Winter Is Coming & So Are Retail Hackers

It's that time of year again, where shoppers rush to their favorite retailers (online or otherwise) for the hottest deals on holiday gifts. But underneath all their merriment lurks a hidden danger.

That's because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are perfect opportunities for hackers to steal consumer information and make fraudulent purchases. Fortunately, businesses can protect themselves and their customers from harm by developing a smart cybersecurity plan.

Below we will examine a few of the most common retail scams hackers use and how to develop a cybersecurity plan to thwart, or at least dampen, their efforts.

Coal in the Stocking

We often hear about thieves swiping packages left on door steps and stealing gifts out of cars, but do you really understand the threats that occur in cyberspace? If you operate an e-commerce SMB, you probably should.

One of the most common scams hackers love to pull is buying merchandise with a pinched credit card number and reselling the item for a profit. While this might seem like a minor threat at first, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that cyber crooks rarely have just one stolen credit card number. In fact, hackers can buy thousands of credit card numbers on the dark web for cheap.

You can detect this kind of behavior by keeping a close eye on your pending orders. For instance, if you see dozens of orders using various cards being sent to the same address, that's a surefire sign that something fishy is happening.

Similarly, you ought to watch out for numerous failed login attempts from your customers. Sure, consumers sometimes forget their password, but dozens of failed attempts often signify a brute force attack . Hackers use this automated attack to guess at potential passwords and gain access to a user's account. Once inside they can steal personal information, make phony purchases and more.

But cyber theives don't need to infiltrate your ecommerce site to wreak havoc. Sometimes they prefer to launch an attack from the outside.

Take for example a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack which floods your network with bogus web requests until the servers can take no more. Once this happens, your site or service will shut down, thereby preventing legitimate customers from making purchases.

Not only will this impact your bottom line, it could ruin your reputation. After all, who wants to shop at an e-store that barely works? An especially vicious hacker might launch a DDoS attack during your busiest hours and demand an extortion fee for its release, knowing that you'd rather cough up the cash than suffer the downtime.

Thankfully, DDoS mitigation software can help stymie malicious traffic from reaching your network so customers can keep clicking the check-out button.

Last but definitely not least, you should remain vigilant of your social media pages. Cyber pranksters are known for their social media hacks which can sometimes post offensive materials from your brand handle. If you want to steer clear of a PR scandal, be sure to employ a strong passphrase. It also couldn't hurt to watch these pages over the holiday season.

Truth be told, these are just a handful of the retail scams available to cybercriminals. But no matter what hackers try to throw at you, you can rest easy knowing that you have a cyber insurance provider to back you up. Visit CyberPolicy for your free quote today!

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