The IT Grinch Gets Greedy With Holiday Shoppers

PT - The IT Grinch Gets Greedy With Holiday Shoppers

 

This holiday season, your customers will have more to worry about than simply finding the right gift for every person on their list. During the holidays, cybercriminals target companies and consumers with a wide range of attacks including denial of service attacks and data theft. Don’t let a cybercriminal Grinch ruin your holidays by keeping an eye out for these likely cyber threats.

Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software created to block user access to an IT system unless a ransom is paid. It may sound unlikely, but consumers and businesses are susceptible to ransomware attacks. Holiday season-related ransomware seems to pop up every year, with trendy or holiday-themed names.

For businesses, ransomware may be used on business-critical resources or software programs your team relies on. Hackers know that you won’t be able to operate the business without these programs and any extended delays in access may hurt your company’s profitability. Hackers think you’ll pay the ransom just to get your operations back on track quickly, as many companies have.

For consumers, ransomware can be traumatic. They may not know what digital information the hacker has and may fear repercussions related to the ransomware attack. In some cases, consumers may not even be aware that they’re experiencing a ransomware attack.

Phishing

Hackers use phishing to gain access to a user’s financial or personal information by pretending to be a legitimate company, such as your own. When consumers subscribe to your email list, they receive word about holiday deals straight from your company. A hacker may utilize a phishing scam targeting your email list, where they pretend to be your company offering consumers a fraudulent deal that they may be interested in. If consumers are not careful, they may unknowingly give their credit card information to a hacker thinking it’s your company.

Overstressed Systems

The holidays are a high traffic sale time that can put a lot of stress on your website. If your e-commerce platform and website are experiencing a lot of traffic, it may expose system vulnerabilities that you may be unaware of. Hackers know this and often wait for this time of year to launch attacks on businesses and consumers.

Manipulated Search Results

Businesses know how important search results are to their success in finding new customers to buy their products. Some cyber Grinches will put up fake websites using high level SEO techniques that put their fake pages at the top of search rankings. These websites can negatively impact your business, as your legitimate offering falls further in search results. Worse, a hacker may use a similar company name for their website, attracting potential customers to their site instead of yours.

Customer Fear

Customers are already aware that cybercrime exists and have concerns about using e-commerce websites to make holiday purchases. For the customers that have experienced some kind of hacking or data loss with their personal information, they will have concerns over future breaches. This may make them hesitant to make online purchases from your business.

Cybercrime can negatively impact your business and your customers. These crimes happen when your website has vulnerabilities and when you least expect it. Fortunately, Private Tunnel can help you defeat those Grinches. Contact us so we can evaluate your current cyber security measures to determine what improvements can be made.

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