According to a recent survey of more than 270 IT security and business professionals conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of nCircle, when asked, "Are you concerned that your company may be more vulnerable to attack during major holidays such as Christmas and New Year's," 61 percent of security professionals said yes. Still, among all respondents, 57 percent said no.

"While it's hard to tell if there are more Web attacks, such as denial of service, hacked Web applications, or network breaches, during major holidays (since criminals also like to celebrate the holidays too), there are more malware and malicious e-mail based attacks during this period," writes PCMag.com's Fahmida Y. Rashid. "Cybercriminals like to craft their phishing and spam campaigns that are specific to the holiday to increase the likelihood of the recipient falling for the scam."

"In spite of the increase in malware and viruses around every major holiday, attacks can happen anytime," nCircle director of IT security operations Andrew Storms said in a statement. "IT security professionals live in a constant state of vigilance -- they know attackers are always looking for an advantage. You can't build a good security program overnight, but if you already have one in place you're probably just as safe on Christmas as you are any other day of the year."


"Rest easy, IT security professionals," advises Network World's Tony Bradley. "If you've put the pieces into place that should be there to protect your company the rest of the year, the holiday break shouldn't really be any different. If you haven't, well then, sleep with one eye open."