and you would keep your data safe.
5. Educate Your Employees on Cyber Security
Employees are largely the first line of defense when it comes to cyber attack prevention. That’s why it’s crucial to educate your employees on cyber security best practices and make sure they know what to do in the event of a data breach.
During the holiday season, don’t let your employees fall victim to these unique scams:
- Phishing emails
- Online holiday shopping scams
- Unencrypted financial transactions
You can start educating your employees by holding regular cyber security training sessions and circulating helpful resources. And if you don’t have a cyber security policy in place, now is the time to create one.
Relax for the Holidays and Let adrytech Take Care of Your Cyber Security
Don’t let a cyber attack ruin the holidays. At adrytech, our cyber attack prevention solutions are designed to give you the peace of mind you need to relax and enjoy the holiday season.
Contact our team of experts who will work with you to create a tailored cyber security plan that meets the unique needs of your business. We’ll be there 24/7/365 to monitor your systems so that you can take a much-needed break for the holidays.