OXFORD, U.K. -- More than seventy percent of respondents recently polled by Sophos, a world leader in integrated threat management solutions, confirm that they plan to shop online for holiday gifts this year. Separately, 51 percent of respondents to a recent eMarketer.com survey indicate they are concerned on some level about Internet security during the holiday season; and, with good reason. SophosLabs, Sophoss global research security center, reports that thousands of new viruses appear every month. Sophos warns consumers and web merchants alike to take precaution as they fill their virtual shopping carts this holiday season.
A main reason for concern is that online shopping revenues are growing while cyber criminals are honing their skills. eMarketer.com reports that online holiday spending will reach $24.3 billion this year, a 22.1 percent increase in sales since last year. With more web shoppers and more money at stake, e-commerce sites are ripe playgrounds for hackers as they execute targeted attacks on popular sites, in order to secure big payouts.
Sophos has seen a marked transition in malicious attacks through the years. Todays hackers are focused on carefully researched attacks against specific targets looking for what will yield the highest return with the least amount of risk. said Ron OBrien, senior security analyst at Sophos. As holiday shopping ramps up, consumers and online merchants must take the necessary precautions to ensure they do not fall victim to the latest online threats.