Holiday Cyber Tips to Secure Your Business

Holiday Cyber Tips

to Secure Your Business


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Holiday Cyber Tips to Secure Your Business

While the holiday season brings joyous moments spent with loved ones and relaxation for many, it’s also a prime time for cybercriminals to strike. As the season approaches, cybercriminals become more active, exploiting increased online activity and distractions.

This surge in risks doesn’t just affect customers of online shoppers; it poses significant challenges for businesses as well. The allure for cybercriminals highlights the critical need for heightened vigilance and robust cybersecurity measures during this festive time.

The incidents in December 2022 show how serious these risks can be: The Guardian has been hit by a serious IT incident, which is believed to be a ransomware attack, and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) had their staff fooled by fake emails promising holiday bonuses, causing them to lose their login details.

These attacks show how important it is for businesses to have strong defences, especially against phishing, which happens a lot during this time. Businesses need to act ahead to protect their important data and daily work. To fortify against these cyber threats, businesses should consider these tips during holiday season:

1. Employee Training and Awareness

As holiday schedules shift and staff availability decreases due to vacations, businesses become more susceptible to cyber threats. To counter potential breaches and data loss, establishing a holiday cybersecurity plan and an emergency response strategy is crucial.

Every employee, regardless of the company’s size, needs training to spot cyber threats like fake emails, malicious links, and scam calls. This training fosters awareness and empowers individuals to identify and address potential dangers effectively. 

Specialised sessions focusing on holiday-specific threats such as phishing scams and social engineering are essential. Emphasise the importance of following security protocols and maintaining continuous vigilance among all employees.


2. Establish Incident Response Plans

During the holidays, make sure you have clear plans for what to do if there’s a cyberattack. Create easy-to-follow steps for your team to follow if there’s a security breach. Test these plans regularly to make sure they work well in emergencies. This helps your business handle any cyber issues better during the busy holiday season.


3. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

It’s wise to activate Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for added security during the long holiday season. MFA provides an extra layer of protection for your accounts and systems. Even if someone gets hold of your password, MFA requires an additional verification step, like a code sent to your phone, making it much harder for unauthorised individuals to access your sensitive information. This simple step significantly reduces the risk of cyber breaches during this busy and potentially vulnerable period.


4. Email Threat Protection

Amidst the holiday rush, phishing remains a top cyber threat. Cybercriminals favour phishing due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Rather than exploiting system vulnerabilities, phishers deceive victims into harmful actions.

These attacks impact businesses profoundly. Phishing emails carry malware or deceive employees into sharing sensitive data or transferring funds to attackers.

To mitigate phishing risks, employ robust email protection tools. Advanced spam filters and malware detection help block malicious emails. Educate employees, especially during the holidays when phishing spikes, on spotting and reporting suspicious emails. This proactive approach shields your business from potential costly missteps.


5. Automate Patch Management

Enhance your cybersecurity defences this holiday season with automated patch management. These systems streamline software updates, bolstering protection against potential cyber threats.

Automated patch management simplifies keeping software current across all devices and systems. This uniform protection minimises vulnerabilities cyberattackers might exploit. With automated updates, critical security patches are consistently applied, even when employees are on holiday. This ensures your organisation stays resilient against cyber threats during the festive season.


6. Assess Third-Party Vendor Security

It’s vital to evaluate the security measures of your third-party vendors and partners. Their practices might affect your organisation’s cybersecurity. Third-party connections can bring in security risks. 

By assessing their cybersecurity practices, you can pinpoint potential threats. Check if their cybersecurity posture aligns with your data protection standards. This helps ensure your systems stay secure, safeguarding against holiday cyber risks.


7. Secure Remote Work Environments

Ensuring secure remote work setups is crucial, especially during the holiday season, when many employees are working remotely or on vacation. Key steps are remote work setups that are fortified with secure VPNs, encrypted connections, and updated security software to protect sensitive data and communications. Also, to restrict internal network access, as cybercriminals often target Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP) for unauthorised entry. By limiting RDP access and enforcing robust authentication measures, you significantly reduce the risk of intrusion.


8. Backup Critical Data and Systems

Implementing a strong data backup and recovery strategy safeguards your organisation’s critical information from cyber threats, system glitches, or accidental mishaps. A well-thought-out backup plan ensures swift data recovery, maintaining uninterrupted operations. This approach not only minimises downtime but also helps sustain productivity and customer service during the busy holiday season. 

Applying security measures like encryption and access controls fortifies backup data, preserving its confidentiality and integrity. Regular testing and validation build trust in the backups’ reliability, ensuring your organisation is prepared for any eventuality.


As we enjoy the holidays, cyber dangers rise. With festivities nearing, bad actors online get busier, taking advantage of more people online and distracted. This isn’t just a problem for online shoppers; it affects businesses too. We need to be extra careful and use strong digital defences, especially against phishing scams that become more common now.

To stay safe, train your team, use better email protection, and keep your systems updated. Here’s to a happy and safe holiday season, protected by these important cybersecurity tips!

For your further reading about cyber threats during holiday seasons:

Cybersecurity Threats During The Holidays

Beware of Cyberattacks During the Holiday Season

*This article has been published on on December 15, 2023

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Fanny Fajarianti - Performance Marketing at ArmourZero

Written by: 

Fanny Fajarianti (Performance Marketing). Experienced digital marketer in the information technology and services industry.

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