How to perfect your IT security on Black Friday

 In Cyber Security Articles, Education

Your IT security should be watertight no matter what day of the year it is.

It’s the biggest shopping day of the year. Last year, we spent a whopping £1.4bn in online sales on Black Friday. That is a 11.7% increase on the already huge spend in 2016. Every online retailer wants to be involved in this pre-Christmas frenzy. But, to really reap the benefits, your IT security on Black Friday needs to be second to none.

Your business IT should be watertight no matter what day it is. So, here’s our advice on how to get your IT security on Black Friday up to scratch. We also look at how to establish good cyber security as a matter of course going forward too.

Keep your eye on the ball

When preparing for the shopping bonanza, it’s easy to forget to pay attention to IT security on Black Friday. However, cyber criminals will be busy online too looking for a security loophole to exploit. Retailers are top targets too. They hold valuable and confidential information about customers, including banking details and addresses. Pay close attention to your network to ensure that no one gets unauthorised access.

Your customers will be keeping their wits about them during the online sales frenzy. Fake websites, phishing emails and too-good-to-be-true offers on social media could lure potential customers into the wrong hands. Give your customers the confidence they need to buy from you. Be aware of any untoward activity around your brand and get it shut down. Make sure your digital output meets security requirements so customers trust you with their personal and financial details.

Don’t fall victim to an attack

A surge in online traffic to your website can potentially cause it to crash. That is, of course, the last thing you want when you have ploughed your efforts into attracting visitors. Some big brands have fallen foul to this including Ted Baker and Game. Consult your website host to ensure the site can handle a spike in traffic, such as by adjusting bandwidth or adding filters.

Your website could also fall down due to a DdoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. This is when a traffic surge is deliberately sent to a website to prevent it from operating properly. The average size of DDoS is increasing and is currently approaching around 1 Gbps. That’s enough to take a lot of websites completely offline. In addition, research found that 27% of businesses caught up in a DDoS thought they were collateral damage rather than being the intended target. There are ways to protect yourself. An IT specialist can advise on cloud bursting and traffic management systems to run alongside your existing cybersecurity measures.

IT security on Black Friday and beyond

Any website should have a host of security measures in place. Black Friday is a great opportunity to ensure that all of those measures are as robust as possible. Get your firewalls, intrusion detection systems and cybersecurity software all up to date. Consider installing software which could alert you to any erratic or unusual behaviour on your network. This could either be as a one-off to boost your IT security on Black Friday. Or, it could be a more long-term or ongoing security measure.

Retailers should deliver end-to-end encryption for financial transactions on their website. Sensitive data should also be encrypted, such as credit card details and contact information. Things have changed since last year with the implementation of GDPR. So, retailers are legally obliged and consumers are more informed, about what to expect when it comes to cybersecurity.

The importance of IT security on Black Friday is undeniable. However, cybersecurity should always be at the forefront of how you do business. Your customers need to know that you take their security seriously for custom on Black Friday and beyond. As a business, you also cannot afford to not pay attention to IT security on Black Friday. You could risk missing out on peak sales and future customer loyalty.

Online shoppers are likely to buy from retailers they may not usually purchase from if they are offering the right deals.   

People are likely to be writing their shopping lists already, so it’s never too early to get your IT security on Black Friday ready.

Link IT are the experts when it comes to keeping your network as safe and secure as possible. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

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