"Holiday Freeze" Tips for Retailers and Consumers

"Holiday Freeze" Tips for Retailers and Consumers

With so many data breaches being reported, it’s no wonder that retailers are a bit on edge during this year’s holiday shopping season. Adding to this stress is the annual “holiday freeze,” the time in which no new security tools or IT projects go live. This means critical transaction and supporting systems must be locked in top performance and availability mode. Only critical security patches are installed during this freeze to help prevent disruption of holiday shopping.

“This season, merchants are getting busier processing transactions, fulfilling orders and satisfying customers so that less time and effort is spent reviewing transactions,” said Liron Damri, COO of Forter. “More fraudsters are able to get away with it.” (“it” includes things like shoplifting, stealing purses and bags, and other horrible acts, but for the purpose of this article, “it” means personal data breaches.)

The E-Suite and the board of directors of large department stores and big-box chains face a delicate balance of intensifying security efforts to protect sensitive data and keeping up with the tradition of not altering systems or adding new technology until after the Christmas rush is over. But, they are keeping a close watch for any new attacks.

“The magic word for merchants is ‘automation,’” suggested Damri. “Put some more sophisticated tools in place that will allow you to free up the fraud prevention people for monitoring, rather than chasing fraud.”

In addition, Damri urges merchants to build their own policies and mechanisms around fraud as the merchants are the ones being held accountable for fraud-related costs. But this too is a delicate balance because “being over conservative in applying too many fraud prevention measures will create the opposite impact – losing innocent customers.”

Speaking of customers, Damri has some advice for consumers as well.

“The magic word for consumers is ‘awareness,’” said Damri. “During this time of year, consumers need to monitor credit card statements and make sure they recognize the transactions. If the merchant’s name doesn’t sound familiar – Google it. If it looks like an unauthorized transaction – call your credit card company. They’ve got your covered.”

I don’t know about you, but ALL of my holiday purchases will be made with cold, hard cash!

Image: Canadapanda / Shutterstock.com)

About the Author

Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.

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