Security roundup: Phishing attacks and scams to hit Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers

Retailers are also at risk as cyber criminals may target their websites
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This week, various security firms are warning of the dangers that online shoppers will face during this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Zscaler has reported a noticeable spike in the total number of web transactions within the ‘shopping’ category and warns the increase in activity comes with an unwelcome increase in phishing attempts.

“Phishing is a well known attack method, often used by attackers to steal sensitive information like authentication credentials, credit card numbers and personal information. Zscaler has already seen a large spike in Phishing and Spam activity, specifically targeting Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday events,” says the firm.

NetNames is warning consumers of the seemingly too good to be true offers ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“Whilst many retailers will slash their prices to attract bargain hunters in the run up to Christmas, consumers may be caught out by cybercriminals selling counterfeits at a seemingly attractive price. Consumers must therefore remain wary of “too good to be true offers” for the must-have festive gifts. To avoid falling victim to the latest online scams, consumers need to remember that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is,” explained Stuart Fuller, director of commercial operations at NetNames.

KPMG warns that retailers are also at risk at this busy time of year.

“Cyber Monday is synonymous with increased web traffic, and retailers determined to meet their customers’ expectations run the risk of mistaking high volumes of web traffic as popular demand for their products, rather than an orchestrated attack designed to bring down websites,” said Del Heppensall, a director in KPMG’s Cyber Security practice.

“A ‘promote and deliver at all costs’ mentality may drive immediate sales, but the long-term cost if customer data is compromised will outweigh any profits made on the day.”

In other news, SolarWinds has reported that 76 per cent of IT professionals working in small to medium enterprises in the UK are confident in their organisations’ security measures and processes, despite the fact that 84 per cent have suffered from a significant attack.

“Organisations are taking positive steps toward improving their information security; most notably in terms of budget and resources,” said Mav Turner, director of security, SolarWinds.

“It’s important, however, to never fall into the trap of over-confidence. IT pros should do everything they can to ensure the best defences possible, but never actually think they’ve done everything they can. This approach will ensure they are proactively taking all the steps necessary to truly protect their organisations’ infrastructures and sensitive data.”

Black Friday image via Shutterstock.com

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