Cyber Criminals Are Banking On Black Friday

With the Coronavirus pandemic keeping many people away from the high street, bargain-hunters will be relying even more on online shopping and with more businesses looking to move their business online during Black Friday and Christmas this year. In the absence of footfall in their shops, thousands of retailers will be working hard to take their offers online and give customers the opportunity to make their purchases digitally.

There will be a surge in online transactions over the next month and this will also mean a surge in attacks from hackers and other cyber criminals. 

With a total anticipated spend of around £6 billion, this sale period will be crucial for many retailers who have faced significant financial and logistical challenges throughout 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But it’s important for e-commerce businesses and consumers to be aware that they aren’t the only ones making preparations for a big November. 

Cyber criminals will also be aiming to profit from this period and looking to seize potentially lucrative opportunities at a time when they know that payment card data and personal details will be flowing through digital databases at a faster rate than ever.

In the US, Black Friday has become the biggest shopping day of the year, as the day after the Thanksgiving holiday retailers mark down their prices to kick-start the gift-buying season and get consumers spending. In the last decade, to boost online retail equally, Cyber Monday has been introduced the first Monday after Thanksgiving making US consumers go online for the best bargains.

In previous years, phishing attacks alone have seen an increase of 300% around Black Friday, putting consumers at greater risk of text, email and social media scams. Add malware, ransomware, viruses and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks into the mix and all of a sudden trading online can feel like a dangerous place to be.

Yet with the right preparation and attention to detail, you can have a profitable and productive Black Friday period.

What Can Be Done To Minimise The Risk Of A Cyber Attack?

If your business is trading online this November, it is important to take steps now, rather than simply ignoring the risk and hoping for the best. By putting the right measures in place, you can not only reduce the likelihood of a breach but also enhance your reputation and help customers to safeguard themselves. Communication is key and letting your customers know you are vigilant in cyber security will actually build customer confidence in the process. Alert them to your security and privacy procedures and tell them what you are doing to safeguard them. 

If you discover that scammers are using your brand to target customers, issue a prompt warning and urge them to check that any links used to your website are legitimate. If you find and isolate those scams before your customers do, then all the better. For that you will need professional help.

With time running short a good step to take is to scan your digital assets for vulnerabilities now and test your defences so you know where you need to improve. 

This is known in cyber security as Penetration Testing. Using real world experience of all types of attack, highly qualified professionals can put your website through its paces to ensure that it’s fit for purpose. By mimicking the type of attacks carried out by potential hackers, a penetration tester can explore and recommend necessary improvements before an attacker finds them.

There is no doubt that businesses around the globe will be more dependent on e-commerce than ever before this Black Friday. Given the events of the last few months we all hope that it’s a successful one for businesses that have struggled to trade through the uncertainty of 2020. 

BDaily:        Mirror:       Finance Digest:      Guardian:

If you have any concerns about the resilience of your online presence against the threat of a cyber attack, now would certainly be the time to consult an expert you can trust. Check out our free access Cyber Security Service Supplier Directory to find the right expertise in your location: 

Directory Listings: Pentesting & Security Assessments

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