‘Tis the Season (For Cyber-Attacks)

With holiday shopping in full swing, consumers across the globe are looking for great deals to stock up for the season. It used to just be Black Friday sales that pulled in shoppers at early morning hours to look for savings, and then expanded on to the Internet with Cyber Monday.

Now, consumers have even more opportunity to nab savings with essentially a two-week-long period that starts the week of Thanksgiving and ends the following week. While that’s great news for shoppers who are looking to take advantage of extended sales, it opens up the door for more risk online, allowing more opportunities for hackers to steal information.

But this kind of risk isn’t just for consumers: it’s also a risk for business owners and companies who post deals online. Having cyber risk insurance in place is one step to safeguarding your business against potential bad actors online, but understanding the severity of online hacking will help your business keep safe even after the holiday shopping season.

By The Numbers

According to Computer Business News, 2017 saw a huge spike in cyber attacks. In the quarter leading up to last year’s Black Friday shopping and Cyber Monday deals, more than 171 million cyber attacks.

What’s more, a survey of retail employees put out by MediaPro showed that 77% of the respondents were insufficiently prepared to handle common privacy and security requirements like incident reporting, physical security and identifying personal information. And according to Carbon Black, there was a 57.5% increase in attempts to steal personal and financial information during the 2017 holiday shopping season.

With all these figures combined it’s easy to see the trajectory in attempts from hackers to steal personal and financial information from consumers and businesses during the 2018 holiday shopping season.

But hackers aren’t only looking to steal valuable information between Thanksgiving and the first part of December. In fact, the biggest cyber threats spike during Christmas day and New Year’s when retailers hold even bigger deals and when consumers are starting to spend holiday cash and gift cards.

What to Do About It

Retailers and businesses holding sales online and in-store during this holidays season and after can do a number of things to keep their information safe as well as their clients. Working with a local insurance company to get specific coverage, such as with a Carmel cyber risk insurance provider, can help to alleviate stress and clean up the financial mess after a cyber attack.

And while having insurance set up can take care of things afterward, it helps to take steps beforehand to prevent hackers from stealing information. Here are a few more basic steps you can take to prevent these issues from happening.

Two-Factor Authentication

Minimize risk of getting attacked by using two-factor authentication for your company. This increases security by adding an additional step for accessing accounts. PArticipants have to enter a password and enter a code which is sent directly to a smartphone or tablet, something that specific person has access to.

Regular Audits

Businesses can conduct regular audits through the help of cybersecurity consultants. Bringing in experts for a top-to-bottom examination can help to pinpoint weak spots and help to make a game plan moving forward when it comes to fixing issues.

Keep Important Data Safe

Always protect the most sensitive information of your business. Vulnerable data can be targeted by hackers and should be kept the most safe. Keep a check in place for crucial data storage and how it’s being accessed by staff, and make sure that it cannot be accessed by anyone without the right authorization.

About Walker & Associates

If you’re in the market for a new insurance partner, do your homework to ensure a lucrative venture and positive relationship. Contact us online at Walker & Associates Insurance or by phone at (800) 213-7126 for your insurance needs. We can explain your coverage options and how much coverage will cost.