Are you excited for summer vacation? Be sure to pack your sunscreen!

Before leaving your worries behind, remember to lock your doors, literally and metaphorically. Hackers never take a vacation, and your cyber security shouldn’t either. The summer holidays are a time that can leave businesses vulnerable.

Here are a few types of cyber security threats to always keep in mind when traveling (and every day):

Phishing

Phishing attacks are one of the most common forms of cyber threat facing businesses. Business Email Compromised (BEC) scams take advantage of your employees by tricking a user into giving personal information to a source that only appears trustworthy. For hackers, the simple change of a letter or number is enough to bypass the human element of cyber security.

In 2015, the employee of an Austrian aerospace company fell victim to a phisher posing as his CEO, and unknowingly sent $56 million to the hacker's account. The employee was fired, as well as the CEO and CFO for failing to implement the necessary security protocols that would have prevented this incident.

Malware Attacks

While these forms of cyber security attacks have been around for ages, they continue to be a problem for business owners. Malware attacks—short for malicious software—are a type of software designed to disrupt and cause damage to your business infrastructure without your ever knowing. Their attacks are subtle, arriving in email attachments, infected apps, or software, and even advertisements on websites. Once inside, hackers can access your secure information and then hold your system hostage for ransom.

In 2020, hackers took advantage of the pandemic and created CovidLock. From a website, users were prompted to download an Android app that would give them access to real-time updates about the virus. The app was laced with ransomware that locked users from their phones. They were forced to pay 100 bitcoin or lose everything.

Insider Threats

An unfortunate reality small business owners face is the security risk their own employees pose. While they do not share the motives of cyber criminals, their actions can have a disastrous impact on productivity. In fact, recent studies have found that 95% of cyber security breaches are caused by human error. Your employees have been hired to do a specific job. One of those jobs shouldn’t be IT support.

Keeping your Business Safe While Traveling

When you’re traveling, it’s far more likely for you to connect to an unsecure network or take a shortcut that would leave your computer and company more vulnerable to a cyber security attack. When members of your team are on vacation, other team members are covering their daily tasks. This means they could become more distracted and make a mistake like clicking on a link in a phishing email.

Please remember this summer to keep cybersecurity in mind as you and your team travel and enjoy your summer activities.

Hackers are just waiting for you and your team to let your guard down and leave “unlocked doors” to your network and files. Stay vigilant with cyber security and don’t make their job easy.