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How to keep Christmas cyber-threats at bay

Fortinet : 23 December, 2008  (Technical Article)
Fortinet offers some advice on reducing the effects of more relaxed attitudes during the festive season with tips for business owners and users
Over Christmas and New Year, while employees are feeling at their most relaxed and generous, enterprise security is at its most vulnerable. During the Christmas hiatus, internal lapses of security will lead to Christmas bonuses for cybercriminals who are out to feed off the festive spirit. In line with cybercriminal trends of the past 5 years, the criminals have already laid the traps, so businesses need to be extra security vigilant as the holidays approach and the rise in online crime puts business networks at increased risk.

Fortinet's top things to be vigilant of this Christmas:.

* Christmas Shopping

Watch for Rogue shopping sites advertised by spam campaigns and strong search engine optimisation when looking for 'Christmas presents' and the like, and beware of legitimate sites that can be compromised and booby-trapped with malicious code.

* Malware 'Tricks'

Christmas related malware will be very common as authors trying to trick users into clicking malicious links to attachments related to the season. E-cards, Holiday sales, Festive fun - If you don't know what your are opening...don't.

* Working from Home this Christmas

Beware users who've taken their laptops home for extended periods over the Christmas hiatus and come back onto the network. What nasties might be on there? The desktop protection might also not be up to date, so additional pressure will be on your network security devices

* R&R

With just a few days out of the office, employees become 'download happy' on personal computers over the Christmas break and more often than not bring this relaxed attitude to security back to the workplace. Beware that this complacency can provide increased avenues of attack.

* Temporary staff

…are not just for Christmas. Well they are, but with access to passwords, and confidential information, if not managed properly can lead to a serious security breech. IT departments must ensure that temporary staff only have access to documents that are necessary and if passwords are granted they are changed after the holiday period.

For a Merry Christmas organisations must ensure all employees are made aware of the festive threats by communicating security messages from the top down.

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