Spring has only just arrived but the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. As we head into the holiday season, thousands of consumers will be turning to online stores to purchase gifts for their friends and family.
There’s no question consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of shopping online – aided by the fact they can buy virtually anything from anywhere in the world without even leaving the house. But as more people turn to online shopping, it’s not just retailers who are taking advantage of the money making opportunities that come at this time of year.
The increase in people conducting transactions online in the lead-up to Christmas means a lot more credit card (and other personal information) is out there and vulnerable to attack. It’s this increase that provides what hackers might refer to as a “target rich environment”; and why the weeks leading up to Christmas are often referred to as the ‘Hacking Holidays’. So, while Christmas is busy for retailers – it’s also a very busy time for criminals.
Getting Ready for the Holiday Hacking Season
At Aura Information Security, we have seen a rise in extortion and ransom ware traffic over the past year. In fact, according to a report by Proofpoint there has been 600% growth in new ransomware families since December 2015. Unfortunately it’s not just blue chip businesses and banks that are targets. In fact, over the coming months it is likely online retailers will be targeted too. This is purely because of the Christmas factor – fraudsters take advantage of high transaction volumes to hide their activities, specifically stealing customer data!
So, if you are a business that transacts online and has a credit card payment facility on your website, what do you need to do? You need to prepare; and now is the perfect time to do a good spring clean and make sure security is up to scratch.
What do you need to do?
To summarise, for many retailers Christmas is considered a crucial sales period. However, without ensuring security is up to scratch many businesses face risking their customers’ data; and their own reputation. Now’s the time to check with your IT department and third party vendors to make the necessary updates and changes. Do that, and you’ll be prepared. Just remember, hackers have been preparing for the holiday for months … just like your business should be.