Stay Vigilant: Cyber Criminals Targeting “Hari Raya Lebaran” Celebrations

Edwin Lim

By.Edwin Lim, Country Director of Indonesia, Fortinet

Indonesia’s flourishing e-commerce landscape has led to a rise in online shopping and digital banking transactions among its citizens. While this has been a significant boost for the economy, it has also increased the prevalence and severity of cyber risks. Despite a decrease in cyberattacks from 2021 to 2022, the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN) still reported nearly a billion incidents last year.

Of particular concern is the fact that over half of these attacks were malware-related, with data leaks coming in second. As the festive season of Hari Raya Idul Fitri approaches, it is important to remain vigilant against cyber attackers who may exploit any weaknesses. Whether it’s through vulnerable digital platforms or deceptive SMS, calls, or emails offering discounts, Indonesians must take precautions to ensure a safe and secure environment during this joyous time.

Here are some tips for Indonesians to improve their cyber hygiene:

When Using Public WiFi, stay safe using VPN: While shopping from home on a private network is generally safe, consumers should be cautious when using public WiFi without a VPN. These networks are more vulnerable to data theft, as cyber criminals can easily capture all of the traffic moving between devices and websites. For example, if you’re at a cafe or a shopping mall, it’s best to use a VPN to encrypt your data and protect your privacy.

Beware of Fake E-Commerce Sites: As Indonesians rush to find the best deals online, they must be cautious of fake e-commerce sites that are designed to trick them into handing over credit card or personal identifiable information (PII). Consumers should always verify the legitimacy of a site before making any transactions. For example, they can cross-reference a site’s reputation and authenticity by checking reviews, and they should make sure the company has a physical address and phone number listed. Consumers should also avoid sites that require direct payments from their bank, wire transfers, or gift cards as a form of payment.

Avoid Credit Card Skimming: Credit card skimming is no longer limited to physical retail stores; it can be found online as well. Point-of-sale (POS) RAM scraping malware has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of collecting credit card information from unsuspecting consumers. To avoid credit card skimmers, consumers should only perform transactions with reputable retailers who have measures in place to protect their customers against such schemes. For example, they can look for retailers with secure payment systems and encryption technologies.

Be Mindful of Suspicious Websites and Advertisements: Sometimes, it only takes a split second on a malicious webpage to compromise your device. This Idul Fitri, consumers must be mindful of suspicious websites or advertisements that redirect them away from trusted sites. They should avoid clicking on suspicious links and refrain from downloading unknown files or software.

Businesses also have a crucial role to play in ensuring their digital architecture is primed for resilience and to mitigate the risks posed by threat actors. In addition to focusing on reducing operational complexity, businesses should emphasize integration, compliance, interoperability, analytics, intelligence, centralised management, and automation. For example, they can implement multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security updates to safeguard their customers’ data. By prioritizing cyber security, businesses can build trust with their customers and protect their reputation.

Ensuring the safety and security of digital transactions is vital not only for maintaining operational continuity but also for fostering worry-free customer engagement with brands. As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close, it is important to remember that the risk of cyber attacks remains high. In this digital age, every individual has a role to play in protecting themselves against cyber risks. By staying vigilant and aware, we can uphold mutual trust and safeguard the safety and security of digital transactions in Indonesia’s thriving digital economy.