The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is urging everyone to stay cyber safe this holiday season. CISA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a cybersecurity reminder for public and private sector organizations to remain vigilant and take appropriate precautions to reduce their risk of ransomware and other cyberattacks. Malicious cyber actors have often taken advantage of holidays and weekends to disrupt networks and systems belonging to organizations, businesses, and critical infrastructure.
Best practice recommendations in the alert include:
- Identify information technology security employees available during weekends and holidays.
- Implement multi-factor authentication for remote access and administrative accounts.
- Mandate strong passwords and ensure they are not reused across multiple accounts.
- Ensure the security of remote desktop protocol if they are used.
- Remind employees not to click on suspicious links.
- Review and update ransomware incident response and communication plans.
During this time of year, it is especially important to take proactive cybersecurity measures. Simple steps include:
- Check devices: Use strong passwords, update software, and turn on multi-factor authentication.
- Shop only through trusted sources: Think about how and where to make purchases online.
- Recognize phishing scams: Don’t click unknown links or download attachments. Never provide password, personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited email.
- Use safe methods for purchases: Never provide financial information when using public Wi-Fi. Use a credit card instead of a debit card and check account statements frequently.