Cybercrime is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world today. After all, cyber attackers are getting bolder and more frequent by the day. The holidays can be when everyone spends time with their family and friends, making it easier for criminals to target businesses because they know that it is likely people are not paying as close attention to their infrastructure and systems. While many think that cybercrime is a problem only associated with large companies and government agencies, they’re wrong. It’s a problem that can affect anyone and everyone.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime encompasses illegal activities that exploit computers, networks, or connected devices. In the majority of cases, cybercriminals are driven by financial gain. However, some perpetrators may use these tools to achieve other objectives such as making political statements or exacting revenge.
The individuals and/or organizations involved in cybercrime vary greatly. Some have extensive technical knowledge and sophisticated tactics while others are just beginning their hacking journey.
What Makes the Holidays so Attractive to Criminals?
Many people are likely to spend more time on their computers in the days leading up to the holidays. With the rise of online shopping, tons of people are ordering gifts online and entering their payment information into various sites, secure and unsecure. After the days leading up to the holidays, people are off their computers and relaxing while spending time with family. This creates the perfect environment for cybercriminal activity. People have spent tons of money and put their financial information into many different payment portals, so the opportunities to steal financial information are plentiful and the chances that taking funds successfully with no one noticing are higher. People are distracted by the allure of the holidays and are not paying as close attention to their assets or accounts.
How Do Criminals do This?
A common form of cybercrime that people commit over the holidays involves phishing emails. Criminals send these emails as invoices, bills, or other important-looking communication. The emails link to another site (such as a bank), so people will click on it and enter their information. The criminals then use this information to steal money and make purchases. Another common form of cybercrime during the holidays involves sending bad links that appear to be legitimate big brand shopping sites when in fact they are malicious and have been designed as a means to steal peoples personal or financial information.
Here are Four Reasons why Cybercrime Spikes During the Holidays:
● Overconfidence. Many small businesses and even some large companies will work as fast as possible to get their products or services out on time and during the holidays because they want to increase sales. This translates into a lack of caution when securing data, computers, and other electronic equipment from criminals who are always looking for their next big target. For example, many retailers have already had reports of cybercriminals attacking their systems in the days leading up to Black Friday shopping because retailers are focused on fulfilling orders rather than ensuring their data, computers and other electronic equipment is secure.
● Increased Workload. As the holidays approach, many small businesses and even some large companies will turn more attention to their stores and offices. This translates into a lot of additional work for employees who can’t take time off, which means they’re less likely to pay attention to protecting their computers and networks because they are already under a lot of pressure to complete their workload in a short period of time.
● Increased Access to Services. As many people travel during the holidays, criminals can attempt to access unsecured public computers and networks such as those offered at hotels, airports, and coffee shops. This is a great place for criminals to target their victims as they are likely not expecting to have their information stolen at this time.
● Increased Financial Transactions. This is, perhaps, the biggest reason why cybercrime spikes during the holidays, and it has to do with confidence in online security. Criminals know that people feel more comfortable shopping online during the holidays because they’re busy and have a lot to do. They also know they can steal a lot of money from a business since they only have one or two months to reach their sales goals.
The holidays are a time when cybercrime can increase, which is why businesses should take extra security precautions. tekRESCUE can provide helpful solutions that reduce the workload for your staff and give them peace of mind during this festive season. It’s important to stay proactive in protecting your networks and systems so no attack goes undetected; also, make sure that everyone is aware of how to spot potential scams. By taking these measures, you’re doing all you can to keep your business safe from hackers over the holidays.