Black Friday is coming. Celebrated in the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Russia, India and Pakistan and about 9 more countries, with more jumping on the deal-wagon every year, Black Friday is something almost anyone with a credit card can get behind. Black Friday is traditionally the Friday after the American Thanksgiving Holiday, which falls on the 4th Thursday of November. Vendors encourage shoppers to get a jump on the Christmas season by taking advantage of “door-busting” deals, and while sometimes a mob becomes violent, fighting for the latest flat-screen or laptop, it’s usually just hilariously materialistic. As a safer alternative, Black Friday has morphed into the spinoff Cyber Monday, always falling on the Monday immediately following the American Thanksgiving Holiday. Black Friday boasts an average $8B in sales and Cyber Monday, $6.6B in sales.
China’s Singles Day, November 11th, is the single largest shopping day of the year, with over $32B spent, and larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Starting as the anti-Valentine’s Day, Singles Day offers massive discounts to singles hoping to treat themselves to a new appliance, car or outfit. Singles Day is traditionally far less violent than Black Friday, and saw 1.88B packages shipped to all corners of China in 2018.
Online shopping is easier, often cheaper, and as we can see on YouTube, sometimes safer – or is it? Cyber criminals are ramping up for the big holiday season, with a traditional 57.5% increase in attempted cyber-attacks. With offices understaffed for the holiday season and IT running on a skeleton crew, it’s often easier to penetrate networks without arousing suspicion. Employees are more likely to open phishing emails advertising deeply discounted shopping or travel deals. There is a marked rise in spam, malvertising, malware, ransomware attacks, POS malware, DoS attacks, account takeovers in this period of the year, and for those hackers with a grudge, Singles Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday would be the idea day to launch a denial of service (DDoS) attack – in short, there is danger everywhere.
Investing a bit of time and money in preparing your network for potential security risks is a MUST at this time of the year. Consider a few of these suggestions on where you could spend a bit of that Q4 overage:
- Upgrade or update your software and patch any vulnerabilities in your existing systems before the holiday season.
- Tighten up your Internet access security with a product like Sangfor’s IAM, which can restrict access to potentially dangerous sites, lets you track employee (online shopping) behavior, and offers business intelligence to help you turn big data into big value – and maybe you can make some money over the holiday season instead of spending it.
- Perform a Health Check on your system to find any vulnerabilities that could go unnoticed by your skeleton crew. Sangfor offers both Gateway and Server checks free of charge, and explains the potential risks to your network.
- Invest in upgrading to a Next-Generation Firewall like NGAF, which scans and defends against DoS and DDoS attacks, along with a myriad of other security features (which you likely already needed anyway).
Implementing a Next Generation Firewall like Sangfor NGAF means utilizing the power of AI for all-around network protection. Sangfor has researched, designed and developed NGAF, an end-to-end comprehensive Enterprise Firewall Protection solution, to be an easy-to-use converged security solution designed to protect users from internal, external, existing and future threats, and is proactively updated regularly to keep your network safe from those with malicious intent. It’s already in use throughout the APAC region and Europe by retail stores and financial institutions, as you can see HERE.
If you aren’t sure how to protect your network and your business as cyber-crime spikes with the online sales, contact Sangfor’s Customer Support team to get information on how we can help you.
Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)), Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Visit us at www.sangfor.com to learn more about your NGAF options, benefits and functions, and make your IT simpler, more secure and more valuable.