The Black Friday and Cyber Monday season is just around the corner. And shoppers are already planning their holiday splurge spending this year.
While Black Friday is a golden opportunity for eCommerce stores to increase their conversions, it is also an ideal time for cybercriminals to strike. And strike they will!
Therefore, being proactive about detecting scams, limiting the damage, and recovering instantly from any possible attack is how you can protect yourself – and your customers.
In this blog post, we discuss the cybersecurity threats that retailers need to stay wary of and the top tips that can help you avoid their devastating effects.
Let’s get started!
Top 4 Security Threats That You Need to Be Aware Of
Phishing is a hacking scheme that tricks users into sharing their sensitive information by clicking on malicious links disguised as legitimate-looking emails, attachments, and logos.
During this massive shopping fest, cybercriminals actively look for vulnerable spots in a website to launch a phishing attack. As per the CISCO report of 2021, at least one person clicked a phishing link in around 86%[i] of organizations.
Moreover, delivery-related phishing scams are also expected to rise during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday season. Since billions of customers will be shopping online and receiving emails regarding their orders and shipping details, it’d be easier for hackers to impersonate these emails.
Malware is yet another common cyberattack where malicious software infects a victim’s system to access sensitive information on it. These software programs can create fake login pages and steal your confidential information and other account credentials.
These attack vectors usually occur over electronic communications such as text, email, a vulnerable network service, or compromised websites. Malware delivery can also be done via physical media such as CD/DVD, thumb drive, etc.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, hackers are on the prowl to disguise themselves as a trusted source and send phishing emails to unaware users. These emails come with attachments, which if downloaded will install ransomware on your system and encrypt all your files and data.
And unless you pay a ransom amount, you won’t be able to decrypt them.
Ransomware attacks can have a devastating impact on your business as you may end up losing significant data, and accounts, and even face operational downtime.
Moreover, businesses trapped in a ransomware attack might have to shut down completely because of monetary losses. These attacks can also damage your business reputation.
Growing in frequency, this type of cybercrime attacks online checkout pages to steal the personal information of shoppers.
This brand of malware follows a simple three-step process to infect your payment card processing pages for financial gain.
Cybercriminals infect a third- or fourth-party script that is used by the target website with malicious code having skimming functions.
The skimming function is then executed by the user’s browser, which gives it permission to steal sensitive information by registering the keystrokes the user uses.
The information the user enters into form fields is sent to the hacker’s command & control (C2) server for storage and later use.
Cyber Security Tips and Tricks for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
1. Adhere to a Proactive Approach
Preparing your store, training your staff, and practicing cybersecurity awareness will not only help you identify any possible attacks but also handle such attacks well.
The truth is, there’s no way to predict the next attack. But with informed employees, and an effective cybersecurity strategy, your business can be ready for anything.
So, make sure you develop and plan an effective cybersecurity strategy, train your employees to spot suspicious activities, and have regular practice cyberattacks to prevent cyberattacks, especially during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday season.
2. Password Complexity
Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access. Therefore, encourage your customers to use complex passwords.
Here are some best practices to follow:
a. Encourage the use of long passwords (a bare minimum of 8 symbols).
b. Ask customers to include lower- and upper-case letters,
c. Ask them to include numbers or other symbols as well.
Such passwords are usually very difficult to hack.
Remember, make sure your employees, and especially administrators also follow these guidelines for their passwords.
3. Follow Compliance Standards
Ensure that your website is in complete compliance with EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you’re catering to audiences belonging to different countries, make sure you adhere to the compliance requirements of those particular areas.
Also, ensure that your customer data (in storage and transit) is encrypted with robust encryption management software. Retail businesses should also understand the importance of maintaining PCI DSS compliance. PCI compliance helps retailers conduct a self-assessment questionnaire and quarterly external vulnerability security scans.
4. Resolve Downtime Issues
Did you know? The average cost[ii] of downtime is 24 times higher than the average ransom amount.
Businesses should always prioritize uptime during a crucial shopping festival like Black Friday and Cyber Monday because 40%[iii] of users tend to abandon a webpage if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest days of the year for eCommerce stores, it’s crucial to ensure your website is able to handle the spike in traffic.
You can choose to use managed cloud hosting to keep your network stable since it allows you to access a modern IT infrastructure that’s based on 24×7 support and monitoring. They also have real-time visual traffic maps to see and respond to the increased influx of traffic. This will help you deliver a seamless customer experience and increase conversions.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. Therefore, make sure you protect your systems from malicious activities and reinforce your cybersecurity.
Want to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Strategy for Black Friday & Cyber Monday? Get Started Today!
[i]Phishing Statistics 2022
[ii]Downtime Average Costs
[iii]Effects of Increased Loading Time