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It’s Always the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – for Hackers


This holiday season saw the highest holiday retail sales on record in 2021, with companies stepping up efforts to attract consumers and their data. E-commerce retail sales grew from 11% to 15%, reaching an estimated $210 billion in eCommerce sales tied to personal information, banking credentials, corporate financial accounts, and even employee health records.

The total number of cyberattacks resulting in compromised data increased by 27% in 2021 compared to 2020, indicating that businesses are more vulnerable than ever to security risks.

Businesses need to identify and address weak security points and increase end-user education to counteract this rising threat and avoid exposing data to hackers.

People are the weak point you can’t patch

Many businesses get hacked due to vulnerabilities in human behavior. Even the strongest corporate security infrastructures can be compromised by employees falling for seemingly innocent emails, texts, or voicemails. Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated, making it more challenging for employees to recognize them. With over 258 million corporate users, the Microsoft 365 platform is a prime target for phishing attacks.

Attackers can deceive even astute users by mimicking the protocols and appearance of Office 365 messages and interfaces, using it to trick users into downloading malware or disclosing their business login credentials.

Businesses need to examine the vulnerabilities in human nature to face these unexpected threats, especially with a 300% increase in cybercrime since the start of the pandemic.

During holiday or sales promotions, consumers and employees are inundated with digital communication from e-commerce retailers, making them less suspicious of fraudulent emails. Another vulnerability arises from businesses imposing change freezes to ensure uninterrupted operations during peak sales periods, leading to increased risks of cyber breaches.

Temporary staffing changes and overwork during busy times also contribute to increased vulnerability to cyber attacks.

Five security best practices businesses should employ

Businesses should modify their security strategy based on threats that may arise over time. Educating end-users, implementing effective security training, using multi-factor authentication, planning for staffing changes, and making offline backups of critical systems and data are essential to minimize the risk of security breaches.

Life is hectic — Your security infrastructure doesn’t have to be

Skeleton staffing, remote workers, system freezes, and oversaturation of digital marketing to end-users can leave businesses vulnerable to cybercriminals at any time of the year. Implementing the right security solutions can reduce the risk of a security breach and protect your team, customers, and data.

For more information on minimizing organizational risk, visit corebtsdotcom.

Image Credit: Joshua Woroniecki; Pexels; Thank you

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