Is Your SMB Ready for Cyber Weekend 2019?

Cyber Weekend, a 5-day shopping extravaganza merging Black Friday and Cyber Monday, comes with cyber risks for SMBs. Learn what precautions you should take to protect your business from hackers this holiday season.

Last year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday officially gave way to Cyber Weekend — an extended five-day online shopping extravaganza spanning from Thanksgiving to the Monday following the holiday. In 2018, American consumers spent $24.2 billion over those five days; this year is expected to break more records.

If you don’t know the history of Black Friday, or need a refresher, here’s one version of the story: the day after Thanksgiving is often a holiday, so people liked to get a jump on their Christmas shopping. Retail stores took advantage of the eager crowds by holding major sales, which helped their annual sales numbers get into "the black,” meaning out of "the red," which is how accountants refer to losing money.

Circa 2005, with the increasing popularity of ecommerce and online sales, Black Friday began to be overshadowed by its rapidly growing cousin, Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday was the day after Thanksgiving weekend that many party revelers returned to work with high-speed internet connections (back in the day when not everyone had them at home) and used them for online holiday shopping, and lots of it.

Today, these two specially named shopping days are blurring into one massive long weekend extravaganza: nearly everyone has access to high-speed internet connections, whether at home, through their smartphones, or at the local cafe, and online shopping begins right after the feast and continues through the now “traditional” Cyber Monday. So, goodbye Black Friday, and sayonara Cyber Monday. Welcome Cyber Weekend 2019!

Yay, sales and revenue — what could be wrong with that? The answer depends on how confident you are about your cybersecurity best practices. While increasing sales is usually welcome to retailers, there is a dark side to storing sensitive information like credit card numbers, shipping information, and other personal information. This is especially true for SMBs. Approximately 29% of SMBs sell products online, and of those, 66% use their company website while the rest use marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. 

Some eye-opening SMB ecommerce statistics include: 

  • The average small business website is attacked 44 times per day.
  • Wordpress websites used by many SMBs are particularly vulnerable to attack, with outdated versions of software often to blame.
  • 47% of small businesses say they don’t have enough time or resources to improve on their data security practices.

So what can SMBs do to protect themselves? 

  1. Always use the latest software, and make sure you are regularly scanning your web apps for vulnerabilities. According to GoDaddy, in 83% of hacking incidents, the hackers added backdoors to websites that allowed access even after the files were cleaned up. See our post about the importance of ongoing monitoring here.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the kinds of risks associated with your business and what you need to do to be in compliance with regulations like PCI and GDPR. But don’t stop at your own understanding: make sure your employees in every department understand the risks and how to mitigate them.
  3. Require strong passwords. Helpful tips are available for download in our Cybersecurity Awareness Training Guide.
  4. Get a safety net. Hackers never sleep and are always finding new ways to attack businesses. Make sure you have a cyber insurance policy in place that is tailored to the unique risk profile of your business.

At Zeguro, we are dedicated to simplifying cyber safety for organizations of every size. Don’t let scrooge hackers ruin your holidays. Take precautions now - before the ecommerce onslaught begins later this week.

Zeguro is a cyber safety solution and insurance provider for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), offering a comprehensive suite of tools for risk mitigation and compliance, as well as insurance premiums that are tailored to the size, sector and profile of a company.
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Heidi Elgaard
Written by

Heidi Elgaard

VP, Marketing & Growth

Growth leader delivering successful GoToMarket strategies for innovative technology companies. Roles have included VP Marketing (Scandit), CMO (SaaS Markets) and Director, Business Development (AVID).

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