Several dates throughout the year are notorious for wreaking havoc on businesses via denial of service (DoS) attacks, data breaches and even malware or botnet assaults. As anniversaries such as September 11th near, rumors about coordinated cyber attacks on American websites increase. Because of these potential risks, it's imperative that businesses tighten their network security measures in order to protect themselves from potential intrusion or disruption, which can result in profit-loss and tarnished user confidence.
According to Radware®, a leading provider of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers, there are two types of dates that hackers target: ideological and business-relevant dates. Ideological dates refer to holidays and anniversaries that have a cultural, religious or secular tie to the adversary. High-risks times for the United States, in addition to September 11th, include Memorial Day, Election Day and Independence Day. Business-relevant dates involve a period of time that companies are particularly vulnerable to attacks, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even regular business hours.
Additionally, hackers commonly use important dates and holidays to disrupt specific industries. For example, retail and credit card companies see a significant rise in cyber attacks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, whereas government websites may be targeted during Election or Independence Days.
"Timing is an extremely influential risk-factor for cyber attacks throughout the year," said Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions for Radware. "Hackers capitalize on overwhelming their target's environment on days of great importance and look to exploit vulnerabilities that cause the most detriment.
Because these types of assaults show no signs of slowing, it's crucial that businesses implement anticipatory security measures in preparation of these peak times so that networks and data centers are able to properly detect and defend against sophisticated threats."
There are five immediate steps that network administrators and security professionals can take to defend and prepare their networks during these at-risk times of the year.
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