Black Friday and Cyber Monday are traditionally large retail sales that happen every year in the USA, starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing to Monday. Brought to the UK by Amazon in 2010, both events have become massive dates in British shoppers’ calendars, however, the two sales create a host of cyber security concerns.

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday there are a variety of excellent deals and sales that many of us want to take advantage of, but it is important to keep vigilant against any potential cyber-attacks or scams. This is the time of year that cybercriminals target shoppers trying to find the best deals online without considering who they are giving their details to. Last year the first half of November saw an 80% increase in phishing campaigns related to sales and special offers.

Let’s pay particular attention to Cyber Monday. As it’s hosted on a Monday, it’s more than likely that your employees will be hunting for the best deals at work. This has the potential to make your company’s network and data vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybercriminal activity increases around this time of year when your employees’ guard is down as they’re focused on finding the best holiday gifts at discounted prices.

Unfortunately, you cannot monitor your employees around the clock to make sure they are not sales-hunting, but what you can do is share this blog with them. This blog will outline some great tips on how to keep your business and employees secure this Cyber Monday.

 

Tips To Keep Safe Online For Cyber Monday & Black Friday

Employee Knowledge

Your employees are the biggest risk to your company’s network and data. In the first quarter of 2021, the UK government found that 83% of breaches or attacks on businesses were the result of phishing attacks. Human error is the easiest way for cybercriminals to breach your cyber security, and it becomes even simpler if employees are more focused on getting the best deal than protecting your customers’ data. 

This is particularly concerning if your employees have connected their personal devices to your business network or your business uses a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. Without proper cyber security measures in place, it will be easy for cybercriminals to gain access to your network and data once they have accessed your employee’s devices.

The best way to prevent a cyber security breach from a phishing scam this Cyber Monday is to ensure all your staff are up to date on their cyber security training. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has effective training programmes available for you to use. Implementing one of these training courses the week before Cyber Monday keeps the tactics fresh in your employees’ minds.

IT Security

Update your Software

Ensure all employees’ devices and software are up to date before Cyber Monday. Software updates are key to protecting employees’ devices and customer data from known cyber threats. Ensure all devices have an antivirus installed and this will provide added safety to your business’s network during this year’s Cyber Monday sales.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi to Make a Purchase

Public Wi-Fi (like the ones in airports or coffee shops) can be accessed by anybody, even the most novice cybercriminals can easily access your employee’s device if they are on the same Wi-Fi network. Most public Wi-Fis are unsecured and unencrypted meaning any personal details or payment information input while using it has the potential to be accessed by criminals. Cybercriminals can use public Wi-Fi to spread malware to your device allowing them unrestricted access to all the data on that device.

You should already have something in place to protect your employee’s devices when they are using public Wi-Fi, such as a VPN. However, you must also remind your employees to be vigilant if they’re going to use public Wi-Fi to shop on Cyber Monday. Again, this is particularly important if your business uses a BYOD strategy. 

Innovate your Cyber Security Policies

This time of year sees a surge in cybercriminal activity so make sure you update your cyber security policies. Ensure you have robust policies in place to respond quickly if you experience a cyber breach or attack. Set up security monitoring to catch any abnormal activity over Cyber Monday to prevent or slow down a cyber security attack.

Cyber Monday may be an excellent time to get deals for you and your employees, but it’s essential as a business owner that you ensure your employees are vigilant through this sale season. Ensure employees’ devices and software are up to date and double-check that your cyber security policies are robust. Most importantly check if your employees have kept up with their cyber security training and inform them of the increase in cybercriminal activity around this time of year. 

 

Are you concerned about your employees’ use of their devices this Cyber Monday? Or that your cyber security policies do not cover Cyber Monday breaches and attacks? Contact us today to discuss the policies Bluebell IT Solutions can put in place to keep your business and its data safe this Holiday Season with our cyber security services.