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Gearing up for Cyber Monday’s cyberthreats

Gearing up for Cyber Monday’s cyberthreats

Cyber Monday is a slightly tamer and considerably safer shopping event than the notorious Black Friday bonanza. However, shopping in front of a computer screen is not entirely without its risks. Malware and distributed denial-of-service attacks are more prevalent than ever, and hackers may attempt to use high bandwidth traffic in their efforts to go after big-name online retailers. This is especially true for 2015, with Adobe forecasting a total spend of up to $3 billion on online purchases, according CNBC.

Individual consumers may also be targeted on Cyber Monday. As they rifle through the Web in an attempt to save on all those limited-time-only offers, many online shoppers may let their guard down and behave a little more carelessly than usual.

Preventing server downtime will be key for online retailers

Online retailers that participate in Cyber Monday sales need to make sure that e-commerce portals and payment processing servers stay up and running effectively. Downtime at the wrong time may result in significant opportunity losses. If an online store is down or unusually slow, shoppers will not dawdle; they don’t want to risk missing out on other sales while they wait for a page to load.

E-commerce sites, big or small, must therefore ensure than any server-related issues are swiftly ameliorated, and one of the best ways to guarantee that this happens is with reboot to restore software for servers. Cyberattacks and other problematic events that might typically involve a server lockdown can instead be addressed by rebooting the system, thereby restoring previously-established system configurations. This minimizes downtime, which on CyberMonday could mean a difference of many millions of dollars.

Shopping in the office is an inevitability

Online retailers aren’t the only ones that need to stay alert on Cyber Monday. Unlike BlackFriday, which is an off day for many corporations, Cyber Monday is business as usual for the majority of organizations. This means there is a significantly high chance that employees are spending just as much time hunting for online deals as they are working. In fact, managers who catch employees shopping online are more likely to swap shopping tips than scold their underlings, according to Robert Half Technology.

The concern for enterprises regarding Cyber Monday shopping is not necessarily a lack of employee productivity, but rather the cyber risks of e-commerce in the office. Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for hackers to execute phishing scams, for example, by sending fraudulent emails boasting big savings that can be had by downloading this or that coupon or clicking on the link below. If an employee is not vigilant, he or she could easily introduce malware to an organization’s network.

Ordinarily, fixing problems that result from bad shopping decisions at work would result in a pileup of help desk tickets. However, IT staff that leverage application whitelisting software may be able to mitigate some of the risks by preventing the installation of unusual software on work computers.

More importantly, in the event that a threat does slip through the cracks, reboot to restore software for enterprises, such as Faronics Deep Freeze, can reset system configurations upon a system restart, thereby eliminating the risk before any serious damage can be caused.

With reboot to restore software, Cyber Monday does not have to be a cyber disaster.

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.