Cybereason’s Holiday Shopping Survey Reveals Most Consumers are Concerned About Getting Hacked

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The unofficial start of the holiday shopping season begins this week. Online shoppers face risks year-to-year yet 40 percent of shoppers won't be changing their shopping habits to reduce risk.

Cybereason, developers of the world’s only military-grade, real-time detection and response platform, today released results from a nationwide holiday shopping survey and found that nearly two-thirds of shoppers (62 percent) are concerned about being hacked this holiday season. Surprisingly, as worried as they might be, 40 percent of shoppers admit they won’t do anything to prevent themselves from being hacked, despite knowing vulnerabilities exist.

Israel Barak, Cybereason’s CISO, explains why so many shoppers won’t change their online habits even in light of the increases in fraudulent campaigns carried out by hackers: “Consumers consider their credit card insurance as a good enough safety net that allows them to use their card on any website, and worst case scenario, revert any fraudulent transactions without taking any financial damage. This is especially true during the holiday season and not only for consumers. Employers should take note since tens of millions of additional people will be shopping for their holiday gifts during Cyber Monday and during work hours, increasing risks to the corporate networks,” he said.

Cybereason’s survey found that consumers are 68 percent more likely to open an email from a retailer during the shopping season, requiring an increased diligence to open only legitimate attachments, not fraudulent ones. In addition, consumers are 32 percent more likely to click on advertisements during the holidays and hackers take advantage of this by increasing click-fraud campaigns.

In 2016, consumers will use their mobile phones frequently to purchase gifts. In fact, 46 percent are more likely to use their phone rather than other endpoints such as desktops, laptops or iPads to purchase holiday gifts and 23 percent will at least search for products with their phones.

Other interesting holiday shopping survey findings:

*70 percent of shoppers admit they are more likely to purchase items from an unknown online retailer if they find the right deal.
*72 percent of shoppers said they’ve purchased items from an online retailer whom they’ve never heard of, with 70 percent of shoppers admitting they are more likely to do this during the holiday season for the right deal.
*12 percent of shoppers are more likely to download a new app during the holidays than any other time of the year. This change in behavior renders shoppers more susceptible to cyber attack through unsecure networks, corrupted mobile sites and suspicious links.

Risks Increase During Holiday Travel

The influx of travel during the holiday season also adds cyber risk. According to those surveyed, 37 percent agreed that travelling will lead them to use unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Sixty-four percent agreed that using unsecured public wifi networks - like those at airports, hotels, cafes, and on airplanes - will make them more vulnerable to a cyber attack.

There are significant risks for consumers to consider with the promiscuous use of debit or credit cards.

“Shoppers will either knowingly or by mistake, use their debit cards instead of their credit cards. Debit cards are both uncovered by the credit card fraud insurance policy, and provide an almost unrestricted and direct access to the bank accounts they are associated with. A debit card compromise can lead to a substantial financial damage to its owner. In addition, stolen credit card information can link the owner of the card to various types of illegal activities, conducted with the card information, and lead law enforcement authorities back to the unknowing credit card owner. This can include the purchase of firearms, hazardous substances, explosives and conduct such as illegal online activity like criminal pornography,” added Barak.

A Little Preventative Medicine Can Go a Long Way to a Cure Consumers and employers can reduce online holiday shopping risks by following these tips:

*Only visit websites that you trust because they are generally safer to use. Do not shop on sites that you have never heard of because an offer too good to be true might be nothing more than a scam.

*Make sure that the URL reads ‘HTTPS’ and not just ‘HTTP’ and look for the padlock icon to the left of the URL because it is a sign of increased security.

*If you receive an email or attachment from a retailer that you are interested in, visit the retailer’s site by typing in the address of the site to search for the deal. If it is a legit offer, you’ll be able to verify it on the retailer’s website. This is a good way to avoid phishing emails that make people click on fake URLs, exposing them to malware and other security risks.

*Be diligent to check the URLs and contact information in the emails or attachments you receive. Often, hackers will create fake email accounts and websites by very subtly changing a letter or number in a URL, making you believe it is a real site when it isn’t.

*Make sure your operating system, browser and other apps on both your mobile phone and desktop are updated so that known vulnerabilities are fixed and patched.

*When traveling, it is better to tether to the Internet using your smartphone as a hotspot instead of using Free public Wi-Fi which can be easily compromised by hackers.

About Cybereason:
Founded by members of the Israeli intelligence agency’s elite cybersecurity Unit 8200, the Cybereason platform mirrors the founders’ expertise in managing some of world’s most complex hacking operations. The Cybereason Detection and Response Platform leverages big data, behavioral analytics and machine learning to uncover, in real-time, complex cyber attacks designed to evade traditional defenses. It automates the investigation process, connects isolated malicious events and visually presents a full malicious operation. The platform is available as an on-premise solution or a cloud-based service. Cybereason is privately held and headquartered in Boston with offices in London, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

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For more information, contact:
Bill Keeler
Director, Public Relations
(508) 414-7755 (cell)

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Bill Keeler
Cybereason Inc.
+1 (929) 259-3261
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