'Tis the season of online shopping! As Black Friday and Christmas approach, businesses are getting ready to make the most of it, and it’s important you think about cybersecurity during these busy times.
This year, Black Friday lands on November 24th, followed by Cyber Monday on November 27th. These are two of the biggest shopping days in the calendar - on Black Friday 2022, customers around the globe spent over $40 billion online. While this is great for businesses, it also means more cyber risks.
As customers prepare to purchase, hackers are getting ready too. They use tricks like phishing scams and other digital crimes, like data breaches and ransomware attacks, where a device will be locked until the owner pays the ransom.
Through research for our Fit for the Future report, we found the biggest cybersecurity challenge for businesses is making sure all company and personal data is kept safe. Cyber criminals use the increase in online traffic to tap into systems and hack into sensitive data such as payment details.
If your online business was hit by a cyberattack during these peak shopping times, it could cause major disruption to your sales, as well as damaging your reputation and breaking your customers' trust. This could lead to financial losses and potential legal issues.
For small businesses, this kind of cyber breach can be especially devastating, as they might not have the resources to be able to recover.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business and your customers from cyber risks:
Strengthen your defence: Invest in robust antivirus software. Keep on top of software updates to make sure you’re not left vulnerable to opportunistic hackers.
Educate your team: Trained your employees to recognise potential cyber threats, like suspicious emails, links, and attachments.
Backup your data: By regularly backing up your data, you’ll be able to restore your systems quicker in the unfortunate event of a cyberattack.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Add an extra layer of security with 2FA to make it harder for hackers to break in.
Use secure payment channels: The payment systems you choose to use need to be secure and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) compliant. This reduces the risk of transactions being intercepted by cyber criminals.
Customer support: Have a dedicated channel for customer concerns around cybersecurity.
HTTPS: Use HTTPS for your website. This encrypts data that’s passed between your customers and your servers, which is reassuring to people buying from you.
Privacy policies: Make sure your privacy policies are easily accessible, which will help build confidence in potential customers and demonstrates that you take their digital safety seriously.
Reviews: Show reviews and testimonials on your website. This kind of genuine feedback also helps to build trust and show that you're legitimate.
Link to your social platforms: Linking to your official social media profiles will make it easier for customers to find your real profiles and help them avoid any fake accounts set up by cyber criminals.
Be user-friendly: Make your website is easy to use by having a thoughtful and well-designed site which showcases your professionalism and helps to keep users engaged.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas are full of opportunities for businesses to thrive, but they also bring a higher risk of cyberattacks. It’s important that you prioritise security to minimise these threats and protect your systems, your customers, and your reputation.
By taking action and adopting strong cybersecurity measures, you can make the most of the busy retail periods without compromising on safety.
You can speak with our friendly V-Hub Digital Advisors for 1-2-1 support and further information on cybersecurity for your business. If you’d like to read more, have a look at our small business cybersecurity guide.
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