It was Christmas of 2014 when thousands of people woke up excited to receive a new console as a gift. 

The Xbox One vs. Playstation 4 war had publicly started… But what many didn’t know was that another war was being fought on the backend.

Cybersecurity at Christmas is more intense than normal. And instead of days of joy and merriness, companies are starting to consider it more like 12 days of struggle.

Do you want to know why coal is more likely to appear right under the tree?

 

The Reality Behind Cybersecurity in Christmas

The “Lizard Squad” hacking group successfully launched an attack against the networks of both Xbox and Playstation systems, turning them off entirely for a couple of days.  

Fortunately enough, one of the members who used to announce the attacks and post them on Twitter as evidence got sentenced to two years in prison

The Senior Director of Security at Akamai, Patrick Sullivan, was one of the many experts on the subject who described the group as the real Grinch: 

“Everyone gets this present, excited to play, and they’re deprived of that opportunity. They have to talk to their family, I guess.” – He said.

The type of attack deployed by hackers at that moment is called “Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)”, where it consists of overloading network servers with artificial traffic. This was considered the first high-profile Xmas DDoS attack.

Suggested article – Targeted Attacks: 5 Ways to Protect Your Company from This Threat

Now, this event occurred 6 years ago, where everyone could go out and have a lot of fun, without much connection to their tech devices.

Ironically, even at that time, this was just one of the few related news. Mostly because most attacks are kept in secret as long as possible.

2020 isn’t much different. A far majority of the cyberattacks that will happen today and throughout the following days will remain silent.

But that doesn’t make it less harmful. If something could change, is that more attacks will be happening tonight, and more people will be affected.  

And while the motive for the attacks isn’t always certain, it’s very clear that not every group does it for the money, but sometimes to prove something. 

Law enforcement authorities can’t wait to know for a reason to step up and act. That’s why many entities, companies, and white hat groups will have a busy night tonight, monitoring the web, seizing domains, and charging criminals.

And it’s not only gaming platforms, or other entities and companies that must be alert against this kind of threat.

B2B and B2B businesses (as yours) must be aware of what’s going on and do something about it. 

In 2017 alone, online spending grew by 18.7%. That represented a 15% increase since the last 2016 year. And you can easily predict that this skyrocketed in 2020, where one in every ten purchases are made online.

Studies from the Ponemon Institute also point out that Black Friday and Cyber Monday cyberattacks generate over $500,000 of loss per hour for retail venues. 

The harrowing stats also show that only 24% of Christmas attacks get detected and solved successfully. 70% don’t take anticipated precautions during the Holidays.

For these and many other reasons is that so many companies are investing a great chunk of their budgets in cybersecurity infrastructure, with much more anticipation.

What type of measures are these companies taking that you can take as well?

Here’s what you can do to achieve a finally successful Christmas commercial season (keeping up your peace of mind):

  • Be skeptical about everything and everyone online. This is especially true with emails or texts that contain peculiar “requests” from charities. Even if we’re talking about regular companies, you always go directly to the source… Instead of clicking on a link inside this text message or email, you should preferably look for the company’s website, social media profiles, and other credentials.

 

  • Place your mouse over the links people send you (without clicking on it!) to verify the URL. In most cases, it will display the link preview… That you know you should avoid it and not interact with or delete the message/email altogether, if it looks suspicious enough.

 

  • Choose the right cybersecurity tool for you. Tools are great, to begin with, because as SaaS, they don’t represent a great cost, and in most cases, they’re easy to get used to. Now, it’s perfectly understandable if you can’t, so choosing an expert company to help you out might impressively be a more affordable option than you thought. Just make sure to identify what’s the issue you have or the one you want to avoid… There’s likely a tool for it on the list above.

 

  • Get professional help. You finally go and visit your doctor when you realize you just can’t keep up with the problem. And as people go to you for expertise in your industry, you should only go to cybersecurity experts if you want to keep your financial stability and mental health.

 

Believe it or not, most cyberattacks occurred during the happiest season of the tear, And even more impressive than that is that more than a third don’t do something about it. 

Follow the previous tips and contact our team of cybersecurity experts if you want to keep enjoying Christmas as you did many years ago.

 

Too Long; Don’t Read (TL;DR)

It’s not strange to anyone that cybersecurity and Christmas have more in common than just the capital C. 

Presents will be unwrapped tonight under trees – as security professionals will be unwrapping endless scams 

If this is the perfect time for hackers to demonstrate their skills or to extort money from people and companies, then understanding you and your business might be the next victim, will probably make you take action.

The CEO of NimbusDDoS (Andrew Shoemaker) confirms this by saying: 

“It’s going to be much more effective than if you do it on some random day in April. They’re much more likely to be able to get somebody to pay up.” 

Are you going to let them drown your business now?

… Or are you going to start 2021 with the right foot?