NINJA BLOG

Szabina Korga | 2022.10.28. |
festive season 2022

Festive Season 2022: The Flashback 

In the coming weeks, we will focus on end-of-year campaigns. Black Friday and the shopping fever of the festive season will soon be here. But can we really expect a shopping spree? No one needs to be told that the current world economic situation strongly questions this year’s shopping spirit. 

Therefore, as this year is different than before, we will look back at the articles written in past years about how a webshop owner or a web hosting provider should prepare for the huge festive madness.

Last year we wrote about hackers that could destroy your online business, and we gave tips on preventing this. We also told you about an interesting example of how North Korea’s Lazarus Group stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank during the holiday season.

But this was not the only attack that happened during this period. In one of our articles, we collected all the most provocating or famous online thefts from 2013 until 2020. We wanted to point out that you should not be extremely careful only on the days of the feast but during the whole of Q4, when the shopping season begins. The cyberattacks mostly double in these months, and the most common methods are (D)DoS attacks, phishing sites, and Ransomware. Most organizations were targeted with malware infections in 2020. On the other hand, individuals were the victim of social engineering attacks. 

What happens when an attack reaches you or your users?

Websites have to scale up to accommodate the extra visitors, which will take a toll on their server resources. In some instances, website hosting providers may not have the required infrastructure to accede to these requests. 

Even if you manage to honor these requests, paying for the additional resources will leave behind disgruntled users who feel they have been overcharged for the service you provide.

At certain times, scraper bots will consume large bandwidth and make multiple appearances, further straining the website resources. As a result, buyers will notice delayed load times, downtime, and a laggy shopping experience that will discourage them from going ahead with the purchase – another sore point for store owners. Sometimes an attack may cause a complete shut down too.

So, how can you prepare for prevention?

  • Set up a Web Application Firewall 
  • Have Anti-Malware software and scan for malware regularly, but it is even better if the software can clean simultaneously too 
  • Offer a website protection add-on to your customers, like the one, BitNinja has as a free feature now
  • Implement preventive measures to protect from Denial-of-Service (D)DoS) attacks 
  • Use an SQL data scanner to act on database attacks and injections
  • Limit or filter the IP addresses that could access important/sensitive software and hardware that are used only locally by your team
  • Use encryption, hashing, and digital signatures while dealing with sensitive and confidential data and regular backup.
  • Use a Load Balancer or Content Delivery Network
  • Update your applications, software, operating systems, and antivirus well in advance to avoid unauthorized access.
  • Follow the ‘principle of least privileges’ when providing access to employees and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), or use Security Key (like Yubikey).
  • Follow basic cyber-hygiene practices, such as avoiding password repetition, using alphanumeric characters, and regularly changing passwords.
  • Organizations must focus on employee cybersecurity training, awareness, and education.
  • Beware fake reviews on new or unfamiliar shopping sites and refrain from sharing PII on such suspicious platforms.

Seems like a lot to implement?

If you choose software, like BitNinja, that is effective against these cyberattacks, then the preparation for the festive season will be effortless and even enjoyable, as you can see the malware caught in real time on the unified dashboard

Conclusion

During Q4, hosting businesses are under extreme pressure. But, if a large company or even a small business follows the steps in this and our previous posts, hackers cannot do much harm. 

Awareness and a proactive attitude are also crucial. Employees should also be given education and training on cyberattacks and their symptoms. Be proactive and secure your business before it is too late, and provide flawless service to your customers. 

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