A Guide to a Secure Black Friday and Cyber Monday

      Posted by May Elliott on Nov 17, 2020 1:38:43 PM

      Black Friday and Cyber Monday are notorious for crazy shoppers and deals, however, in the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, things are going to be a bit different, with majority of shopping being done online.

      Over the course of 2020, cybercriminals have capitalized on the coronavirus pandemic, putting everyone at higher risk for threats. With the spikes in safer and stay-at-home orders and businesses turning to mobile workforce, it’s no surprise that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday will especially be prime days for cyberattacks. If you’re not a business who offers discounts and sales during these days, you might be wondering how your business is even at risk. Blog Image - A Guide to a Secure Black Friday and Cyber Monday

      For one, retail is the obvious hot spot with cybercriminals lurking for credit card numbers, customer information, and essential company data. However, individuals who work for other industries still put their organizations at risk by participating in the online shopping sprees. In other words, it’s important to keep in mind that employees shopping online can have a domino effect on your network, making it imperative to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and unwanted traffic.

      Below are essential tips for you, your employees and your business to follow to help ensure protection for Black Friday and Cyber Monday along with how NewCloud can help.

      Look for “https” When Shopping Online

      This might seem like a little detail, however, the “s” in https indicates that the site you’re visiting is secure. This is known as Secure Sockets Layer encryption and it means that your information is encoded so that hackers cannot see it. Pay close attention to this detail as you shop online and avoid sites with http.

      Watch Out for Grammatical Errors in URLs and Promotional Emails

      Phishing attempts and malicious URLs often have misspellings and grammatical errors. Malicious URLs might use the name of a common business, but one letter is different or gets switched with a number, making it more difficult for the user to detect it as suspicious.

      With cybercriminals capitalizing on the current pandemic, there have already been countless COVID-19 phishing emails, attempting to encourage users to click on links. Remember to check for emails like this during Black Friday and Cyber Monday and to avoid clicking on any links or downloading attachments in any email, regardless of how legitimate it might seem.

      Use Strong Passwords on Accounts

      So many of us already make the common mistake of using the same password for multiple accounts, especially on high-volume shopping websites like Amazon. Make sure to use a variation of strong passwords on websites that you shop on as well as passwords within your company or the company you work for.

      Be Mindful About Malvertising & Bogus Deals

      Malvertising are fake ads that can be found on social media, emails or any website. When clicked on, they can infect your devices with malware, which can lead to an overall infection on your business. Be cautious on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and wherever else you find ads, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and encourage your employees to do the same. A malvertising advertisement will typically showcase an offer that seems to good to be true. Avoid clicking on advertisements until you have verified that it’s a valid offer.

      Avoid Unsecured Networks

      We’ve all accessed an unsecured network at some point. Whether that was in a coffee shop, restaurant, hotel or an airport. With numerous businesses being forced to go mobile or shut down, users haven’t accessed these networks as much, however, the convenience of mobile workforce also brings the convenience to shop from any location and on any device, increasing the possibility of connecting to these networks or your devices automatically joining them.

      Limit online shopping to your own network from home and turn of auto-roaming on your devices to ensure you’re taking extra steps to stay secured. Learn more about unsecured networks here.

      How NewCloud Can Help

      Working from home and doing everything virtually has been inevitable for all of us. With that comes the need for extra protection as we adapt to different ways of doing things because of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). As we mentioned previously, any business is at risk on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because everything we’ve been doing has been online.

      • Cloud Backup & Disaster Recovery

      First and foremost, ensure that your most critical data is backed up to the cloud and replicated in the event that your network is compromised. NewCloud Networks Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery (DRaaS), powered by Veeam offer businesses peace of mind that their data can always be restored and retrieved.

      • Security as a Service (SECaaS)

      Security as a Service (SECaaS) is an overarching service that consists of multiple solutions for businesses to choose from. For the sake of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the upcoming holiday season in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, we especially recommend that businesses invest in Security Information and Event Management (SIEM as a Service), Multi-Factor Authentication, Email Security and Security for Laptops. SIEM as a Service uses data logs to analyze suspicious network activity, find trends and works to mitigate threats as fast as possible. Multi-Factor Authentication ensures that only authorized personnel can access an account or device and essentially adds an extra security layer to the overall online experience.

      As we work from home and online shop, it’s more than likely that Black Friday promotions will hit your inbox. Email Security filters out emails, blocking phishing attempts and spam. Finally, Security for Laptops is critical in the protection of your laptops. Without a cybersecurity solution like this, the chances of your device being infected with ransomware, malware and other dangerous software increase tremendously, as you’re likely accessing more websites than usual during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

      • Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

      Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can help keep business separate from personal employee online activity. It’s a virtual desktop that secures business-only information and allows for easy communication across your company. Whether in the office or not, require that employees log into their virtual desktops for work-only tasks and log out of them for their personal leisure. This will help maintain organization and protection throughout your company.

      • Managed Cloud Services

      The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has already been enough to deal with, and the upcoming holiday season will only bring increased cyberattacks and added stress. NewCloud managed cloud services offers 24x7x365 monitoring and management of your network to ensure the highest level of protection. So, instead of worrying about your network’s health, managed cloud services through NewCloud allow businesses to focus on their employees and mobile workforce. Remember that managed cloud services come equipped with industry professionals who understand what to look for in your network. In addition, should a cyberattack or threat occur from an employee error during this time, your business is safe.

      Topics: Disaster Recovery, Backup, SECaaS, Cybersecurity, SIEM, Cyber Threats, Email Security, Holidays, Security as a Service, Pandemic, COVID-19, security for laptops

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