Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us. Is your network ready?

Dive Brief:

  • Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are part of the most popular shopping weekend of the year. To prepare for the influx of traffic, Walmart’s IT department initiates tests for e-commerce year-round “to scale, meet and exceed traffic projections” during the weekend, Paul Antony, senior vice president of global infrastructure and operations for Walmart Labs, told CIO Dive in an email.
  • The big-box retailer launches tests based on traffic trends to best serve the 79% of consumers expected to shop both in-store and online for Black Friday, according to a Deloitte survey of 1,200 U.S. consumers.
  • About 36% of respondents said they are “influenced by deals from a mobile device while in-store,” and brick-and-mortar stores with an e-commerce site should also prepare for the 46% of consumers they stand to lose if they have to wait for a website experiencing technical issues, according to the report

Dive Insight:

The holiday shopping season is like open season for hackers. Because of the influx of online traffic, hackers take full advantage of the financial vulnerability of consumers. Phishing schemes and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are some of the most prevalent threats this coming weekend.

The fear of cyberthreats is not only for retailers. Nearly one-third of shoppers won’t shop online this holiday season for fear of a website’s weak security. That’s not to mention that only about 18% of consumers believe a retailer’s cybersecurity efforts are at the status they should be.

But Black Friday and Cyber Monday invite the elevated risk of a DDoS attack. DDoS attacks increased by 380% in quarter one alone this year. This is in part due to DDoS attacks’ low-costs. Hackers only need to spend $5 for a 300-second attack, and a 24-hour attack costs about $400.

While it only costs hackers around $18 an hour, half of the companies targeted could lose up to $100,000 or more per hour during an attack. In 2015, about 73% of enterprises experienced at least one DDoS attack.

Retailers can’t afford to lose customers due to too much traffic or a hacker purposefully flooding their network, so businesses should ensure that redundancy measures are in place for the threats of a DDoS attack or a data breach as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach.


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