The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a warning to retailers and consumers of the increased risk of cyber fraud during the festive shopping season.
Cybercriminals are expected to exploit shoppers more than ever this holiday season, amid the chaos of this year, and an increase in online shopping.
The harsh truth is that cyber attackers don’t care that Christmas is a welcome relief for many this year. As the pandemic continues, and online shopping becomes a necessity for many, it’s clear that hardworking retailers and their customers cannot drop their guard – no matter the turmoil they’ve been through this year.
Cybercriminals exploit confusion and uncertainty. The pandemic has been a case in point with a huge rise in scams. This festive season, we can expect unauthorised access to accounts, phishing emails, suspicious phone calls, anomalous activity in paystreams. These cyber attacks are inevitable – but their success needn’t be.
We know the scams and hacks are coming. Retailers and their customers must understand what is at stake: personal data is worth more than ever on the dark web – bank details, passwords, even shopping basket history. They need to know that weak passwords and human error – including trusting emails about your order or calls from your bank – will let the hackers in.
Retailers have the responsibility to deploy fully up-to-date cybersecurity that tracks and defends against new threats. But consumers also have a role to play: making the job of cyber attackers as difficult as possible. How? By improving their cyber hygiene through strong two-factor authentication, constant vigilance and exercising zero trust.