Black Friday Scams

Black Friday is here again and a time to be extra vigilant. The advice here should be considered all year round, not just on Black Friday. However, with so many people expecting to get things cheap, a significant increase in the level of cybercrime is highly likely. In terms of human behaviour, people will often do things they would not normally do to take advantage of special offers, even if they are too good to be true. Here are a few tips:

  • AVOID companies or websites that you have never heard of and stick with the businesses which you usually use and trust
  • DO NOT click on links in emails. Go directly to the websites that you are familiar with and trust.
  • DO NOT install new software specifically to avail yourself of any Black Friday offers specifically; this includes apps on tablets and mobile phones
  • Be extra careful to ensure that you are NOT signing up for a membership that requires the purchase of full-price goods regularly
  • DO NOT pay for access to special offers. Businesses with genuine special offers will offer their goods and services to everyone. You would not pay a fee to enter a high street store, so why would you want to pay to download a shopping app or pay for an account on a website.

One last thought, if something is useless or worthless, and you would never think about buying it under any circumstances, the same is likely to apply when offered at a 90% discount. Avoid impulse buying.

Consequences of inadequate IT governance

Governance of Information Technology is essential to adequately direct and control the current and future use of technology within businesses and to ensure compliance with contractual, legislative and regulatory obligations. Failure to do so is highly likely to expose companies to one or more violations which could result in:

  • Regulatory sanctions
  • Criminal prosecution
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of clients

IT governance is required to align IT with the needs of the business. After all, the IT function is there to serve the company and not the other way around. In this context, IT is a fee-enabling function and seldom a fee-generating function. The corporate governance function and implemented framework will drive:

  • Implementation of security standards
  • Information storage, privacy and retention requirements
  • Compliance with intellectual property rights and 3rd party licences
  • Adherence to environmental regulations
  • Implementation of social responsibility standards
  • Health and safety requirements

Corporate governance contributes significantly to:

  • Effective implementation and exploitation of IT assets
  • Clarity and alignment of responsibility, authority and accountability
  • Efficient allocation of business resources
  • Innovation with fee-generating services in the marketplace
  • Business continuity and sustainability
  • Reducing operational expenditure
  • Achieving business objectives

Implementing IT governance fosters the building and maintaining of working-relationships throughout the business and avoids the pitfalls of IT isolation from overall business objectives.