Every year, Cyber Monday kicks off the holiday season. Online consumers are poised and ready to take advantage of the cyber sales to stock up on holiday gifts for family, friends and, well, themselves. But, consumers aren’t the only ones positioned for “attack” on cyberspace. Cybercriminals are also at the ready to exploit the holiday shopping season and conduct malicious campaigns like spear-phishing to deliver malware in addition to your holiday presents.
Why are the holidays a prime time for hackers?
According to an article in ZDNet.com, in 2017 there was a 57.5% increase in attempted cyberattacks during the holiday season, with the peak hacking period occurring between Christmas and New Year’s day. And, this followed a year that saw a 21.5% increase above normal levels in the number of attempted cyberattacks during that same season. Why are the holidays a prime time for malicious online activity? Two key reasons exist:
- Cyber attackers have more opportunity to act without being noticed. Companies give generous time off during the holidays. That means IT departments are understaffed and less likely to notice or be able to respond to cyber security intrusions.
- More employees are working remotely with less protection. As more employees travel over the holidays, more of them are working remotely or outside your corporate networks. These employees are less protected from scams that take advantage of known vulnerabilities.
What can you do to protect your corporate data from cyber attacks?
Practicing good cyber hygiene is imperative throughout the year to protect your corporate data. We talk a lot about how your cyber hygiene practices can keep your organization more secure here. But, let’s consider how these practices can protect your organization during this heightened season. Leveraging technologies that support your ability to manage your IT operations with reduced staff and an increase in remote work is key.
Here are some cyber security tips to consider:
Endpoint visibility ensures you have access to the vulnerability status of all corporate endpoints.
When it comes to following best practices for patch management, having full visibility across all endpoints is crucial. With a cloud-native solution like Automox, users can see every endpoint on their network, deploy patches and remediate vulnerabilities in real-time.
Additionally, with an increase in remote work during the holiday season, having a patch management solution that can see all endpoints no matter their location or domain guarantees these systems stay up-to-date even when they are offsite.
Automating patch management allows you to remediate critical or zero-day vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
When researchers report a new system vulnerability, attackers also gain access to this information. They then strive to take advantage of the gap between the appearance of new information and remediation. To prevent an attack, organizations need to remediate vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
By automating your patch management ahead of time with Automox, you can ensure adversaries have less opportunity to exploit critical vulnerabilities across your endpoints.
Provide ongoing education to your employees about strong cyber defense strategies they can put in place to keep the corporate data secure.
Cyber hygiene encompasses a variety of security measures, and every employee has a role to play. In the era of mobile devices, company phones and computers must remain secure no matter where the user logs in. With some companies allowing employees to bring their own devices, the concern over security only increases.
This holiday season take the time to remind employees about what they can do to help create a strong defense for corporate systems and data. We highlight cyber hygiene practices employees can follow to prevent hacking in a previous blog.
About Automox Automated Patch Management
Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.
Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.
Experience modern, cloud-native patch management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.