Year after year, the holiday season brings a heightened threat of cybercrime. Bad actors are on the search to exploit any security vulnerability they can find. Hackers look for – and always find – the most vulnerable companies to target.
It’s no wonder cybercriminals take advantage of weekends and holidays! Most companies operate with skeleton crews over the holidays, rendering victims largely unprepared for ransomware attacks. In a survey conducted by Cybereason, 37% of cybersecurity professionals reported that it took longer for their organization to assess the scope of an attack that occurred on a holiday weekend versus a normal weekday.
37% of the same respondents also reported that it took longer to stop the attack than it normally would with a full staff/resources. This means that many companies are lacking in implementing effective contingency and incident response plans. Organizations must be able to quickly mobilize their SOC teams, IR teams, and partners if a holiday attack potentially occurs.
Not only does the chaos of the holiday season make it easier for cybercriminals to target organizations. The hectic holiday season also makes it easier to target individuals, as well. Bad actors are able to take advantage of unsuspecting victims more so than usual. This is because many people are heavily distracted, between planning dinners and parties, placing several online orders, tracking packages, and creating and logging into several different online accounts. Bad actors rely on those who mistakenly click a malicious link or compromise their credentials by logging in on a fraudulent website.
The research from Cybereason shows just how unprepared a huge number of companies are for unexpected scenarios. With the holiday season rapidly approaching us, what are some solutions businesses can quickly implement?
Cybereason’s list of IT security recommendations include: exploring different staffing models for SOC analysts and incident responders, identifying optimal staffing for weekends and holidays instead of employing a minimal amount, pursuing a managed detection and response (MDR) strategy, locking down privileged accounts during holidays and weekends, implement clear isolation practices, and replacing traditional antivirus software with NGAV and EDR. These new forms of antivirus software are capable of identifying ransomware attacks in their earliest stages.
Another effective preventative measure is to improve your company staff’s cyber security literacy. Through cyber security awareness training programs, staff become more knowledgeable about potential threats and how to avoid them. This is of the upmost importance for companies that store confidential data.
According to the 2022 Tessian Security Cultures Report, “security leaders underestimate just how much they should be a part of the employee experience” when it comes to implementing company security policy. Onboarding, role changes, offboarding, relocations, and day-to-day activities are all activities that need sufficient internal defenses, reiterated by constant employee training and education.
Here are some necessary steps for implementing the most effective cyber security policy for your company: plan for total workforce training, deploy adaptive content, localize your cybersecurity training, back your cyber training with data science, and apply continuous training.
It’s difficult to mobilize your entire team, especially it’s growing rapidly. Some companies also employ people working from different locations, or time zones. In order to protect from sophisticated phishing attempts, you must ensure your entire team is receiving regular training. If your entire team isn’t getting the necessary education and training, you’re not thoroughly preventing potential vulnerabilities.
The easiest, most stress-free way to secure your company IT operations and protect them during these stressful holidays? Get in contact with Network Security Associates today! We’ll handle your company’s entire IT operations, ensuring their security and protection 24/7. Our team of informative support experts are available on call 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 24/7, ready to help with any of your tech needs. Customer service and satisfaction is of our upmost priority. Network Security Associates is one of the most trusted IT security firms in Las Vegas. Our managed IT services firm has been in operation for over 19 years, serving various businesses throughout the Las Vegas valley. We also provide IT support for businesses in surrounding areas including Henderson and Boulder City.