4Q Cybersecurity Report: Cyber Reminders for Holiday Shopping Season

November 13, 2023   |   Written By Lexicon Bank
4Q Cybersecurity Report: Cyber Reminders for Holiday Shopping Season

Cyber Reminders for Holiday Shopping Season

As a small business owner, the holiday season is both an exciting and potentially risky time. With so many transactions happening online and the potential for cyber threats ever-looming, keeping your bank account safe from hackers is of paramount importance. In today's blog post, I'll be sharing some actionable advice to help you prepare your business for the holiday season and stay safe online from cybersecurity risks. By the end, you'll be armed with valuable information to keep your finances secure and your business thriving.

Table of Contents

  • High-Security Tips for Business Owners AND Consumers

  • Key Steps for Protecting Your Small Business Bank Account

    • Regularly Update Your Software

    • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

    • Be Wary of Phishing Scams

    • Limit Access to Your Online Banking

    • Monitor Your Accounts Regularly

    • Prepare, Protect, and Keep Your Money Secure

  • Here Are Some Other CyberSecurity Tips to Consider Any Time of Year

  • How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Cyber Fraud During Online Shopping

  • Building a Safer Digital Tomorrow with Lexicon Bank

High-Security Tips for Business Owners AND Consumers

First we will explore threats and tips for business owners.  Later in this article, we will discuss smart tips for consumers. The holiday season is the busiest time of year for many business owners. It is also the high season for scams and theft! This guide provides many useful tips that will rescue your stress level while helping you keep your business data, sales transactions, employees, and systems safe from Holiday Shopping Fraud.

Threats and Tips for Online Sales and Transactions During the Holiday Season

As the world becomes more digitally connected, businesses are experiencing both the benefits and risks of online transactions. Let's delve into the threats you mentioned and discuss ways to counteract them.

The holiday season brings immense opportunities and potential risks for small businesses like yours. If you follow these tips and be proactive, you can keep your bank account safe from cybersecurity threats and enjoy a successful holiday season. Remember, knowledge is power - so use this advice to make sure you're always one step ahead of cybercriminals and to keep your business thriving for years to come.

Business owners face several threats during the holiday season. Some are obvious and others are not. Here is a list of some threats to look out for and tips to help you avoid trouble.

Employees doing their shopping on your systems expose your business to fraud.

Threat:

When employees use company systems or networks for personal online shopping, they can inadvertently introduce security vulnerabilities. Hackers often use holiday deals as bait for phishing scams.

Tips:

  • Establish a clear policy prohibiting personal use of company resources for online shopping.

  • Ensure your network has a robust firewall and up-to-date antivirus software.

  • Consider segregating your business network, so employees can only access necessary business resources, limiting the exposure to threats.

Offering online purchasing of your products, gift certificates, and other items you sell online can make you a target for fraud.

Threat:

Online stores are often targeted by cybercriminals using stolen credit card information, engaging in refund fraud, or trying to exploit vulnerabilities in the e-commerce platform.

Tips:

  • Use a reputed payment gateway that offers fraud protection.

  • Regularly monitor and reconcile your online transactions.

  • Implement CAPTCHA on your site to prevent bot-driven fraud.

  • Ensure SSL encryption is used for all transactions to secure customer data.

Fraudsters would love to divert your transactions to their bank accounts.

Threat:

Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams often involve a fraudster pretending to be a senior executive or a vendor, asking for payment to be redirected to a new bank account.

Tips:

  • Always double-check payment details with the concerned parties through a different communication channel (e.g., if the request came through email, call them).

  • Set up a multi-person approval process for significant changes to bank account details or payment requests.

  • Train your finance team to recognize the signs of BEC scams and have a clear procedure for reporting and verifying suspicious requests.

Key Steps for Protecting Your Small Business Bank Account During the Holidays

Here are some essential steps to help protect your small business bank account from hackers and cybercriminals this holiday season.

Regularly Update Your Software

  • Ensure that your operating system, browser, and other software are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

  • Keep your e-commerce platform and any plugins on your website updated to the most recent version.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

  • Enable MFA on all your online banking platforms and wherever it is available.

  • Encourage your employees to enable MFA on their own devices to add an extra layer of security to your system.

Be Wary of Phishing Scams

  • Educate your employees about phishing scams and how hackers can try to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information by pretending to be legitimate entities.

  • Implement a policy for spotting and reporting phishing attempts in your organization.

  • For more information on how to keep you and your employees safe this holiday season from phone, text, and email phishing scams, check out this helpful resource: https://www.banksneveraskthat.com/protect-yourself/

Limit Access to Your Online Banking

  • Only give access to employees who need it.

  • Review permissions for employees with access to your online accounts and limit their access to the minimum amount needed to perform their job.

Monitor Your Accounts Regularly

  • Regularly review your transactions and bank statements for any suspicious activity.

  • Set up account activity alerts for any unexpected transactions or changes in account details.

Remember the most important holiday business banking tip of them all: Prepare, Protect, and Keep Your Money Secure.

Prepare, Protect, and Keep Your Money Secure

The holiday season brings immense opportunities and potential risks for small businesses like yours. If you follow these tips and be proactive, you can keep your bank account safe from cybersecurity threats and enjoy a successful holiday season. Remember, knowledge is power - so use this advice to make sure you're always one step ahead of cybercriminals and to keep your business thriving for years to come.

Here Are Some Other CyberSecurity Tips to Consider Any Time of Year

In the digital age, cyber threats are evolving, but so are the means to protect against them. With a comprehensive approach to security, businesses can protect their assets, reputation, and ultimately, their bottom line. By regularly assessing threats, training staff, and investing in robust cybersecurity measures, businesses can be confident in their resilience against the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats.

Cyber Insurance

Why It's Important: With the increasing rate of cyber attacks, having insurance can help mitigate potential financial losses from data breaches, business interruptions, or ransomware attacks.

Tips When Considering Cyber Insurance:

  • Evaluate your business needs and potential risks to determine the right coverage.

  • Understand what the policy covers, as there can be exclusions or conditions.

Vendor Management

Why It's Important: Your business’s cyber security is only as strong as the weakest link. If your vendors are compromised, you can be too.

Tips:

  • Regularly assess the security measures of your vendors.

  • Ensure all contracts with vendors have clauses regarding data protection and security requirements.

Backup Systems

Why It's Important: Ransomware attacks, where hackers lock your data and demand a ransom, can cripple a business. Having backup systems allows you to restore your data without paying a ransom.

Tips:

  • Regularly backup all essential business data.

  • Store backups in multiple locations, including a cloud service and an offline hard drive.

Invest in Proper Employee Training

Why It's Important: Employees can often be the first line of defense against cyber threats. Equipping them with knowledge can reduce the risk of a successful attack.

Tips:

  • Hire consultants and trainers if need be.

  • Conduct regular cyber security training sessions.

  • Simulate phishing attacks to see if employees can spot them, and use the results as a training opportunity.

Secure Your Systems From Physical Access

Why It's Important: Not all threats come online. Physical breaches can lead to stolen devices or unauthorized access to systems.

Tips:

  • Limit physical access to sensitive areas in your business.

  • Use security cameras and alarm systems.

  • Ensure all devices (computers, phones) are password-protected and encrypted.

Have a Disaster Recovery Plan

Why It's Important: In case of a major breach or cyber attack, having a clear plan of action can help mitigate the damage and restore operations faster.

Tips:

  • Draft a plan detailing the steps to take in case of different types of cyber incidents.

  • Regularly update and test the plan to ensure its effectiveness.

How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Cyber Fraud During Online Shopping

Now, turning our attention to consumers. Here's how they can protect themselves during the festive online shopping spree:

  • Shop on Reputable Sites

Stick to well-known online retailers or check the legitimacy of lesser-known ones.

  • Use Secure Payment Methods

Credit cards or payment platforms like PayPal can offer added layers of protection.

  • Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Shopping

Public networks can be insecure and more prone to hacking.

  • Check Your Statements

Regularly review bank and credit card statements for unauthorized transactions.

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it's also a period where the risk of cyber fraud spikes. By being proactive and staying informed, both businesses and consumers can ensure a safe and happy holiday season. Stay safe and happy shopping!

Building a Safer Digital Tomorrow with Lexicon Bank

The digital landscape, though filled with opportunities, presents unique challenges that demand proactive measures. From the intricate nuances of vendor management to the essential practice of regular backups, protecting both businesses and consumers in this era requires a holistic approach.

At the heart of this cyber-resilient vision is a partner that understands these challenges and is equipped to counteract them — Lexicon Bank in Las Vegas, NV. At Lexicon Bank, we believe in more than just financial transactions; we're dedicated to ensuring that each transaction is secure and our client's financial integrity remains uncompromised. We actively collaborate with business owners, providing them with the resources and knowledge needed to shield their operations from cyber threats. For our individual consumers, we're always at the forefront, deploying advanced security measures and educating them on best practices to ensure their hard-earned money and data remain protected.

As we journey together in this digital age, Lexicon Bank remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering a secure banking environment, bridging the gap between innovation and safety. Whether you're a business seeking to fortify its cyber defenses or an individual keen on safe online transactions, Lexicon Bank is your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of cybersecurity. Together, let's create a safer, more secure digital future for all.

 

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