With Labor Day right around the corner, it is time for IT departments to stay vigilant. This year,there has been a significant increase of cyberattacks on holiday weekends in the United States. Attacks happened as recently as the Fourth of July 2021. The FBI and Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security (CISA) note the amount of ransomware attacks continues to rise. From January to July 2021 alone, there was over $16.8 M in losses.
Businesses in the United States are typically closed on holidays like Labor Day, cyber criminals see it as an ideal opportunity to target victims. This gives attackers a “head start” on exploiting networks because there is a limited capacity for IT support for a brief period. For example, in May of 2021 on Memorial Day weekend, a cyberattack was launched on a critical component of the Food and Agricultural Sector. This resulted in a complete shutdown in the production of goods, especially meat for the US and Australia.
So, how can you reduce the risk of ransomware attacks? Here is what the FBI and CISA recommend.
- IT security at business should remain “on-call” for the entire holiday weekend, so ransomware threats can be monitored efficiently.
- Do not click on links sent by unknown users or email addresses.
- Keep all software systems updated.
- Have an offline backup of all data.
- Use strong passwords. Do not use easily guessed phrases or number sequences. Use special characters (! $) if possible.
- Have an incident response plan in place for ransomware attacks.
- Have a multi-factor authentication system.
For additional information regarding cyberattacks, visit https://www.stopransomware.gov. If you are a business looking for stronger cybersecurity, give us a call! (401) 326-4463