Skip to Main Content

Ahhh, summer. Warmer days. Longer nights. For most, this time of year means kicking back on beaches, drinking cocktails, and not worrying about what’s happening in the office. That includes in-house IT teams but doesn’t include the people they’re trying to combat. While they’re taking a much-needed break, hackers are working around the clock. Because they know your team is likely to be out of the office and away from their computers during peak vacation months. Let’s look at the stats:

According to a study by Barracuda, high-risk cyber threats increased from 1-in-80 detected alerts during the beginning of the year to 1-in-5 during the summer. The peak appeared during the 90-day period between June and September, right when offices are more likely to be unattended due to holidays and vacations.

So, what types of attacks should you be on the lookout for? Here’s the breakdown of the most common threats you could encounter during the summer hacking wave:

Pie Chart Showing the Frequency of Cyberattack Threat levels

The Breakdown

High-Risk Attacks

Accounting for a whopping 40% of cyber threats during Barracuda’s 90-day study, these breaches are high-risk and incredibly dangerous. The primary type of breach in this category is a successful login to a company’s Microsoft 365 environment from a foreign country. Since people are often traveling in the summer, logins from a different country are more likely to happen as your team might be checking their email while on vacation. Despite this, only 5% of these alerts were legitimate logins.

Medium-Risk Attacks

Accounting for 25% of attacks during the study, these attacks indicate that something, or someone, is attacking from a device connected to a protected network or is brute-forcing login attempts. For the latter, hackers automate email and password combinations until they crack yours using custom programs to try up to 100 billion possible passwords per second. While these numbers are mind-boggling, with AI those attempts are just going to get more efficient.

So What Should You Do?

You deserve to be protected 24/7/365, no matter who’s in the office and who’s on the beach. So, what can you do to make sure you stand against the coming wave of hacking attempts? Even if you do have an in-house IT team, there are still steps you can take:

Be Proactive

Now that you know what’s coming, you can prepare for it. Communicate with your team about the risks and come up with a plan to avoid them. Reviewing security training, coordinating time off to avoid vulnerability, backing up critical data, and updating multi-factor identification measures can all help avoid a breach. Additionally, if you or a member of your team are traveling, avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi. For a more secure way to connect, it’s encouraged to instead set up a hotspot from your phone, and to make sure you’re using a VPN while on the road.

Encourage Secure Vacation Culture

If you’re on vacation, put the laptop down. If there’s an understanding between you and your team that you won’t try logging in to your work accounts during your travels, your team will automatically know any login to your account from a different location is not you. Not only will you be able to enjoy your time off, but you’ll be reducing risk significantly. However, we know that sometimes pausing your time off to work is unavoidable, so if the situation arises, make sure you communicate with your team and take necessary precautions.

Schedule a Network Evaluation

You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so it’s important to inspect the whole chain. A network evaluation gives you a look into your entire IT environment so that you have a complete picture of how things are working, where improvements can be made, and security vulnerabilities that may need immediate attention. In order for you to be worry-free on your vacation, make sure your company’s data environment doesn’t have unseen cracks hackers can slip through.

Partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Managed IT Services provide the security and support to meet your company’s unique IT needs all year long. Having a team of IT experts on call and monitoring your systems not only ensures the coming wave of summer hackers doesn’t wash you away but also gives you and your team time back to actually enjoy some time off.

Not sure how to find an MSP that’s right for you? Check out our article so you know what to look for, or contact us so we can help you find a solution that’s right for you.