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As the holiday season approaches, businesses find themselves not only decking the halls but also battening down the hatches against a surge of potential cyber threats. This time of cheer is equally rife with cybercriminals looking to exploit the hustle and bustle. Here are the top five major cybersecurity threats businesses should be wary of this holiday season, along with strategies to safeguard your digital fortress.

  1. Supplier Invoice Fraud

Supplier invoice fraud is a scheme where cybercriminals impersonate legitimate suppliers or partners, tricking businesses into diverting payments to fraudulent accounts. During the holiday rush, when the number of transactions performed increases, this threat looms large.

Tip: Implement a multi-step verification process for verifying payment details, especially for new or changed accounts.

  1. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks skyrocket during the holidays. Cybercriminals impersonate trusted entities through seemingly legitimate emails or messages, convincing employees to reveal sensitive information or click malicious links. The busy holiday season offers a perfect smokescreen for these attacks.

Tip: Conduct regular training sessions to educate employees about identifying and reporting phishing attempts.

  1. Fake Domains

Cybercriminals often create imposter websites mimicking legitimate ones to lure unsuspecting customers or employees. These fake domains can host malicious content or steal sensitive information, posing a grave risk to businesses.

Tip: Encourage employees and customers to double-check website URLs, especially when sharing sensitive information or making transactions.

  1. Suspicious Links

Holiday-themed links in emails or messages may bring users to fraudulent websites, spreading malware or stealing login credentials. With everyone in the festive spirit, it's easy to overlook the dangers these disguised links might pose.

Tip: Advise employees to hover over links to preview the destination URL before clicking, and to avoid downloading attachments from unknown sources.

  1. Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks leverage human psychology to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential information. During the holidays, cybercriminals exploit the heightened sense of trust and feeling of camaraderie, making this threat particularly potent.

Tip: Encourage a culture of skepticism and empower employees to verify unusual requests for sensitive information, even if they seem to come from trusted sources.

Minnwest Bank has many layers of security in place to prevent unauthorized access to your online banking. But these types of cyber threats can negate those if you or your staff are unknowingly giving valid information to fraudsters. Be diligent and consider Positive Pay for checks and ACH, Dual Control, or Security Tokens as added layers of protection to prevent unauthorized access to online banking or debits to your accounts.

Remember that cyber threats don’t take a holiday. By staying vigilant and implementing these safeguards, businesses can ensure a joyous season without compromising their digital fortitude.

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