December holidays are a time security teams look at with equal parts anticipation (finally, some PTO!) and anxiety — phishing emails skyrocket, fake MFA alerts sneak into inboxes, and people are more likely to connect to unsecured public networks while traveling. A lot of end-of-year fatigue is chipping away at the attention of your company employees, who happen to be your biggest vulnerability.
How do you remind them to stay vigilant? With clear messaging on what to look out for and how to respond in case of suspicious activity. Below you’ll find email templates that can save you a lot of trouble later on.
“Team, as the year comes to a close, you’ll be getting lots of emails on vendor renewals, swag orders, and deliveries. These are exactly the types of updates that hackers impersonate to trick you into clicking on malicious links or sharing sensitive information. Be vigilant, and check for the following every time you get an email that’s asking you to take an action:
- Is the sender’s domain name different from the company that’s supposedly trying to contact you?
- If you’re invited to order holiday swag, has the email come from someone that’s not on our HR or Marketing team? Or an email address that doesn’t have our domain name?
- Are you getting attractive, but surprising offers to renew your contract with a vendor? Is this offer urgent, “only available within 24 hours?”
- Is the email full of random spelling errors, is it asking you to click on a link or share sensitive information, or does it just feel strange?
If the answer is “yes,” you’re likely getting phished. Do not click on any links and report the email to the security team.
Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!”
“Team, the holiday season is a time when hackers are the most aggressive in trying to manipulate us into sharing sensitive information. One example we want to highlight are fake multi-factor authentication alerts.
You might get emails requesting you to sign back into important tools, like your Google account. Fake alerts can look exactly the same as the real thing at first glance, but to action the alert, they ask you to confirm your username and password.
Do not share any of this information. Be especially on guard if our password manager plugin doesn’t automatically populate your credentials in the open fields — this is a signal that the alert you’re getting isn’t from the original service’s URL.
If you receive any of these alerts, please flag them to the security team immediately.
Stay safe and enjoy the holidays.”
VPN Usage While Traveling
“Team, we’re looking forward to the holidays and taking a breather. A lot of travel is in the books for many across the company, and we hope everyone has a great time.
An important part is to stay secure online as you travel — if you bring your work devices with you, make sure you are connected to the company VPN at all times, but especially when you use public Wi-Fi. These networks can be insecure, with malicious actors trying to intercept what you’re doing online and steal information. To stay safe, make sure you follow these steps:
[Include instructions on how to connect to your company VPN]
If you are setting off on longer journeys and plan to connect your devices to public charging stations, you will be susceptible to juice jacking — an attack where malicious code can be installed on your devices, or sensitive information gets copied. To stay secure, make sure you use USB blocker like USB Defender or [include any other brand you’d recommend].
Happy holidays and safe travels!”
“Team, lots of people are taking time off around the holidays, so we expect the office to get fairly quiet. With fewer people present, this is a convenient time for malicious actors to try to get onto the premises and steal information.
Please remain vigilant if you notice people you don’t recognize. Politely approach them, ask to see a badge or explain what they’re doing in the building. If they are uncooperative, get in contact with on-premise security staff.
Make sure to also lock sensitive documentation and work devices in your usual storage spots. If you notice any devices with USB sticks or hard drives plugged into them, let us know straight away.
Help us keep company and customer data safe!”