Thales Blog

Cyber Monday Brings Both Profit And A Cautionary Tale

December 10, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 8.27.26 AMYou’ll have been hard pushed to have missed all the news coverage on Black Friday and Cyber Monday which topped all records this year. Adobe, which maintains a ‘Digital Index’ of online shopping data, reported that 2013 Cyber Monday sales hit a massive $2.29 Billion.  That’s a lot of transactions and a lot of sensitive data being transmitted.

Card data and other sensitive personal information is a tantalising payload for cybercriminals to target but, what’s more, the overall increase in web traffic that events like Cyber Monday generates presents a monitoring and intelligence challenge for businesses.

Thanks to changes in the threat landscapes over the past few years, with targeted attacks and advanced persistent threats (APTs) now common occurrences, all web traffic should be treated with suspicion until proven legitimate and, when we see spikes around specific events like Cyber Monday, it becomes harder and harder to ensure nothing slips through in the general noise.

Organisations are put under increasing pressure not only to cope with the surges in demand like this, but also to ensure that the extra data traversing networks is adequately defended.

The new breed of cyber attacks we’re seeing demonstrates that the network is now permeable.  It’s no longer a case of ‘if’, but ‘when’ your network walls will be breached.  As a result, business strategy for organisations needs to include a much more layered defence.  This is no longer a traditional approach including Perimeter, Network, Host, Application security etc, but needs to have an over-arching focus on the actual data itself.

On top of that, modern businesses need to not only defend data at its source, but also to be alerted to anomalous behaviour or suspicious activity as and when it arises in order to prevent a breach.  It’s only by having the right data security controls in place that you can emerge from a bonanza like Cyber Monday with both reputation and hard-earned profit intact.