Holiday Cyber Security Tips

Holiday Cyber Security Tips

During the holiday season, increased remote online activity can make individuals and businesses more susceptible to cyber threats. These holiday cyber security tips will help you build a secure environment and minimize your security risks this holiday season. 

Holiday Cyber Security Tips

Train Your Employees About Best Cyber Security Practices

During this season of giving, many employees will receive new tech gadgets. We love cool new technology as much as the next start-up, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily want to use them in the workplace. If you’re like us and prohibit foreign devices per company policy, you need to make sure that your employees comply.
A good place to start is with some training days to ensure staff understand the potential risks associated with unapproved BYODs. By educating your loyal workers, you can reduce the likelihood of shadow IT being introduced to the network, minimizing your cyber security risks (Employees Role in CyberSecurity).

Secure Your IoT Devices 

Securing your IoT (Internet of Things) devices is crucial to protect your privacy, data, and even physical safety (IoT Security). There’s nothing quite like pressing a button on your phone and finding your steaming hot coffee waiting for you when arrive at work. That being said, now even coffee machines pose a cyber security threat (IoT Hardware). All IoT devices, no matter what they are, have associated risks, even if it’s your little in-house barista. Therefore, it is vital to have visibility of all IoT assets to assess and manage their risks (e.g. IoT in Healthcare). 

Secure Your Laptop

When taking your laptop on vacation for the holidays, make sure to not leave it unattended. Risks are global. A lost or stolen laptop can have serious repercussions on the organization. As the device likely either contains or has access to sensitive information. When you’re not using it, keep it locked in a secure location.

Use Reputable Vendors for Asset Inventory

Purchasing asset inventory from reputable vendors is indeed crucial for several reasons. They tend to have stronger security controls due to regulatory requirements. While this doesn’t guarantee zero risks, it sure does reduce the chances of a cyber security breach (Supply Chain Cyber Security). Moreover, make sure you have the necessary visibility to verify the integrity of the devices you ordered. Just because it claims to have been manufactured by a certain vendor, that doesn’t mean it has. Counterfeits are more common than you think (Raspberry Pi Risks – A Friend or Foe?).

Backup Your Data

Backing up your data is essential to protecting your information and preserving your digital history. Technology is not always reliable. Systems and devices can crash, and in a worst-case scenario your data may be irretrievable. Ransomware, too, can prevent access to important data and even permanently delete files. Maintaining back-ups in an alternative, secure location means you’re prepared for any scenario, giving you the confidence that you can always access and use your data. With peace of mind, you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about data going missing or becoming unavailable.

Regularly back up important files and data to an external hard drive or a secure cloud storage service. This ensures that you can recover your information in case of a hardware attack or hardware failure.

Stay Vigilant About Juice Jacking

Juice jacking involves using public USB charging ports to steal data or install malware on your device.
Avoid using public charging stations. Otherwise, you might become a victim of juice jacking. This is a method of attack whereby hackers manipulate public charging ports to gain access to the devices that connect to them. The perpetrators can obtain data, inject malicious code, or carry out other nefarious activity. For this reason, it is best to avoid using public charging stations, especially when travelling with company devices. Otherwise, you might find yourself in quite the pickle once you return from your vacation, only to find out there has been a cyber security breach that could have easily been avoided.

USB Cyber Security Awareness

A USB mug warmer sounds like a practical secret Santa gift that can be used on those cold winter days. However, you should also be aware that even this inconspicuous mug warmer could potentially be a cybersecurity threat.
USB attack tools are designed to exploit vulnerabilities in USB devices. Taking advantage of the autorun feature on certain operating systems. These tools are often used by security professionals, penetration testers, and hackers to demonstrate weaknesses in systems or gain unauthorized access.
It is important that employees do not use foreign assets, not matter how benign they may seem (USB Cyber Security).

Stay Vigilant for Hidden Cybersecurity Risks

One of the most important holiday cyber security tips that there is no break when it comes to cyber security (Holiday Online Safety Tip Sheets). Even if you are using reputable vendors and implementing precautions left and right, there will always be new vulnerabilities to patch.
From researchers and pen testers to bounty hunters and the vendors themselves, bad actors are always looking for new vulnerabilities and entry points. Therefore, it is crucial for enterprises to keep up to date with these revelations and avoid buying those known-to-be-vulnerable devices (Hidden Cybersecurity Risks).

Stay CyberSafe This Holiday Season

In conclusion, the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to review your company’s cyber security practices and ensure that you take all the necessary precautions to secure your assets. From training employees to using reputable vendors and monitoring new and older devices, these eight cyber security holiday tips will help you build a secure environment and minimize your security risks this holiday season. 

The holidays are here,
Bringing joy and cheer.
And our gift to you,
Are some cyber security holiday tips – quite a few!
‘Tis the season for celebration,
Not cyber security frustration.
Follow our advice,
And secure everything, from system to device.

December 22nd, 2022