JOHANNESBURG – Black Friday and Cyber Monday are an excellent opportunity for retailers to significantly boost their sales. These two days are typically characterised by frenzied purchasing, as discounts are often significant but quantities are limited.
By offering great deals retailers can entice customers into making purchases that they may not have otherwise, which is an attractive proposition in an economic downturn. However, it is the very frantic and fast-paced nature of these days, especially in the online retail space, that also make them prime targets for cybercrime activities. Shoring up cyber security is an essential step for any online retailer to ensure that Black Friday and Cyber Monday do not turn into a black 2020 for their business.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer the promise of great deals that have a ‘once in a lifetime’ and ‘not to be missed’ appeal. This means that customers will buy quickly, often without too much thought, and the speed of this response is where one of the biggest vulnerabilities lies. Consumers who otherwise may have been more cautious can easily be enticed into clicking on phishing links because they get caught up in the hype. Communications can be hijacked and infected mailers sent out directing consumers to fake websites where their details can be stolen. This type of scam can have a significant impact on the reputation of the business and the trust that consumers have in them.
There is also the risk of a denial of service (DOS) attack, which effectively shuts down a company’s network and could negatively impact a retailer’s ability to respond to sales and deliver on time. The threat of DOS attacks can also be used by cybercriminals to blackmail retailers in an attempt to extract a ransom from them. DOS attacks have been gaining popularity again recently, as evidenced by the increasing number of attacks against government and municipal agencies, so this is a threat that cannot be ignored.