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5 Tips to Keep You Cybersecure During Holiday Travel

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for travel, which means it’s also one of the most vulnerable times of the year for travelers’ belongings, including sensitive personal data.

Those looking forward to spending time away from the office and relaxing with friends and family are likely making plans to secure their belongings at home, but what about securing devices and data?

Year-to-date attack data through November 2018 shows an increase in attacks across nearly all forms of cybercrime, including increases in intrusion attempts, encrypted threats, and malware attacks.

Below are some simple ways to consider protecting your cyber assets and have peace of mind during a well-earned holiday break.

  1. Lock Devices DownWhile traveling, lock all your mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, and tablets) via fingerprint ID, facial recognition, or a PIN number. This will be the first line of defense against a security breach in the event that any of your devices have been momentarily misplaced or forgotten.
  2. Minimize Location SharingWe get it! You want to share the fun memories from your trip with your friends and family on social media. However, excessive sharing, especially sharing of location data, creates a security threat at home.If you’re sharing a photo on a boat or at the Eiffel Tower, it’s easy for a criminal to determine you’re not at home or in your hotel room, which leaves your personal property left behind vulnerable to theft of breach. If you must share location data, wait until after you have returned home to geotag that selfie from your trip.
  3. Bring Your Own Cords and Power AdaptersCyber criminals have the ability to install malware in public places such as airport kiosks and USB charging stations. If you are unable to find a secure area to charge your devices or you are unsure of the safety of the charging area, power your device down prior to plugging it in.
  4. Disable Auto-ConnectMost phones have a setting that allows a device to automatically connect to saved or open Wi-Fi networks. This feature is convenient when used at home, but can leave your device vulnerable to threat actors accessing these features for man-in-the-middle attacks.Disable the auto-connect features on your devices and wipe saved network SSIDs from the device prior to your trip to avoid exploitation.
  5. Be Cautious of Public Wi-FiFree Wi-Fi access can often be found at coffee shops and in hotel lobbies as a convenience to travelers, but unencrypted Wi-Fi networks should be avoided. Before you connect to a new Wi-Fi source, ask for information regarding the location’s protocol and if you must use a public Wi-Fi connection, be extra cautious.Use a VPN to log in to your work networks and avoid accessing personal accounts or sensitive data while connected to a public Wi-Fi source.

Cybercrime is Trending up During the Holiday Season

For the 2018 holiday shopping season, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers collected data over the nine-day Thanksgiving holiday shopping window and observed a staggering increase in cyberattacks, including a 432 percent increase in ransomware and a 45 percent increase in phishing attacks.

LIVE WORLDWIDE ATTACK MAP

Visit the SonicWall Security Center to see live data including attack trends, types, and volume across the world. Knowing what attacks are most likely to target your organization can help improve your security posture and provide actionable cyber threat intelligence.

New Cyber Threat Intelligence Shows Growing Malware Volume, Encrypted Attacks

The latest cyberattack data from SonicWall shows increases across the board for global malware, ransomware, TLS/SSL encrypted attacks and intrusion attempts.

Highlighting these new findings, the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection sandbox, with Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM), discovered 1,099 new malware variants each day in April.

This cyber threat intelligence, which is available in the SonicWall Security Center, maps the behavior of cybercriminals and the tactics they employ to breach the networks of businesses and organizations across the world.

Globally, the SonicWall Capture Threat Network, which includes more than 1 million sensors across the world, recorded the following 2018 year-to-date attack data:

  • 4,050,797,027 malware attacks (152 percent increase from 2017)
  • 1,233,667,979,688 intrusion attempts (67 percent increase)
  • 132,266,265 ransomware attacks (426 percent increase)
  • 914,975 instances of malware using SSL/TLS encryption (351 percent increase)

Breaking this down to the customer level, in April 2018 alone, the average SonicWall customer faced:

  • 2,254 malware attacks (95 percent increase from April 2017)
  • 78 ransomware attacks (343 percent increase)
  • 73 encrypted threats
  • 10 phishing attacks each day

1,099 new malware variants discovered by Capture ATP each day

Stop cyberattacks in memory

Included with Capture ATP, SonicWall’s patent-pending RTDMI technology catches more malware than behavior-based sandboxing methods, with a lower false positive rate. In 2018, RTDMI has discovered more than 5,000 never-before-seen malware variants — attacks likely missed by competing signature-based offerings.

First announced in February 2018, RTDMI technology is used by the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform to identify and mitigate even the most insidious cyber threats, including memory-based attacks. RTDMI proactively detects and blocks unknown mass-market malware — including malicious PDFs and attacks leveraging Microsoft Office documents — via deep memory inspection in real time.

The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report advises that cybercriminals will continue to leverage users’ trust in PDFs and Microsoft Office applications (which represented five of the top 10 attacked applications of 2017). Because of obfuscation techniques, many legacy firewalls and anti-virus solutions are unable to effectively identify and mitigate PDFs or Microsoft Office file types that contain malicious content.