Over the last few years, the traditional way of shopping has changed thanks to the exponential growth of online businesses. Most businesses have long been digitising the way their businesses operate and now rely more on online channels in order to connect with their customers and sell products. 

At this time of year, more customers shop online than at any other time. With Black Friday and Christmas, consumer intent to buy is extremely high and the average purchase value increases significantly thanks also to discounts and savings. However, cybercriminals are all too aware of this and do all they can to carry out attacks and deceive unknowing customers. 

During this time of year, most people report an increase in the number of scam and phishing emails they receive. As well as this, personal details are more likely to be compromised, with around £15.3 million lost during last year’s festive season. On average, victims of online fraud during the festive season lose around £1,000. 

When it comes to shopping online during the festive season, there are some ways in which, as an online business or retailer, you can help to keep customers protected, as well as shield your business from some of the more common cyber attacks. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can protect a customer’s data from consumer-targeted cyber attacks over the festive season. 


Keep Your Systems Up To Date

If you’re often delaying system or network updates, then now might be the time to look into getting them running smoothly again. Having up-to-date systems and networks can be one of the easiest ways to protect consumers from targeted cyber attacks. 

Most updates can be done remotely or even set up so that they update automatically when notified or when they become available. If you’re not sure how best to keep your systems and networks updated, then our managed cyber security services can keep on top of these updates for you. 


Encourage Two-Factor Authentication For Logins

Weak passwords are one of the biggest cyber security threats and these are often the easiest way for scammers and hackers to access customer accounts and personal information. 

When looking at ways to protect your customer’s personal information, look to include two-factor authentication as an optional feature to further protect your customer’s accounts. Most software and network solutions allow two-factor authentication to be implemented within the login interface. This ensures that, should a user’s password be compromised in a data breach, harmful third parties are then unable to access your company’s systems and data, as well as the customer’s data. 

You could also limit the number of login attempts allowed for user logins, which can often be altered in your shop’s site settings. If a user, or third-party, makes too many attempts to login, then the account will be blocked or restricted until they reset their password. If the login attempt was made by the customer, then this can be easily reset, whereas if it is someone attempting to hack an account, the customer will be notified. 


Renew Your SSL Certificate 

One of the most important things you can do to keep your customers protected is to ensure your SSL certificate is up to date. An SSL certificate protects data traffic between your shop and your customers. SSL certificates keep your site encryption up to date, making the shopping process safer for everyone who visits your site. 

SSL certificates expire in order to keep your encryption up to date and, by asking you to renew every 2 years, this ensures that you always have the latest ciphers protecting your site. SSL certificates need to be issued by a trusted certificate authority, which is why browsers trust them. 


Display Security Information On Your Site

You can build trust with your customers by displaying security information on your website. In a time where there are many copycat websites, shopping scams and breaches of payment data and information, showing how you’re keeping your customers safe and secure whilst shopping can go a long way in building trust. 

Whether it’s payment security, website security or your site’s compliance with data protection regulations, providing information or visible proof of the security steps you are taking helps provide customers with a safe and secure shopping experience. 


Online shops are common targets for cyber attacks and criminals, even more so during the festive season. Protecting your site and your customers by taking the right security precautions means that you can reduce the chance of your business being one of many that get breached or hacked during this time of year. If you do find that your business has been compromised and customer data has been breached, contact CYFOR Secure today and our Cyber Incident Response team can quickly mitigate the impact of a cyber attack.