10 Tips: Staying Cyber Safe During the Holidays – Part 2

The holidays are always hectic for businesses and IT professionals, but with so much commerce now done online, there’s another serious threat for which you must be prepared: cybercrime. To help you stay secure, Climb is wrapping up our essential tips to stay cyber safe this holiday season.

6. Keep Software Updated 

It seems so simple, and yet many otherwise ironclad cybersecurity plans are undermined by software that is out of date. Software updates often include key security patches and other improvements, and failing to keep all of your business’ software regularly updated means you could be left vulnerable to attack. Remember, too, to regularly update the firmware for any devices your business may use. If your business utilizes an externally-hosted payment processing platform, shopping cart or other software, it’s also important to contact your providers and verify that they regularly keep their systems up to date

7. Audit Your Systems

Routine audits of point-of-sale devices, backend hardware, business networks and other systems is an integral part of any effective cybersecurity plan, but it’s all the more essential in the days and weeks leading up to the holiday season. With detailed audits and penetration tests, you can 10 Tips to Stay Cyber Safe During the Holidays Part 2

identify and fix any vulnerabilities and ensure that your systems are secure and robust enough to handle anything that’s thrown your way during the holidays. If your business uses point-of-sale machines, be sure to also physically inspect them for the presence of skimmers or any other signs of tampering.

8. Protect Against Ransomware

Ransomware is not a new threat, but it has become significantly more common – and costly – over the last year. Businesses of all sizes and in all industries have come under attack from this growing cyber threat, resulting in billions of dollars in losses and damages around the globe. There is no single way to avoid or prevent ransomware attacks, but all employees should be made aware of the threat and urged to practice good cybersecurity habits at all times. This includes never clicking on email links from unknown senders, keeping all software updated and patched and installing effective antivirus solutions on all devices.

9. Employ Detection Tools

When a data breach or other cyberattack occurs, time is of the essence. A timely, appropriate response may mean the difference between minimal disruption and a major security issue, so early detection is key. To facilitate this, install intrusion detection tools across your networks and ensure that your employees are regularly monitoring these tools. If an intrusion is detected, train your employees to immediately begin enacting the response plans you created earlier.

10. Prepare for DDoS Attacks

Can your business’ systems withstand a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack? These relatively simple attacks use massive networks of bots to flood a system, overwhelming its capacity and causing it to slow or shut down entirely. This type of attack can easily cripple a system for an extended period of time, which is particularly damaging during the crucial holiday season. To limit your risk, ensure that you have proper DDoS attack protection and mitigation tools in place, and verify that your systems can handle an attack without degrading or failing.

That’s all for our essential tips to stay cyber safe this holiday season! Check Staying Cyber Safe During the Holidays – PART 1 for more helpful tips!

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