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How to Prepare for Holiday Season Cyber Threats

The holiday season brings with it a lot of joy. Many businesses see an influx in revenue and enhanced customer relations. For some businesses, the last two months of the year are the most crucial to their financial wellbeing and continued existence. However, the holiday season also presents serious security and IT threats to businesses of all kinds.

Having an IT team working to monitor and protect your business 365 days a year is essential to the protection of your business and consumers. Yet, many businesses fail to adequately protect and prepare themselves for the digital threats that exist in today’s online environment. NOYNIM IT is a Colorado-based firm that provides small and medium-sized businesses with a full spectrum of security support services.

If your company is lacking an IT strategy and safeguards or is interested in enhancing your network strength, now is the time to do so. Here are several reasons why you need to prepare for holiday IT threats.

Phishing Email Scams

Phishing email scams account for 90 percent of data breaches. These attacks are simple, yet effective at tricking targeted recipients. If unaware, phishing scams work by sending emails or other electronic communications from fake people and businesses, in an attempt for the recipient to click on a link or download an attachment that is corrupt. It is estimated by Version that 30 percent of phishing messages get opened by the targeted individual.

In many areas of the web, online traffic increases during the holiday season, with individuals jumping from site to site. This gives phishing scams an increased chance of their emails being possibly opened as businesses may be wondering if this email relates to a promotion they saw, a recent customer inquiry, or another concern. Identifying and avoiding phishing scams is the number one security priority businesses and their employees must take.

Fake Email Accounts With Ransomware

Ransomware is another serious concern for businesses. Often delivered in the form of a phishing email, these attacks work in two phases. First, a ransomware attack attempts to have the targeted recipient click on a link or open a corrupted file in which malware is then stored on their device, working to gain access to login credentials or trick users into allowing for administrative access. This is most often followed up by locking up or encrypting the device user’s files and then requesting a ransom fee for the decryption code. These fees can range from anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Other versions of ransomware involve the attacker threatening to leak or expose sensitive data from your device files if the fee is not paid. Employee education and constant ransomware monitoring is the best way to prevent possible incidents.

DDoS Attacks

A distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is the attempt to break the normal traffic of a server or network by overloading its infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic. These attacks take place through infected malware that has landed on a business’s device. This enables a remote hacker to send singles to the bot in order to send information to the IP address and overwhelm the network or server. Depleting a site’s resources and shutting down their site creates a major issue in today’s online world. Businesses rely heavily on their online site and storefront to communicate and sell to consumers.

Signs of a DDoS attack include:

  • Suspicious amounts of traffic originating from a single IP address or IP range
  • A flood of traffic from users who share a single behavioral profile, such as device type, geolocation, or web browser version
  • An unexplained surge in requests to a single page or endpoint
  • Odd traffic patterns such as spikes at odd hours of the day or patterns that appear to be unnatural

How to Safeguard Your Business

IT and cybersecurity are not to be taken lightly. Damage done by data breaches and ransomware scams can significantly impact the financial stability of a company — so much so that many never recover. It is critical to prioritize your business’s IT strength with a dedicated plan.

  • Know the risks and educate employees about data and user safety
  • Prepare devices and use 2-factor authentication when possible
  • Consult and hire an experienced IT team

NOYNIM IT Solutions is Colorado’s premier IT company. We are able to fulfill any IT needs facing your business. To learn about how we can help prepare your business for the online holiday season threats, please contact us today for a free consultation.

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