In preparation for Thanksgiving in the United States, we plan for holiday travel, eating together, watching football — and ringing in the holiday shopping season. But with all of the good cheer this season brings, it also brings extra activity online — which means cybercrime increases as well. Does your business prepare for the holidays by picking up extra bandwidth to support an increase in web traffic on your servers? Are you making sure to review your Cyber Monday security plans?
The holidays are often the busiest time of the year for individuals, families, and businesses, and it’s also the busiest time of the year for hackers. Past years have seen an increase of 7 TO 10 PERCENT IN ONLINE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY during the holiday shopping season. One year in particular, 2015, resulted in an 84 percent increase of malware-related issues. Fend these off — and focus on enjoying time with family and friends instead — by crafting two specific business strategies: one set of security tips for Cyber Monday, and one set for Small Business Saturday.
Last year, Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) reported that CYBER MONDAY BROUGHT IN $6.6 BILLION IN ONLINE SALES. With so much money going through online transactions, businesses need to review, revamp or redefine their Cyber Monday security plans.
“We don’t want cyber Monday to turn into cyber ‘Crime Day’ for people trying to get the most for their hard-earned cash,” says FRANCIS DINHA, OpenVPN CEO.
Started in 2010, Small Business Saturday is tucked in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shoppers hit the crazy sales on that Friday, then shop from their desktop or mobile devices on the following Monday. In between, they are encouraged to patronize small and local businesses. (The specific term is actually trademarked by American Express.)
For small businesses, the differentiating factor is personal touch. The rapidly changing retail environment may feel like a steamroller paving highways for large corporations with no thought for the small businesses in the path, but two factors can give you a competitive edge: providing personal service, and contributing within your local community. If you become a victim of a cybercrime, that trust and touch gets demolished. For your business, the best thing you can do is prepare ahead of time.
FRANCIS DINHA explains: “While the large companies have an infrastructure to prevent cyber attacks, some of the small- to medium-sized businesses are the ones who can be the most vulnerable if they don’t protect themselves using additional security measures.” He recommends using a VPN to encrypt information in and out of your network. Adding that layer of protection to your network secures your company’s digital information and protects the privacy of your web experience.
With Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday security plans in place for these important days, you can focus on your employees, your customers and your family, instead of worrying about the impact of increased cybercrime. The words of Benjamin Franklin still ring true today: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."