All through the house, not a hacker was stirring...

christmas grinch

The holiday season is a time to spin down and relax for many people. Where we hang up our spurs, or rather, we tuck the carry-on suitcase into a corner at least five feet away from the door. But, as with every holiday season we see the packet Grinch crawl out of his cave. Destined to muck everything up for the rest of us when we try to find some manner of respite as we sit by the video of a log burning on the fire. 
It has been literally years since I was in a role that required me to be available in a 24/7 on call capacity. Still I find that even over the holidays, I keep my phone/tablet/laptop/batarang close by. Old habits die hard I guess. How does your enterprise keep the lights on when the holidays roll through? I don’t expect you to answer me but, can you answer that yourself? Do you have coverage? Do you have an escalation tree on who needs to be called in the event that the Grinch and his army of digital henchmen come down the corporate chimney? 
At a company that I worked at years ago I had a large build up of vacation time. This was time that I needed to use by the end of the calendar year or “poof” to was gone. So, with three weeks left and three weeks of vacation in the bank I announced I was taking the rest of the year off. This was mostly in jest but, to my surprise, my boss said, “sure, see you next year.” 
Rather than belabour the issue I packed up my things an hour later and wandered out into the snowy evening. We had a well defined escalation plan and we had help desk that knew who they had to call in the event of an incident. It was a surreal feeling for me to have three weeks vacation. My wife even said, “since you have the time off you can grow a beard.” While the facial hair grew the attackers tried their hand at defeat the controls that were in place. Their attempts, thankfully, felt flat time and again. At no point during my vacation did my phone ring with a sev 1 incident. 
I was never far away from a device that I could use to check my email then. Even now I can’t help but to keep an eye on things. But, knowing that there are defined repeatable processes in place that have been tested and rehearsed is a great comfort.
This year, I hope that you can relax and enjoy the crackle of the fire on your TV knowing that your defences will stand up to attackers who will try to steal some of your holiday joy.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 hot cybersecurity trends (and 2 going cold)