Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic to launch coordinated and targeted cyber attacks – typically involving the one-two punch of data breaches and ransomware – on companies across the globe. Websites have been set up for these cyber criminals to post stolen data publicly should companies not give in to their demands.
This cyber crime surge makes this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events a potential jackpot for cyber criminals, who will already have the infrastructure in place, targets chosen and vulnerabilities ready to be exploited.
As we have covered, the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards online over in-store shopping. This year, more businesses than ever will be selling online and stores that once held big in-store events will be relying entirely on online sales as lockdown continues.
While larger companies experienced in e-commerce are more likely to have robust cyber security measures in place (though, as the high profile attacks of 2020 have shown, they are by no means immune) smaller companies may have neglected their cyber security in the rush to scale up their online storefronts.
A company that suffers a data breach and has customer details leaked could find themselves facing GDPR fines should it be found that customer details were collected and stored irresponsibly.
This will all come to a head on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We can expect this is the moment that cyber criminals will pounce, as companies desperate to take advantage of the year’s biggest sales event will do anything to prevent a disruption in sales – especially after what has already been a rough year for many businesses.
If you think the threat is overblown, remember that cyber criminals – like all criminals – are skilled opportunists who will exploit any potential weakness to their advantage. To get a sense of just how ruthlessly opportunistic cyber criminals can be, one of the main targets for data breaches and ransomware attacks in 2020 has been hospitals already overwhelmed by COVID-19.
There are a number of potential factors that have caused this increase in cyber crime during the pandemic, and we can expect that the risk will continue to be elevated until we’re back to business as normal.
For means of protecting your business from cyber attacks this Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and beyond), we will defer to Andy Auld from the Threat Intelligence team at pwc UK, who recently wrote about the increase in cyber attacks in 2020.
Auld recommends that companies…
Cyber security is not yet a sector we specialise in at Magenta Security so we cannot offer cyber security services directly at this time. However, we do have trusted cyber security partners and we are happy to make referrals. With little time to act, it is important to seek help from experienced, dependable cyber security experts.
Magenta Security provide award winning security services throughout the UK. We are in the top 5% of ACS approved contractors and were the first security company in Europe to be awarded ISO 14001 for our environmental management systems.
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