By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
While the rest of us are recovering from too much Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, and the stress of Black Friday shopping, cyber criminals will spend this weekend preparing for Cyber Monday, that online shopping frenzy that marks the start of the online holiday shopping season.
Why does this matter to you? Because many of your customers' networks are not secure from attacks linked to online shopping, something many employees do over lunch and after hours. And that equals an opportunity to talk … security and usage policy.
According to research from the National Retail Federation, nearly 56% of workers with Internet access will shop online on Cyber Monday. The problem is that many employees will not think twice about how their online shopping might pose a risk to the company network. Security vendor GFI Software's recent survey of SMBs showed the businesses themselves are only slightly concerned (9%) with internal security threats (such as those caused by online shopping) and don't often monitor employees' online activities (36%).
"The fact that so many plan to do holiday shopping from their work computers, combined with their lack of concern for how secure their computers are, points to an urgent need for employers to pay closer attention to what employees are doing online during office hours and to educate employees to be careful what sites they are visiting and what files they are downloading," says David Kelleher of GFI.
That reality marks a great opportunity for VARs and MSPs that handle security for SMB customers. Take some time this holiday season to educate your customers about the threat and IT solutions that can help secure your network. Ask them about 24/7 monitoring of their network, and offer advice on setting usage policies that not only help lower the security threat but improve productivity.
As a bonus, let them know about the five most frequent scams identified by security vendor AppRiver: