Black Friday presents a significant opportunity for e-commerce and retail stores to boost conversions, but also presents a potential threat from cybercriminals.
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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are excellent opportunities for customers to get hold of some great deals, while for retailers, it is an outstanding time to clear up their stocks. But, unfortunately, even cybercriminals utilize this time to execute scams and crimes that affect businesses.
According to global collective research in 2022, there is $41 billion in fraud damages reported from the e-commerce industry. However, it is anticipated that by the end of 2023, the loss will surpass $48 billion.
As cyber criminals initiate new routine scams around the time of these events, it is the right time for CISOs and other IT teams to step up their vigilance plan of action to counter such malicious attacks and protect their business as well as the interest of their valued customers.
With the help of this article, we will delve deep into some useful tips to create a secure online shopping experience.
1. Impact of Cyberattacks on Businesses
“While the threat of cyberattack is omnipresent throughout the year, it is especially high during events with increased online activity like Black Friday,” said Michal Gil, Head of Product at CybeReady.” E-commerce companies and retail shops have witnessed that employees often fall victim to phishing scams that open the company’s network to the public, causing potential data breaches.
There can also be instances where your company might be a victim where data might get stolen; one such instance occurred in 2013’s Black Friday when Target was a victim of a data breach that affected millions of customer credit and debit cards. According to sources, the breach began around Black Friday 2013 and involved the theft of data stored on a magnetic strip of CDs used at the stores.
By the end of the night, nearly all Target stores across the U.S. suffered from this data breach, which continued until December 15th, 2013. Post this incident, Target told its customers about the incident and warned them to deactivate their credit and debit cards to block cybercriminals from conducting monetary transactions.
2. Four Key Actions for Black Friday Cybersecurity
During such frenzied festive seasons, the CISOs and IT managers should be cautious as threat actors are on their toes to ruin businesses with their scams and deceiving tactics.
So, to prevent such incidents here are four essential key actions you can conduct:
2.1. Analyze the Cyber Risks
Make it essential to conduct a thorough rundown of the areas where there are potential threats. You can search for these vulnerable points by:
- Use the cyber risk assessment framework that will allow you to identify and fix the loopholes
- Implement new security protocols to avoid damage and losses.
- Ensure that the payment process meets PCI DSS compliance, which prevents you from manipulating your checkout pages.
- Upgrade your SSL certificates, which gives your customers the confidence to visit your site.
2.2. Create a Robust Cybersecurity Plan
Planning a robust cybersecurity plan during events and festivals, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday can involve multiple approaches. It has been witnessed that cyber actors are ahead in the game by using tactics like:
- Custom site designs for the event or early bird deals to fool customers into clicking on them and impersonating them as your customers.
- It has been seen that customers are attracted to clickbait that forces your company to get their sensitive information, like credit or debit card details, addresses, mobile numbers, and many more.
Thus, chalking out the areas where monitoring is needed or what steps and protocols are needed to eliminate these incidents will save you valuable money and resources in turn giving your customers the retail therapy they deserve.
2.3. Implement Automated Data Security and Compliance
You need to ensure that your website or application follows all the rules and regulations in terms of data security and compliance.
- Implement automated data security and compliance services that scan your network and notify you in real-time of any suspicious activity, which allows you to promptly act before any damage occurs.
- Automated solution tools like Scrut, Vanta, Drata, and Tugboat Logic help employees monitor and report threats promptly.
The only standard approach to implement these tools would require adequate routine team training with appropriate knowledge transfer for personnel to operate these tools and defeat cyber criminals ahead of time!
2.4. Updating your Websites, Applications, and Plugins is a Must!
Old and un-updated websites as well as applications are often the victims of cyber attacks, especially on Black Friday, when more monetary transactions occur every minute.
- Thus, before preparing for the Black Friday sale, your tech and security team must focus on ensuring your website and/or application can handle the upcoming surge in demand by having your measures in order or place before the sale day rather than waiting for the last minute website update to avoid transaction frauds, identity theft, incorrect delivery of packages.
- Along with that, customers will be updating desktop apps that they haven’t used in months that need a plugin update to prevent hackers from getting hold of their sensitive information.
In navigating the Black Friday Cybersecurity landscape, remember to tailor these strategies to your business and consider your target audience, product offerings, and overall marketing strategy when extending BFCM deals.
Early preparation, rigorous testing, and automation are essential, as Black Fridays leave little room for post-launch quality testing. Through thorough prioritization, you can safeguard your business and ensure a secure and enjoyable shopping experience for customers.
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