Whilst Black Friday and Cyber Monday have long since been established as major dates in the US holiday shopping season, they’re rapidly becoming just as popular in the UK. Digital payment platform ACI Worldwide has predicted a 23% global surge in online shopping over the Black Friday weekend – meaning cybercriminals and digital threats are more prevalent than ever.

With so many individuals heading online over the coming weeks, it’s increasingly paramount that businesses protect themselves against an elevated number of online threats through up-to-date, robust security posturing.

 

In order to help businesses strengthen their security strategy, Fitzrovia IT are currently offering a complimentary dark web scan to assess the availability of your business’ data on the dark web.

Extracting Data

 

One of the primary issues faced by both consumers and businesses alike is the threat of a data leak. Data breaches can be detrimental – irreparably damaging an enterprise’s reputation and finances. There are numerous ways in which businesses can become victims of a data breach; criminals can gain access to confidential data and credentials via targeted attacks, or via mass-distributed scams.

At times of increased online activity and online shopping, there is a notable rise in the number of attempted access attacks. These attacks commonly take the form of phishing or spoofing emails – particularly in a business context. Criminals distribute emails designed to either infect user endpoints with malware via malicious links, or to entrap users into entering their credentials. These emails often appear to have originated from a trusted source to instil a level of confidence in the unsuspecting user – it is known that there is a huge increase in the number of phishing emails distributed over the Black Friday weekend, usually offering fake sales deals.

Repercussions of a Breach

 

If a business succumbs to a data breach, it can be a hugely costly endeavour to recover any compromised data and remediate an attack – with the average cost of ransomware remediation in the UK reported to be £616,927.05. Criminals will utilise leaked data for various nefarious purposes motivated by financial gain; often they will seek to capitalise upon leaked financial data or personal credentials, extorting as much of your business’ money as possible.

Criminals can also make your enterprise’s data available on the dark web – allowing other fraudsters to capitalise upon the data breach, and make a profit in the process. Last year over 133,000 C-suite execs had their data leaked on the dark web – once these credentials have been made available, it is near impossible to have them removed.

Businesses must remain aware of their data, where it is, and who has access to it. On average, it takes a business 197 days to detect a security attack – however, with a free Fitzrovia IT dark web scan, it’s possible to compile a report of the extent of your business’ data availability, and prevent the further dissemination of confidential information.

Data Protection

 

One of the best methods to ensure a data breach doesn’t occur is through maintaining cybersecurity user awareness. Users must take many steps to ensure their business’s security interests are being protected.

Firstly, it is essential for all users to actively vet all messages received. If an email comes from an unrecognised address but poses to be a trusted contact, it is most likely an attempted attack. Similarly, if an email contains a sales offer that seems too good to be true, it likely is; all links contained should be avoided, and users should refrain from entering personal or business credentials.

When accessing business accounts, users should utilise secure networks. It is recommended that individuals avoid accessing sites via public WiFi networks, as they are unsecured and require no authentication to establish a network connection. This enables cybercriminals to steal valuable information such as passwords and financial details.

Similarly, a basic method of business protection is ensuring all security software is up-to-date, as this will prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your device through vulnerabilities in outdated systems. The installation of anti-virus software will also help detect threats on your computer and block unauthorised users from gaining access.

As prevention is better than remediation, at Fitzrovia IT we provide detailed best practice training to businesses and their employees. With comprehensive training, users can recognise and report attempted cyber-attacks, preventing the occurrence of serious attacks.

Protect your Interests

 

If users follow these basic tips, the likelihood of a successful cyberattack is greatly reduced – and with vigilance and awareness, employees can protect the reputation and future of their business. Whilst Cyber Monday can be a time for consumers and businesses to make great savings, it can also be a time of heightened cybercrime, so make sure your data is protected this holiday season.

A dark web scan would undoubtedly benefit your business, enquire here for your complimentary dark web scan.