Why do cyberattacks increase during the holidays?

Why do cyberattacks increase during the holidays?

It’s not just your imagination: cyberattacks really do increase significantly during the holiday season. But why during this time of the year, specifically? Why do we have to worry about cybercriminals during the season of joy and togetherness? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons so you can get a better understanding of the dangers and protect yourself this yuletide.

Money, money, money

Most cybercriminals are simple thieves, working to increase their wealth at the expense of others. And there’s no time of the year where more money is being passed around more than the holidays. Consumers buy gifts and go on vacations, and businesses of all kinds hold promotions to encourage people to pull out their wallets and cards. This makes November and December the harvest months for scammers and cyberthieves.

With so many online transactions occurring, there is ample opportunity to steal financial information or scam people into making a donation to a nonexistent foundation. Even people who don’t usually shop online do so during the holidays — and they become easy targets, as they may not know much about online safety. For one, they may click on fake promotional links that lead to malicious websites or enter their card information on a compromised payment channel.

More prey out in the wild

Along with increased spending during the holidays is increased travel for leisure and/or visits to friends and family. This means more people are out of their homes and offices and away from their secured networks. Public Wi-Fi networks are still fertile hunting grounds for cybercriminals, and during the holidays, they are more stocked than ever.

Clogged inboxes

If you do just about anything online, you’re probably subscribed to various companies’ mailing lists and get bombarded with promotional emails and messages during the holiday season. Not only that, but you’re also probably getting messages from friends, family, and colleagues much more than during other seasons.

These lead to clogged inboxes, which are the perfect place for phishing and scam emails. Cybercriminals are hoping that you won’t notice their fake email that installs malware or sends you to a fake site, and that you’ll just blindly click through the mountain of messages in your inbox. They also hope to take advantage of your trust and good cheer by posing as someone you know to steal login credentials or other valuable information.

Reduced vigilance

Businesses experience more cyberattacks during the holidays in part because their defenses are not as strong as they would be at other times. IT employees are distracted or not there at all due to vacations and celebrations. Those that remain are stretched thin because of the increased holiday customer traffic.

This can be especially bad for companies that perform year-end financial activities, such as budget planning and reporting during the holiday season. With all of this information being pulled and sent internally and externally, there are more opportunities for it to be intercepted or stolen.

Holiday desperation

The holidays are a time when people just want for things to go right, and for their friends and family to be happy. It’s also a vital time for businesses to recoup losses and get into the black. Cybercriminals know this, so they often step up ransomware attacks to freeze access to money meant for gifts or important business, as well as vital information such as a company’s operational data.

Having funds or precious data become inaccessible due to ransomware is already horrifying even at the best of times. But when it happens during the holidays, individuals and organizations may be driven into desperation and pay the ransom much more readily than they would at other times.

Learn how you can protect your business’s resources and reputation this holiday season with assistance from the expert cybersecurity consultants at Founders Technology Group. Our experienced team specializes in securing businesses in Connecticut and across New England from all manner of cyberthreat. Get in touch with Founders now.