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  • Writer's pictureAngela Sanna

Cyberattacks surge during the Holiday Season: Here’s why:

Cybercriminals don't take the holiday season off. Here's why cyberattacks increase over the festive period.

For most people, the holiday season is the best time to reconnect with family, enjoy some well-deserved rest, and eat tasty homemade food. But for cybercriminals, it is the perfect time to strike.

In fact, research suggests that cyberattacks surge between Christmas and New Year's, when both individuals and companies have their guards down.

Do Cyberattacks increase over Christmas?

In recent years, cybercriminals have relied on ransomware to attack their victims—this type of malware locks or encrypts files on a system until a ransom is submitted, thus maximizing the chances of generating revenue.

Prepare for a more cyber-secure holiday season

With the holiday season in full swing and with trends indicating a high level of risk for businesses during this time, you need a robust cybersecurity and risk managementplan that will allow you to secure your data from a cyber attacks during holidays.

Taking the right precautions will allow you to reap the economic boons that accompany the holiday season while protecting your IT environment with greater precision and resilience.

Tips to safeguard yourself this holiday season

1. Complete a cybersecurity audit

Although sometimes referred to as a checklist, a cybersecurity audit is, in fact, much more than a superficial review. By undertaking a cybersecurity audit, you’re conducting an analysis of your entire IT infrastructure, from individual hardware to your networks and cloud systems. Its purpose is to find any flaws or oversights in this infrastructure that could present a cybersecurity risk.

Cybercriminals are very good at adapting to new technologies and circumstances, and can be more agile (and better informed) than businesses on new tech, particularly if they lack the knowledge and responsiveness of a good IT department or IT service provider. A cyber security audit is a great place to start your year, and a launching pad for more regular vulnerability scans and penetration tests to keep new threats at bay.

2. Develop a password safety process

Using a password manager allows you to create and manage multiple passwords for different accounts, making it easier for you to remember them and others who may try to hijack your account. You can use the same tool across your online accounts, or choose one that supports specific sites like Facebook, Gmail/Google Drive, and other social media platforms. Use your browser to manage passwords while changing passwords every 30-60 days. Use a combination of numbers, words, and special characters in various combinations that are easier to remember, use solid passwords suggested by the application and store them in your browser or app(phone), and use multi-factor authentication like an image or number to confirm your identity in addition to a password All these will help you secure your identity.

3. Ensure your personal information stays secure

One of the most important things to do when you’re online is to keep your personal information private. This means that you should never share it with anyone unless you know and trust them. On social media, be careful about what information you put out there; don’t post anything that could compromise your identity or security (for example, passwords). And while we all know what happens when someone sees our names on Facebook—it’s called “a friend request”—it’s still a good idea not to accept any requests from strangers.

4. Avoid public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is one of the most common ways cyber criminals can access your personal information. When using public Wi-Fi, avoid those without password protection, as they’re the least secure. Even if a public network in a hotel or café is protected with a password, activating a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while connecting to it is highly recommended.

5. Keep your software up to date

One of the best ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks is to keep your software up to date. This includes your operating system, web browser, and other software you use regularly.

Updating your software can seem like a chore, but it is vital to patch any security vulnerabilities that cyber criminals may have discovered. Attackers are constantly looking for new ways to exploit systems, and software updates will help to keep them at bay.

In addition to protecting your devices from attack, keeping your software updated can improve performance and add new features. So, it’s a win-win all around!

Want more cyber security tips?

Delta 365 offers an extensive range of Managed Cyber Security solutions, helping to protect individuals and businesses from data breaches and other threats. To discuss your cyber security strategy or for any other information about IT services, get in touch with Delta 365 today.

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