“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Or it can be, as long as you are more vigilant than ever about potential threats of cybercriminals. Hackers don’t take the holidays off. In fact most are more active than usual, because many have time off from their legitimate jobs, your staff have mentally checked out for the holidays, and their systems have been left unguarded.
Whether you are big business, small business or even just an everyday guy or gal, hackers aren’t particularly choosey. In fact, they often prefer the smaller guy or individuals because they know they are not as protected as some of the big boys. When everyone is off enjoying the holidays with family and friends, they aren’t thinking about cybersecurity and infrastructure security. That makes them an easy target!
- Ransomware – Here’s a quick look at how it works. Ransomware can take time to propagate throughout a network, as hackers work to escalate privileges for maximum control over the most systems. The longer it takes for anyone to notice, the more damage they can do. So they love to deploy their ransomware when there is less likelihood of people being around to start pulling plugs, and less chance of the attack being detected and interrupted.
- Phishing – This time of year there are plenty of emails arriving in our inboxes offering us deals we can’t resist. There are also plenty that try to convince us our orders are lost, or credit card was declined or worse. All of this in an attempt to steal our money and/or our identity by getting us to reveal as much personal information as they can. Fraud and scams abound, especially during the holidays! Protect yourself by never giving out your personal information to anyone you aren’t sure about and never click on an email link if you don’t know the sender. For more information about scam and fraud both online and off, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Malware – Although ransomware is part of this, malware is so much bigger than just ransomware. Malware is any type of software created to harm or exploit another piece of software or hardware. This can include viruses, worms, trojans, adware, spyware and more. The most common ways for it to access your system is through the internet and email. Unfortunately, finding and removing individual malware program components can be almost impossible. It’s easy to get it wrong and miss a component. It is best to let someone well trained in the removal and back-up take care of it.
- Password Attacks – Password theft and attacks have advanced tremendously over the years. Hackers are no longer just trying to guess your passwords, they now have sophisticated, state of the art hacking technologies that make their job just that much easier. Six in ten people use the same passwords across multiple different accounts, according to a survey by Google. This makes over half of the population vulnerable to credential stuffing attacks—especially if one or more of their accounts have already been compromised. Credential stuffing relies on this human tendency to reuse passwords. During this type of attack, a hacker will try various combinations of stolen usernames and passwords, with the hopes of gaining access to an account where the target has reused a compromised password. Hackers can obtain stolen passwords from the Dark Web, or simply reuse those they’ve already stolen using other methods of credential theft.
What are some of the threats these ruthless gangs of cybercrimals pose you ask? Well let me give you a run-down of some of the top risks out there.
These are just a few of the cybersecurity threats that could end up not making your holidays merry and bright, so make sure that you have your cybersecurity protected before you head off for the holidays. If you need someone to take care of it for you, MicroAge Chilliwack is happy to help and we are always on watch for the next threat to your business. Contact us for your free consultation.
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