The Perils of Holiday Shopping at Work

So December isn’t exactly top-of-the-charts when it comes to economic output. Americans love the holidays and according to a study by Robert Half Staffing, 52% of professionals say they’ll be shopping online at work this year. Countless more place occasional orders but might not think of it as “holiday shopping”.

From an IT perspective, this trend is troubling. Employees are using corporate devices and networks to visit sites, volunteering credit card and other personal information, and placing orders. Per Symantec’s 2019 Internet Security Threat Report, malicious emails increase significantly during the November/December holiday period. Why? It’s a golden opportunity for cybercriminals to send phishing emails and text messages that look like real order and tracking confirmations.

What are their goals?

Fooling your team into downloading dangerous software like ransomware
Tricking them into logging into a replica of a real site
Stealing money and/or proprietary information
Maliciously corrupting or deleting key data
Some danger signs to be especially cognizant of during the holidays:

Email mismatch – There is a mismatch between the “from” name and address. The email looks like it comes from the shipper but the sender’s domain is different, sometimes very subtlety.
Misspellings and other errors – Large companies like FedEx and UPS rarely make obvious and consistent errors in spelling or grammar.
Invalid tracking number – Tracking numbers that don’t actually exist when checked on the shipper’s website.
Disguised links – The text embedded in an email look innocuous but the hyperlink itself is bad.
The best way to protect your money, information, and hardware is to work with a leading MSP like TCG Network Services. We partner with clients to improve their cybersecurity position in a wide variety of ways:

24/7/365 monitoring
Fast remediation when security gaps are identified
Deploying world-class antivirus protection and email filtering
Setting up reliable data backup and recovery services
Encouraging documented security procedures and best practices.
Our mission is to provide peace-of-mind, now and well into a very happy New Year. Time to make an investment in your security? Contact us here today!