It is that magical time of the year. Like many people, we at EVERNET Consulting are super excited about the arrival of Santa Claus. We spend weeks prepping and celebrating that special day, from decorating the house to baking cookies or even hosting a town event. So much happens in preparation for such an amazing time. We always think of that special night when Santa flies around the world delivering presents and Christmas joy. The hard work of the elves and reindeer does not go unnoticed either. However, one thing that tends to go unnoticed and underappreciated is how much work it takes to ensure the North Pole stays cyber-safe.
Much like every part of our lives, technology has impacted and improved the lives of everyone at the North Pole. Santa and his team have found countless ways for technology to improve their processes. Technological advances have been a huge help in battling the new difficulties a modern society brings to the Christmas season. Population growth has made it increasingly difficult to reach everyone in a single night, and complex gift wish lists have also been troublesome.
In order to handle these issues and more, Santa started relying more and more on technology. As a result, any issue that may come up would massively impact the entire Christmas process. One of the biggest worries for everyone in the North Pole is someone from the Naughty List trying to hack into their system. Let’s look at five ways Santa Claus and company stay at the forefront of cybersecurity to ensure our Christmas wishes come true!
Five tips from Santa Claus on how to handle Cybersecurity.
1. Check emails carefully before opening.
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but one of the best things to happen for the crew at the North Pole is the invention of the email. Over the last couple of decades, the number of wish lists sent via email has grown massively. These emails allow for wish lists to arrive instantaneously and to always be available when needed.
With the old system, it would take days for the mail to be delivered. Occasionally, these lists would never make it to the North Pole because they were lost in transit. This meant a recovery task force would have to be sent out to recover the list to make sure the child got what they asked for. It could be a difficult process. Now with email, these recovery teams are not needed as often, which means they can be used in other areas of need, like toy creation or the reindeer health and recovery team.
There is one issue with emails, though. With the millions of emails the North Pole receives, there is always a risk of a bad email with a malicious link. That link is set up to install malware and damage their computing system. Roughly 95% of all cyber-attacks can be traced back to human error. These types of attacks can be prevented by ensuring all emails are safe before clicking any link or document.
2. Make sure the software is up to date.
From the assembly line to the tablets the elves use daily, and especially Santa’s sleigh, so much of the day-to-day work at the North Pole is done on a computer-based system. As a result, the entire system must be updated regularly to ensure everything is operating properly. Software updates are usually made for three reasons: to add new features, fix known bugs, and upgrade security.
Could you imagine if the computer system that hosted the GPS on Santa’s sleigh wasn’t updated and was glitchy? Or maybe it wasn’t updated to show the newest location of houses. Santa relies on the accuracy of the GPS to know where to go and to make the process as efficient as possible. So many other areas can also be impacted, which is why it is important for all systems to be up to date.
3. Always use Multi-Factor Authentication.
One of my favorite parts of the security system at the North Pole is the use of Multi-factor authentication on all devices. Each elf has a tablet hooked up to the main server, so they can work from anywhere at any time. Even on vacation in the Bahamas if needed…. (I bet you didn’t know Elves take vacations.)
The last thing we need is someone gaining access through a weak password system and messing with the Naughty List trying to take themselves off of it…
The entire team at the North Pole utilizes a password and passcode system in conjunction with facial recognition. You only get to see what is under an elf’s hat is when they sign into their work device!!!
4. Train Employees.
Multiple times a year, there are cybersecurity training meetings at the North Pole. North Pole IT special forces lead these meetings that ensure proper security processes are utilized at all times.
Sure, there is an element of relaxation with these meetings. The elves are given snowberries to eat while watching the presentation. Overall, this is meant as a fun exercise to keep everyone engaged, but it is very serious business. The expectation is that all involved will do their part to keep the North Pole network secure.
5. Use anti-virus and EDR.
Like all companies in the world, the network that Santa and his team operate has an effective anti-virus and Endpoint Detection and Response software system. These are must-haves for Santa in order to make sure nothing goes wrong. If, for some reason, it does, though, the EDR software will recognize and respond accordingly.
There are many ways that a virus can impact the network Santa uses:
- Stolen personal data from the elves or maybe even the children in the North Pole database;
- Data loss or manipulation (Remember what I said about changing names on the naughty list?);
- Slowing down of a device and frequent device crashes;
- Inability to perform tasks on the device.
All of these can impact the day-to-day operations at the North Pole. It is important for everything to run as smoothly as possible around Christmas time. Utilizing anti-virus and EDR software is a crucial aspect for the IT department to be able to stay on top of things.
There you have it: Five ways Santa Claus and his team stay cyber-safe ahead of the Christmas season. If you are looking for more cybersecurity best practices, be sure to check out the EVERNET cybersecurity essentials booklet!
Eric is a Business IT cybersecurity advisor, consultant, manager, integrator, and protector who founded EVERNET in 2007. Eric co-hosts a podcast called “Finance and Technology Insights by Brian & Eric” on YouTube. Eric is a regular contributor to the EVERNET blog, writing about the latest technology news and providing his expertise in cyber security prevention and management.