Christmas is a hacker’s ideal break - don't get hacked this Christmas
Are you taking a bit of a break from work over Christmas? It’s a wonderful time to put your feet up and relax (or eat, or shop). Unfortunately, it’s also the most wonderful time of the year for a hacker to attack your IT systems. A few small steps can help small businesses ensure you don’t get hacked this Christmas…
Just think: your office might close on Christmas Eve and might not open until the New Year - that’s over a week of uninterrupted access to your network if a hacker manages to break in. By the time you get back to work in 2020 you might find all your company’s information is lost, deleted or locked away.
What a Christmas nightmare! With a little planning you can either prevent this happening or be in a good place to react quickly and defend your company.
First of all, just before Christmas is a great time to back up your systems if you’re not working over the break – take good backups of your IT system in case you need to recover it in the new year. Of course, you already back up frequently anyway, don’t you so this will just be like normal!
If you’re not using IT systems over the break, why not switch off any systems you’re not using? Hackers can’t get into computers that are switched off. IT servers can be more challenging – but your IT provider might be able to lock access out over a certain period, restricting access to only a few critical people or in case of an emergency.
Make sure all your staff log off their computers and stay off them. Leaving a system logged in and switched on is a security risk – not just for hackers outside your office but in case someone breaks in. If your staff are on holiday over the Christmas season then ask them to keep off the work stuff on their mobile devices too.
Decide who’s responsible for checking (if anyone should be)
If you must leave systems running over the Christmas break, think about getting someone to check on them every now and then. You should have access and system logs to see who’s been accessing your systems and when. Train them in looking out for anything suspicious (like access from someone who’s away on holiday, or high-volume downloads and usage.) You might have a member of staff who can check, or ask your IT provider to do it.
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