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Why Cybersecurity Is So Vital for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Mitigating Security Risks on the Biggest Shopping Weekend of the Year

Online shopping during last year’s Black Friday surged by around 22% in a record-breaking haul for e-commerce.

Consumers spent a total of $9 billion over the weekend, the second-largest single day for online spending in US history.

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 looking to take advantage of the vast amount of transactions taking place and the financial information shared as a result.

Cyberattacks Rising Over Black Friday Weekend

Businesses may well be familiar with the increasing number of attacks that they have to defend themselves from in today’s environment.

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 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.

Cybersecurity stats for black Friday | Why Cybersecurity Is Vital on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Impact of Cyberattacks on Business 

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

Related Post: 50 Cybersecurity Stats for 2021

This is primarily as a result of various factors, principally a far greater sophistication in the nature of attacks and an overwhelming lack of preparation among organizations with regard to the existing security protocols in place.

What is more concerning, however, is an apparent lack of vigilance from small and midsize organizations—mostly because they erroneously 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.

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.

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 are 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.

How To Deal With Retail Cyberattacks

Security Awareness

Avoiding being the victim of a cyberattack means having buy-in at every level, not just IT.

As we just noted, the vast majority of attacks involve an element of human error to some degree.

To combat this, organizations should take every precaution to ensure that their staff are not the reason they are breached—this in most cases will take the form of security awareness training.

Security awareness training teaches employees how to spot a malicious phishing attempt and what to do when they recognize something suspicious.

Awareness training is today a core aspect of most business security strategies, simply because it adds an additional hurdle for cyberattackers to navigate.

Malicious actors rely on a law of averages approach when attempting to breach people and organizations—phishing scams only work once an end user has clicked a link or interacted with it in some way.

By training a workforce, businesses reduce the viability of social engineering scams against their employees in one fell swoop.

Multifactor Authentication

Microsoft estimates that multifactor authentication prevents around 99% of attacks on application accounts.

Most attacks on retailers today target wherever the data is located. For many businesses, they rely on third-party software to operate their lines of business.

These applications are high on the list of targets for hackers when they’re looking to gain entry into a network to steal information.

Because of this, it’s crucial that organizations have proper information security protocols so that access to data is restricted appropriately.

This means having access control protocols that state who does and does not have the ability to access data—thereby reducing the number of potential attack vectors.

It also means implementing MFA so that accounts are secured effectively.

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

If these cybersecurity stats have made you think about your own organization’s security but you are unsure where to start, consider having a risk audit done by Impact. Get in touch today to get the ball rolling on securing your future.