The Clock is Ticking: Is Your Organization Cyber Secure for the Holidays?

December 5, 2022

As to-do lists get longer and more complicated during the holiday season, it’s typical for some tasks to fall through the cracks. But letting security measures slip due to staff shortages and the Q4 rush can leave businesses vulnerable and less prepared to protect themselves from attacks.


Hackers don’t take holidays — but they assume your organization will. Watch Optiv’s Dec. 2 LinkedIn Live recording for key insights to keep cyber safety and resilience atop your list this season.



Key Takeaways

First and foremost, focus on cyber resilience starting with a resilient mindset. When you are organized and prepared, your assessment and planning will give you and your team the confidence and time to act efficiently and appropriately.


  • Understand the “what” and “where” of your risk. Where does it touch? Where do you need to respond to the most critical attacks?
  • Ensure you have the telemetry to be aware of what’s happening on your network.
  • Implement modern SOC tools so you have automated capabilities to stop or mitigate attacks and respond appropriately.
  • During the time surrounding the holidays, Max Shier recommended “…pausing large changes in your security stack, changes on the IT side that may not have been tested to the fullest extent.” Some changes may be important but the ones that can be delayed can save issues and prevent areas of vulnerability.
  • • Subscribing to current threat intelligence offerings, such as those offered by Optiv, is critical to instantly identifying issues and responding accordingly.



Getting to the Point of Resilience

Taking time to plan and prepare can be challenging but there are ways you can jump start the process to achieving a defensible position. According to Sean Tufts “Security is a communication game with a real heavy technology backbone.” Communication is critical to ensure a reduced risk posture.


As Julie Talbot-Hubbard pointed out, during the holidays increased network traffic and, in some cases, increased employees create anomalies that need to be identified and navigated. Attacks are greater and it’s important to make sure employees are aware of what phishing and smishing attacks look like and how to respond. It’s also important to ensure lines of communication are open both ways so they can make you aware of other types of attacks that may impact them individually.


For a more in-depth look at how to protect your organization during the heightened activity brought forth by the holiday season, view the recording of the LinkedIn Live here. This 30-minute discussion can help you tighten up your plans to ensure you are cyber secure.



Panelist bios:


Max Shier
Chief Information Security Officer and Vice President | OPTIV


Max is a 23-year Air Force veteran and has more than 27 years of experience in all facets of security, with 15 years of direct cybersecurity and IT experience in several technology and security domains. Before coming to Optiv, Max held several leadership positions in the Federal Government and the Defense Industry Base, with his most recent position as a Cybersecurity Director at a large Defense Contractor.


Julie Talbot-Hubbard
Senior Vice President, Cyber Protection and Identity | OPTIV


Julie is an experienced cybersecurity practitioner, technology executive and former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). At Optiv, she’s responsible for delivering solutions that balance risk, business realities and operational impacts for Identity and Data Management. Prior to Optiv, she held executive positions at global finance, education, health care and technology companies. Julie was nominated for and attended the FBI Executive CISO Academy and is a board member at the Identity Defined Security Alliance.


Sean Tufts
Practice Director, Product Security – ICS & IoT | OPTIV


Sean is the Practice Director for the OT/IoT business at Optiv. He's a former NFL Linebacker turned critical infrastructure security leader. Post NFL, he worked for utility operators and O&G hardware suppliers. Prior to his current leadership position at Optiv, Sean was on the digital transformation team for General Electric focusing on security services for the O&G market. In 2012, Forbes honored him as a "30 Under 30" recipient. Sean has a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Optiv Security: Secure greatness.®

Optiv is the cyber advisory and solutions leader, delivering strategic and technical expertise to nearly 6,000 companies across every major industry. We partner with organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs from strategy and managed security services to risk, integration and technology solutions. With clients at the center of our unmatched ecosystem of people, products, partners and programs, we accelerate business progress like no other company can. At Optiv, we manage cyber risk so you can secure your full potential. For more information, visit