Shopping online at work during Cyber Monday is tempting, but it could put your company at risk for cyberattacks. TechRepublic’s Dan Patterson met with Edgewise Networks CTO Harry Sverdlove to discuss how online shopping can cost you more than just your purchases.

Employees are opening the electronic front door to letting anyone in as they’re shopping, Sverdlove said. Companies need to realize employees are just as likely to be a risk to the network, regardless of their location.

Hackers get into your system two ways: through websites and spear phishing. During the holiday season, shoppers are less discerning about the websites they visit as they look for coupons and good deals. They are also less discerning about what links they click in their inbox, as they await shipping invoices and confirmation emails.

SEE: Network security policy (Tech Pro Research)

Sverdlove suggests three ways companies can stay secure during the holiday shopping season:

1. Patch your devices. Companies need to implement a policy to ensure user systems are patched. If employees are using their own devices, encourage employees to patch them.

2. Back up your data. If data isn’t backed up, there’s a risk of data becoming encrypted and the company being asked to pay ransom to get it back.

3. Isolate your systems and applications. Companies should isolate not only the user systems, but the applications on that system as well. So if the system does get compromised, it can’t spread to the rest of the network.

Looking toward the next couple years, we’re definitely going to see a continued growth of ransomware because it works and it’s profitable, he said. Additionally, companies will start to see hackers using their own employee’s credentials because of the amount of personal information that has been recently stolen. “Installing multi-factor authentication and techniques like that is going to be really critical for companies,” Sverdlove said.