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Beware Holiday Cyber Security Breaches

We’ve all seen them…the “click HERE for your Christmas greeting” or “access your 60% discount by clicking HERE”…but those tricky emails are even more appealing during the holiday season when greetings and shopping are as common as the air we breathe. And, like it or not, your employees are accessing those potential security breaches at work…on your network.

Knowing areas of risk is the key to protecting your network from breaches during this season.

Holiday E-Cards

Phishing scams get you by enticing you to click outside of a “trusted” email to another page. Yet, these links are often redirected to expose malware to your network or to steal your logon credentials. What better way to “get the click” than to pose as a Christmas greeting?

To make these festive e-cards even more irresistible, scammers make them look like they are from real friends and family by harvesting the names of people you know from social media accounts or unsecure email programs. If they can’t gain access to these they often use common names. Afterall, who doesn’t know a “Mike” and who wouldn’t want to click through to find out which Mike was sending the card with hilarious dancing elves?

Not only are the recipients in danger, but individuals that create and send cards via email are vulnerable if they aren’t savvy consumers. Scammers have made copycat greeting card creation sites to get access on both ends of the giving-receiving spectrum. Even e-invitations to holiday parties can be a ruse, especially if they require an RSVP that shares any personal information.

Online Shopping

Employees are also shopping online during the day, if not on their work machines, then on their phones during break times. This could also make a business vulnerable to cyber breaches.

Deals that are too good to be true, often advertised in emails or even on social media are tempting enough to cause even the most reluctant “clicker” to check it out. This can expose an individual and a business to many of the same problems as those fraudulent e-cards, but avoiding them can be much easier. By only shopping at known online retailers on secure networks, a consumer can mitigate much of the risk. Realizing that deals that are “too good to be true” often really are, takes aways much of the temptation to chase the savings right into a scam.

Tips to Improve Cyber Security

#1. Share the Risks with your Employees. No one wants to be the person that compromised the integrity of digital material at work by opening up an e-card to see the dancing elves. Making employees aware of these potential risks can help them avoid putting their personal accounts and workstation in jeopardy, not to mention the entire network.

#2. Get Professional Help. Hire an Information Technology coordinator or an outside firm to setup and manage your networks. You have too much to do to take responsibility for monitoring the ever changing landscape of cyber-security by yourself.

#3. Review Your Commercial Cyber Liability Coverage. As important as it is to try to avoid any kind of security breach, it might not be entirely possible. Many general liability insurance policies specifically exclude Internet losses, leaving a scary gap in protection. That’s why it is so important to have Cyber Liability Insurance to provide a more seamless business protection plan. Read more about this on our recent blog, What is Cyber Liability Insurance & Why Do You Need It?

At Compass Insurance Partners we’re happy to update your policies to protect you and your business from any breaches that might come your way and knowing you’re covered makes enjoying the holidays so much sweeter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!