Summer heightens cyber security risks

Beach sunset

You might think that cyber attacks are a constant year round activity, or perhaps that they are focused on peak shopping periods like Christmas. But a new study from threat protection specialist Lastline reveals many security professionals believe their organizations are more at risk in summer.

In a survey of 1,000 security professionals more than half believe cyber attacks are seasonal and 58 percent of those (30.5 percent overall) say that they see more attacks during the summer months.

Nearly a half of security professionals (47 percent) report seeing an increase in phishing attacks during the summer, which makes some sense since cybercriminals may be relying on catching employees off guard and tricking them with spoofed emails while they're off guard. In addition, 44 percent see an increase in malware, 26 percent see an increase in spear phishing and business email compromise, and 24 percent see an increase in ransomware.

Risks are heightened by the fact that nearly 20 percent of respondents indicated that more than half of employees work from outside the office for at least five days throughout the summer, including while on vacation. This means they rely more on personal and mobile email, which may not have the same protections in place as their company mail accounts. 34 percent of respondents believe that the increase in threat activity is tied to, or the result of, employees working remotely. Plus, nearly a third (32 percent) say that their network is 'much less defined in the summer' because more people are working remotely.

The report's authors recommend that security teams need to remain cautious and take steps such as encouraging staff to use VPNs when they are working away from the office.

You can read more about the findings on the Lastline blog.

Photo Credit: Ditty_about_summer/Shutterstock

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