Black Friday is approaching, set for November 26, which officially raises the curtain on the period of Christmas shopping and sales at the beginning of the year. This custom, consolidated in the United States starting from the second post-war period and landed in Italy in 2010, brings with it traffic peaks, not only on the streets (the term was coined precisely for the road congestion that was created) but also on the Web.
In this period, in the digital world, a real bargain hunt is unleashed which often leads users to take too many risks: according to a survey by Kaspersky during Black Friday 2020, 82% of Italians said they were willing to share their personal data (such as email address and phone number), in order to maximize savings.
Only 27% were aware that scams are also growing exponentially these days. And yes, because occasions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also coveted by hackers, who in these moments can collect a large amount of data, due to the reckless behavior of consumers.
Black Friday: the word to the experts
“These major online events in November and the subsequent holidays represent a great opportunity for cybercriminals to hit private individuals by undermining the security of e-commerce, price comparison portals and, in general, of all those platforms that offer discounts and promotions – explains Luca Manara CEO of the innovative startup App Quality and founder of the WhiteJar project, the first community of certified ethical hackers in Italy – In recent weeks we have received an increase in requests for intervention from our community, of which 80% coming from companies with ecommerce sites, with the aim of strengthening the defense perimeter and protecting the huge amount of personal data from attacks, in particular, credit card numbers or bank credentials, which will be posted on websites in these months “.
Prevention is better than cure
If consumers can limit the damage by adopting prudent behavior – first of all buying on legitimate sites, using secure payment methods and being wary of offers that are too sensational – companies must adopt a preventive defense strategy: “This is the first step to take to stem these criminal phenomena. Businesses should never lower their guard when it comes to their IT systems because the threat is always around the corner and not only in the hottest times of the year, when it risks being too late to defend themselves “he continues. Luca Manara.
According to a recent study, Italy is now in second place in Europe, after Spain, for the number of hacker attacks: in the last year cyber attacks have in fact grown by 36% and in 2021, every week, on the 1st, 9% of Italian companies are affected by ransomware, which means that every 7 days, cybercriminals targeted 903 companies.
“This is a serious and current threat, also in light of the acceleration of the digital transition path, to which the PNRR dedicates 27% of its resources, which ‘increase hunger’ for cybercriminals. Italy pays a great technological delay of which the striking story of the hacker attack on the computer systems of the Lazio Region and other recent cases against large structured companies are the confirmation. We must therefore run for cover ”continues Luca Manara.
For public bodies and businesses, from large structured multinationals to small and medium-sized businesses, the new challenge is precisely the digital transition, which requires urgent innovation of infrastructures and processes. “The ongoing technological evolution requires a clear cultural change, with the aim of creating greater awareness of the importance of continuously protecting IT systems – says Luca Manara – To do this you need to be curious, get informed and do business training on issues relating to cyber security, as well as always updating company systems, to reduce their vulnerability “.
Once this awareness is acquired, it is necessary to continue investing in new tools and up-to-date resources that protect sites from cyber attacks or even be able to ward off them. From this point of view, WhiteJar proposes an innovative model, because it continuously entrusts the Pentesting and Vulnerability Assessment activities of its customers to the widespread and collective intelligence of the certified ethical hackers who make up its community.
“To understand WJ’s philosophy one could borrow a famous saying taken from Chinese military art ‘If you know the enemy and yourself, your victory is sure’ – concludes Luca Manara – Considering that in the world of hacking there are two types of people, black hats and white hats, the latter can become a precious resource for companies and public bodies, to counter the criminal work of the former. Only with a preventive strategy, in my opinion, is it possible to arrive truly prepared for periods such as shopping and promotions
of the end of the year which, from November to January, makes most of the online platforms incandescent “.