Why is Black Friday a Target for Cybercriminals?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us, and while we're all excited about grabbing a bargain, it's important for businesses and their employees to recognise the cyber risks these high profile digital events bring with them.
Lurking among the deals and discounts are a huge number of cyber threats. In fact, cyber security scams rise by over 400% around Black Friday. This isn't just a threat to consumers either. Businesses need to think about how they can stay secure during this period.
To help you prepare, we've shared the biggest risks facing your business this Black Friday. We've also shared our guidance on how you can protect your organisation from the heightened risk of cyberattack
The Black Friday Cybersecurity Challenges Businesses Are Facing
Phishing attacks pose a big problem for businesses all year round, but during events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the success rate for cybercriminals rockets.
More people shopping online means more opportunities for fraudsters to strike. And these attacks are becoming more sophisticated. From barely-distinguishable promotional email scams to malvertising, people increasingly fall victim to scams during this period, unwittingly sharing customer data, payment details and more.
It's not just customers you need to think of. Your team can put you at higher risk - with the tempation of bargains encouraging staff to use their company devices to hunt for Black Friday deals.
Did you know that more than 50% of online shoppers regularly use the same password combinations for work and personal accounts? This makes it the perfect time for cybercriminals to launch large-scale brute-force attacks - trying millions of potential password combinations until they find the right result.
This not only puts the initial compromised account at risk, but potentially many more, including corporate networks and business systems - dramatically increasing your business' risk profile.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to test vulnerabilities across popular software and applications whilst attention is focussed on handling traffic surges rather than security. With customers accessing apps they haven't used or updated in a while, they open themselves to cybercriminals accessing business networks, customer data or login credentials.
Taking control of Black Friday Cyber Risks
Education is Key
Making sure your team are up to date with the latest cybersecurity training and best practice is one of the most important steps in mitigating risks this Black Friday. By educating your team on how cybercriminals compromise systems and access data, you'll stop them in their tracks. Robust cyber security training covers:
Strong passwords and using a password manager
Strong password practices make such a difference! Complex passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and regularly updating passwords all mitigates threats. Additionally a password manager plays a crucial role in meeting growing cyber security standards. KubeNet can support you with guidance, MFA, and password management that will keep your business safe and secure.
Recognising and reporting phishing attempts
Making sure your team know about the various types of phishing attack, such as email, spear fishing, and social engineering can be one of the biggest steps in preventing attacks. You should train your team to recognise suspicious communication and report threats promptly
Security Best Practices for Remote Workers
With more and more people working from home, making sure your team are working securely is key. Guidance should be given on appropriate VPN usage, secure Wi-Fi connections and the importance of keeping devices and software up-to-date.
Assess How Robust Your Technology and Information Security Management Is
As a Cyber Essentials Plus accredited Technology Solutions Partner, we understand more than most the importance of implementing effective cyber security measures in your organisation. Especially at this time of year!
Alongside educating your team, you need to be honest about your technology and information security management. Cyber security practices need to be extended into the systems used by both businesses and individuals, along with the policies they introduce to foster robust security and information management processes.
So what does this look like?
Data Protection and Privacy
Data protection policies, encryption methods, secure handling of sensitive information and data processing practices all come into play when keeping your business safe from threat vectors. To stay safe you need to ensure that the way you handle each of these processes and communicate them to your team meets the most up-to-date cyber security best practice.
Where possible, businesses should make sure that their infrastructure is robust from the get go. This reduces weak points, vulnerabilities and gaps in your security. If you're looking to work on your security posture, partnering with an organisation who can provide advise and identify those weak points is the quickest and best way to do this.
Making sure you effectively manage the rights and privileges of people who use technology in your business. The use of controls such as multi-factor authentication on staff accounts and password managers to keep them secure are also essential steps in keeping out fraudsters this Black Friday and beyond.
Having a solid Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan are essential for businesses to ensure they can continue operating and recover quickly should you fall victim to a cyber attack. A BCDR plan helps minimise downtime, keep data secure, mitigate risk, and importantly, protect your organisation's reputation.
Patching and Software Updates
Regular installations of updates and patching of the software that your team use day to day is essential to maintain a basic level of cyber security in your organisation. Policies should also be considered to prevent external devices giving access to cyber criminals.
Regular vulnerability scanning keeps you ahead of the hackers. Performing these allows for a scan of all your networks, allowing you to manage them, identify areas of weakness, and address them before they become a problem.
Getting Cyber Security Right For Your Business
By enforcing effective and proportionate controls for managing organisational data and information, your business can proactively address the elevated cyber risks associated with Black Friday. These risk management practices not only bolster your cyber security, they protect your reputation with your customers.
As a technology solutions partner, we know that making sure your cyber security strategy is strong enough to protect your organisation can be overwhelming. If this article has highlighted areas in your business that could benefit from additional help, KubeNet are here to support you.
From individual cyber security solutions - such as Vulnerability Scannning, Remote Monitoring and Management, and SaaS Defence - to our fully Managed Service where we can support your full IT function, our expert team keep business safe from threats every day, in the UK and globally.
Our Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation also ensures that we maintain the highest standards and latest practices, and proves our commitment to keeping your business safe and secure.
So, if your business needs some cyber support this Black Friday and beyond, get in touch with our team. We can make sure that you and your team have the right tools, processes and policies to keep you and your data secure.