Why Cybersecurity Is So Vital for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Mitigating Security Risks on the Biggest Shopping Weekend of the Year

Over 165 million people shopped over the Black Friday weekend in 2018, and the proportion of shoppers ordering online is rising significantly.

Online sales over 2018 Black Friday weekend:

Each day saw increases in online shopping, with year-over-year growth of 27.9%, 23.6%, and 19.3%.

With the growing tendency of consumers to shift their shopping online, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the weekend has become one of the most lucrative periods of the year for cybercriminals.

Cyberattacks Rising Over Black Friday Weekend

Businesses will be familiar with the increasing number of attacks that they have to defend themselves from.

Major shopping periods like Black Friday serve up additional cyber risks to businesses and consumers as hackers become more active.

With people spending over $300 on average, elongated shopping hours, and increased mobile commerce, there’s a perfect storm of cyber vulnerability that attackers will look to take advantage of.

Consumers themselves are aware of the dangers to some degree. Two-thirds of shoppers have expressed concern that their data may be stolen as a result of shopping online. Whether they will take the necessary precautions is another question.

Impact of Cyberattacks on Business 

Cybersecurity is a much more prominent issue for SMBs in 2019 than in previous years.

Related Post: 10 Cybersecurity Stats You Need to Know for 2019

You might recall major data breaches, like the one that affected Equifax back in 2017, as examples of what hackers are capable of.

What is more concerning, however, is an apparent lack of vigilance from small and midsize organizations—mostly because they don’t believe they will ever fall victim to an attack.

Nearly half of all attacks target SMBs, and many of them don’t have the capacity to deal with falling victim to cybercriminals.

With attackers upping their efforts over Black Friday weekend, it’s more important than ever for businesses and consumers alike to stay vigilant and protect their data.


Black Friday and Mobile Security

If you’ve ever done a Black Friday spree on your smartphone, then you’re not the only one. 33.5% of online sales last year were made on phones, an increase from 29.1% the year before.

With this comes added security risks for shoppers and businesses such as:

Data Leakage

Studies suggest that apps downloaded from Apple’s App Store and Google Play are highly likely to have bugs that compromise privacy. 90% of apps in the US have the potential to leak one or more pieces of personal information.

Unsecured Wi-Fi

Everybody wants to save their data and use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Free wireless networks are often unsecured and pose a threat to anyone who conducts purchases over them.

Spoofing

Network spoofing is when people set up Wi-Fi networks (usually under an innocuous name like an establishment) in public places that are in fact fake access points. Once users connect, hackers will use methods to gain details and information about the target, like credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords.

Businesses on Black Friday

With the biggest weekend of the year coming up, this is the time when businesses and consumers must be wary of threats and not open themselves up to attack.

Related Post: 10 Reasons You Need a Managed Security Service

After all, we know how much damage can be done to an organization that is not prepared for the consequences of an attack.

Cybercriminals follow the money. 71% of attacks so far this year have been financially motivated.

Financial loss, reputational damage, and legal sanctions for not meeting compliance with regulations like CCPA are all at stake.

It’s more important than ever for companies to take every precaution to ensure they’re safe over Black Friday weekend.

Biggest Dangers for Businesses on Black Friday 

Human Error

The majority of security breaches occur because of human error. According to IBM, it was the main cause in 95% of cases.

Staff represent a big weak spot for organizations, and they should all be trained correctly in how to prevent cybercrime.

Phishing

This is one of the most popular and effective methods for duping unsuspecting victims into handing over sensitive data.

Hackers take advantage of the sales fervor by using social engineering to manipulate people during the busy four-day period. Staff must be on their guard and prepared for the flurry of phishing attacks across the weekend.

Ransomware

Clicking on a bad link can cost you a lot more than needing to re-scan your computer. Ransomware poses a big threat, especially during busy times of the year for businesses.

Attacks are expensive and increasing in number—organizations should be extra careful around the holiday shopping season that they invest in the right solutions to mitigate these cyberattacks.

Takeaways 

  • Cyberattacks spike during the Black Friday weekend
  • Many businesses are still lacking effective measures to prevent the dangers associated with these attacks
  • Organizations have a responsibility to protect the data of their customers, meaning breaches must be avoided at all costs
  • Staff should be trained effectively so they can spot and deal with a threat during one of the most dangerous periods of the year

Are you concerned about your business’ security online? Impact Networking’s Managed Security program provides vital cybersecurity protection for clients, keeping their minds at ease in the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by our security experts. 

We’ve vetted 100s of vendors to ensure that our program utilizes best-in-class solutions for our clients. In today’s landscape, a comprehensive cybersecurity program has never been more important. Learn more about Impact’s offering here.