‘Tis the Season for Holiday Hackers: Protect Your Business This Holiday Season

IT support team working in an office; call centre operators wearing headsets and typing on a computer keyboard, receiving calls

With the holiday season upon us, businesses across all industries are faced with a wealth of new opportunities for growth and increased profits. But there’s also a downside – cybercriminals are taking advantage of the influx of traffic, sales, and activities associated with this time of year to launch attacks on companies.

In fact, according to a recent report from IBM Security, cyberattacks related to the holidays have already increased this year by more than 200%. This means that businesses need to be proactive in safeguarding their data and networks. Here are four ways organizations can protect themselves during the holiday season:

1. Be Aware of Potential Vulnerabilities:

Because the holiday season has such an influx of cyberattacks, at the very moment it might feel most natural to relax and sit back during the holidays, your business could be under attack. You might not know where your business is lacking in cybersecurity, and that’s okay. One of the best things you can do is to get help from someone who does know.

All businesses should assess their networks and identify weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers. To ensure comprehensive security, have a trusted IT partner conduct an audit of your systems to find any gaps in protection.

2. Tighten Access Controls:

Limit access to sensitive data only to those who need it for their job functions. Make sure passwords are strong and updated regularly, and make sure to implement two-factor authentication when possible.

As a business owner, you have the responsibility to educate your employees and remind them to stay vigilant during the holiday season.

3. Monitor Your Network:

Establish a monitoring system to detect malicious activity and prevent unauthorized access to your data. Utilize intrusion detection systems, log file analysis tools, and other security measures to monitor suspicious behavior.

Malicious behavior can come in many forms, and businesses need to be aware of the potential signs of an attack. One such sign is when there is a sudden increase in network traffic, especially from unfamiliar sources.

This could indicate that hackers are attempting to access your network and its data. Other signs of malicious behavior may include unexpected changes to system configurations, sudden decreases in network performance, and unapproved installation of software.

4. Be Proactive in IT Support:

Don’t wait for something to go wrong before seeking help. Have a plan in place for responding to potential cyber threats and staying ahead of any potential risks. This holiday season, don’t let your business be hit by a cyberattack and caught unaware.

Managed IT support can be a powerful ally in the fight against holiday hackers. By utilizing a managed IT service provider, businesses can ensure that their networks, systems, and data are secure and well-protected.

Businesses in the finance, retail, travel, and hospitality industries are particularly vulnerable during this time of year, so be sure to take extra precautions with your security measures. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your business is safe and secure during the holidays.