How to Prepare for a Holiday Ransomware Storm | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Claude Mandy, chief evangelist at Symmetry Systems, highlights the heightened risk of holiday ransomware attacks on industries. Discover why, how, and practical steps to fortify defenses for a cyber-resilient holiday season.

The holiday season is upon us. As we approach the end of 2023, it should be a time for festive cheer for all. Unfortunately for cybersecurity teams across the globe, their holidays are more often filled with stress and long hours responding to cybersecurity incidents. Particularly in a subset of industries, these teams find their organizations squarely in the crosshairs of cybercriminals during the holiday period, looking to profit. These industries’ increased time sensitivity, criticality, and importance during the holiday season make them particularly lucrative targets for ransomware and cyber extortion gangs. In this article, we explore the sectors most at risk of ransomware attacks, why they are being targeted, how they are being attacked, what a successful attack means, and provide practical insights into steps they can take to prepare for inevitable attacks on their data and operations.

The Industries in the Crosshairs

While you are stressing about missed flights, last-minute shopping, missing packages, your holiday budget, or suffering from the latest seasonal virus going around, cybercriminals are focused on the opportunities that your angst presents to put pressure on their targets. 

Organizations in the retail and ecommerce industries typically see a substantial uptick in sales and transactions during this period, especially online. Similarly, hospitality and travel is synonymous with the holiday, as passengers travel across the country to reunite with friends and family. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, over 80 million passengers had a flight scheduled during December 2022Opens a new window