3 Major Cyber Risks Faced by Businesses During the Holiday Season

cyber risks business security

Cybercrime is projected to reach $6 Trillion in 2021. Yep, Trillion with a "T." 

Tis' the season for businesses to be... weary? Wary? Either way, it could be a hard holiday season for your company.

The best criminals have a way of blending themselves into the crowd and using hustle and bustle to their advantage. Cybercriminals are no different. 

The holidays are the perfect time to slip into systems unnoticed while your team is scrambling to meet the demands of the holiday season. Here are the cyber risks you need to know this holiday season. 

Cyber Risks 1: Lazy Systems 

During the holidays your employees slumping into a slowed-down "holiday spirit" can weaken your security systems. This is especially bad for online businesses that rely on the holiday season for generating most of their revenue. During the holiday season, you should put even more work into keeping your control systems and data secure

Last year a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on a DNS provider caused sites like Amazon and Etsy to be completely offline for an entire day. This not only impacts revenue but can seriously change your customer sentiment and trust. 

Cyber Risks 2: Seasonal Employees 

A rule of thumb in cybersecurity 101 is that the fewer people with access to sensitive information, the better. Short term employees can compromise this basic security standard. 

Hackers have targeted employees to access login credentials and passwords. They aren't targeting C-level executives and managers. They know that higher-level staff is likely more protected than the rest of the workforce. 

Seasonal employees often don't feel the same level of loyalty to a company or brand. This makes them a greater risk of getting sloppy with sensitive information, or even hacking company information themselves. 

Cyber Risks 3: Advertising Fraud 

Ecommerce sales are expected to increase 44% this holiday season and mobile sales are expected to increase $268 billion from 2019 over the holiday season. Competition for a chunk of that spending pie is only getting more competitive. 

Where do most companies turn to get ahead of the competition? Ads. 

You might consider running ads on a website in an attempt to get yourself in front of more members of your target audience. But your supplier might not be doing what they say they're doing. They could be using bots to report skewed reports that make your ads seem more successful than they actually are. 

This can cause you to waste thousands and even millions of dollars in advertising spending. Companies are especially vulnerable during the holiday season. 

What can you do? Ask the right questions before you sign a contract. Ask if a company is able to provide reports that clearly indicate human versus non-human traffic and impressions. Legitimate companies are transparent. 

Does Your Cyber Team Have the Holiday Spirit? 

So you might be asking yourself, what can you do about these cyber risks? If your a manager, director, or business owner you might feel helpless in ways you can help minimize cyber risks. 

What you can do is listen to your team and supply them with the bodies, tools, and support they need to adequately keep your business protected. Cybersecurity is not an area of your business where you should cut corners. Visit the Tech section of the Bootstrap Business Blog to learn more about Cybersec strategies and data protection.

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