Why Cyber Criminals Love the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be a time of joy, family gatherings, lovely lights and relaxing downtime. It can just as surely be a time of high stress, low patience, understaffing, harried schedules and distraction. It’s these latter qualities which make November into January a particularly attractive time for cyber criminals.

Employees are likely to be shopping online from the office (during breaks and lunch, of course), more than at any other time of year. They will also spend time scheduling shipping or checking on delivery of packages sent to loved ones. In December, our to-do lists are longer and hours in the day shorter than any other month.

95% of data breaches are caused by human error, and these errors are exponentially more likely to occur when people are distracted. Cyber criminals know that this equates to a higher success rate for holiday season attacks.

90% of security breaches in companies are a result of phishing attacks. Since targets open over 70% of phishing emails, cybercriminals have an excellent chance of launching a successful phishing attack during the holiday season. (FYI: Our Security Awareness Training clients experience on average a 5 – 20% open rate with minimal click-throughs)

With increased shopping, retailers have more consumer data. This is why 24% of attacks target retailers. Your staff and business data can get compromised through this as well.

In addition, attempted ransomware attacks increase by 70% during this season. Cyber criminals know that companies are more likely to pay a ransom during their busiest season to keep their business up and running. (Do you know that having a complete and current backup allows you to foil such attacks and avoid paying the ransom?)

Having your staff trained to recognize the subtle signs of attack is imperative to protecting your network. We strongly recommend having network security measures and security awareness training in place so that your business network and data are safe from cyber attacks all year round. Contact us for more information on Network Monitoring, Network Security, Managed Backup and Security Awareness Training at

Mike Dorr, President

Mike began as a Burgess network engineer in 1998. He later spent 3 years as Five County Credit Union’s Director of IT before returning as an owner in 2006. He lives in Bath with his wife and children and is an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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