Holiday Season Cyberattacks: 5 Ways to Protect Your Business

holiday season cyberattacks

As more people turn to the Internet for shopping, communication, and transactions, cybercriminals eagerly seize the opportunity to exploit any vulnerabilities they can find. With holiday season cyberattacks, no one is exempted. Whether you are an ordinary individual, a small business owner, or even a large corporation, you can eventually fall victim to these malicious acts.  

Since the pandemic, 81% of global organisations have experienced cyber threats. Furthermore, considering these alarming statistics, it is crucial to remain vigilant and take any further necessary precautions to ensure a certainly safer and more secure holiday season for everyone. Above all, by staying informed, you can significantly protect yourself, your business, and any sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. 

Understanding Cyberattacks

Cyberattacks refer to deliberate attempts to steal, alter, expose, disable, or destroy data, applications, or other assets. Additionally, these attacks further occur through unauthorised access to computer systems, networks, and digital devices. Though the motivations behind launching these threats may vary, one thing is certain: cyberattacks can cause significant harm to businesses, leading to damage, disruption and even destruction. In fact, it is estimated that the average cost of a data breach resulting from such attacks can further reach up to $4.5 million. 

Common Holiday Season Cyberattacks

Do not let cybercriminals steal your joy, especially during this holiday season. Thus, safeguard yourself and look out for these common holiday season cyberattacks that you may encounter: 

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Since the pandemic, 81% of global organisations have experienced cyber threats.

Phishing Emails

Phishing is a fraudulent email attack that tricks users into subsequently revealing sensitive information like personal data or downloading malware. This further poses a constant threat, but they become particularly rampant during the holiday season. Meanwhile, cybercriminals often take advantage of the surge in online communication to send deceptive emails, pretending to be legitimate organisations. Additionally, these emails often contain harmful links or attachments that aim to further extract sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial data, from unsuspecting recipients.  

To safeguard your business, ensure your employees avoid clicking on any obviously suspicious links or downloading unknown attachments. Therefore, it is crucial to verify the sender’s credibility and utilise security software that can significantly reduce the risk of falling prey to phishing emails during this time. 

Ransomware and Malware

The holiday season’s hustle and bustle can certainly create a perfect storm for ransomware and malware attacks. Malicious software or malware refers to any type of code or program commonly used by cybercriminals to further steal information, encrypt data for ransom, or install software unknowingly. On the other hand, ransomware is a type of malware wherein attackers hold captive data, systems, or devices until a form of payment is further made. Cybercriminals often exploit the increased online traffic, targeting businesses with malicious software that can encrypt or compromise sensitive data.  

To protect against such attacks, businesses should prioritise cybersecurity measures. It is also crucial to educate employees about the importance of strong passwords, phishing emails, and suspicious links. In particular, updating security software regularly and conducting system audits can also help identify and address any further vulnerabilities. Furthermore, creating data backups and implementing a robust incident response plan ensures that businesses can quickly recover and minimise the damage in case of an attack. 

Data Breach

Businesses are more particularly susceptible to data breaches, especially during the holidays when there is a surge in online transactions. Furthermore, during a data breach, cybercriminals infiltrate systems, networks, or databases to gain unauthorised access to confidential information. Most of the time, they generally target customer information, financial records, and other sensitive data, aiming to further exploit vulnerabilities in your security infrastructure. To significantly protect sensitive data, businesses should further invest in robust cybersecurity measures such as encryption, firewalls, and regular security audits. 

Breach Passwords

Weak or compromised passwords remain a significant security risk, and during the holiday season, when employees may be managing increased workloads, password security can inadvertently take a back seat. However, businesses should prioritise password security, especially during this time when cybercriminals are more active than ever.  

Implementing strong password policies, such as enforcing frequent password changes and using multi-factor authentication, can reduce the chances of breaching passwords. Additionally, providing regular training and reminders to employees about the importance of strong passwords can help reinforce good security practices during the hectic holiday season. 

5 Ways to Protect Your Business Against Holiday Season Cyberattacks

No one can be safe from cyberattacks. With the increasing digitisation of our lives, cyberattacks have become a pervasive threat that certainly affects individuals, businesses, and even nations. Moreover, protection against it requires a combination of cybersecurity measures, user awareness and proactive strategies to ensure a secure online environment. Here are 5 ways to do it: 

1. Make cybersecurity safety part of employee training

Firstly, employees serve as the first line of defense against cyber threats. It is certainly crucial to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively identify and respond to potential attacks. Furthermore, to achieve this, you must conduct regular training sessions that cover essential topics such as phishing awareness, password security, and safe online practices. By emphasising the significance of remaining vigilant, particularly during the bustling holiday season, you can further ensure a heightened level of protection for your business. 

2. Conduct regular software updates 

Outdated software certainly poses a significant risk to cybercriminals. Thus, it is crucial to regularly update all software and systems to further address vulnerabilities and maintain a secure digital environment. To streamline this process and significantly minimise the chances of oversight, you should consider implementing automated update mechanisms.  

Automated update mechanisms can also ensure that all software patches and security updates are installed promptly, further reducing the window of opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. Additionally, this not only protects sensitive data but also enhances overall system performance and stability. Lastly, automated updates can alleviate the burden on IT teams, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks and proactive security measures.

3. Establish strong and fully managed security solutions

It is equally important to also invest in a robust cybersecurity infrastructure that can further protect a business from potential threats. This includes implementing antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and other cutting-edge security solutions. Collaborating with experienced IT professionals can certainly guarantee that these systems are not only strong, but also consistently monitored and updated to effectively counter further emerging threats. 

4. Add a layer of protection

Two-factor authentication (2FA) serves as an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access. Of course, in cases wherein passwords are compromised, 2FA further demands a secondary form of verification, significantly enhancing security measures. It is imperative to implement 2FA across all pertinent systems and accounts, including email, customer portals, and internal networks. By all means, by doing so, businesses can further ensure heightened protection and safeguard against potential breaches.

5. Keep data backups

Finally, keep data backups in case of emergency. Data backups are an indispensable element of the defense strategy of any business. It is imperative to consistently back up vital data to an offsite location to avert any potential loss resulting from a cyberattack. It is equally important that businesses should also ensure that their backup process is automated, secure, and subjected to regular and further testing to guarantee its reliability. 

With the increasing digitisation of our lives, cyberattacks have become a pervasive threat that certainly affects individuals, businesses, and even nations.

Mark Your Business Cyber Safe

By implementing these proactive measures, you can significantly enhance your business’s resilience against holiday season cyberattacks.  

Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires vigilance, education, and adaptation to evolving threats. Mark your business as cyber safe this holiday season by investing in your IT infrastructure and reliable technology-driven solutions.  

DBA is here to provide you and your clients and employees with the gift of a secure digital environment. Our team of experienced and certified IT professionals guarantees the application of the industry’s best practices. With DBA’s updated and dependable IT services, your digital environment will remain safe and conducive to productive work.  

Stay cyber-safe and enjoy the festive season with peace of mind.  

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Gillian Delos Reyes, MBA, LCB, DMP

Gillian Delos Reyes, MBA, LCB, DMP

Gillian is a Content Writer for DBA, with over 5 years of experience as a content writer and educator. She is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional and Licensed Customs Broker, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Business Administration.
Gillian Delos Reyes, MBA, LCB, DMP

Gillian Delos Reyes, MBA, LCB, DMP

Gillian is a Content Writer for DBA, with over 5 years of experience as a content writer and educator. She is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional and Licensed Customs Broker, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Business Administration.

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1 thought on “Holiday Season Cyberattacks: 5 Ways to Protect Your Business”

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