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‘Tis the season for joy and festivities.  Many of us are anticipating some well-deserved time off to celebrate with family and friends. However, as your staff prepares for extended leave, it’s important to remember cybersecurity threats don’t take the holidays off.

With many businesses operating on skeleton crews or closing offices entirely, the risks of cyber-attacks can rise significantly. Communicating the importance of cybersecurity and safety measures to your staff is paramount during this time. We’ll delve into why cyber-attacks tend to surge during the holidays and what you can do to keep your employees and business protected.

Understanding the Holiday Cyber Surge

The holiday season creates a perfect storm for malicious actors seeking to compromise sensitive data and disrupt operations. There are unique opportunities present that aren’t available during any other time of the year. Some pitfalls that cybercriminals tend to capitalize on include:

  • Employee Distraction: The festive season often brings personal distractions for employees, including holiday shopping, travel plans, and family gatherings. With divided attention, employees may inadvertently let their guard down, making it easier for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Limited Staff Availability: Many businesses experience reduced staffing levels during the holidays as employees take time off. A reduction in personnel can delay response times to potential threats, leaving the organization vulnerable to prolonged attacks.
  • Increased Internet Activity: The holiday season sees a significant uptick in online shopping and transactions. Cybercriminals capitalize on this surge in activity, targeting businesses with a higher volume of financial transactions, making it an opportune time for them to execute their attacks.

Cybercriminals exploit these holiday distractions, hoping individuals may overlook security protocols, thus making them more susceptible to phishing scams. If your staff isn’t careful, it can cause them or your business significant harm, making it imperative for businesses to fortify their cybersecurity defenses during this critical time.

How to Keep Your Business Protected

Communication is key in building awareness among employees about the increased risks during the holidays. Regularly remind them to be extra cautious during the holidays and to remain vigilant for potential threats, both at work and in their personal online activities.

As we head into the new year, now is a good time to remind employees of your cybersecurity procedures, implement any necessary training, and update any policies if necessary. Reinforce the need for employees to adhere to security protocols, such as using secure Wi-Fi networks, updating software, and reporting any suspicious activities promptly.

Finally, as workers also gear up for holiday travel, they should be cautious what devices they use in a public setting. Company devices should generally be avoided outside of the workplace or home office. If they must use a device while traveling, always have a VPN enabled and make sure they’re connected to a secure network.

Protect Your Business Network into the New Year and Beyond

A cyber scare can damper the holiday fun. But you don’t have to tackle the holiday cyber surge alone. A dedicated security partner can monitor your network and help keep your business secure during the additional cybersecurity challenges that accompany the year-end holidays.

At Vector Security Networks, our team prioritizes your business’s security, allowing your team to concentrate on holiday operations and enjoy the much-needed peace and relaxation they deserve. We’re here to help keep your businesses protected into the New Year and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.

Happy holidays and a Happy New Year!