As we head into the Cyber Monday and Black Friday holiday shopping season, it is no secret that hackers are on the prowl during this time of year.
2023 has already witnessed several high-profile breaches at major retailers like Shein and Morinaga. It's imperative that you take every step possible to protect your company and your customers from falling victim to these attacks.
Here is a list of top security tips to keep your business safe on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
How To Stay Safe As You Navigate Through The Holiday Shopping Season?
1. Order Management System (OMS) to simplify e-Commerce business
Retailers everywhere are getting ready for the busiest time of the year. But with that busyness comes added security concerns, and there are several ways having a good quality Order Management System (OMS) in place can help retailers manage the chaos more profitably and efficiently.
This includes fulfilling from the best location based on sell-through rate or markdown price, including location capacity for online orders in your sourcing logic, or using third-party logistics (3PL) or drop-ship vendors (DSV) to expand their range and availability.
2. Partnering with a comprehensive cloud-hosting solution.
Black Friday is a busy time for retailers, and it's hard to keep up with the demands of your customers. But one thing that's essential and often overlooked is ensuring you have a comprehensive security solution to keep everyone safe.
One of the most important steps a retailer can take is to partner with a comprehensive cloud hosting solution that includes hybrid-ready product portfolios, core uptime, iron-clad security solutions, and an extensive network that addresses industry-specific requirements and can be trusted in times of high traffic to deliver a quality experience for customers.
3. Maintain vigilance and follow established security best practices.
Black Friday is the most exciting time of year for many people, but it can also bring stress for those who work in retail and delivery. While there are many reasons why certain products may not be on store shelves or deliveries may be delayed, cybersecurity in retail should not be overlooked as a factor.
As the retail supply chain becomes increasingly digital and interconnected, a single cyberattack on one company along the chain can quickly impact the entire chain. To ensure the security of their sensitive data, businesses must maintain vigilance while following their established security best practices.
Businesses must be able to protect sensitive data, maintain secure access points, and interact with other companies through the cloud. However, they must also be wary of how interwoven their supply chains are as they interact with other companies through the cloud.
4. The right email personalization can lead to increased revenue.
For email marketers, the weeks leading up to Black Friday can be just as chaotic. As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, email inboxes are packed with promotional offers from all types of businesses.
With so much to do, how can you ensure you maximize your revenue opportunity? One way is to focus on deliverability is are your messages landing in the inbox. Once that's addressed, the other key is to target audiences based on each individual's interests.
The e-commerce business tends to peak around this time of year, so companies must get ahead of the competition when building advanced personalization into their email strategies. The right email program will attract new customers and keep them coming back.
5. A pragmatic and strategic approach to security.
Black Friday is an excellent opportunity for retailers to make lots of money before the end of the year. While we all know this event's importance, some retailers may have already been exploited by hackers holding off and the ransomware lying dormant until it can do maximum damage.
As a retailer, your organization will likely experience a significant increase in traffic and activity. This can be a blessing as well as a curse, meaning more people are visiting your website or brick-and-mortar store. Still, it also means that you must be extra vigilant about security to keep customers from being exposed to malicious activity.
To avoid this, retailers need to shift to a more pragmatic and strategic security approach to ensure the organization can recover quickly from a cybersecurity event and get back to business with zero data loss.
6. Think of uptime as an opportunity to maximize efficiency.
As consumers go online in huge numbers to look for bargains, many retailers will be taking steps to ensure their sites can handle the increase in traffic and deliver a seamless experience. Retailers can stay up and running during the Black-Friday Cyber-Monday weekend by controlling their updates to key systems.
Make sure your site can handle an influx of visitors. You should test your site before Black Friday to see how it's performing under heavy load.
Make sure there's an immediate response for any hotfixes required for any issues that crop up. Once the weekend is over, and ideally, lots of sales have come through, release managers can get back to scheduling regular updates to improve the website and improve customer experience.
7. Avoid the use of links in emails to avoid phishing scams.
Cybercriminals also use Black Friday as an opportunity to target companies and their employees with phishing emails. These emails appear to be from a legitimate retailer, but they are actually a way for malicious actors to infiltrate your business and steal your customer's data.
Links included in emails from retailers can direct you to scam sites, which can lead to stealing your login credentials, your payment info, or even funds when you are trying to place an order through them. Rather than clicking on email links, you can shop directly from the retailer’s website.
8. Ensure your data privacy practices are in check.
It's essential that you follow good data privacy practices as outlined in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
9. Regularly scan your site for malware infection.
The holiday season is a time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends, and giving back. But it's also the perfect opportunity to hop on your favorite shopping site, grab some great deals, and get in some last-minute gift buying. Unfortunately, as you're browsing for those perfect presents for your loved ones, cybercriminals are doing the same thing: looking for new victims to steal from.
In fact, studies show that many hackers will launch their attacks during the holiday season to take advantage of people's busy schedules and distractions with family gatherings. That's why it's time to start thinking about how to protect yourself against these attacks and what steps your company should take to keep employees and customers safe during the busy time of the year.
10. Increase your cyber security by using two-factor authentication.
Black Friday is a great time to get deals on the products you want and need, but it's also a prime time for cybercriminals to try to get their hands on your personal information.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) is designed to help stop cybercriminals from accessing accounts even if they obtain your passwords. It's critical to ensure that any new device trying to log in or make account changes needs a second layer of security before access is given. Some standard methods of 2FA include a single-use code being sent via SMS, email, phone, or smartphone application.
When you take some time to craft a post-purchase journey tailored to your customer's needs, you not only control how they engage with your brand, you build trust and prove that you're invested in a relationship with them. And by keeping your best customers happy and coming back again and again, you'll see your customer lifetime value grow.