Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are fast approaching! Anyone in the retail world knows that this is an important weekend—or week, in many cases—that sees high sales and a lot of traffic. Many shoppers not only anticipate BFCM but even plan for it, saving up their spending dollars and watching for the ideal sales and promotions to take advantage of. In years gone by, BFCM has always been one of the busiest times for shopping malls and department stores everywhere. While this remains to be true, there is now another factor to consider: website traffic. If you’re a retailer that’s selling any type of product or service online, then BFCM might just be the single worst weekend to experience any down-time, website malfunctions or online security issues. Here are our top tips on how to keep your site secure for BFCM:
Like most things in life, websites require planning and maintenance. Before the BFCM sales and promotions are in full swing, anticipate what kind of sales and traffic your website will see. A great place to start is in looking at statistics and sales numbers from previous years. If your BFCM promotions require any new web pages or product options, be sure to create these in advance and schedule their publishing dates so that they are ready to go. Mostly importantly, speak to your website developer. Ensure that they are aware of the upcoming influx of traffic and have them survey the site for any potential weak spots. Test your site in advance to ensure it’s ready to handle the increased demand that is sure to come your way!
Perform a Cybersecurity Audit
Cybersecurity threats can have an incredible impact on an online business, and they are unfortunately always changing. As technology and online activities continue to evolve, develop and expand, so do their threats. Hackers get smarter, scams get better, bots become more sophisticated and newer technologies become new tools for compromising or hacking into businesses. This is why it’s so important to regularly take stock of your cybersecurity measures. Have a cybersecurity specialist perform an audit on all online and digital aspects of your business. Identifying any potential threats and updating security measures can have a huge impact on your business. If a threat gains access to your business, the necessary damage control can be incredibly time consuming and costly. Doing a cybersecurity audit before BFCM means that your most profitable sales weekend won’t be compromised.
Think Like a Hacker
When it comes to a period of time like BFCM, hackers are often looking for one of two things: credit card details and free goods. Hackers will take an opportunity such as BFCM to aggressively target customers and businesses alike. While businesses are more difficult to compromise, the reward for a hacker can be far greater. A successful hack can mean accessing credit card info for thousands of past customers, or accessing the ability to alter promo codes and product values. The damage can be insurmountable. Here are a couple easy steps to take to stop hackers before they begin:
- Have a firewall: ensure that you have a strong firewall in place to protect against new or unknown threats, even if you’re performing regular checks
- Check online for copycat domains: sometimes hackers will purchase a similar domain and setup a website that looks just like yours in order to trick customers
- Don’t leave domains or ports dormant: hackers often use unused domains or old ports as a point of entry
- Perform an audit: as already discussed, the best strategy is a proactive one in which you seek out weak points before they’ve been exploited
BFCM can be an exciting and rewarding time for e-commerce businesses! But be sure to plan ahead. Always expect the best while preparing for the worst. Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving world that requires attention and continual action, so stay up to date and keep your security planning current. If you’re worried about potential online threats, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re ready and happy to help with all of your cybersecurity needs.