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Hacking season: Why Cyber Monday presents a cybersecurity nightmare

Orlando IT Support

With sophisticated festive phishing and the recent well-documented surge in ransomware, the stage is set for this holiday season to be one filled with cyber disruption.

Companies need all the help they can get to face this year’s “hacking season” with best-in-class technology that keeps a watchful eye over the digital enterprise 365 days a year. Holiday sales are projected to hit up to $1.47 trillion, according to data from Deloitte. And a growing share of that shopping is happening online, with ecommerce sales projected to rise by as much as 14.3 percent over last year.

Most of us tend to use personal email addresses for our holiday shopping, but in an era of remote and hybrid working, this can easily have knock-on effects, granting attackers a backdoor into the corporate sphere.

From a digital perspective, this has led to increasing convergence of our personal and professional lives. Phishing emails that target personal email accounts – often using more relaxed email security measures – therefore put organizations at risk. Malicious executable files may grant an attacker access to the device, and from there, they can pivot into corporate activity and infiltrate an organization through a single careless employee checking person email on their work device.

Despite the warnings, password reuse continues to be widespread, meaning a successful credential-grab on a personal account can potentially give attackers the keys to a wide range of corporate accounts, whether it’s Microsoft 365 or any number of other internal systems.

This is why Kappa suggests multi-factor authentication (MFA) set-up on company e-mail accounts.

7 Cyber Monday safety tips for online shopping in 2022

1. Do your holiday shopping with reputable retailers.

2. Only shop on secure sites to avoid Cyber Monday scams.

3. Learn to spot holiday shopping scams.

4. Safeguard store accounts with strong passwords.

5. Protect your financial information.

6. Don't shop on public Wi-Fi.

7. Check for fraud after your holiday shopping.

Hackers won’t take Cyber Monday off

During public holidays, internal IT and security teams drastically reduce in size. Attackers know this, and it no longer comes as a surprise when some of the largest cyberattacks of the year are detonated during this time. Adopting reliable autonomous security, and in particular autonomous response, has never been more important in ensuring organizations stay protected.

With opportunistic hackers looking to spoil the holiday season for some quick returns, we cannot rely on human teams alone. Human beings are fallible: They get tired, they need breaks and they get complacent. One simple misconfiguration can leave an unprotected device exposed to the internet, opening up the wider digital ecosystem to attack.

Making sure your organization has the proper protocols in place to prevent intrusion into your corporate network is imperative. Having an Managed Service IT company such as Kappa Computer Systems can help you have all the right protocols in place.


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