Guest Column | December 8, 2016

Protect Your Clients From Holiday Hacking

Holiday Hacking

By Nathan Shuchami, Head of Advanced Threat Prevention, Check Point Software Technologies

Now that the holiday season has arrived, the shopping frenzy has begun with retailers offering not-to-be-missed deals shoppers searching online — both at home and on their work devices — for the best deals. But it’s not only consumers gearing up for the buying season. Cybercriminals are entering their busiest time of year, preying on people’s rush to snap up holiday savings anywhere they can.

According to Deloitte survey, not only are half of Americans planning to shop online for holiday gifts, allocating 47 percent of their budgets to online purchases in the process, but holiday spending is expected to increase by 10 percent compared with the 2015 holiday season, according to PWC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook. This could be in an effort to avoid the crowds, save time, or just because it’s a more convenient option. However, consumers are not always aware of the risks associated with online shopping.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals are all too aware of these behavioural patterns. Therefore, during this festive season, cybercrime tactics often involve setting up fake websites, advertisements, and apps offering discounts to unsuspecting shoppers. What the average person is often not aware of is, even though the app, ad or URL may look legitimate, they are far from it and have been designed for a variety of malicious purposes from stealing credit card information to holding computers for ransomware.