HomeCII/OTThe Top 3 Cyber Threats During the Holidays

The Top 3 Cyber Threats During the Holidays

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As the world gears up for the holiday season, cybersecurity experts are warning of the increased threats and vulnerabilities that come with the surge in online shopping activity. With global online sales expected to reach $1.19 trillion and US online sales projected to hit $273 billion, cybercriminals are poised to take advantage of the chaos and volume of business being transacted over technology during the holidays.

The holiday season isn’t just a busy time for retail organizations. Partners, developers, manufacturers, supply chain, technology providers, communication providers, transportation, support systems, and more all play a crucial role in making sure that the holiday shopping season runs smoothly. These organizations rely heavily on technology to create, sell, supply, transport, and collaborate, making the impact of the holiday season wide-reaching and complex.

For threat actors, the holiday season is a prime opportunity to strike. The increased volume of business transactions can strain network resources, leaving companies more vulnerable to attacks like denial of service (DoS) and phishing attempts. Ransomware attacks are also expected to increase by 70% during the holiday months, as cybercriminals target resource-constrained businesses that may be more likely to pay a ransom.

One of the key challenges during the holiday season is the absence of key employees who may be out of the office on holiday. Their expertise and in-depth knowledge of specific systems can leave organizations more vulnerable to cyber threats. It’s a perfect storm of increased traffic, enticing deals, and limited resources that make the holiday season a high-risk time for cyberattacks.

To mitigate the risks posed by cyber threats during the holiday season, businesses need to be prepared. Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for internal stakeholders and external partners, developing a concrete plan with specific tasks, and practicing that plan are all essential steps to enhancing preparedness. Additionally, having a secure and confidential communication channel for incident response teams is crucial to ensuring a swift and effective response to cyberattacks.

While the holiday season may be a time of celebration and joy, it’s also a time of heightened cyber threats. By taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity preparedness, businesses can better protect themselves from cybercriminals looking to exploit the chaos and volume of online shopping activity during the holidays. Practice makes perfect, and that applies to incident response plans as well. Don’t let cyber threats ruin the holiday cheer — be prepared and stay vigilant to keep your business safe and secure during the most wonderful time of the year.

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