November 23, 2018
Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams retailers must look out for.
The Thanksgiving sale weekends are the most anticipated sales season for buyers worldwide.
And not just the buyers. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire winter holiday season of 2018 is forecasted to earn e-commerce retailers up to $720 billion in sales.
However, the fragrance of what seems like a win-win scenario also attracts those who want a slice of the cake for themselves. The buyers’ willingness to pay, the seething sense of urgency, and sometimes undisguised greed also make this holiday season a welcoming playground for the hackers.
The revenue peaks and there are plenty of eggs in the basket.
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday season is undoubtedly the biggest consumer spending weekend every year.
With all the orders coming in, personal data received, and transactions operated, it is also the weekend that becomes a significant challenge to secure.
In fact, 30% of retailers suggest they lack the ability to secure consumer data during this period.
Credit card information, sensitive buyer data, email addresses, phone numbers, passwords… all this information will make hackers give retailers’ security a run for its money.
To make matters worse, research data shows that 68% of retailers lack certainty they could secure credit card data during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday peak demand periods.
That lack of confidence is extremely uninspiring.
But the dreaded feeling should be the least feared of the possible issues.
Speaking of the devil, here are some of the attack tactics hackers often use to disrupt the Thanksgiving season:
Perpetrators will try to trick your customers by pretending to be you and spoofing your domain name with the use of sought-after holiday keywords like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Looking up these domains and striking them down will not only help your users but will also ensure their money is safe to spend with you.
It is no secret that peak demand puts a strain on the servers. And server downtime means a loss in sales. You don’t want that, but your adversaries do. Watch out for all the bot traffic coming your way.
This one is the ‘big boy’ here.
Everybody understands that the holiday season ups the tempo for every employee. Employees have to work harder, faster, and sometimes stay overtime.
Considering the over-drive, their awareness inevitably goes down. Hackers know it is the perfect time to strike with social engineering attacks and play off the human factor.
While all of these have the potential of hindering revenue acquisition, BEC is capable of dealing the most devastating blows.
Business Email Compromise scams, despite their relative simplicity, are a force to be reckoned with.
A successful execution of a BEC scam allows fraudsters to compromise user data, initiate wire transfers, or, even worse, do both.
Data breaches pose a great threat to any business. They affect reputation, can impose fines for lack of privacy regulation compliance, and drive your customers away.
To be more precise, failure to comply with GDPR can result in up to €20 million fines.
The damage is only amplified by the fact that over 30% of shoppers admit breaches impact the likelihood of their return to the retailer.
BECs are often performed with the intention to scam the company for money.
Take a look at this recent case with Bucks County real estate that got scammed for a half-million dollars. They reported the scam within the first hour of it happening, but even that did not help them get their money back.
You know what they say, it’s too late to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.
During the season of peak demand, the last thing you want to do is spend your time worrying about getting scammed.
The BEC scam is strictly email based. In fact, over 96% of all social engineering attacks are email based.
You have two options:
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