Generally, cyber-attacks are more likely to happen during significant world events, particularly when there is an opportunity to exploit the event directly. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed a notable increase in cyber attacks, specifically targeting the health sector, as well as a surge in phishing attempts due to the growing number of people working from home.
Apart from large world events, there is also an elevated risk of cyber-attacks during holidays, weekends, and Christmas. Several factors contribute to this heightened vulnerability. Firstly, with fewer people working during these times, the likelihood of attacks being reported or identified decreases. Additionally, individuals tend to have their thoughts and attention diverted away from work, focusing more on the upcoming holidays and festivities.
According to a recent study conducted by 1Password, 79% of respondents reported feeling more distracted from work due to the incessant crises affecting the world. Of these distracted workers, 45% admitted to not following all the security rules in their organisation, compared to 29% of those who were not distracted. Another study revealed that responding to and recovering from attacks during holidays and weekends took longer, allowing cyber criminals to cause more significant damage to their victims. Surprisingly, 24% of the organisations surveyed lacked a specific plan to address attacks occurring on weekends or holidays, even if they had previously experienced such incidents during those times.
While it is crucial to maintain constant vigilance against cyber-attacks, there appears to be an advantage in conducting awareness campaigns during holidays and Christmas to enhance employee awareness of the dangers. By doing so, we can ensure that cyber security remains at the forefront of people’s minds during these potentially vulnerable periods.
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