CybeReady, a global leader in security awareness training, today highlighted businesses and consumers gearing up for one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, and the cyber threats that rise in this timeframe. This period is widely recognized to mark an increased risk of cyber threats that puts organizations as well as their employees and customers at risk. In response, CybeReady, a leader in cybersecurity education and training, is providing five strategic activities to bolster defenses against the surge in online crime expected during the Black Friday shopping period.
The period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday is notorious for heightened cybercriminal activity. This year, with a significant increase in fraudulent activities reported, the risks are higher than ever. Cyber threats range from email scams and ransomware to attacks on e-commerce infrastructure and data skimming.
To ensure the preparedness of their organization, CISOs are advised to perform the following five actions to defend against the rise in attacks:
- In-Depth Cyber Risk Assessment: A comprehensive evaluation of digital environments is crucial. This includes checking e-commerce platforms for vulnerabilities like outdated software or unsecured data transfer channels.
- Tailored Cybersecurity Plan for Black Friday: A specialized approach is necessary given the complex nature of cyber threats during this period. This involves collaboration between marketing and security teams for enhanced website security and authentic customer communication.
- Comprehensive Automated Data Security and Compliance: Continuous monitoring through automated security tools is essential to detect and respond to threats in real-time. This includes AI-driven systems for unusual access pattern detection.
- Regular Updates of Web Applications and Plugins: Keeping software updated is key to closing known vulnerabilities and preventing attacks.
- Promotion of Safe Online Shopping Practices Among Employees: Educating staff about phishing risks and the importance of verifying the authenticity of websites and apps is vital.
To shore up corporate defenses, CybeReady has produced a Black Friday CISO Toolkit that is free to download and recommends simple tips for employees, that include:
- Always enter the URL yourself
- Don’t use a link from an ad or email
- Use brands’ official shopping apps on your smartphone
- Check for the lock symbol next to a website’s URL
- Use a third-party method that doesn’t transmit credit card information to sellers (like PayPal or Venmo) or use a disposable card
- Visit the website to see updates
- Don’t click links in emails or texts claiming to provide order updates
- Keep an eye on your financial account for any unauthorized transactions
“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. “It’s not just about safeguarding transactions but also about maintaining the trust and integrity of businesses in the eyes of consumers. With this guidance, organizations can be better prepared to face and overcome these emerging cyber challenges effectively.”