Security & Technology Blog

The Importance of Cybersecurity on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest retail holidays of the year. With Americans spending around $9 billion on Black Friday and $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday last year, it’s clear that many people and businesses benefit from these deals. What many retailers don’t prepare for are the digital threats that are running rampant on their company’s website. There are many threats that can hurt a company's business on Black Friday and Cyber Monday - here are a few to be aware of:  

E-skimming:
More than 4,000 online retail websites are unknowingly hosting credit card skimmers! A credit card skimmer is someone who’s able to hack a retailer's website and release malware that corrupts online checkout pages and steals any personal information that an individual enters into the site.  

Malware:
Malware is a program designed to infect a network or device. Often after infecting one device, malware will start creating damage to the system by spreading to other devices and gaining unauthorized access to private and sensitive information.  

Phishing:
Phishing is when you receive a fraudulent email meant to get you to give out your personal information. These emails often look identical to real business communications, making it easy to get people to click these links and provide their personal information to a phony website.

Ransomware: 
Ransomware is a huge threat to businesses year-round. Ransomware is a type of software that attacks an organization by locking them out of its own computer system. The company’s system and data will then be held hostage until a ransom is paid. 
 

These threats can cause big issues for retailers during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales with the increased web traffic. Over the past decade, many major online retailers have faced the impact of a cyberattack. Companies like CVS Health, Under Armor, and Guess have been hit with a variety of attacks. 

Here are three critical steps in avoiding digital threats:

Facilitate Regular Staff Training:
In addition to the malicious attacks mentioned above, human error can cause devastating consequences. Whether a user clicks a bad link or opens a phishing email, these can all lead to disaster for your company. By investing in cybersecurity training programs for employees, a company is able to decrease the number of easy entry points that a hacker may be looking for. Better equipping employees will result in saving time, money, and reputation.

Implement Zero Trust:
Zero trust is a security model that trusts no one. It has a very strict identity verification for each person and device that wants to access resources on a private network. Verification is required from anyone trying to access the resources whether they are inside or outside the network perimeter. Having this extra layer of security can help with preventing company data breaches. 

Maintain Good Backups:
A company should back up its data as often as possible. Backing up any essential or sensitive data mitigates the need to pay a large amount of money in the event of a ransomware attack. When important data is properly backed up, a company should be able to restore everything back to the way it was before an attack.  
 

Retailers could benefit by investing in some of these actions to create a stress-free environment for the busiest shopping days of the year. These actions not only protect the business and its image but also help to protect any customer who’s using their website to shop.

Digital threats can cause issues for companies of any size, but many risks can be minimized with the help of well-designed cybersecurity strategies. Here at K Group Companies, we offer services for staff cybersecurity training, implementing zero trust, and safe physical and cloud backups for your data. If your organization is interested in hearing more about digital threat prevention, please reach out to us today!
 

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