Turkey, Family, Gifts, Cookies, and…? Wait, what? Make sure your is up to the task during this !

powder snow, home cooked meals, endless laughter, cookies near the fireplace, and the holiday spirit. Sure, you’ll have some crazy snow storm from the Nor’easter here and there and maybe some crazy in-laws so to speak, but nothing can beat the holiday spirit…until now. As of recent, studies show that the holiday season have evolved to a breeding ground for attackers. Over the past few years, we have seen that the holiday season is usually accompanied by an uptick in threat activity. Company shutdowns, security teams on vacation in the Bahamas can leave our security defenses weak and ripe for compromise.

Why are attackers so active during the holidays?

There are a few reasons the holidays fuel malicious activity. The first reason is simple. Most of it is a result of convenience. Attackers are to holidays like children are to presents: it’s a natural attraction. It all starts with the logistics of the holiday season. Most security teams and companies are preparing to shut down and minimize operations; this means there are fewer, if any, people monitoring the network and endpoints for compromise. With less security coverage, it’s easier for attackers to sneak their way onto the network and onto endpoints undetected.

The second reason for a surge in malicious activity is endpoint usage during the holiday season. Attackers know that during the holidays people will be scrambling for the best deals as they look online to buy gifts. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday generating millions of promotional emails, it’s easy to slip phishing emails with malicious attachment and links into user inboxes under the guise of “Black Friday,” or “Holiday deals.” With phishing schemes, one can often say “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.” During Black Friday, everyone is searching for great deals, so they are way less suspicious.

Roaming users are the final reason. We know that we are supposed to disconnect during the holidays, but how many of us really do? People will be using their corporate assets throughout the holidays even when they are no longer on the corporate secured network. Employees may be accessing from home, coffee shops, and any number of public Wi-Fi hotspots.  Unsecure networks mean easier and direct access to the endpoint for attackers.

How do you make sure your endpoints are ready?

Endpoint security is the key ingredient to keeping the holiday attacks at bay. With minimal staff monitoring network and endpoint activity, it is important to have a solution in place that offers leading preventative technologies to stop as much of the malware as possible. But even still, malware could get through, so beyond preventative technologies your endpoint solution should give you the ability to detect all files and identify malicious activity when witnessed.

To make sure you can rest easy this holiday season count on Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints. AMP for Endpoints employs over 15 different state of-the-art engines to stop even the stealthiest malware. In addition, AMP gives you visibility and context around every file on your endpoints, how they behave, and any malicious activity that may be witnessed. Basically, AMP for Endpoints will protect your users wherever they go. Whether your employees are working from home, travelling the world, or Black Friday shopping, you can sit back with your hot cider and enjoy a family holiday knowing that your network is protected.

Don’t believe us? Try AMP for Endpoints for FREE this holiday season with our free trial, and see how many it catches while you relax.

For additional questions, join Neil Patel on Cisco Communities for an Ask The Expert event from 11/5-11/6



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