Cyberattacks, or the threat of an attack, is most probably a primary concern during the festive season as consumers’ online buying increases; however, every day is a holiday for cybercriminals. The lack of significant investment in cyber hygiene creates weaknesses that are easy to exploit.

The flurry of activity during the holiday season brings these concerns to the forefront. In 2021, the U.S. saw a surge of ransomware attacks during important holidays like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. Why? Businesses are closed during many of these holidays, leaving networks unsupervised and data exposed and vulnerable. 

A typical cybersecurity breach, on average, costs around $4 million. Target’s infamous holiday season data breach cost the company a whopping $300 million. 

To safeguard their networks and valuable data, businesses should be committed to deploying a high level of cybersecurity all through the year. This undoubtedly requires ongoing vigilance and continuous investments in both time and resources.

A proactive effort and continued focus on cyberhealth, months before the holiday season, is crucial to success for businesses. This holiday season alone, online fraud is expected to rise by 60 percent. 

Here are three tips to help protect your business this holiday season and beyond.    

Be prepared for cyberattacks

It is often said that preparation is the first step to success. A study revealed that while 89 percent of organizations say they have experienced a ransomware attack during a holiday in 2021, 36 percent say they have no plan in place to respond. Businesses must prepare well in advance for a cyber attack or period of increased risk.

 Implementing tools, modifying policies and procedures, improving response times and monitoring, and developing response plans can help lay the foundation for successful cyber defense. 

Quick response after a cyber attack is essential

When faced with a cyberattack, enterprises must be quick to respond to the threat and take proactive measures to limit the damage, compensate affected parties and fortify their cyber defenses. 

If a company stays silent after a data breach, it shows the company in a bad light, a lack of priority or care for its customers. This can result in a loss of loyal customers and dent the overall brand image.

By responding quickly with intent, you reduce risk exposure, contain damage, and instill confidence in your most valuable asset: customers. 

Be transparent

On average, it takes a business 279 days to identify and contain a breach. Businesses must ensure that their constituents, both internal and external, are provided the information they need to understand their own risk in case of a data breach. This boosts confidence in your organization. 

The last word

Businesses should have a strong IT team and strive to build a cyber-aware organization. This way, an organization can be constantly cyber-vigilant. During the holidays, when transactional volumes increase, that focus should be your utmost priority.

Also read: The Advent of Adaptive Cyber Security