Black Friday

At this time of year, retailers and consumers are gearing up for one of the most anticipated events in the retail calendar– Black Friday. Once reserved for just a day, Black Friday has evolved in to an almost week-long shopping opportunity, ending on Cyber Monday. Eagerly anticipated seasonal discounts start earlier each year giving consumers ample opportunity to grab a bargain.

With record numbers shopping online, there are others who also look forward to this online shopping extravaganza. Cybercriminals seize this opportunity to take advantage of increased spending and low awareness of cybersecurity amongst many shoppers.

Research shows there is a clear correlation between spikes in spending and fraudulent transactions. In the UK, Black Friday weekend, Christmas, and the January sales account for a disproportionate amount of overall annual fraud, and could cost shoppers more than £1.3bn. Perhaps more worrying, almost a third of shoppers are likely to take a financial risk, if they see an offer which seems to be a bargain.

However, according to Symantec, an authority on cybersecurity, 80% of data breaches could be averted with two-factor authentication (2FA), a recommended best-practice for protecting sensitive data.

Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security and makes it harder for attackers to gain access to a person’s devices and online accounts, because knowing the victim’s password alone is not enough to pass the authentication check. Two-factor authentication has long been used to control access to sensitive systems and data, and online services are increasingly introducing 2FA to prevent their users’ data from being accessed by hackers.