Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most popular days of the year for online shopping. They also happen to be two of the most popular days for hackers.
Your employees are going to receive hundreds of emails over the next few weeks. Most of them legitimate, some of them have the potential to destroy your business.
Don’t believe me? Robert Herjavec, notorious Shark and cybersecurity expert, said,
“More than 90% of cyberattacks are initiated by phishing scams.“
Meaning, if you don’t know what to look out for, you’re placing your company at serious risk. In 2019, small businesses lost $200,000 per cyber event, and 6 out of 10 small organizations closed six months later.
Here are the top 4 things to do to keep yourself and your organization safe this Holiday season.
1. Be incredibly suspicious of every Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal you see.
Most of our email inboxes are already filling up with tons of discounts and deals. Hackers use emails like this to deceive you into performing an action that can result in malware or ransomware being installed on your computer. If you see these emails, delete them. If the deal is real, check the company’s website.
2. Scrutinize every email receipt and invoice.
This year will see an even higher rate of phishing scams through malware in an email receipt or invoice. Since millions of people will be at home instead of physically shopping, hackers will use invoices and receipts to imbed malicious viruses. You are going to see invoices and attachments pop up all over the place. Verify each invoice that is sent. If you have any questions about it, verify it with the vendor through another secure channel.
3. Survey every customer survey that you receive.
Another phishing attack that will fool people this holiday season is requesting a customer survey. Many legitimate companies want to improve. Deploying a customer satisfaction survey is a great way to do that. However, hackers love to lure unsuspecting individuals by offering them a gift card or an enticing cash offer once you’ve completed the survey. No legitimate business will ask you for personal or bank information at the end of a survey. If they do, delete, delete, delete!
4. Take a deep breath before freaking out about an item being shipped late.
We’re all a bit more stressed and frantic around the Holidays. Especially when it comes to making sure gifts are delivered on time. Hackers will always prey on creating urgency or fear in their victims. A hacker will send a phishing email that looks like it’s from UPS and says your package is delayed! Requesting you to click the link to find out where it is and when it will be delivered. Most of us wouldn’t think twice about clicking that email. Again, review the email, check for discrepancies. If you have any questions about it, contact the company directly using a different means of communication.
Phishing emails are nothing to take lightly. They cost businesses millions of dollars, critical data, and customer data. Don’t be the company that ends up in the news this year for falling for a phishing scam. It’s one of the most sure-fire ways to ruin your reputation and wreck your business. Train your team, scrutinize emails, and always stay vigilant.
Reach out today to protect your organization.