Category Archives: Awareness

SAFECode and PCI SSC Discuss the Evolution of Secure Software


When the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) developed its Software Security Framework (SSF) a few years ago, it relied on the expertise of a Software Security Task Force. As part of this task force, SAFECode, along with other industry partners, played an instrumental role in the development of the framework and its standards. 

Payment Security in India: 2020 India Forum


As Associate Director for India, Nitin Bhatnagar is responsible for driving awareness and adoption of PCI Security Standards in the country. Bhatnagar works closely with merchants, acquirers, financial institutions, security practitioners, law enforcement and other key stakeholders across the Indian payment ecosystem. Here he discusses payment security challenges and opportunities in India and the second annual PCI SSC India Forum  planned for 9 December online

Best Security Practices to Protect your Web Application from Future Threats

Almost all businesses nowadays use web applications for their targeted growth, but these apps’ security is mostly compromised if proper steps are not taken. During the web application development, all other features are given time and preference, but very few pay attention to the web application security they deserve. The vulnerabilities in your web application can be easily exploited by cybercriminals who always remain in search of sites with lower security protection.

Here are one of the most important security practices that you should implement to secure your web application from the most common threats:

Install SSL Certificates

One of the most effective measures to secure your web applications from cyberattacks is through encoding all the information shared on it. SSL certificates use SSL (Secure Socket Layers) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) security protocols to protect the data from the reach of cybercriminals through encryption.

If you do not activate SSL certificates on your web applications, hackers can easily read the shared information if they somehow get access to it. SSL certificates use cryptographic keys to make it impossible for the attackers to read the data.

https://lwstatic-a.akamaihd.net/kb/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ssl-security-plan.png

The certificate authorities ensure that data transfer is encrypted throughout the communication process. Before buying an SSL certificate for your web app make sure you are purchasing it from a trustworthy SSL Authority like a ClickSSL that provides some of the most popular SSL certificates in very reasonable price.

Manage User Permissions

Wisely managing user’s permissions makes your web applications more secure than before. There would be numerous employees working in your company, and you know that not every worker needs full access to the system to perform his/her job. So, it would be best to implement the “Principle of least privilege” to limit every user’s access.

If you have granted full access permissions to everyone working in your organization, it will take a single cyber-attack by the scammers to access your entire system. So, to avoid any data breaches, you should strictly implement the least privilege principle in your firm. This may be a time-consuming process, but it will save your web app from many potential threats and malicious workers too.

Train your Employees

If you are running an organization, you should never expect that most of your employees will have a decent knowledge of current cyber security threats. Most of your staff members would have the necessary information about these scams. This may put you and your company in hot waters, as your employees with no sound knowledge of cyberattacks can quickly become the victim of hackers.

So, to protect your web application, you need to conduct proper cybersecurity training sessions for your employees. You must hire a web application security master to train all your staff about your web app and operating environment’s potential threats.

This cyber security training will help your employees independently identify and save themselves and your business from all security threats.

Hire Professional Hackers

Ethical hackers use the same tricks and techniques applied by cybercriminals to exploit your web application’s vulnerabilities. But they do this for your benefits to understand the security risks in your web app. Professional white hackers use the following techniques to test your web app’s security:

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks

Broken authentication

Distributed Denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks

Sensitive data exposure

SQL injection

Phishing

White hat hacking

After your web app’s penetration test (Pen-testing), you would become familiar with your website’s security weaknesses that will help you improve your web application’s security.

Secure Web App during Development

This is one of the essential security steps in protecting your web apps from the reach of hackers. This technique is all about preventing your software from security issues that occur during the development lifecycle. For this, you need to hire developers who have full knowledge of all the prevalent security problems and prevent malicious code in the actual program of the web application.

And if they find any malicious activity during the development lifecycle, they should identify and eliminate that issue.

Regular Updates

With multiple network security threats, it is essential to release regular updates for your web apps security. Outdated software lacks recent security features and can easily be manipulated by malicious hackers. Depending on your web app’s infrastructure, you need to update your web app’s components. Keeping your web application up to date will protect it from the known attacks by hackers.

update key

Keep Monitoring your App Regularly

To stay on the safe side, you should regularly keep looking for security vulnerabilities in your web app. It would help if you used different techniques for testing your mobile app security level. You can use dynamic and static application security testing tools to monitor your web app’s performance and security level. Regular testing of your system will help you know the vulnerabilities and implement new protection schemes to protect your web application.

Backup all Data

With an increase in the number of cyberattacks in today’s world, your web app data remains under threat every time. Hackers may get full access to your web app data that will put you in serious trouble. To avoid such a situation, you need to store all your web app data at another location. It may be a good idea to replicate the archives of all your information in multiple places to protect you from heavy losses in case your primary backup location is damaged or compromised.

The 3-2-1 backup rule diagram

Employ Security Experts

You need to invest more in security services to protect your web application from cybercriminals. Hiring security experts is a wise step towards improving your web app security. A security specialist or security service company uses specialized tools to monitor the security level of your website. The scanning results show the vulnerabilities present in your site. They then help you implement new security techniques to protect your web applications.

Before hiring anyone for security improvements, do complete research and check the individual’s reputation or the firm to validate their competence and authenticity.

Conclusion

Cybercriminals are finding new ways to take advantage of the weaknesses in your web applications. They always remain searching for websites that have poor web application security to launch an attack on them. To protect your web applications, you need to stay updated about all the known security threats. For organizations, dealing with malicious attacks is dependent on all employees. If any of your workers make a mistake in handling the potential cyberattack, it can put all your firm’s data in danger.

Cybersecurity protection starts with training your employees and implementing the right security techniques to secure your web applications. Implementing the above-listed best security practices will keep your web applications safe from all types of cyberattacks.

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Everything You Need to Know About JavaScript Security

These days, JavaScript is one of the more well-known and established programming languages around. JavaScript is mostly found in the code of dynamic web pages that allow for extended JavaScript functionalities. These functionalities include useful operations such as interactivity, tracking user activities, and form submission or validation. Although JavaScript is generally regarded as a reasonably safe coding language, many users are growing skeptical about certain aspects of JavaScript security.

Many well-known JavaScript vulnerabilities can affect both the server-side and client-side. Malicious hackers can utilize these vulnerabilities by traversing a number of open paths through your application. When utilizing JavaScript in your application, it is critical to evaluate all JavaScript Security threats seriously and  implement an open source vulnerability scanner to find these threats. 

This article will detail two of the most severe potential JavaScript security vulnerabilities and how to deal with them appropriately. 

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks: What Are They?

One of the most common browser-side vulnerabilities is called “Cross-Site Scripting.” Also known as XSS, Cross-Site Scripting attacks happen in client-side scripting languages such as JavaScript or HTML and manipulate an internet security weak spot. When performing an XSS attack, hackers can use legitimate web applications to perform malicious tasks by harnessing a vulnerability.  

XSS attacks are, unfortunately, all too common and can result in the theft of one’s data or identity. These attacks can also result in the spread of the virus across the network by gaining control of the user’s browser. 

Hackers and malicious actors are able to manipulate insecurities on a website. This attack is performed by injecting JavaScript code into the parameters of the site, then using this exploit to gain access to the user’s data. Essentially, this code allows the hacker to transfer ownership of the victim’s session ID to that of the hacker to take control of the browser. 

How can it be prevented? 

There are several ways to ensure that your JavaScript is safe and secure:

  • First, you must filter all input as it arrives. This means that whenever a user provides input, there needs to be a strict filter to compare it to what is generally assumed to be valid input.
  • Utilize appropriate and effective response headers. In order to prevent an XSS attack from HTTP from responses that are supposed to contain any HTML, it is possible to use X-Content-Type-Options or Content-Type option in the headers. These headers will make sure that the browser is responding in the way that it was intended to and is not being exploited. 
  • You should also encode your data when it is being outputted. When a user’s data is outputted in an HTTP response, the output should be encoded to prevent it from being identified as active content.
  • Lastly, be sure to use a Content Security Policy. If you have a CSP set up to the right set of rules, you will be able to prevent the browser from executing any unwanted operations or any JavaScript code that may come from an untrusted source.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Attacks: What Are They?

An XSRF or CSRF is a well-known attack in which the hacker attempts to impersonate or completely take over the identity of the victim by hijacking their active session cookie. This attack is possible when the target site attempts to authenticate a request by only using cookies, which will allow the hacker to gain access or hijack the functional cookies, to appear to be a legitimate user. 

This attack can be very harmful to the victim and can lead to fraud, account tampering, or data theft. The most common targets are popular web applications such as social media, web interfaces, online banking, and in-browser email clients. 

Let us use the online banking situation as an example. 

Most banking websites use active session cookies in order to authenticate any user requests. These cookies then follow the order of events to log into the banking account, enter the valid details needed, then click on the transfer button. 

When a user logs into the account, the banking website will store a session cookie that it will refer back to in order to authorize the transactions. 

The Hack

In order to initiate the hack itself, the hacker would need to create a website that looks legitimate but has an underlying agenda. For this example, we will use a blogging website. If the user logs in and wants to create a new blog post, the malicious application running in the background will then send a “GET” request out to the banking website. This hack is only useful when the user is also logged into the banking site. If they are, the session tokens will be active and in place.

The hacker will then manipulate the “GET” request in order to operate the banking site stealthily. Once the user clicks on the button to add a blog post, they will also unwittingly transfer money to the hacker’s account.

How can it be prevented?

  • You must always utilize SameSite Cookie Attribution when working with session cookies. 
  • The site must also verify both the Referrer Header or Origin.
  • Try to implement any user interaction that is based on protection, especially for highly sensitive procedures like banking. User interaction based on protection should include a re-authentication (usually a password), a CAPTCHA, or even a one-time token. These steps can be strong defenses against a CSRF attack if they are used correctly. 

JavaScript security is a topic that is not often talked about; however, it is highly essential to many professions. Learning to execute JavaScript safely and correctly is not something that most people are able to learn overnight. 

When you are looking to test or upgrade your JavaScript security, it is highly recommended to seek the help of a certified professional or cyber security specialist. These professionals will give you a better and more detailed understanding of your security risks and what actions you can take to correct them. Taking the security of your website seriously is no easy task and requires constant maintenance. However, if you take precautions, your users will be able to browse knowing they are using a safe and secure site. 

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Cybersecurity 101: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

The internet has changed a lot of things; some for the better and others for the worst. Everything that we use in our homes, from mobile devices to the Internet of Thing (IoT) products, rely on the internet. The extensive use of these products have the potential to erode our privacy. When it comes to privacy, it is under attack from all sides. Whether we realize it or not, hackers are always trying to gain information about us so that they can control our lives. In order to make your devices, online identity, and everything that you do online more secure, you have to follow a few things. In this article, I am going to highlight five cybersecurity tips that you need to know.

Install an Antivirus

The first thing you have to do is make use of an antivirus that will protect you against malicious programs. With so many different kinds of viruses and malware, you need to ensure that you prevent these attacks. Once you have installed antivirus, update it regularly so that its security patch is fool-proof. However, installing an antivirus doesn’t mean that you can browse any site you want to. You will still have to be very careful as hackers can still find ways to get into your system.

Use Unique Passwords for Login

One of the easiest and most prevalent ways hackers get access to your information is by getting hold of your passwords. You must use a unique password for different platforms so that even if one account gets hacked, the hacker can’t access the rest of your accounts. Moreover, you should use a strong password for every account that contains a combination of numbers, upper-case and lower-case letters, special signs, etc. Every little thing that you do to make your password more secure goes a long way.

Get a VPN and Use It

You might have heard about using a VPN when browsing the internet, but most people don’t fully understand what a VPN does. Say that you go to a coffee shop and want to connect to its Wi-Fi. You can never be sure that the network you are using is secure. Whether you are using your home network or a public network, someone can easily steal data from your computer if he bypasses your network security. The best way to prevent that is by using a VPN as it encrypts all your data. Here are some best value VPNs that you can use to secure your computer files.

Use Two Factor Authentication

While I agree that using two-factor authentication can take a lot of time, but let me tell you that it is worth it. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security in case someone bypasses the first one. For example, even if the hacker gets access to your password, he will never be able to access your account without bypassing the second level of authentication.

Protect Your Social Media Privacy

Last but not least, you have to pay some attention to how you use social media. Social media scams are at the peak nowadays as hackers fish for information through these platforms. You have to be extremely careful when using platforms like Facebook as you voluntarily give out your information and present it publically. Make sure that you have configured every social media platform and think twice before revealing any personal information. Once you give out your personal information yourself, you can blame it on anyone but you. After all, regardless of how many security protocols we put into place, the weakest link in the security chain is humans themselves.

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The Best Anti-Malware Software in 2020

With the rising digital insecurity in 2020, it is necessary to use the best anti-malware software or seek an alternative. Here’s the reason:

The onset of the fourth industrial revolution has seen work and other business activities switch operations to the online market. Sadly, most of these tech consumers have little knowledge of ‘staying safe online’.

Hackers and other malware developers are taking this advantage to promote cyberbullying, online scams, and other sorts of crimes. You need enlightenment to evade such threats. A typical solution is to use an anti-malware. However, there’s a catch:

As anti-malware companies seek to secure their customers, developers of malware up their game to override the security systems.

Does this mean anti-malware technology is dead or alive? Are you helpless? No. Here are options of anti-malware to give a try. Check which one anti-malware software is the best, and to make it simpler to settle for a particular anti-malware, read on to find out the ranking parameters.

Norton is the best anti-malware software in 2020 because it has the most updated security and best user experience. What are its features? What are its alternatives? Let’s take a deep dive below.

Parameters for Ranking the Best Anti-Malware Software in 2020

Due to the demand for a better user experience, 2020 demands extra features besides security. These include:

Detection Time

As a consumer of the gig economy, your computer usage revolves around browsing the internet, downloading, and sharing files. This calls for real-time malware detection. Real-time detection simply means ‘detect and malware and react immediately’.

The anti-malware tracks the websites and links you visit. It scans the links before you click them. Whenever it detects ‘danger’, it stops your browser from communicating with the threats.

The simultaneous reaction is a huge boost from the former culture of waiting for the malware to access the sensitive files of your computer, then notify or try to fight the malware that is already interfering with your sensitive documents.

Password Management

Since every hacker attacks your files for some gain, most malware strives to grab your passwords for two reasons. First, the password is a gateway to sensitive files. Secondly, the password unlocks your bank accounts and credit cards.

To boost storage and browsing confidence, Norton 360 and other world-class anti-malware take the responsibility of managing your passwords.

Cloud Backups

To improve security, the best anti-malware ensures everything occurs at lightning speeds. Instead of using local storage, companies utilize the efficiency and security of cloud storage.

They are, then, faster in the identification of malware and feeding the data onto cloud servers. The data retrieve process also happens at the speed of light.

They proceed to back up your internal files with the cloud databases. In case of a severe malware attack, you can retrieve your sensitive files from the cloud version. 

Works in Various Environments

The best anti-malware software for 2020 works on many types of devices and operating systems. Examples of the typical operating software are macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.

Again, it does deep scanning of the system for a variety of malware. Examples of malware are trojan horses, spyware, worms, and viruses.

Lightweight

2020 demands an anti-malware software that allows your computer to load sites faster. This calls for consuming less of your computer’s memory. Reason?

With the fast-paced gig economy, product consumers, employers, and most clients need immediate feedback. Consequently, it is useless to have an anti-malware that is ruthless with malware but slows your computer speed.

To speed up the machine, anti-malware software like Avira has in-system acceleration tools to propel your computer’s speed.

Other Services?

Norton 360, as the best anti-malware software in the market, has the best user experience and VPN technology. It has one the easiest to navigate user interfaces.

To take the lead in anti-malware ranking, it has boosted its customer support system. You get timely and detailed email replies when you seek help. To better user experience, they offer VPN services— enabling you to access censored networks.

Other Anti-Malwares to Consider

You can as well dedicate the third eye to Malwarebytes. Its premium version gives you an ocean of benefits, typical for protection in 2020. Alternatively, check Kaspersky and Avira anti-malware.

Conclusion

For all-in-one malware protection, check out Norton 360 anti-malware software. Alternatively, consider Malwarebytes, Kaspersky, and Avira anti-malware software.

The software gives you the best security, usability, and a world-class support system. More importantly, Norton 360 adjusts quickly to the changing malware forms.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Free VPNs

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that offers total security for all your digital activities. It serves as a barrier against third-party groups, hackers, cyber threats, malware, and sensitive data leakage. 

More than ever, we need to invest with high-end protection to ensure our privacy is never compromised. VPNs are of high demand due to the current condition where most people stay at home and work remotely. With increased online activity, it’s high time to protect your privacy. 

Free VPNs are enticing and offer ‘great’ security without extra cost. Their services are too-good-to-be-true, which you need to doubt and stay away from it. 

Are There Alternatives To Top-Rated VPN Providers? 

The threat of using free VPN is high as it does not offer robust encryption compared to paid services. It is better to pay for a cheap VPN service than to compromise your security. Affordable VPN services offer powerful data encryptions for people with limited budgets. They provide standard encryption technology to ensure your privacy is protected and your digital activities are secured. 

There are a few reliable and trusted VPN solutions that offer affordable VPN instead of using free services that threaten your security. These are great alternatives that won’t hurt your wallet but will surely be of great help, especially if you’re a constant internet explorer. 

5 Facts Why Free VPNs Are A No-No

Free VPN software keeps records of your digital activities and sells them to third parties. They offer encryptions that don’t ‘really’ mask your activities nor protect your identity. Free VPN services log all your sensitive data which is already a threat to your privacy. Aside from that, here are five things you need to remember: Free VPNs are a no-no. 

  1. Monitor And Sell All Collected Data

VPNs act as your protective barrier against digital threats while you’re online. It secures all your data, online activities, and private information against prying eyes, government surveillance, etc. VPNs blocked hackers and your ISP from collecting or selling data to gain profit. 

Free VPN shifts the message, and you become their milking cow to fund the service they offer in exchange for the data they collected from you. These sensitive data are then sold to third parties, and prose threats not just to your information, but your privacy is at stake. 

  1. Leaks IP Addresses

Robust VPN solutions offer total security and encryption on all your digital activities and traffic. It serves as your secret portal in the world wide web against cyber threats, hackers, and prying eyes. 

Using free VPN is like a tunnel with tons of holes that can leak your data or IP address. Hackers can track your activity, prying eyes can monitor you, and worse can expose you to tons of privacy threats. 

  1. They Are Not Safe

Free VPN solutions are risky. They are a dangerous threat to your security and privacy. Running a VPN service is pricey and offering it for free to users is fishy. That means your data are the menu served for other people to devour. 

  1. Aggressive Ads

Free VPNs practice aggressive ads that can go over a hit where you land into a hazardous site. It can expose you to tons of threats and hackers that can instantly access your information and files. High volume ads can also weigh your system down and affect browsing experience aside from privacy threats. 

  1. Malware Exposure 

Free VPN solutions contain malware that can damage not just your privacy but your devices. You have higher chances to get exposed with these nasty bugs when you download such software. Mobile ransomware and malware can steal your sensitive information like social security details and bank login details. 

Conclusion

Free VPNs are enticing and offer ‘robust security’ without the need to pay for hundreds of dollars a year. However, your security is at stake, together with your sensitive data, and information. 

Though it can help you stream region-restricted websites, you need to reconsider options and potential threats. Free VPNs are not safe; if you want to secure your digital presence, you can opt for an affordable VPN solution that offers high-end encryption to ensure your privacy and data is protected against potential hacks.

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The Top 4 Tips for Keeping Your Digital Marketing Company Safe From Cyber Crime

As the Digital Age flourishes, more and more people are switching to working online and having businesses that revolve around all things digital and technological. A well-known example of this is the marketing industry. In recent years the marketing industry has converted to being almost entirely digital; thus creating the genre of marketing: digital marketing. Almost every company has or has the ability to reap the benefits of digital marketing, making this industry a lucrative and important one.

As more people are beginning or expanding their careers in digital marketing, there are some things that they should know; most notably, how to keep their digital marketing company safe from cybercrime. Cybercrime can impact and ruin people’s lives as hackers can steal, exploit, and tamper with personal information and accounts. And for a business that exists only digitally, it’s important to take the necessary precautions in order to keep the business safe.

What You Need to Know to Keep Your Company Safe

Whether you own a digital marketing business, or you work for one, it’s imperative that you take cybercrime seriously. An expert from a company that is a digital forensics investigator pointed out that cybercrime is becoming a common threat for internet users. He added that hackers are becoming more skilled as people’s dependence on technology increases. With that being said, here are 4 ways that you can protect your digital marketing business or your digital marketing job from cybercrimes.

1.    Be Sure to Keep All of Your Software Up to Date

This is perhaps one of the easiest ways that you can make sure that your digital marketing business is safe from cybercrime. One of the most common ways that hackers get into accounts and documents is by finding code defects in the software. When it comes to the software designers’ attention that there is a code defect, an update will come out that will fix this error. However, when people don’t update their software, hackers can see this and will enter the account, document, etc., through this code defect. Because hackers can see what software has been updated and what software hasn’t, it will be worth your while to keep all of your software up to date.

2.    Think About Email Marketing Security

To protect your marketing content and all of your clients’ personal information, you will have to make sure that your email marketing system is secure. Hackers are aware that email is one of the most essential tools in digital marketing, so will try to gain access to these accounts. 

Email marketing systems often hold crucial, yet sensitive information belonging to clients; therefore, you should utilize email marketing tools that feature security measures that will store sensitive information using encryption, and lock down access. To further ensure that your marketing email is secure, make it a point to train all employees on how to keep these systems secure and avoid data breaches.

3.    Encrypt and Back-Up Sensitive Data

Encrypting and backing up data is the best way to avoid a security breach and to prevent hackers from stealing all of your data in the event of cybercrime. Data encryption means to translate data into another code that only people with access to a decryption key/password can read it. Similarly, backing up data simply means to make copies of the data and store it on another device or in a cloud storage provider.

4.    Set Up Strict Limitations

It will be in digital marketing agencies’ best interest to set up strict limitations that will not allow employees to install unauthorized software or open files that contain viruses. Setting up strict digital limitations could potentially save you from a catastrophic event. By being proactive and setting up strict limitations will prevent malware from infecting your company’s computer and network.

Keep Your Digital Marketing Content Secure

Digital marketing companies are a common target when it comes to internet crime, so it’s necessary you do all that you can to avoid being hacked or exploited. To keep yourself, your employees, your clients, and your overall business safe and secure keep these 4 digital marketing security tips in mind.  Turning these tips into actions will significantly lower your chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime.

About the Author

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey

The post The Top 4 Tips for Keeping Your Digital Marketing Company Safe From Cyber Crime appeared first on CyberDB.

Security settings nobody cares to check when installing new software and why it’s dangerous

We live in the age of cyberspace, and every day each of us is faced with the need to use information technology. The human online presence is boundless, starting from posting personal data on social networks, making online payments, and downloading new software. Thus, our smartphones and PCs contain a lot of information about us. And we become much more vulnerable to attackers online than in real life. Cybersecurity is one of the key aspects of life in the information era. All electronic information, services, and devices require protection and compliance with certain security rules. But users rarely use reliable anti-virus software or specialized solutions to protect against DDoS attacks and ignore security settings. What can be the outcome and how to avoid potential hazards?

What Is Cyber Threat?

Everyone must have met this term on social media. But what exactly does it mean? It is a malicious act that is aimed at data damaging and stealing or disrupting the smooth functioning of digital devices. One of the first known computer viruses was Elk Cloner spread in the wild in the early 1980s. But cyber threats do not remain static and become more sophisticated. Malware is often hidden in software that you install on your devices. And the likelihood of this risk increases if you download it not from a trusted source, but from the net. When installing new programs, it is important to be alerted by various warnings, especially if they want to access your personal data.

Types of Cyber Security Threats

Today there is a great variety of malicious programs that may unnoticeably pop in your computer and gadgets. The most common are the following ones:

Viruses are malware that joins another program and when it is launched (which usually happens through the user’s negligence), it begins to reproduce itself and modify other applications on the computer by implementing elements of its malicious code into them.

Worms are programs very similar to a virus. It is capable of self-replication and can lead to irreversible consequences for your system. However, the worms do not need to infect other files to reproduce.  They crawl into a computer and send their copies to all your contacts.

Trojans, also known as Trojan horses, are one of the most dangerous hazards. They usually try to trick you by disguising as useful programs. After entering the system, attackers gain free access to the infected computer. Trojans pave the way for other malicious objects, such as viruses and ransomware.

Ransomware is a program that blocks your device and encrypts your files. It demands a ransom to get the system restored. Ransomware is considered a weapon of choice for cybercriminals because it enables them to make significant profits in cryptocurrencies that are difficult to trace. The ransomware code can be easily obtained from the black market, and it is never easy to defend against it.

Adware is a code that is included in the software to display advertisements without the user’s knowledge. Often such programs collect and forward personal information about the user to their developer, change various browser settings, and create uncontrolled traffic by the user. All of this can lead to both security policy violations and direct financial losses.

Spyware collects information about an individual user or organization without their knowledge. This malware records which keys users press getting personal data such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details.

Rootkits are able to hide hazards from anti-virus programs. They give attackers access to administration of the infected computer. They usually go unnoticed by the user, other programs, and the operating system itself.

Cryptojacking is a type of malware that is becoming more widespread. These objects are used for hidden cryptocurrency mining and are usually installed using a Trojan program. As a result, intruders can use the resources of your computer to mine cryptocurrencies.

Main Mistakes That Cause Data Leakage

Sometimes users themselves create fertile ground for cyber threats. We ignore and neglect to implement many basic security measures. The risk of catching malware increases in the following cases:

·        A download of free software. Buy legal programs and register them. Free software often asks to install additional programs on your PC that may carry a serious threat.

·        Untimely software updates. Make sure your software is up to date. Take time to install automatic updates for your system as they reduce the vulnerability of your system. It should be downloaded from trusted software vendors.

·        Occasional downloads. Block pop-ups to prevent unwanted programs. The web browser you are using should be locked. This prevents potentially dangerous ads from being displayed on the screen. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have built-in blockers. Viruses often use the extensions .vbs, .shs, .exe, .scr, .chm, .bat. If the system asks to download or open such a file, cancel your previous actions.

·        Opening potentially unsafe attachments and links. Do not click on links or open attachments received from unknown e-mail addresses. One of the most important sources of malware is emails from scammers. It can initiate fishing even from the Spam folder. Remove unwanted emails from strangers or companies, no matter how friendly they may look. Immediately close sites that open on your computer without your consent. Never follow any links as a single click can lead to malicious software being downloaded to your computer.

·        Ignoring recommended security settings. There are some basic safety practices to follow to boost your device protection. Users often neglect them opening the way to attackers.

Steps on Protecting Your PC

Everybody can  And there is a whole list of such solutions that will optimize the security level of your devices.

1.      Create strong passwords

This is one of the key rules of cybersecurity. The password must consist of a complex combination of characters. Use a different password for each service and site and never share your passwords with anyone, keep them on paper, or enter them on third-party sites. Use other protection means where.  For Windows, for example, you can activate Windows Hello technology which uses the face recognition method to log in. You can also use password managers such as KeePass.

2.      Back up your system

This process ensures that all data is copied and stored in a separate place to avoid loss of information. If the original document is damaged, you can restore it from a copy stored in a safe place. OS developers give clear-cut instruction on how to do it:

 You can also use special cloud storage.

3.      Enable two-factor authentication

Most reputable online services support two-factor authentication. Enable it with a software token (available on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) or with a one-time password with SMS delivery.

4.      Use VPN

Use a VPN to protect your network data from being stolen. Experts consider public Wi-Fi networks unsafe. When working with them, you should not enter access to passwords, logins, personal data. Use such an Internet connection only via a VPN.

5.      Install antivirus software

Reputable antivirus programs will allow you to more carefully select and examine any software for its potential danger. Besides, the antivirus software will additionally ask for confirmation of the download decision and make comments on the security of file installation.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to entirely eliminate the risk. But implementing good safety practices helps significantly reduce it. It is not difficult and often free of charge to boost your security. Timely actions can prevent a lot of potential hazards. It would be the best approach to create a safety checklist covering the above-mentioned tips and check its compliance regularly.

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Why SSL Certificate is Necessary for B2B Business?

Do you run a B2B business with an active online presence? If so, then you must be concerned about your cybersecurity and data protection practices. Unless you do that, security breaches such as supply chain attacks, ransomware, man-in-the-middle attacks, and phishing attacks could ruin your market reputation. B2B businesses thrive on customer retention, and therefore endangering customer data by not investing in the right security measures could sabotage your business.

There are two things you need to watch out for — on-premise security measures and in-transit security measures when it comes to cybersecurity. For a minute, let us assume that you and your clients have all the on-premise security essentials in place, including updated software, firewall, antivirus, etc.…

In that case, your only concern should be the in-transit data. This can very well be taken care of with an SSL certificate. Now, if you are thinking of buying a cheap SSL certificate, then you probably don’t know much about this technology, so let’s begin with that.

What is an SSL Certificate?

If you wonder what an SSL certificate is and whether it is any different from the TLS certificate, then no worries. We will tell you everything there is to know about these two technologies. The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, sometimes called the Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate refers to the technology that encrypts communication between the client and the server. 

Primarily, Netscape developed the SSL technology way back in 1995 to uphold data integrity and prevent unauthorized access. However, since 1996, the SSL technology has not been updated, and what we currently use is the TLS, which makes use of the encryption protocol. So, the TLS is the successor of SSL, and therefore the two terms are used interchangeably. So, whenever you see a website that shows ‘HTTPS’ or a green padlock in the URL bar, then you can be sure that it is encrypted with an SSL certificate. 

How does an SSL Certificate work?

SSL certificates make use of cryptography to encrypt the in-transit data by deploying the public-private key encryption. To get started with it, you need to install the desired type of SSL certificate on the webserver that hosts your website. Installing a valid SSL certificate enables end-to-end encryption, which is also possible through a self-signed certificate but is not recommended.

For an SSL certificate to be valid, it must be duly signed by a Certifying Authority and must be digitally signed with the CA’s private key. You can buy a cheap SSL certificate and install it in less than fifteen minutes, but only if you opt for a domain validated SSL.

As a B2B business, you probably make use of multiple subdomains and extensions. So you must consider a more advanced SSL certificate like the Wildcard SSL or the Organization Validated SSL. Although all types of SSL certificates use the same encryption protocol, they offer different types of validations. 

 

Why should I install an SSL Certificate?

If you are still wondering whether you need an SSL certificate for your B2B business’s official website, then read on. Below listed are some of the core benefits that come with installing the right SSL certificate.

Ø Secure Data Transmission

Transmission of customer data through the internet can be intercepted by cybercriminals who may then use it against your customers’ best interests. As the internet transmits communication through multiple computers or servers, there could be a vulnerability at some transmission point that a cybercriminal might exploit. An SSL certificate prevents this through the public-private key encryption, ensuring that the data remains accessible only to the intended recipient.

Compliance

As a business owner, you might have stumbled upon the term ‘HTTPS’. You may be aware of its role in complying with the various data privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations. For example, the HTTPS is mandatory under the GDPR and PCI DSS.

The HTTPS is recommended because it is the secure version of its predecessor, the HTTP protocol. Unlike the HTTP protocol, the HTTPS does not transmit the data as plain text but rather encrypts it through cryptography. This prevents unauthorized interception of personally identifiable and sensitive data such as addresses, phone numbers, email IDs, passwords, credit card details, etc…

SEO Benefits

Every business strives hard to rank higher in Google’s search results, and one way of doing that is by installing an SSL certificate. Back in 2014, Google emphasized the significance of SSL and its impact on search engine rankings. So, having one installed on your website would give your business higher visibility and generate more organic traffic.

Join the HTTPS Everywhere Movement

Let us assume you did everything right and have a decent number of visitors coming to your website. Now your goal should be to establish yourself as a credible business and turn your visitors into customers. In 2020, this won’t be possible without installing an SSL certificate on your website.

That’s because Google Chrome, the browser with the largest market share, has now adopted the ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ approach. So, it flags websites that do not run on the HTTPS protocol by alerting the user of potential security threats. While that is something you can overcome with a basic domain validated SSL certificate, using a more advanced validation is recommended.

Declare your Legitimacy

B2B businesses such as digital marketers, SaaS product developers, and remote consultants who have little to no physical interaction with their clients must use advanced SSL certificates. We recommend the Organization Validated (OV) SSL certificate, which is slightly expensive but comes with many benefits for such businesses. Before issuing an OV SSL certificate, the Certifying Authority performs a comprehensive validation of a business’s existence. It, therefore, brings along more credibility to B2B businesses and professionals that operate remotely. 

Conclusion

We have discussed everything you need to know about SSL certificates as a B2B business owner. As you may have realized, a B2B business needs to avoid buying a cheap SSL certificate to save a few bucks. Instead, B2B business owners must consider investing in one based on the level of validation they seek. It does not matter how big or small your B2B business is because as long as it is credible, there is hope.

The post Why SSL Certificate is Necessary for B2B Business? appeared first on CyberDB.

Great Ways to Improve Mac’s Performance and Security

You are bound to run into Macbook performance problems. And when that time comes, the computer becomes more prone to cybersecurity threats on top of performance issues, such as stuttering and crashing.

It is important to ensure that your Mac is in the best possible shape for as long as possible. You need to create a maintenance routine and stick to it. Doing so would help to avoid potential risks. After all, even a very small problem can evolve into something you will not be able to manage.

The ways you can take better care of the Macbook are mentioned below. Implement them in your strategy and stick to that maintenance routine.

Way #1 – Pay Attention to Activity Monitor

App management might not seem like that big of a deal, but if you have been using a Mac for a while, some stuff is bound to be nothing but a hindrance. 

Launch Activity Monitor and sort the processes by relevant metrics. CPU or memory usage is the best to determine which applications require the most resources. 

Applications that you can remove should be removed. Also, it is worth mentioning that looking for alternatives might also be a good course of action. And not just for those that are not so resource-hungry. Mackeeper is a good example. It is not the best antivirus in terms of features and performance. Not to mention all the shady stuff that surrounds the software.

You can uninstall mackeeper and look for better antiviruses that will provide security as well as performance improvements. And this is just one of the examples of how you can change things by taking better care of app management.

Way #2 – Disable Visual Effects

Visual effects should be off the list regardless. They offer nothing of considerable value and are only consuming battery life as well as the resources of the computer. Look at your settings and see which of these effects can be disabled. 

Way #3 – Scan for Potential Viruses

A sudden drop in the computer’s performance out of nowhere could mean that you are dealing with viruses and malware. Cybersecurity threats can attack you even if the computer is for personal use only. 

A reliable antivirus does not guarantee that the system is protected. You also need to be more wary of the links you click on. Enabling the firewall and taking other precautions, like auto-login feature or VPN when browsing, could also be of use.

Way #4 – Update the System

System updates should be one of your priorities. While most of these happen automatically, you should still look now and then to make sure that there OS is using the latest version.

Even if small, an update will still introduce new features and improvements to stability, security, and overall performance. In case an update takes a while to finish installing, let it take all the time it needs. These things should not be rushed.

Way #5 – Free up Disk Space

Lack of disk space happens to be one of the biggest problems for Mac users, especially when they switch the OS for the first time. It is no secret that it will take time to get used to how little drive storage is available. 

However, if you are not careful with how you approach things, you will end up with only a few gigabytes left. When that happens, expect a Macbook to cause you quite a headache.

So what are the possible solutions to eliminate the issue? Well, there are a few things you can do.

For one, getting rid of useless applications and junk files like caches, old backups, and extensions will help. Removing files like language packs, old email attachments, as well as downloads ought to do the work, too.

Finally, you can look to transfer some data to clouds or external storage devices. Lastly, there is a way around keeping large media files on the computer, including music tracks. There are a lot of streaming platforms, such as Netflix or Spotify, that will make everything a lot easier.

Way #6 – Stop Memory Leaks

Memory leaks can run out of control if you are not careful. The distribution of memory is not something you can solve that easily. The simplest solution would be to restart the computer regularly. Every few hours should do the trick just fine.

Way #7 – Optimize Internet Browser

Internet browsers could cause the most problems, and if you do a lot of work with them, or cannot enjoy the time you spend surfing the web, it will be an issue. 

Changing to another browser is the easiest path to take, but if you have a lot of information, such as bookmarks, stored on your current browser, you will need to find another way out.

Removing excessive extensions and add-ons certainly helps. Keeping the number of open browser tabs will also make a difference. 

The post Great Ways to Improve Mac’s Performance and Security appeared first on CyberDB.

The Cyber Security Guide For Small Business Owners

Cybercrime isn’t limited to large corporations or wealthy individuals; it also targets small businesses. According to the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee, a significant amount of cyber-attacks targeted businesses with less than 100 workers. A related study by the SMB CyberSecurity Report established that 50% of SMBs had experienced a security breach in the past.

The reason small businesses are targeted more than large corporations is that they’ve vulnerabilities in their networks. This means it’s easier to breach the networks of small businesses than it’s to penetrate large corporations. Small businesses don’t allocate sufficient time and funds to secure their networks. They also lack expert personnel, have outdated security programs, and fail to secure their endpoints. The following are some of the basic cybersecurity best practices for small businesses.

Use a Firewall

Setting up a firewall is one of the basic ways of defending your business against a cyber-attack. The Federal Communications Commission urges small businesses to have firewalls to prevent data breaches. Some organizations have a standard firewall and an internal firewall for additional protection. Employees working remotely should also set up firewalls on their home networks.

Put Your Cybersecurity Policies In Writing

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s advisable to put your policies in writing. To get started, you can attend online training through the Small Business Administration Cybersecurity portal. You can get help with drafting your policies from the FCC’s Cyberplanner 2.0. Alternatively, you can request a comprehensive toolkit for cybersecurity best practices through the C3 Voluntary Program for Small Businesses.

Use The CIA Model

When it comes to establishing cybersecurity policies, you should use the CIA model to guide you. This model helps keep your business secure by protecting your data. The elements of this model are Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. First, you should make sure information can’t be accessed by unauthorized personnel. You can do this by encrypting the information.

Secondly, you need to protect data and systems from being altered by unauthorized personnel. This means you should ensure that the information is unchanged from the time you create it to the time it reaches the end-user. Lastly, ensure authorized personnel have access to information when they need it and that you update your applications whenever necessary.

Train Employees In Cyber Security Measures

After you have established security policies, the next step is to train your employees on how to incorporate these measures. For example, you should train your employees on how to create strong passwords. It would help if you also established rules that penalize employees for violating the business’s Cybersecurity policies. Make ground rules on how to manage and protect client data and other important information. For example, you may establish rules that all machines should have the latest security software, operating system, and web browser to guard against malware, viruses, and online threats.

Device a Plan For Mobile Devices

According to Tech Pro Research 2016 BYOD, 59% of businesses allow BYOD. There’s a high surge in the use of wearables like wireless fitness trackers and smartwatches. For this reason, small businesses should establish BYOD policies that emphasize the need for security precautions. Norton by Symantec also urges small businesses to encourage employees to set automatic updates and use a strong password policy for mobile devices that are tapping into the company’s network.

Back up Your Data Regularly

You may still be breached after observing all the necessary security measures. This is why you need to back up data regularly. You also need to back up data that is kept in the cloud because those servers could also be compromised. Store your backups in a safe place to guard against fire outbreaks and floods. Make sure your backups are up to date.

Apply Multifactor Identification

No matter how secure you think you’re, mistakes are inevitable. An employee can make a mistake that leaves your network vulnerable. Using the multifactor identification settings provides an additional layer of protection to your network. You can use employees’ phone numbers because it would be unlikely for a cybercriminal to have both the pin code and the password.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

If your business has a Wi-Fi network, you need to secure it. Encrypt and hide the Wi-Fi network, so it’s not accessed by unauthorized personnel. To hide the network, set up a wireless access point to prevent it from broadcasting the name of the network, also called the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Protect access to the router using a password. 

Endnote

Many businesses downplay the threat of cybercriminals, arguing that they don’t have significant assets or that their data is not worth a security breach. However, cybercriminals target the weak networks of small businesses more than the heavily secured networks of large organizations. For this reason, it’s important to observe cybersecurity practices to ensure your business and clients are secured from cyber thieves. The above measures will help you tighten the data security of your organization, making it more difficult for hackers to breach your systems.

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8 Types of Security Threats to the IoT

Introduction

The IoT industry is currently booming at a rapid scale, allowing for insights backed by data to provide value to industries and enterprises. For instance, in supply chain, IoT is helping track the exact locations and condition of the cargo shipments to ensure that goods in transportation safely reach their destination. In agricultural sector, IoT devices help farmers to monitor changes in weather near crop fields to enhance labor, harvest health and water usage. Travel industry is making use of IoT sensors to notify on-arrival passengers when their luggage reaches the airport.

These and many more opportunities offered by IoT are making our lives easier and provide us with limitless services to enable increased work productivity and efficiency. However, its adoption is still not as widespread as anticipated. The reason is the security obstacles associated with IoT devices. In the year 2018, according to a survey by Bain & Company, security was the top reason for industrial and enterprise respondents to not adopt IoT technology. These security challenges can be overcome, but to understand how to do that, it’s important to first know what these challenges are.

Let us look at some of the many security threats faced by the Internet of Things.

  1. Radio Frequency (RF) Jamming

Hackers can use radio jamming to block wireless IoT devices by interfering with wireless communications to hinder their functionality. This can be done by getting hold of an RF Jammer, causing IoT devices to limit their communication ability by losing connectivity. For instance, residential and commercial wireless security alarms that are connected over a cellular network can be easily jammed and enable an intruder to break in without the knowledge of the security provider.

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

A DDoS attack happens when all network devices are precariously made to send limitless messages that eventually cause congestion in the IoT network shut it down. Cyber criminals use DDoS attacks to control numerous compromised devices, thus preventing important information from reaching its destination.

  • Privacy Leakage

An unsecured IoT device that leaks its IP address, if identified by a hacker, can be misused to point to any location. It is recommended that IoT connections should be secured using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Just as an Internet Service Provider’s network can be secured by  installing VPN on a router to encrypt all traffic passing through (see HughesNet Internet for the best satellite internet services), the same can be applied to an IoT device to ensure that your IP is private and your smart network is protected.

  • Network Hacks

A network hack takes place when an IoT device is compromised through the network that it is connected to. This kind of security breach allows a hacker to access and control the device. For instance, they can gain control of the thermostat of an industrial furnace and start a fire or cause an autonomous vehicle to crash by controlling its driving.

  • Home Intrusion

This is one of the reasons why smart homes are not ideally seen as a reality and adapted far and wide till now. It is also one of the scariest scenarios which can turn a device meant for an individual customer’s convenience into a major threat to their home privacy. Unsecured IoT devices that are shipped to a user with default username as ‘admin’ and password as ‘12345’ are very vulnerable to home intrusion. This can not only be used in planned burglaries but also invades complete privacy of a residential household. This is why it’s very important to secure a device’s credentials and connect them through a VPN.

  • Lack of Device Updates

Companies are manufacturing IoT devices at an increasing rate due to the growing demand. However, since their focus is on production and competition, manufacturers are not very careful with handling IoT device-related risks and security issues. Many of the devices in the market do not have considerable security updates, and some of them are never updated at all. Even if a device initially caters to security requirements, it becomes insecure and vulnerable after the emergence of new technologies and new cyber security challenges, making it more prone to cyber-attacks, especially if it is not updated.

Some manufacturers deliver Over the Air (OTA) firmware updates but stop doing that once they start working on next generation devices, thus leaving the older devices exposed to security threats. 

  • Unsafe Communication

Most of the IoT devices do not encrypt messages while communicating over a network, which makes it one of the biggest security challenges of IoT. To prevent from intrusion, companies need to secure and encrypt their communication between cloud services and devices. Using transport encryption and standards such as TLS can ensure safe communication. Also, device isolation using different networks can ensure a secure private communication.

  • Difficulty in Determining a Device’s Compromised Status

Another one of the challenges of an IoT device is that it is very hard to ascertain if a device is hacked or not.  Especially when there are a large number of IoT devices, it gets very difficult to monitor the security status of all the devices. This is because IoT devices need services, apps and protocols to communicate; and with more devices, it’s becoming unmanageable to find out which of them are compromised. As a result, many such hacked devices continue to work without the user’s knowledge and their data and privacy keeps getting compromised.

The Bottom Line

There is no doubt that IoT promises a change that can bring more convenience to our lives and is destined to get bigger with time. However, the bigger it is going to get, the more headaches it will progressively carry along with itself as the accompanying IoT trends and threats also get bigger. This can only be overcome if device manufacturers and IoT industry stakeholders take security seriously and make it a top priority instead of joining a competitive race towards more production and short-term profits.

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