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Holiday Season Cybersecurity: Lessons Learned in 2023

The holiday season means a lot of things – on the one hand, time to relax, recharge and reframe things before the new year. On the other, a lot of hustle and bustle and a mad dash around year-end activities. 

But to cybercriminals, it means something different. Taking advantage of an increase in online transactions, holiday gift-giving and increased traffic. 

Organizations both big and small are at risk for these attacks, but the good news is that there are some steps you can take to deter them. 

Because we take this so seriously, we spent this holiday season compiling a list of cybersecurity tips that can help you strengthen your current protocols and be ready for next year. Here’s what you need to know: 

  1. Make sure your employees are trained and well-versed in common cybersecurity risks.

Putting on awareness programs throughout the year can help employees recognize phishing attacks, helping to minimize risk company-wide. 

  1. Update your software and protect your data 

Any operating system, software, and security can be vulnerable to attack. That vulnerability is seriously limited when things are as up-to-date as they can be. Malware and security breaches are much more common in outdated tech. 

  1. Watch for irregularities 

This one might go without saying, but spotting a potential risk before it has the chance to metastasize gives your organization a head start when it comes to solving the problem, whatever it is. 

  1. VPNs and multi-factor authentication 

Keeping data encrypted, secure, and out of the hands of those with malicious intent is made much, much easier when you take advantage of tools designed to reduce the likelihood of anyone gaining unauthorized access. Virtual Private Networks and multi-factor authentication are just a few examples of those tools. 

  1. Do a security audit before the 2024 holiday season 

Identifying potential vulnerabilities now gives you the chance to address them, update your system, and protect against future threats. 

While it’s easy to relax into the ease of the weeks and months surrounding Christmas, New Years, and the rest of the holidays that dominate this time of year, a lapse in vigilance can lead to bad actors exploiting a lack of preparation on your part. 

Consider collaborating with cybersecurity experts like Access One to help you test and assess your current cybersecurity protocol, and advise you on how to be better prepared next year.