Christmas business: Cybercriminals exploit the holiday rush

IT departments currently have to contend with a significantly higher volume of data traffic on their websites: the mad dash for Christmas presents is already underway. This presents a real challenge for IT experts, who have to continue to protect their websites from hacker attacks and failures at this stressful time of year.

In order to be prepared for the pre-Christmas rush, IT managers should carry out precise tests on their processes in advance. Scalable stress tests show how much data traffic and how many transactions a website can process. A number of tools help to find out how the affected systems react to being overloaded. This means that emergencies can be avoided, or at least pre-empted.

Just as important: if a website containing customer data is hacked, securely encrypted data are usually useless to the attacker. However, only two out of three companies are informed by external service providers that they have been the victim of a cyber-attack.

And consumers are also particularly at risk at the moment. In order to keep informed of the best offers, more customers than usual are subscribing to newsletters. Their inboxes are full of offers and special deals – the perfect disguise for phishing emails! When people are quickly clicking through the flood of emails, they often miss the warning signs. The software company Solarwinds offers the following tips to counteract this problem:

  • Instead of clicking on the link in the email, it is much safer to go directly to the website that is being advertised.
  • Take a look at the personal details in your email. Does the email address look genuine? Does the email use the correct form of address? You can often identify fakes simply from obvious typos or language mistakes. You hardly ever see errors of this type in genuine emails.
  • A separate email address for shopping pages separates potential dangerous emails from your personal or professional account.
  • Credit cards are generally safer for online shopping than debit cards, as they have more security barriers.
  • Those who regularly check their bank statements will notice irregularities more quickly and can act in a timely manner.
  • (Source: Solarwinds/bs)