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Cyber Monday presents a serious email & network security risk for businesses.

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Sun, Nov 25th, 2012

Cyber Monday is a network security headache for many small and medium sized companys. The weekend from Black Friday' through to  ‘Cyber Monday' are the busiest four days of the year for online shopping . Cyber Monday came into being in 2005 when it was noticed that there was a spike in online sales the Monday after Thanksgiving, it’s essentially an attempt to jumpstart the holiday shopping season. Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion this year according to ComScore, up 20 percent from last years Cyber Monday.

As on-line shopping gets more and more popular the significance of days like Cyber Monday lessens, some believe every day in the lead up to Christmas is a cyber shopping day. Even though Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest shopping day this year, with retailers offering compelling bargains, industry watchers say it’s just a matter of time before other days take over in terms of the amount of on-line shopping.

On line shoppers chasing a bargain forget even the most  basic email security precautions.

Cyber Monday is for most a normal workday which means workers will likely be using their employers' computers and networks to take advantage of these on line bargains. As email inboxes fill with Cyber Monday special offers the risk of phishing and spam emails being treated as legitimate increases. As employees shopping from the workplace get carried away with phenomenal offers the thrill of the bargain will see many momentarily forgetting even the most basic email security precautions.

For employers there’s a lot at risk –the stakes are high. With 80% of all online shopping taking place during office hours, employers need to be sure that when employees are shopping on line using company equipment they are accessing safe and protected sites and not exposing the network and organisation to threats that could have serious security and ultimately financial consequences.

To be able to flexibly manage internet activity allows companys protect themselves.

A recent survey by Robert Half Technology, found that 23% of CIOs said that although their companies do allow access to shopping sites, they monitor employees for excessive use. These companies have the capability to flexibly manage internet activity and their web filtering solution provides the protection by ensuring that only access to secure website is permitted.

Organisations need to remain vigilant and follow proven email and web security guidelines such as not clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails, only using recognised shopping site that use secure browsing facilities and keeping your  business anti spam, anti phishing and web security solutions up-to-date. User awareness is key and awareness training should be a part of every corporate security program.

According to a report earlier this year, global cybercrime had 431 million adult victims in the past year, costing countries $114 billion.

Don't be the next victim, download our latest whitepaper on best messaging and web security practises for more information on how to protect your organisation from online and email attacks.

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