Ransomware Awareness for Holidays and Weekends
Holiday ransomware awareness is critical in today’s threat environment. Burglars like to hit your business during holidays and weekends when you aren’t in the office. Cybercriminals are no different.
The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert regarding an uptick in attacks during holidays and weekends. In 2021, the agencies noticed an increase in highly effective ransomware attacks occurring on holidays and weekends—when offices usually are closed—in the United States.
Holiday Weekend Attacks
Holiday weekend attacks are becoming the norm. In 2021, three significant cyberattacks took place:
- Mother’s Day weekend (May 8): DarkSide cybercriminal gang deployed ransomware against Colonial Pipeline’s I.T. network that resulted in the shutdown of fuel supplies to the east coast of the U.S.
- Memorial Day weekend (May 31): The third-largest meat processor, JBS, suffered a ransomware attack by REvil, resulting in a complete production stoppage.
- Fourth of July holiday weekend (July 4): REvil launched another attack affecting this time Kaseya VSA, remote monitoring and management, endpoint management, and network monitoring solution involving hundreds of organizations such as multiple managed service providers and their customers.
Actions to Take Now
As the 2021 trend highlights, we need to have ransomware awareness for holidays and weekends and take action accordingly. And this trend will continue in 2022. Cybercriminals know this is a major weakness and will continue to attack. Our goal is to make it harder for them to succeed.
There are immediate steps you can take to protect your business against ransomware before the holiday weekends:
- Make an offline data backup.
- Do not click on links in emails.
- Use strong passwords.
- Activate multi-factor authentication.
- Secure and monitor your RDP if you use one.
(Updated 20 December 2021)