2021 News-EN




Cyber attacks are always on the rise and they are growing not only in frequency but also in criticality.

In fact, cyber criminals continuously evolve their attack techniques, finding all the possible weaknesses of their victims or exploiting hot topics (as happened for the Covid-19 themed attacks at the beginning of the pandemic).

So what do Cyber Security and Digital Reputation have in common?

First of all, hiding a cyber attack becomes more difficult.

If it is not the company that admits it openly, in some cases, particularly in the case of ransomware, it is the criminal himself who communicates it on dedicated websites or even to journalists, in order to increase media pressure and multiply the chances of obtaining the payment of the ransom.

On one hand, we are now all more exposed to cyber attacks, and therefore the reputational damage due to the admission of having been victims of them is less than in the past.

But on the other hand, managing the emergency badly can have important repercussions.

Denying the attack and then colliding with the evidence, such as a data leak from the attacker, can be much worse.

Therefore, it is better to learn how to properly manage communications in the event of cyber attacks, rather than denying or taking time.

How then to prevent an attack?

As for prevention, however, things get complicated.

We are in fact exposed to different types of cyber attacks.

While most of the attacks (about 40%) are now perpetrated through Malware, and in particular Ransomware, a good part (about 25%) is carried out using techniques that remain unknown.

Furthermore, Vulnerabilities (known but also unknown, as in the case of 0day, or problems not yet in the public domain for which there is no patch to be applied to the systems) and techniques such as Phishing and Social Engineering continue to have some success.

But how to defend yourself?

In the case of generic Malware, antimalware solutions can offer an effective defense.

But, in the case of ransomware, the phenomenon of double extortion, i.e. the second ransom asked by criminals in order not to disclose stolen data before encrypting corporate systems, complicates things.

The choice for the victim is between paying a criminal or facing the media pillory for failing to adequately protect sensitive data entrusted to them.

To defend against known Vulnerabilities, the only solution is to periodically check the systems in search of problems or mis-configurations that must be found and resolved promptly.

The attack surface of a company can be very large and it would be good to carry out checks of this kind at least once a year, or even better, every 6 months.

Against Phishing and Social Engineering, on the other hand, we can find an effectively defense only through awareness courses for employees and collaborators.

In fact, by constantly refining their attack methods, criminals sometimes make it difficult to recognize threats.

Developing a cautious attitude, being aware of these types of risks and knowing the latest threat examples is the only effective way to decrease the success rate of these attacks.

Finally, it is important to understand that the threats are different, there is no single type of cyber attack.

Who are the victims?

In the same way, the victims are not all the same, but they differ by product sector, size, geographical distribution, attack surface.

For this reason, there cannot be a single universally valid solution, but the organizational and technological solutions must be targeted and customized in order to multiply their effectiveness.


Thanks to the cyber attack classification activity that Hackmanac has been carrying out for 10 years, we can help companies understand which threats they are most exposed to and how to optimize security budgets to manage them more effectively and cost-effectively.

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2021 News-EN



Expo 2020 Dubai has decided to adopt innovative cybersecurity strategies to protect the event from cyber attacks, regards both physical infrastructure and the set of technological infrastructures.

The event will feature a technological ecosystem capable of supporting over 200 participants, including 191 countries, each with their own pavilion, as well as companies, organizations, academic institutions and millions of visitors from all over the world.

The biggest challenge is being able to protect and manage an event that extends over 4.38 km2 and includes over 130 buildings interconnected through a smart building management system.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a surge in cyberattacks in the Middle East. UAE in particular saw a 250% increase in attacks last year, according to the Emirati government’s chief of cybersecurity.

The event is expected to attract 25 million visitors over the six-month period between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, certainly a greedy prey for cybercriminals.

But Expo 2020 Dubai is working with its technology partners to provide visitors with a smart, safe and secure experience.

Siemens, the main partner for the digitization of Expo’s infrastructures, will connect more than 130 facilities to its smart building technologies, controlling them via a cloud-based IoT (Internet of Things) operating system.

This will manage and monitor all systems including air conditioning, air quality, energy consumption, fire alarms, elevators and lighting.
Everything has been planned so every aspect will be managed by improving energy efficiency and maximizing safety and comfort for visitors.

Digital14, the official cybersecurity provider, on the other hand will take care of continuous cyber monitoring, risk assessment, incident response and digital forensic analysis to ensure Expo 2020 Dubai is one of the safest and most technologically secure world exhibitions. safe never kept.

The IT security of Expo 2020’s entire digital platform, including the applications and data it supports, will be continuously supervised to safeguard the information of millions of visitors and more than 200 international participants.

Now, we only have to plan a nice and safe visit to EXPO 2020.

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2021 News-EN



The Coronavirus emergency is slowly coming back, but it has profoundly changed the paradigms of the IT world, in particular in relation to smart working.

Cyber Security is facing important and in some ways unprecedented challenges.

What are the three priorities for IT security in the new normal and in smart working?

The Coronavirus emergency and in particular the long “lockdown” period have had the side effect of spreading the practice of smart-working, adopted out of necessity and in a very short time – often without adequate preparation -.

Despite the immediate advantages, working remotely, often with personal tools and in the absence of an IT infrastructure and appropriate security practices, can give rise to critical issues and risks that must be understood in order to be able to mitigate them.

In particular, there are three priorities to consider regarding the Cyber Security aspects.

  • Attention to privacy and confidentiality

Since the Covid emergency is finally coming back, it is again possible to work in “smart” mode even from public places, business centers and co-working stations.

However, this exposes us to greater privacy and confidentiality risks than working in the office.

In fact, it is important to remember to protect the confidentiality of the information and documents you are working on in any context, avoiding telephone calls and conference calls in crowded places and making use of encrypted channels when possible.

It is also good to avoid the use of free Wifi networks – unless they use the WPA2 security protocol -, avoiding connecting to open – unsecured – networks, and blocking webcams and microphones when not in use.

  • Check the security of devices and connections

The security of devices and connections is a fundamental aspect for working safely, and it cannot be forgotten especially if you work from home or remotely, or in a less controlled and protected environment than an office.

The installation of antivirus systems – always up to date! – and the constant, immediate “patching” of operating systems and applications – as soon as updates are available – must also have priority over personal tools, if they are used in a hybrid way.

It is important to check the security of the protocols – for example, always prefer HTTPS connections – when accessing business sites, during online purchases and when using any remote corporate resource.

In addition, when possible, it is good to use two-factor authentication – 2FA – for access to sites and applications.

Passwords must be strong, sufficiently complex and above all different for each application and service: in this regard, “password managers” can be an excellent management tool, being able to generate unique passwords and remember them for the user, keeping them in safe way.

Whenever possible, other solutions should also be used to transparently raise the security levels of our connections: VPN – Virtual Private Networks -, software for blocking advertisements and potentially harmful elements – AD Blockers – and the use of DNS servers – Domain Name Systems – secure – using the DNSCrypt protocol and setting encrypted DNS server addresses – are absolutely recommended.

  • Be aware of risks and threats

Malware, phishing, ransomware and online fraud are now well-known threats, but increasingly widespread and current.

The universal advice always applies to never open suspicious documents and links, using only a “sandbox” system for any checks, without risking damaging company systems or losing data.

Remember to download apps and programs only from trusted sources and official stores, contacting the system administrator in case of any doubt.

Illegal websites – for example video streaming, pirated software downloads, etc. – represent an additional serious risk of ransomware and malware infection and should absolutely be avoided.

Cyber threats can also be conveyed through Social Media, so it is important not to share too many details about your work or information about your customers, current activities, etc. on Social accounts.

It is also advisable to always verify that a colleague’s connection request is real, and not made by an attacker.

Finally, it is important to back up regularly with company-approved solutions and external storage that are not permanently connected to the workstation – in the event of ransomware, this could save data.

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