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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 12, 2021

Reports underline risks for merchants through holiday season

Bots. Phishing scams. CNP fraud. The holiday season is rife with dangers for online merchants of all sizes, as several reports underline. Here's what merchants and brands need to know.

by Kristina Knight

First, data out from Imperva found that bot attacks on retail sites are up about 13% YoY so far this year, and about 33% of all attempted logins on retail sites are actually attempted account takeovers. For the rest of the web, that percentage is still high at about 25%, however, the focus on retail sites may be unnerving especially during this busy shopping season.

But bad bots aren't the only worry area. New data out from Barracuda Networks finds that most bait emails (90%) are sent via Gmail accounts, and nearly one-third (30%) of businesses report being targeted by bait emails. These bait or reconaissance attacks are usually very short with little content that is used merely to verify an email account is real. Because there is little content to the email traditional security software doesn't pick up on the potential threat.

According to Barracuda's experts receiving a blank email such as this should be dealt with immediately by deploying AI to identify and block the bait-sender, and by training employees to recognize these 'little content' emails as the threats they are.

More data from Barracuda's report can be found here.

Meanwhile, a new SailPoint report finds that phishing is another area of concern for merchants and brands heading into the holiday season. Their data found that most (59%) of workers are using company email for personal use, even for newsletters and sales flyers from favored brands, putting businesses at risk if an employee were to click on a phishing link on their work device.

Added to that, about 1 in 3 holiday shoppers say they use their business device for online shopping and that nearly 40% believe they've received phishing emails through their work emails. More SailPoint data can be found here.

These reports make it more important than ever that merchants and brands communicate with their customer base about not only when they can expect emails but the type of content that will - and especially will not - be included and/or asked for.

Tags: 2021 holiday shopping risks, 2021 holiday shopping trends, Barracuda Networks, ecommerce, ecommerce security, holiday cybersecurity, Imperva, SailPoint

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