The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have previously detected a surge in highly impactful ransomware attacks in the United States on holidays and weekends when companies are generally closed. The holiday season is a time of joy and cheer, but it can also be a time of increased risk for cyberattacks. Cybercriminals take advantage of the fact that people are busy and distracted, and they often use more sophisticated tactics during this time of year.
In this blog post, we will discuss six cyber threats that you should watch out for during the holiday season. We will also provide tips on how to prepare for and respond to attacks.
Threats to watch out for
1. Juice Jacking
Juice jacking is an attack that takes advantage of public USB charging ports. When a device is plugged into a maliciously-crafted charger, the attacker can gain access to personal or corporate data stored on the device. To protect against this threat, only charge devices in trusted locations and use surge protectors when necessary.
2. Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can be a major security risk during the holidays. Not only can attackers capture personal data like passwords and credit card numbers, but they can also use malware programs to access corporate networks. To protect against this threat, be sure to only connect to secure networks and avoid public hotspots that don’t require authentication. When connecting to secured networks, make sure you are connecting with HTTPS (Secure Sockets Layer) or VPN (Virtual Private Network) encryption technology. Additionally, disable file sharing and remote access when using public Wi-Fi connections.
When using public Wi-Fi networks or devices, it is also important to remember that most of these connections are unencrypted, meaning that the data being sent and received can easily be intercepted by cybercriminals. Therefore, it is vital to avoid sending sensitive data, such as banking information or confidential business documents over public Wi-Fi networks and devices. Additionally, users should update their security software regularly and use a firewall whenever possible in order to help protect their devices from malicious attacks.
3. Social Engineering
Social engineering is a form of cyber attack that utilizes manipulation techniques in order to gain access to sensitive information. These techniques include phishing emails, vishing (voice phishing) calls, and baiting. Attackers use social engineering tactics to trick the victim into providing personal information or financial data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account information. To protect against social engineering attacks, it is important to be suspicious of any emails or calls that seem too good to be true or ask for personal information. Additionally, companies should provide security awareness training to their employees so that they can recognize and avoid these types of scams.
4. Phishing Emails
91% of all cyber attacks start with a phishing email sent to an unwitting victim. Phishing emails are a type of social engineering attack that attempts to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious software. Be wary of any emails with spelling errors, generic greetings, and suspicious links or attachments. If you’re unsure about an email, contact the sender directly to verify its authenticity.
5. Fraudulent Websites
Fraudulent websites are created to look like legitimate businesses in order to collect personal information or payment details from unsuspecting victims. Always double-check the website’s address before providing any information and make sure that it is using HTTPS encryption. Additionally, do research on the company to ensure that it is legitimate.
6. Threat Actor strategies and tactics
Threat actors are malicious actors who use various strategies and tactics to attack businesses and individuals. These strategies can range from phishing emails to social engineering attacks, malware deployment, and much more.
One popular tactic for threat actors is the use of credential stuffing. This involves using stolen credentials to access user accounts or system resources. The attacker then uses the stolen information to gain access to confidential data or to launch other attacks. To protect against credential stuffing, make sure that your passwords are unique and complex, and always use two-factor authentication when available.
Cybercriminals often use sophisticated techniques to target organizations. They often employ orchestrated attack campaigns that involve exploiting multiple vulnerabilities in an effort to gain access to the organization’s data or systems. Organizations can protect themselves from these threats by implementing effective security measures such as vulnerability testing and employee awareness training.
Preparing for and responding to attacks
1. Vulnerability Testing
Vulnerability testing is a critical component of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. This process involves scanning systems for weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers. Vulnerability assessments are conducted on an ongoing basis to ensure that any discovered vulnerabilities are remediated in a timely manner. Common methods of vulnerability testing include penetration tests, web application scans, and code reviews.
2. Employee Awareness Training
Employee awareness training is also essential for reducing the risk of cyberattacks. Employees should be educated on security best practices such as how to recognize phishing emails and properly handle sensitive information. Regular training sessions should be conducted in order to keep employees up-to-date with the latest threat trends and techniques.
3. Have a Solid DRaaS Solution in Place
Organizations should also have a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution in place to ensure that systems can be quickly recovered if there is a data breach or other incident. A DRaaS solution will minimize downtime and allow the organization to quickly restore critical applications and data.
At Cyber Sainik, we understand the importance of preparing for and responding to cyber threats during the holiday season. Our experienced team of cybersecurity experts can help you develop and implement effective strategies to protect your organization from malicious attacks. We provide comprehensive security solutions designed to protect your organization from cyber threats during the holiday season. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help keep your data secure this holiday season.
The holidays are a prime time for cyberattacks and it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your organization. By understanding the threats, preparing for them, and responding effectively, you can ensure that your data remains secure. Cyber Sainik provides comprehensive security solutions to help keep your organization safe from malicious attacks during the holidays. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services!