As we’re all preparing to pack up our desks and celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season with our families and friends, the FBI and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) have issued a reminder to stay vigilant against critical infrastructure and ransomware attacks.
Malicious attackers, unfortunately, work through all holidays and during this busy season they are actively looking for ways to disrupt the critical systems and infrastructure of businesses, organizations and even the government.
While neither the FBI nor CISA have identified any current specific threats, recent trends show that serious attacks are launched during holidays and weekends when organizations are off-guard and potentially short-staffed.
As noted by the FBI and CISA, “recent 2021 trends show malicious cyber actors launching serious and impactful ransomware attacks during holidays and weekends, including Independence Day and Mother’s Day weekends.”
In order to protect your business or organization, the FBI and CISA recommend you take proactive steps to protect from cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks, during this holiday season.
Protect Yourself Against Holiday Cyber Attacks
Specific actions the FBI and CISA are urging you to take right now are:
- Identify IT security employees who can surge during holidays and weekends in the event of a security incident or ransomware attack
- Implement multi-factor authentication for remote access and administrative accounts
- Mandate strong passwords and ensure they are not reused across multiple accounts
- Ensure all potentially risky services like remote desktop protocol (RDP) are monitored and secure
- Remind all employees not to click on suspicious links and conduct exercises to raise awareness
In addition to security breaches and ransomware attacks, the FBI and CISA reminder also addresses other techniques frequently used by cybercriminals. Most notably, these techniques include phishing scams, spoofed websites and unencrypted financial transactions.
You should raise awareness with your employees that these types of attacks increase during the holidays. Phishing scammers pose as charitable organizations and malicious actors often spoof online shopping sites to acquire critical financial information.
CISA has published materials to help organizations plan for cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks. They published a comprehensive Ransomware Guide and they discuss ransomware threats, best practices, trends and mitigation here.
Of course, should you have any questions or concerns around the security of your own network this holiday season and protecting yourself against holiday cyber attacks, neteffect technologies is here to help. Simply call us at (704) 504-9040 or fill out our short contact form here.