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5 Holiday Cybersecurity Tips to Try Before the End of the Year

Tired of tips that don’t have an impact? There is a post for you.

The year is close to an end. The security teams are busy and preoccupied. Cyber actors are preparing for attacks.

Over the holiday season, there has been a 30% increase in the number of attempted attacks. There has been a 70% increase in attempts to hack into computers in November and December.

According to a report from the retail and hospitality sector, imposter websites, product-focused phish attempts and fraudulent attempts to impersonate executives all increase during the holidays. The report found a greater prevalence of social engineering attacks, which were heavily targeted at credential harvesting.

With security teams already stretched thin, what will happen when people head out for the holiday break? Your data, systems and networks are more vulnerable due to short staff. Do you have a response plan in place if there is an incident?

There are some really useful tips on how to prepare for cyberattacks.

Tip 1: Have a Response Team In Place

If a cyber incident happens, who can be called in? In writing you should clearly state who is on call and when.

Team members should be available. Well-organized incident response teams should already be aware of their roles. It’s important to confirm who will be responsible for the holidays given how busy the end of the year can be.

Tip 2: Consider Managed Detection and Response

There are some companies that transfer security tasks to a managed detection and response provider. It is the responsibility of the third party to provide full coverage over the holiday weekend. The full threat management lifecycle can be taken care of by the MDR solutions.

With the increasing complexity of malicious and automated cyber threats, many organizations lack the security skills to deal with them. Even organizations that do have the required expertise often struggle with managing too many security tools and alerts to adequately reduce mean time to resolution

Security analyst fatigue can be caused by alert overload and time-consuming investigations. As threat actors tend to attack during non-business hours and holidays, there is a need for coverage 24/7.

For this reason, managed detection and response is an attractive solution for security teams that don’t have the expertise or team size to maintain strong security. Alert management, threat containment, incident response, and proactive threat hunting are some of the services that can be included in the MDR.

Tip 3: Be Extra Careful With Downloads, Clicks, Messages and Emails

When it comes to reading emails carefully, we may let our guard down since everyone is rushing to get work done. Humans make mistakes that lead to the majority of malware getting into computers and systems. Even the most careful of us can accidentally open files.

Cyber criminals get good results from social engineering attacks. Even if it appears that it comes from a trusted source, be cautious. Unsolicited messages should be treated with suspicion by all employees.

If a request seems suspicious, stop and look at the whole context. Is the email address legitimate? Go back again. If you’re in a hurry to get out the door, you can escape detection.

You can do drills in-house. fake emails are sent out to test your teams and educate them. Praise them when they spot an email that is suspicious. Show them where they made the mistake if they take the bait.

Tip 4: Lockdown Privileged Accounts

Some security experts recommend that privileged accounts be locked down during the holidays and weekends. It is common for intruders to gain access to networks by increasing their privileges to the admin level. On holidays and weekends, high-level access is rarely needed.

Security teams can create emergency-only accounts in the active directory. The accounts would only be used when other operational accounts are temporarily disabled or unavailable.

Privileged access management would be an even better strategy. This is a way of looking at who has privileged access. PAM manages access to the infrastructure and apps. It involves a single point of sign-on for users and a single point of management for admins.

In hybrid cloud environments, a fully managed PAM program can provide guidance. Privileged users can be secured with the help of the PAM.

Tip 5: Establish Clear Isolation Tactics

Attackers can’t spread their malicious software to other systems or devices if they don’t have isolation on the network. Security teams prepare for a host disconnection, lock down a compromised account, and block malicious domains. In the event of a breach, scheduled and/or unscheduled drills help make sure all personnel and procedures are up to date.

isolation may be hard to execute in a real-world cyber incident as networks get more complex. XDR has gained traction because of this.

For easier analysis, XDR gathers all the anchor tenants that are required to detect and respond to threats in one place. This allows the security teams to take action quickly without getting lost in multiple use cases. XDR can help security analysts respond quickly without the need to create endless playbooks.

Endpoint detection and response, network data and security logs and events, as well as other solutions, are all unified by XDR. A complete picture of potential threats is provided. The root cause analysis and recommended response are critical in order to respond quickly across a complex IT and security infrastructure.

Keep Your Organization Safe This Holiday Season

Many of these tips aren’t something you can deploy overnight, if you were paying attention. Strong security is an ongoing campaign and will continue beyond the new year. IT assets and resources will be safer as your strategy and tactics improve.

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