As the holiday season quickly approaches, so too does one of the busiest times of the year for virtually every business sector. While it’s natural for business owners to be optimistic during this exciting time, instances of devastating holiday hacks provide a sobering reminder that even in joyous times, cybercriminals are in search of vulnerabilities.

With such business security cyber threats in mind, here are five signs your business has been hacked during the holidays.

Sign #1: A ransom message

While ransom is far from being the subtlest business security threat, the havoc that can be caused by a ransomware attack can cripple a company’s ability to fulfill holiday orders. For those who are not familiar with ransomware, it’s an especially dangerous attack that causes all the files on your computer or network to become inaccessible. Adding insult to injury, these encrypted files can only be accessed if a ransom, typically paid in the form of bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, is sent to the hackers.

If one of your machines displays a ransom message (or any suspicious message really) this holiday season, disconnect from your network immediately to prevent your business from being hacked. Additionally, put a contingency plan in place, such as critical company documents backed up with off-site servers, to limit the potential damage that such an attack could have on your business and holiday season.

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Sign #2: Suppliers report that they haven’t been paid

If suppliers tell you they haven’t been paid for shipments during the holiday season, the business may be hacked. Check your company’s accounts immediately. While such situations could be the result of an honest mistake, these situations can arise from hackers secretly siphoning funds from business accounts into their own.

Alternatively, if a cyber-based attack isn’t the cause of this theft, access control may be to blame. As access control is an often overlooked business security factor, there have been instances in the past where employees have stolen money from their company during the holiday season to give themselves an extra “holiday bonus.”

Sign #3: Unrecognized software or browser extensions

If an unfamiliar software program or browser extension appears on your company’s devices, you may have fallen victim to a cyber-attack. These hackers serve as an important reminder of the need for strong business security practices that track which software packages are being installed. The installation of malicious software could be an honest accident, but it also can be extremely damaging regardless of an employee’s intent. If your business has been hacked, isolate the affected devices from the rest of the network as soon as possible.

Sign #4: Strange computer behavior

Unusual computer behaviors, such as mouse clicks on specific programs that are occurring without employee user input, are one of the most visible signs that your company may have been hacked. This is known as a remote desktop hack, which is a frightening attack that allows hackers to control the employee’s machine without ever having to step foot in the office.

Falling victim to these unusual behavior attacks is a sign that your company’s cybersecurity capabilities are lacking. If the business falls prey it could be beneficial to take the entire network offline if possible. While this drastic measure can undoubtedly damage your company’s ability to function in the short-term, failure to address a severe cybersecurity threat can be catastrophic in the long-term.

Sign #5: Customers report strange emails from “company accounts”

One of the oldest and most troublesome attacks to a company’s business security occurs when an email distribution list reports receiving strange emails from what appear to be legitimate individuals and organizations. For example, an employee with a hacked account may unknowingly send a message including an attached file to everyone in their contact list.

Internal messages from colleagues seem harmless enough, but the real damage occurs when individuals download the attachments which contain anything from ransomware to run-of-the-mill malware. If you receive reports of strange messages being sent or received this holiday season, act swiftly to find the source of the problem before the business is hacked. The unknowing installation of malware can be enough to destroy a customer’s trust for good.

Don’t wait to be hacked

Far too often, businesses wait until they have fallen victim to a cyber attack before deciding to work with an experienced business security company – losing data, time, and money. Stay a step ahead.

Source 1 Solutions provides integrated security services to protect both your physical and network security. We take the time to analyze your systems, discover your vulnerabilities, and put together a comprehensive security plan that meets your needs.

Don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule a 360° Security Assessment.

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