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Securing Systems Before Going on a Holiday

09/12/2022by minal.metkari0Read: 3 minutes

As Australia gears for Christmas and New Year 2023 celebrations, organisations must invest their time in securing computer systems and devices and patch all software before going on a holiday.

While it is holiday time for organisations and businesses, for cybercriminals, it is an opportunity to hack.

Here are Anitech’s tips to secure systems before getting into holiday mode. These will help you take precautionary steps now to not worry about system security during holidays and prevent any data breach during the shutdown period.

1. Adhere to the most recent password guidelines

Replace minimum-length, randomly generated passwords, and create combination passwords that are easy-to-remember yet lengthy “passphrases.”

Long passwords/passphrases with at least 10 characters comprising popular, memorable words are mathematically more difficult to break than short passwords supplemented with symbols and numbers. More suggestions for powerful passphrases.

2. Updating Software and Systems

Many cyberattacks and data breaches occur on unpatched computer systems or PCs. When a vulnerability is discovered, and a patch is made available, it is extremely important that you update your systems. A critical patch should be applied to your systems within 30 days, but we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

Hackers are aware of the inability of many organisations to not patching or updating their systems in time to the latest software as they are in the excitement of going on a holiday. This negligence on the part of an organisation’s I.T. system can give cybercriminals an opportunity to target system vulnerability and hack it.

Hence, it is essential that the I.T. team of an organisation not only updates all software and systems but also ensures that each computer and network device is patched before heading on a Christmas holiday. This will ensure that when the staff returns to work, there will be no instances of data breaches found or any security gap left for hackers to intrude.

3. Reviewing Security Process with Employees

Phishing campaigns intensify around the holidays due to greater susceptibility to being duped into opening an email and clicking on a link. Employees will almost certainly get emails (and SMS messages) with bogus discounts, malware files, and even phoney delivery notices and party invitations. These techniques are designed to obtain sensitive personal or business information or to serve dangerous software. In addition to regular security training, review the email and website security rules, guidelines, and procedures with staff.

4. Use discovery tools for card data

Storing unencrypted cardholder data on a server puts the organisation at danger. Once a hacker gains access to a system, unencrypted payment data makes it easier for them to export and sell your client’s credit card details and sensitive information. If you must store cardholder data, encrypt it while it is being kept or sent. To determine if you are mistakenly keeping plain text cardholder data somewhere on your systems or devices, employ a trusted card data discovery tool. If your organisation accepts orders by phone or mail, ensure that any cardholder data written down is deleted in a timely manner.

5. Use vulnerability scanning to test your website and network

Organisations want to avoid being inconvenienced by an emergency maintenance window in the middle of the busy Christmas season in order to correct misconfigured firewalls, eliminate malware threats, or address remote access vulnerabilities. Rather than waiting for a data breach to alert them, a corporation should be proactive. Regular vulnerability scanning is a critical operation that looks for vulnerabilities and security flaws that might enable backdoors, buffer overflows, denial of service, and other malicious attacks, resulting in downtime and the failure of possible orders.

6. Prepare now to avoid difficulties during the holidays

Holiday transaction numbers complicate securing business, consumer, and personal data. Nonetheless, industry-wide education and application of best security practices will go a long way towards reducing the efficacy of assaults and averting data breaches. Your company’s cybersecurity will be built on sound security concepts and proactive best practice implementation, policy, and procedures this Christmas season. You can establish solid security routines immediately and avoid snags, disruptions, delays, or disastrous breaches.

So, these were Anitech’s tips to secure your systems against cyber threats before going on the Christmas holidays.

If your organisation wants our ISMS consultants to help you with guidance on security and penetration testing to be done to prepare your systems for the Christmas holiday, feel free to contact us here

You can also ring us at 1300 802 163 or email info@anitechgroup.com.

Our team of experienced ISMS consultants will be happy to help you!

minal.metkari

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