Each year, as millions of Americans are busy surfing the web to find the best Cyber Monday deals, hackers are preparing to take advantage of enterprises when their network security is at its weakest point. It is crucial, then, for enterprises to secure their networks during this time of year, because breaches can be incredibly damaging to a business.
According to Demetrios Lazarikos, IT threat strategist from RSA, “This time of year is not just an opportunity for retail fraud, but an opportunity to launch attacks that take advantage of business logic vulnerabilities, DDoS [distributed denial-of-service] attacks, and more sophisticated attacks as well.”
Hackers are now increasingly breaching networks with Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), and the holiday season is an ideal time of year for cyber criminals to use them, along with other methods, to exploit myriad lapses in network security. Due to a combination of higher than average network usage and IT administrators being out of the office, enterprises are often unable to react quickly to attacks during the holidays. In fact, 81 percent of hackers surveyed at a recent DefCon said they’re more active during the winter for those very reasons.
It’s no wonder, then, that according to a new study by the Ponemon Institute, 64 percent of organizations said they see significant increases in attack activity during the holidays. But, it is more surprising to learn that despite the fact that they are vulnerable, more than 70 percent of enterprises are not taking the necessary precautions in anticipation of increased attacks.
To prevent network breaches during the holidays, an enterprise should implement a comprehensive security framework that enables all of their systems to communicate, to rapidly prevent attacks as they occur. As part of such a framework, it is important to utilize a VPN wherever necessary – to provide the highest level of secure remote access to a corporate network, especially with staff working from home, the airport or anywhere in between during the holidays.
For IT departments dealing with skeleton staff levels during the holidays, a VPN with central management capabilities is even more critical, because it requires fewer IT administrators to manage an enterprise’s remote access infrastructure, while providing a real-time holistic view. A network administrator can easily manage compliance for a network of thousands of users and immediately revoke access to a user in case of a breach to protect sensitive information from being compromised.
Enterprises must take extra precautions to safeguard their corporate networks as the end of the year approaches. With a smarter strategy for network security, the holidays can be a more peaceful and joyous time of year for enterprises.