Online Threats While Holiday Shopping

With Thanksgiving over and holiday sales in full swing, the 2018 holiday season is upon us. For retailers and financial institutions alike, this is one of the busiest times of the year. Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, millions of Americans are shopping online for gifts, decorations and transportation.

With Big Business Comes Bigger Threats

Unfortunately, it’s one of the busiest times for attackers, too. Holiday shopping for cybercriminals is the ideal time to target consumers and companies. Network attacks are set to rise by 60 percent this holiday.

If you’re not an e-retailer or financial institution, you might think you have nothing to worry about. Many employees do their holiday shopping at work. This creates a security threat for organizations of all types and sizes.

Let’s look at some of the biggest security threats of the 2018 holiday shopping. Then we’ll look at the best network security solutions to prevent these online threats.

Consumer Security Threats 2018

Online security threats don’t affect just employees. They can also affect the companies where they work. This is because many employees do their holiday shopping at work. They may expose their company’s networks and sensitive information with nothing more than the click of a suspicious link.

Potential security threats include:

Malicious Insiders Often Strike During Shopping Season

Malicious insiders may also view the shopping season as the perfect time to strike without being detected. One way they could attack is by using admin credentials to access and steal critical assets or access financial information.

As IBM explained cyber attacks don’t always originate outside organizations. IT Biz Advisor described it this way in their 2018 article of the evolving cyber-threat landscape.

According to white hat Dark Web professionals at Black Hat 2018, it appears that many hackers are certified professionals who operate as trusted time bombs and have already penetrated most organizations.

Security Threats to Financial Institutions and E-Retailers

Both financial institutions and e-commerce providers face many of the same security threats as consumers, albeit on a much larger scale:

Network Security Solution to Holiday Shopping Threats

Organizations must take the precautions necessary to protect their data from such a wide variety of potential security threats. This includes network threats directly from hackers and malicious insiders, as well as indirectly from unwitting employees.

If you haven’t implemented protections before the holidays, you’ll have no choice but to hope for the best. With many attackers viewing the holiday season as an ideal opportunity to be exploited, that’s not a chance you want to take.

Here are the solutions that can help protect your organization this holiday season and beyond:

With these security measures in place, all companies have a much better chance of surviving the holiday season and the following year with their (and their customers’) data intact.


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December 7, 2018

About Babur Khan

Babur Nawaz Khan is a Technical Marketing Engineer at A10 Networks. He primarily focuses on A10's Enterprise Security and DDoS Protection solutions. Prior to this, he was a member of A10's Corporate Systems Engineering team, focusing on Application Delivery Controllers. Babur holds a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. READ MORE