Black Friday/Cyber Monday: Cost of Living Crisis Set to Increase Cyber Threat


The weekend spanning Black Friday and Cyber Monday is always a critical period for customer facing businesses. With many families tightening the purse strings in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, more will be on the hunt for bargains, with the percentage of Brits shopping the sales predicted to rise to 39% in the lead up to Christmas, 6% more than last year. Whilst this may be good news for retailers, their cyber teams must prepare to face more website traffic, and more attempted attacks, than ever. This added pressure exposes vulnerabilities, putting SMEs without the security of a large cyber budget at greater risk of breaches.

There are many tactics that cyber criminals will utilise this weekend. Phishing is now a common threat, with attackers looking to steal identity and payment information through phony emails and URLs. Malware, which encompasses viruses, spyware, trojans and more, is used to infect devices, which could then be used in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to crash an organisation’s site and demand a ransom. E-skimming is a growing risk, with hackers attempting to capitalise upon the spike in digital transactions by infiltrating the checkout area of retail websites and stealing payment card details to use in subsequent fraudulent activities.

So, how can businesses manage surges in cyber threat around peak retail events like Black Friday? The key lies in a mature operational resiliency posture utilising strategies supported by hybrid cloud. Investing in scalable, hybrid cloud-based infrastructure will enable organisations to increase or decrease IT and security resources as required to meet changing demand, without any compromise on performance. In an economic landscape where many CIOs will be asked to do more with less, hybrid cloud computing offers a cost-effective solution to the inelasticity of legacy infrastructure, whilst enabling automated load-balancing for optimal stability. This means that, when coupled with up-to-date cyber training for employees, the businesses are able to appropriately overcome these waves of threat.