The pre-holiday season is a win-win for consumers and businesses. Shoppers enjoy deep discounts on goodies and gifts, while retailers experience a predictable surge of activity which can push them into the black. Fun fact: that is actually where the term Black Friday comes from!
But there is another group gearing up for the holidays too – hackers. If successful, these cyber crooks can harm your buyers and your business. Want to know how to prevent cyberattacks from impacting your retail brand, online or otherwise? Then follow these tips below, from CyberPolicy.
Switch to an EVM Chip Reader: If you run a brick and mortar store, you’ll want to examine your point-of-sale terminals for a functioning EMV-chip reader. Old-school magnetic strip readers are vulnerable to a cyber scam which can swipe consumers’ financial information. EMV-chip readers use a unique encryption key for each transaction which protects financial information from falling into the wrong hands. So, either update your POS systems today or prepare yourself for a data breach scandal.
Stress Test Your Website ASAP: Of course, plenty of today’s consumers prefer to skip the mad dash to the mall after Thanksgiving dinner and instead prefer to shop online. This means ecommerce sites also have to worry about cyber scrooges. And one of the ways these Grinches cause trouble is through distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks which crash a website for hours. This translates to lost sales, disgruntled customers and a big headache for you. By stress testing your site before Cyber Monday, you can assess the strength of your network and decide whether you need to invest in mitigation techniques.
Watch Out for Failed Login Attempts: Everyone forgets their password from time to time; especially if they are visiting your ecommerce site for the first time in ages. But did you know numerous failed login attempts can reveal something sinister? Hackers can crack weak passwords with automated brute force attacks. These compromised accounts can then be used to make fraudulent purchases or contribute to data theft. The best thing you can do is block users with numerous failed login attempts. It also helps to promote multi-factor authentication (MFA) or encourage users to simply make a new account.
Shore Up Your Malware Protections: It is similarly important to watch out for suspicious communication, emails or downloads as these can sometimes contain malware infections which can quickly spread through your network. Ransomware is especially dangerous as it can lock your devices, your network, your POS terminals and more. Even if you pay the extortion fee, there is no guarantee the hacker will leave you be. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to adopt or update your anti-malware software before the rush begins.
Stay Vigilant for Social Media Hacks: Then again, it’s not just the back-end of your ecommerce site or retail store you need to worry about. Social media is public facing, meaning it’s a hot target for cyber pranksters looking to damage your reputation. Keep a close eye on all social media posts coming from your brand pages. If you see an inappropriate message, delete it, sign out of all devices, change your password and alert the platform. This should be enough to keep things in order.
It also wouldn’t hurt to invest in a cyber insurance policy before the holiday sales get cooking. Cyber insurance can help cover the costs of a data breach, business downtime and cyber theft.
Visit CyberPolicy for a free cyber insurance quote today!