Categories
Computer Tips & Tutorials CyberSecurity Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Security

Quantum cryptography; an untangled guide to the future of cybersecurity

As our lives become increasingly more digital, new opportunities for hacking, impersonating, and thefts arise. Current encryption techniques are far from perfect and might soon prove obsolete at the hands of phenomena we do not fully understand.

Step into the unknown

From wristwatches to the supercomputers that run the Large Hadron Collider, all modern electronic devices use binary code, a two-symbol system consisting of 0s and 1s. The vision for new technology, however, is founded on quantum bits, widely known as qubits. Typically taking the form of photons and electrons, qubits are units of encoded quantum information. When harnessed, these subatomic particles will offer the raw processing power and security, the likes of which we’ve never experienced. But how? In order to dive deeper into the abstract, we must first take a look at the history of quantum physics.

A short history lesson on Quantum cryptography

Quantum cryptography; an untangled guide to the future of cybersecurity
Today’s available encryption techniques are still in working mode but might soon prove to be obsolete. Quantum cryptography offers an untangled guide to the future of cybersecurity and we might be living in heaven already with it!

The year was 1900, and physicist Max Planck had just presented his quantum theory to the German Physical Society. Planck proposed that energy, just like matter, was made up of individual units. 5 years later, Albert Einstein theorized that radiation could also be observed in a similar manner. This eventually led to the proposition in 1924 that particles can behave like waves and vice versa – known as Louis de Broglie’s principle of wave-particle duality.

No more than 3 years later, Werner Heisenberg came up with what became known as the uncertainty principle, where he proposed that a precise measurement of two complementary values was impossible, e.g. the position and momentum of a subatomic particle. Its notion defied the mathematical laws of nature, prompting one of Einstein’s most famous quotes,

God does not play dice with the universe”.

What do a cat and a physicist have in common?

Over the years, the most powerful theoretical minds have contributed to our understanding of quantum theory – a process that is still ongoing. To this day, however, one of the most commonly taught interpretations of quantum mechanics is that of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, devised from 1925 to 1927. Known as the Copenhagen interpretation, their work claimed that no object in the universe can be assumed to have specific properties until it is measured. This concept became known as superposition.

Superposition is best explained through the paradox of Schrodinger’s Cat, named after physicist Erwin Schrodinger. To visualize the concept, imagine a cat in a sealed box with a vial of poison inside. We cannot know whether the animal is dead or alive until we open the box, so during this period of uncertainty, it is both dead and alive. By the same token, a qubit can exist in all possible states until it is measured.

Brothers in arms

Described by Einstein as “spooky action at a distance’, entanglement is a key phenomenon in quantum physics that signifies a shared, quantum state between a pair or group of qubits that makes each member of the pair or group inherently dependent on the others. In entanglement, a change in the state of one qubit immediately affects the others in a predictable way, for instance, in a pair of qubits with a measured total spin of zero, when one is known to have a clockwise spin, the other qubit must then have a relative counter-clockwise spin. What is interesting about entanglement is that so far no one has been able to explain exactly how or why it occurs. Spooky.

Absolute power

The practical application of quantum theory is a tantalizing prospect for technological breakthroughs, particularly in computing. Thanks to superposition, quantum computers can perform calculations for multiple possibilities simultaneously, as opposed to the one-at-a-time nature of digital machines. Furthermore, while conventional computers require additional bits to increase their processing capabilities, quantum computers use entangled qubits to provide unparalleled efficiency and raw power. The implications are colossal, spanning across fields and industries. From molecular modeling to forecasting in weather and finance, from machine learning in the automotive and medicine to particle physics, the future does look bright.

What’s the catch?

China is one of the main players in quantum research, having recently used its Micius satellite to successfully beam entangled pairs of photons to three optical telescopes over a record 1,203 kilometers, besting the previous record by almost 1,100 kilometers. Unfortunately, only one pair of photons out of the 6 million beamed each second survived the journey through our atmosphere. This is because even the smallest change in the environment, like a loud noise, can destroy quantum properties and result in computational errors – an occurrence known as decoherence.

To maintain their unique properties, qubits should be kept inside vacuum chambers at all times, having limited to no interaction with outside stimuli, which isn’t always possible. Decoherence is one of the biggest challenges to unlocking the full potential of quantum mechanics, but the prize for overcoming it is everything. The global leader in quantum computing is going to have an unthinkable advantage over the rest of the world. It’s a sprint, not a marathon.

What if I told you…

The world’s most popular encryption technique has many flaws that make it prone to interception and decryption. The effectiveness of RSA encryption relies on the difficulty of solving multi-factor problems involving large prime numbers. RSA keys, needed to access the encrypted message, are constantly at risk of factoring attacks, making them an easy target for quantum computers thanks to their multi-problem solving properties. The solution? Quantum networks. When operational, these will most likely be a specialized branch of the world wide web, offering secure data transfer, and more, to future you.

The knight in shining armour

But we do not have to wait 10 years for our data to be secure. Quantum cryptography is already here in the form of Quantum Key Distribution or QKD for short. QKD uses the principles of superposition to create an encryption system based on physics rather than, traditionally, mathematics. In order to relay information securely, the sender creates an encryption key using qubits, which are sent to the recipient. The sender and recipient then use key sifting to determine whether the operation was successful. Had the encoded qubit been measured by a third-party, the sender and recipient of the data would both be alerted by the collapse of the entire operation due to decoherence. The security of this encryption technology combined with the ability to sound an alarm when jeopardized is revolutionary for cybersecurity.

TBC

In a perfect world, the new ceiling in cybersecurity would make our planet an objectively better place. Quantum communication would provide freedom and security for those under suppressive governments. The safety of financial transactions would be at an all-time high thanks to quantum cryptography. We would be able to get in touch with our friends and family in total privacy via quantum networks. The subsequent developments in artificial intelligence would bring us closer to technological singularity, where miraculous advances would happen on an almost daily basis. Our grandchildren might even call it the “quantum age”. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Categories
CyberSecurity

What Is AI Bias and How It Can Ruin Your Cybersecurity Efforts

Artificial intelligence helps in automating businesses. But unexpected AI bias can cause severe cybersecurity threats. This post explains how.

Ever since its inception, complex AI has been applied to a wide array of products, services, and business software. However, the algorithms that support these technologies are at a huge risk of bias. In fact, unexpected AI bias is one of the biggest issues faced by firms looking to deploy AI systems pan operations. That’s because bias can lead to costly business mistakes and undermine a brand’s reputation.

What’s more? AI is being increasingly deployed by businesses as a powerful tool to detect, predict, and respond to cybersecurity threats and data security breaches in real-time. In a survey report by Capgemini, 61 percent of businesses acknowledge that they will not be able to identify critical threats without AI. Naturally, biases in AI security models can create serious security issues for a firm.

Therefore, it’s critical to understand what AI bias is all about and how it can adversely affect your firm’s cybersecurity.

What Is AI Bias and How It Can Ruin Your Cybersecurity Efforts
Artificial intelligence or man-made intelligence’s main focus is to help in automating business processes. However, unforeseen circumstances may give rise to AI bias that could lead to a fatal loss of business valuables.

What is AI Bias?

Machine learning and deep learning models seem to be dissociated from human intervention; yet, let’s not forget that they are created by humans who are biased. Everyone has biases – conscious or unconscious prejudices that influence decisions. Therefore, these models and algorithms are prone to biases by their creators. Algorithms then learn from these biases and they quickly become the basis for unfair datasets and decisions. Hence, AI models, regardless of where they are applied, shouldn’t be biased.

Depending on where the algorithm is applied, these biases can affect various business operations. For instance, in a financial institution, AI bias can corrupt the ability of a system to conduct credit card fraud prediction. Further, it can negatively affect the way businesses manage their funds.

Source of AI Bias

Humans, of course! All algorithms and models are created by humans. Therefore, they reflect the biases of all those involved in creating these ML models, such as the designers, the data scientists, and others involved. AI models learn to make decisions based on the training data that comes with biased human decisions or portray historical or social discrimination related to gender, race, or sexual orientation.

For instance, Amazon’s hiring algorithm was selecting favored applicants based on words like ‘executed’ or ‘captured,’ words commonly used by men in their resumes. The eCommerce giant finally stopped using this AI recruiting tool to uphold diversity and fairness.

Though training data carries most of the blame for AI bias, the reality is more nuanced. Bias can creep in at any stage of the deep learning process, namely problem identification, data collection, and data preparation. Hence, fixing a bias in an AI-based algorithmic system is not easy.

Now, let’s see;

How AI bias can affect a firm’s cybersecurity efforts

Training data - How AI bias can affect a firm’s cybersecurity efforts
If you are still not sure whether AI bias could negatively impact your organization’s security setup, here are factors that will make you rethink your AI security models.

Faulty Security Assumptions Can Threaten Your Firm’s Security

In the case of firms deploying AI for security, faulty security assumptions are often a result of unconscious biases in the model. Such biases can cause the system to qualify malicious internet traffic and miss out threats that can enter the firm’s network and wreak havoc.

For instance, a web developer may be biased towards an ally nation and allow all the network traffic from that country, considering it to be safe. Such biases can cause the algorithm to overlook a fraud element, a vulnerability, or a breach that may stem from that nation. This can pose a threat to the firm’s security.

Biased Training Data Can Lead to Dodgy Security Outcomes

A deep learning algorithm’s decision-making ability is only as effective and neutral as its training data. Training data is considered to be neutral until human prejudice is detected when it reaches the algorithm. Biased training data and flawed data sampling produce distorted results, causing businesses to make corrupt security decisions and outcomes.

For instance, if a spam classifier isn’t trained well enough on a representative set of benign emails, it is bound to produce corrupt results. So, if it is hit by emails with slang or other linguistic idiosyncrasies, it will produce false positives.

Tunnel Vision in AI Models Can Pose Serious Security Risk

The nature of cyberattacks varies across geographies and industries. If your firm’s AI model for cybersecurity isn’t trained to detect issues outside a particular setting, it will be unable to identify such threat patterns, your organization’s security can be easily compromised.

Since humans from a particular geography or industry domain train algorithms, these AI models often suffer from tunnel vision. In other words, they lead to bad AI security models that lack a 360-degree understanding of the cybersecurity landscape, the firm’s security posture, and the emerging threat patterns. Such models can be easily exploited by cybercriminals.

Hence, when training a security model, a firm should involve professionals from diverse backgrounds, geographies, and industry segments. This allows them to feed a variety of behavioral patterns and scenarios of security threats into the model and fill in the gaps in the threat detection process.

Over to You!

AI is being used by a majority of businesses to supercharge their cybersecurity. However, biases in ML or DL models can dampen these efforts and put your firm’s security at risk.

AI bias is entirely our responsibility. Biases can creep in at any stage of a machine learning process and negatively impact business operations, impact critical decisions, and encourage mistrust and discrimination. However, having a biased algorithm in the cybersecurity arena can cause serious issues.

Therefore, we should do everything within our capacity to tackle bias in AI security models. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Set up processes to prevent the creation of biased algorithms. For instance, you can have the code reviewed by a third-party security expert. You can also hire an external developer to create a bias-detection algorithm like AI Fairness 360.
  • Hire a diverse team of security professionals and developers to check for biases in the model.
  • Make sure the training data is untouched and uncategorized. Also, if you are using third-party training data, check to see if the insights and patterns included are relevant to your business.
  • The organization collecting and preparing the data should have a strong security posture and a comprehensive understanding of the threat landscape in your business niche.

AI, if used effectively can revolutionize a firm’s cybersecurity for the better. However, it’s critical to get rid of the biases that exist in various forms. Use the insights and tips shared in this post to identify and eliminate AI bias and boost your firm’s cybersecurity efforts.

Categories
Business

Tech Threat: 4 Technology Threats to Small Business Growth

There is hardly a business that hasn’t included some form of technology into their daily operations. The earliest inclusions of technology were primitive calculators or computers, but innovations have led to robotic production lines or artificial intelligence piloting management software. Companies that want to remain competitive have turned to technology as a way to gain an edge over standard industry practice, but without advance planning and continual monitoring, heavy reliance on technology does pose a risk. Digitally-driven business strategies streamline work operations and free up valuable time, and these benefits often overshadow the potential tech threats that lurk among cyber activities. Now, let’s talk about tech threats to small businesses.

Major Tech Threats to Small Businesses

Tech Threats - 4 Technology Threats to Small Business Growth
Tech Threats To Small Businesses: Technology-driven business strategies always streamline business operations but the benefits often overshadow the potential threats it poses. This article elaborates more on how small businesses can prepare ahead for the unforeseen circumstances.

Defending Against Cyber Attacks

Though security has always been a concern for any business, cyberattacks have been named of the top 10 tech threats plaguing both global and national business ventures. The dark web is host to hackers and individuals that pirate and profit from the personal information of others. Gaining access to company assets and information presents a wealth of opportunity for wreaking havoc on unsuspecting consumers, partners, or employees. Hackers will often attack a company system in order to disrupt work operations, but anyone that gains access to personal data, financial information, or intellectual property can turn and sell the information to less-than-reputable individuals. Because of the far-reaching effects of a cyberattack, tech professionals like Hari Ravichandran cautions businesses against lax or frugal security protocols. It doesn’t matter the size of the business, though many would like to use a lack of resources as the excuse for not implementing a strong security protection program.  The recommendations for protection include:

  • Ensuring all systems have been updated with the latest security plan installed.
  • Restricting user access to all sensitive data; limiting access to a need-to-know basis.
  • Shutting down systems and removing any portable storage devices after use.
  • Encrypting data against hackers.
  • Requesting two-factor identification for users.

Disposing of Hardware Correctly

Most companies maintain detailed records including the customer, supplier, and company information, and these files are often stored among several different drives. Since storage has become more affordable, companies often end up storing too much data. This makes it harder to organize and protect data, especially when a lot of the data is redundant or several years old. Auditing and purging your company’s old data can help reduce the threat of an attack, but failing to dispose of the information properly increases your risk. One study found that approximately 78% of all the hard drives disposed of during 2016 still had either confidential or personal information still contained on them. Prior to disposing of any hard drives or systems, rigorously wipe the data off of them. The U.S. government has endorsed the NIST 800-88 data sanitization standard, and it provides three ways to conduct a thorough data wipe.

Maintaining Data Compliance

It used to be that companies could decide for themselves how to best protect their information and that of the consumer, but with data breaches and advanced malware and spyware attacks becoming more commonplace, regulations have been put in place to protect the security and privacy of consumer and company alike. Not only that, but the legal liabilities and lawsuit from theft, fraud, or a breach have given rise to security requirements established by insurance providers. These systems have been established to minimize the risk and exposure of wrongful data transactions, and any area of non-compliance could find your company facing steep fines, legal fees, and a lost reputation. By establishing a compliance division and program at your company, you can have a team of individuals dedicated to assessing, evaluating, auditing, and implementing the protocols needed to remain in compliance. Make sure your administrative team has at least one member with experience in compliance and legal ramifications, but you also need to have the same vigilance with your vendors. You may do everything right on your end, but those you work with could compromise your data security.

Restoring Outages

With so many areas of a business relying on a strong network and full-functioning technology, and unforeseen outages can force operations to stop unexpectedly and create data loss. Natural disasters are common occurrences for some locations across the country, but software updates or system maintenance can also create downtime for certain areas of operation. Internet connectivity can lag or a cyberattack could completely block any activities. The best way to address these concerns is through a well-thought-out disaster plan. It needs to start with a complete inventory of all data, software, and hardware, and back-ups all of software or information stored at an off-site location. You should also practice your data shutdown and recovery procedure to assess its effectiveness.

Protecting your company against theft means paying attention to both the obvious and obscure threats. Don’t assume that your company is too small to be the target of a cyberattack or data breach. Any relaxed approach to technology and data safety poses a large threat to your company’s operations.

Categories
Business Disruption

Dangers of Phishing – Trendsetting Topic in the Internet Security Space

As 2018 begins, the dangers of phishing have never been higher as the total number of cyber attacks continues to rise. In that year alone, there were 1,579 successful data breaches in 2017 according to data extracted from the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout. This figure shows nearly a 45% rise from the previous year. The numbers become especially troubling when broken out by industry.

Overall, most sectors are tightening their security measures and, as a result, fewer breaches are being reported. Health care, government, financial industries, and education all reported a continued decrease in successful data breaches. Although this is a piece of welcome news, there is one market that is heading in the other direction – business. In fact, the business sector accounted for nearly 60% of all breaches in 2017. This trend has been growing steadily since 2013, according to the report.

The pace of cyberattack evolution is the main cause of this. Businesses have been heavily investing in methods to prevent a certain type of cyberattack, only to have hackers change their strategy virtually straight away. The problem with this is that the organization has already spent its budget on information security using price optimization and may be scrambling to allocate more. However, data suggests that one of the most straightforward forms of cyberattack is still among the most effective: phishing.

Let’s Discuss The Dangers of Phishing

Get Me Out Of Here - The Dangers of Phishing
Dangers of phishing – Internet security is a trending topic most IT-savvy guys discuss in public forums. To an average onlooker, it seems pocketed and within the control of these so-called internet security experts but online phishing attackers have always proven otherwise. They aren’t relenting on the effort to make life miserable for end-users.

The false sense of security

While more elaborate types of cyberattack such as ransomware routinely make the news, dangers of phishing have remained below the radar. Many people still associate it with stories of foolish people falling for schemes from a Nigerian prince, or former Libya president daughter, Aisha Gaddafi scam, or believing that they had suddenly acquired millions from the government. These are fantasies that businesses tell themselves they would never be susceptible to.

Data from a couple years ago may also have looked positive. A 2016 Symantec report found that the overall email spam rate was falling and that fewer phishing bots were being used. This information, most likely the result of email service providers like Gmail and Outlook stepping up their sorting technology, may have given business executives a false sense of security.

When you add this with another major problem in the business sector which is that most executives are out of the loop when it comes to understanding cybersecurity concerns, you can see where an issue may arise. In fact, a cybersecurity survey report from BAE systems in 2016 discovered that less than half of all executives claimed to understand their own company’s information security policies.

This same survey also found that only 60% of companies were giving their employees formal cybersecurity training sessions, and 70% of that number only had training once per year on average. When you take into account how rapidly cyberattacks change and adapt, this strategy would leave companies exposed to vulnerabilities. There’s the argument that these organizations may even be more vulnerable than others because of the misplaced sense of security.

Everyone is targeted

According to the Comodo report, 50% of employees will open an email from an unknown sender if they see it in their inbox. This is a frightening statistic and explains the increasing amount of phishing attacks, as well as why they are such a prevalent method. Every employee has the potential to be targeted.

Phishing stresses how there needs to be comprehensive employee training at every level. It only takes one person not being diligent to put an entire organization at risk. For example, if an entry-level analyst is successfully breached, the hacker could possibly be in possession of the network passwords, meaning that they suddenly share his or her level of access. The hacker can then use this to install ransomware or other harmful programs.

Staying aware of this fact, will not only help you prevent phishing attempts but also saves you from the dangers of phishing and all other forms of post-phishing headaches.

My advice to you is to always stay aware and awoke. Don’t ever, for once, joke with your security or be greedy to seek freemiums that could lead to phishing.

Categories
Business

Steps to Preventing Cyber Crime When Using Business Technology

Many people believe cyber crime only happens to large corporations with massive customer databases and large, complex computer systems. The truth is rather different.

In reality, many smaller businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cyber crime, so all business owners need to overhaul or at least check their security. Remarkably, in the UK, over half of businesses suffered some type of cyber threat in 2017 and the financial impact of the biggest attacks regularly makes the latest headlines.

More and more tech is being used by business such as smartphones and tablets issued to staff, modern point of sale equipment to enable speedy and quick purchase transactions, and computer controlled machinery such as in logistics centers and manufacturing environments.

Lack of vigilance and ignoring precautions when using this modern tech can create vulnerabilities for cyber criminals to exploit.

What are cyber criminals after?

Sometimes it’s just to cause disruption, but usually there’s a distinct motive such as accessing a company’s customer database and ‘harvesting’ sensitive data such as email and home addresses, credit card data, bank details and more.

Preventing Cyber Crime: How to prevent cyber crime from happening?

Safer Online Presence - Cyber Crime is on the rise
Crimes of all levels, including cyber, are on the rise across the world. Preventing cyber crime has become a necessity in this age. It is worth noting that myriads of combative innovations have also been consider to counter-attack some of the prevailing cyber security incidents – but, it is our individual responsibility to stay abreast of preventing cyber crime from taking place around us.

Common causes of cyber crime:

Human error: much of the risk stems from staff not observing safe practices often through ignorance; for example, opening a phishing email because they’re unaware of what they are and how they’re presented or setting a too-easy-to-crack password.

Updating systems and software: another large element of the risk is through not maintaining and updating systems properly; something simple such as updating to the latest operating system might plug a security vulnerability that cyber criminals have been exploiting.

Update other software: many updates revolve around attending to a recently discovered security vulnerability, so outdated firewall, anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-virus and DNS protection software can add to the vulnerabilities.

Therefore, updating all system software regularly is an important basic step to combat cyber crime.

Train staff in cyber security

As said above, often staff using tech aren’t fully aware of the threats they face. It’s worth having periodic training to appraise them of the risks and encourage them to adopt safe practices such as the following:

  • Emails – the perils of phishing emails and how to spot them, and being on guard against emails from unknown sources, asking you to either visit a certain website or open an attachment
  • Passwords – the need to adhere to the company’s password policy (for example setting strong passwords and changing them every week, month or whenever is prescribed)
  • Social engineering – guarding against cyber criminals using platforms such as social media to ‘befriend’ staff, win their trust and gain access to sensitive information
  • Safe sites – how to spot potentially dangerous websites that may download harmful malware or viruses to the system compared to perfectly safe ones
  • Other tech – if staff are given other tech to use for their work such as a smartphone or tablet, then an awareness of risks to these devices from cyber criminals is important to know

Human error is always a vulnerability that even the strongest security procedures can’t always combat, so ensure staff are trained – and that it’s ongoing.

Systems access

Ensuring staff only have access only to the parts of the network relevant to their work prevents too many people having higher level access.

A company wide policy regarding passwords is a basic cornerstone of good cyber security; they should be strong passwords and changed frequently with care taken as to who they are issued to.

Hire a security professional

An expert in systems security can assess and advise you as to how well or otherwise you’re protected and, if not, what to do about it.

They’ll also advise you of the latest threats and can ‘keep you in the loop’ on an ongoing basis – and may be able to provide security training for your staff or at least know of a good training provider.

Categories
CyberSecurity Data Theft Hack Security

6 Tips for a Safer Online Presence + Recommended Safety Tools

While the internet and mobile devices have made our lives easier and better overall, failing to protect your private information poses a serious threat. Sadly, the social media networks we love can facilitate identity theft and fraud by giving cybercriminals access to your sensitive information if they get into your account. Gone are the days when anti-virus protection was enough to keep you safe. Hackers have more ways now than ever to gain access to your personal data.

In this brave new world where we live in the cloud, identity theft protection services can give you peace of mind as you use cloud-based accounts on various devices. At the same time, common sense practices should also be followed.

In order to have a safer online presence, here are six tips you need to practice in order to protect your privacy and keep your information safe online:

Safer Online Presence: Step-by-Step Guide to Stay Protected Always

Safer Online Presence - Cyber Crime is on the rise
Cyber Crime is on the rise and there’s an urgent need to combat prevalent data miners. Enjoying a safer online presence is gradually becoming a daydreaming experience until recently when a group of security experts discovered a new technique for staying safe online by following basic guidelines. Discover how to experience a safer online presence anywhere in the world.

1. Create Strong Passwords for Your Online Accounts

Your passwords are the first line of defense when it comes to online accounts containing sensitive personal information. Don’t use passwords people who know you can easily guess. Also, don’t use obvious passwords, such as the word “password” or your name. The longer and more complex a password is, the safer your account will be. It’s also smart to avoid using the same password for all your accounts, and change up your passwords every few months.

2. Keep All Your Devices Password-Protected

Consider all the apps on your phone or tablet you’re logged into that could make you vulnerable if your phone got stolen, or if a peeping tom got a hold of it. It’s critical to have a password on your phone, or to use facial recognition technology to unlock your phone if your phone supports it. While it does take time to unlock your phone every time you want to use it, this layer of security is well worth your time.

3. Engage Only with People You Know

Don’t be tempted to talk with users on social media who you don’t know. Fake profiles are out there, which can be used to commit crimes. Make sure you’re selective with friend requests, and avoid responding to users who seem interested in you for no apparent reason.

4. Don’t Share Sensitive Personal Information Online

Be mindful of what you’re sharing on social media and on websites. Avoid posting your home address or phone number, because this type of data makes it easier for criminals to steal your identity. Before you submit any private information to a website or perform a transaction on it, make sure it’s a legitimate institution by doing your research first.

5. Customize Privacy Settings on Your Social Media Accounts

Every social media network or social app has privacy settings that allow you to decide who sees your account information and how much they see. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the privacy policies of every channel you’re a part of, and customize your privacy settings to ensure that only people you trust are seeing any sensitive information or media.

6. Get Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft protection services monitor your financial accounts and loan or credit applications that are filed in your name. They’re able to detect potential fraud so that you can be alerted immediately if someone has stolen your identity. This allows you to handle the situation before it’s too late when the damage is already done.

Taking Action to Protect Yourself Online

Everyone has an online presence in today’s word, which creates an extra layer of vulnerability. While you shouldn’t let it stop you from benefiting from what cutting-edge technology and online services have to offer, you need to use common sense. Identity theft, fraud and account hacking can cause long-term damage to your financial health and personal reputation. Keeping your accounts safe in a cloud-based world and using an identity theft protection service can help you stay in the clear.

Conclusion

This article has been able to make you understand why safer online presence is nearly impossible to achieve, and we continue further to discuss different techniques to follow if you intend to have a safer online presence free of exploits.

Categories
CyberSecurity Security

How to Secure Your Business’s Network, Server and Data

Nothing is more valuable to a business than its data. While your employees, processes and office space are assets, it is your data that will determine your company’s success or failure.

For example, leaking your trade secrets could provide your competitors with an industry advantage, while losing sensitive customer data could result in legal and financial consequences for your business.

Unfortunately, with cybercrime increasing at a troubling rate, you must strengthen your onsite security against the likes of ransomware, phishing scams, and spyware. Learn how to secure your business’s network, server and data.

Why should you go for Dedicated server
Server security: Here’s how to secure your business’s network, server and data while keeping your company at the top of its game.

Informative Cybersecurity Training

Cybersecurity training is a must for every business, regardless of its size. Too many employees will be guilty of using weak passwords, ignoring essential software updates, or clicking on peculiar-looking emails and links.

Get your employees up to speed on cybersecurity through informative training. For example, you can educate them on the various cybersecurity threats and how to protect against them, such as generating strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and encryption.

Run Anti-Virus Programs on a Server

If you do not have an anti-virus program on a server, it could result in an infection spreading from one file to the next. An effective program can, however, minimize the damage of an infection, so it can protect your data.

Regularly Update Your Servers and Software

Servers and software must be continually updated to ensure they receive the latest security patches and features. If you fail to update the technologies, you shouldn’t be surprised when you become a victim of a hacking. Keep your server, network, and data safe from malware by immediately upgrading to the latest version.

Choose a Dependable Public Cloud Hosting Service

Of course, if you want to steer away from physical servers that provide limited security and flexibility, choose public cloud hosting. Safely store data in the cloud so that you can access your important files at any time on any device, so it is an effective form of disaster recovery.

You can also customize the virtual data center to your business’s exact requirements. The cloud will also provide you with the latest software update, which can prevent cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Make your way to learn more about public cloud hosting.

Frequently Backup Your Sensitive Data

You can never have too many backup solutions when it comes to business, and you must ensure you continually save the latest version of a document into a solution immediately.

Each company will have different needs. For example, small companies might need to backup their sensitive data on a weekly basis, as they may generate small amounts of data each day. While large organizations will more than likely need to do so on a daily basis. Find a frequency that works for your company and stick to it, and don’t forget to tweak your frequency as your business grows. You will be glad you did should you become a victim of a malicious ransomware, spyware, or phishing scam.

Categories
Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources CyberSecurity Data Theft Hack Programming Security Software

CyberSecurity Trends: Top 5 Trends in CyberSecurity for 2018 and Beyond

Cybersecurity science is a major aspect of the development, understanding and practice of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a broad category, covering the technology and practices used to protect computer networks, computers, and data from harm. People throughout academia, industry and government all use formal and informal science to develop and expand cybersecurity knowledge.

Top 5 Cybersecurity Trends for 2018
What is trending in cyber security industry in terms of infrastructural developments, technologies and adoptions?

As a discipline, the field of cybersecurity requires authentic knowledge to explore and reason about the “how and why” we build or deploy security controls. In every changing world of cybersecurity, there are some facts about what leaders want.

Cybersecurity leaders seek:

  • Balance risk, usability, resilience and price
  • Need enough visibility into what is happening
  • Gain much control–but only over what actually matters

Cloud security grows into a top priority

As the cloud platform evolves, it’s shaping into a security target and it will begin having security problems. It’s possible cloud will become a victim to a tragedy of the commons where as a shared cloud service turns into insecure or unstable based on rise in demands by companies. When in the case of cloud, security professionals will need to determine who they can trust and who they can’t. Companies should reinforce security guidelines for public and private cloud use and utilize a cloud decision model to implement rigor to cloud risks.

Organization and skills for cybersecurity continue to change

With no unemployment rate, there is a scarcity of security skill sets, the industry requires and will sustain the need of emerging skills, as cybersecurity progresses in areas such as data governance and data classes. It’s a problem that experts in security have avoided, but the reality is that in the next few years, enterprises will generate data that they ever had before, said Mr. Perkins. Transformations in cybersecurity will require emerging skills in data science and analytics. The general growth of information will mean artificial security intelligence is essential. Adaptive skills will become an important job for the future of cybersecurity.

Application and data security are led by development operations center

There are a lot more of opportunities in the application security, but many enterprises ignore it because of the expense. It’s the crucial time to figure out the correct path to evaluate the value of security and the right way to describe it to the business. Moreover, DevOps should turn to DevSecOps, with a focus on security. This is a good time to collaborate development and operations. The time to trade has decreased so much, it creates a lossless connection between operation and development, which means it’s important to stop running them as isolated units. This is the time to bring security to DevOps, or if the team is not internal, to ask the service provider what kind of security they provide.

White Label ransomware
White label ransomware may be the scariest cybersecurity risk ever recorded in the history of cyber security worldwide.

Digital ecosystems drive next generation security

Privacy, safety and reliability are considered to be a segment of cybersecurity. When these systems begin to have a direct physical impact, you now become responsible for the safety of people and environments. Without a handle on security, people will die. The reliability part is needed for operation and production environments.

Shift your focus from protection and prevention

“Take the money you’re exhausting on prevention and start to drive it more equitably to response and detection,” said Mr. Perkins.

“The fact is that you will not be able to stop each and every threat and you need to overcome it.”

A well-financed, dedicated actor who is after something in your agency is going to get it, even if they use the thinnest link– people–to do so. This means adapting your security setup to focus on detection, response, and remediation. That’s where the cybersecurity fight is today. In the future it will most likely move to suspense of what’s coming before something happens.

Categories
Blockchain Technology

2020 and Beyond: How Will Blockchain Technology Affect The World? – Case Study

We will start this article with a straight yet a bit uncomfortable question: “Is information technology a boon or a bane?”

Well, there cannot be a simple answer to this. We can say that IT is a double sided sword that can be both a boon and a bane depending upon who is using it. When used by the hackers to steal the sensitive information or hack a website it is a bane but if used by the healthcare sector to increase, accuracy efficiency and speed it could be a boon. The challenge here is – how to make sure that the IT should not be used negatively in the hands of unscrupulous people?

There could be many answers to this but one most competent answer would be to make it technically impossible for hackers and other malicious elements to misuse the technology. The blockchain technology can help a great way here.

What is a Block Chain technology? Can I understand the technology behind it?

In simple terms, Blockchain is a system that is based on decentralizing the system to eliminate the middleman. As we see that most corruption incidents happen due to some central point of access. As the information is secured using cryptography the BlockChain can be (and is) distributed across a wide network so that no single person has the master keys of the central location.

For example, the permanent record of transactions using the sophisticated technology of BlockChain is easy to be verified and facilitate chronological arrangement. Delving into the depths of the technical structure behind Block Chain technology can only complicate the matters as the real technology behind it is quite complex. So the simple definition is that blockchain means decentralization!

The best thing is that you can use the blockchain technology in your system even if you don’t know the A, B, C. of how it works. Now decentralization brings transparency and exposes the transactions that make it difficult to corrupt the system. Besides, the sophisticated use of decrypted blocks (and that’s the main technology behind it) makes it technologically impossible to change or hide the transactions.

However, to know in a better way how the blockchain technology can change the world we can go through some of the real-life examples where the BlockChain is being used. Blockchain technology is still in its early stage of development and evolving at a good rate. We can expect that by 2020 the technology would be so sophisticated that when it is used wisely it can reduce the corruption, help the businesses and society and increase both efficiency and productivity.

2020 and beyond: How will Blockchain technology affect the world?

Blockchain 2020 And Beyond
Blockchain 2020 And Beyond: How will this innovative solution affect the world we live in by the year 2020? Let’s discuss some of the amazing developments taking place in the block chain technology industry lately.

Let us explore some of the examples of sectors and industries where blockchain technology will disrupt:

Banking

Due to its secured yet fully transparent technology, the BlockChain can facilitate the exchange of money and makes the process faster. In fact, if we deeply study the present model of money exchange we would notice that it requires one to pass through multiple security gates but the instances of scams in the financial industry are on the rise.

  • The use of bitcoin can offer a higher level of efficiency while protecting the users’ interests in a better way.
  • The initial success of this model can be gauged from the fact that many reputed banks have already started their efforts towards integrating blockchain technology in their banking system.
  • The challenge would be how to blend the privacy and secrecy required by the banks and transparency offered by block chain.
  • With the technology developing at such a fast pace, it could be assumed that by 2020 some solid solution for the same could be found! It will add speed to transactions and make them more secure.

Blockchain technology will disrupt the banking sector
It is no longer breaking news that Blockchain technology is already disrupting the banking sector. If you don’t agree, think about Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dascoin powered Daspay and host of other amazing solutions out there for the banking sector.

Cyber Security

If we drill deeper into the instances of cyber crimes we would find that one of the most basic activities after breaking into the digital property that helps in harming the digital properties is done by changing the information/details/credentials! Monitoring these properties 24X7 is an uphill task even if we use the automated system.

  • With the use of Blockchain model, the cryptographic structure of the entire process can be modified where unauthorized changes would be technically impossible.
  • By decentralizing the servers using Blockchain technology the possibility of corruption, intended and unintended human errors, hacking, injecting malware into the script and other such “clever activities” of hackers could be stopped.
  • It is the centralized servers used in the present times that make all these activities possible. The distributed model of Blockchain would offer failsafe protection the data residing in the Cloud.

Cyber Crime - Steps to Prevent Identity Theft
On combating Cyber Crime, block chain could be a very vital tool for streamlining the process of exposing dangers looming and building a fence against the blackhat activists out there. | CC:- Pete Linforth

IoT

The concept of IoT is to make the world a huge network of the internet with different products acting as a network carrier. It allows you to turn a refrigerator, car and even a coffee machine into an active modem that offers internet connectivity. Here too the central location of operating these things allows the hackers to gain the access to the master key and carry out their damaging activities.

  • The block chain technology can help in decentralizing the data that resides in such instruments and also the information is spread across multiple points rather than allowing it to reside in a single point.
  • Looking at the increasing use of IoT the BlockChain can help a long way in eliminating many presents as well as potential risks posed by the increasing use of IoT in public places.

Corruption

Complexity is the companion of corruption! In fact, if we study the basic structure of corruption in the bureaucracy we will find that it is because of the complexity and tedious processes that makes people agrees to “pay something under the table” so that their work can be done more quickly. Besides, the corrupt officials know how to add more knots to the already complicated system in order to augment the bribe. With the help of blockchain technology, transparency would be increased and it can also enhance the efficiency in the workplace.

  • Most importantly the reasonably open to all system would help the people to know about the exact status of their request/processes without any curtain.
  • If designed properly the corrupt official can also be exposed using this system.
  • Easy verification, accurate counting, and quick way to check compliance are some other ways in which the blockchain’s capabilities will significantly reduce corruption.

Corruption will reduce with blockchain technology
Block chain technology will sweep out corruption from public places and makes it difficult for perpetrators to continue the act under the hood.

Charity Foundations/NGOs

Right from the local charities to the highly evolved United Nations programmes, there are a number of avenues where your financial contributions can be utilized to elevate the lives of the people. While it offers a great feeling helping fellow beings, you should also make sure that your money is utilized for the advertised purpose and is not going into the Black Hole of the corrupt charity organizations, it is quite tricky as tracking the complete lifecycle of your specific contributions is not possible. However, the things are not completely disappointing.

  • The Smart contracts of Bitcoin charities help you to know the people your hard-earned money is been channeled to help.
  • The Blockchain based smart contracts help in the transparent ledger. It can be checked anytime without any difficulty. Besides, this system also discourages the corrupt charities or official to take advantages of the kind-hearted people.

Healthcare sector

While the IT technology has largely revolutionized the way the healthcare sector works, there are a number of challenges that are still unanswered. One of the most disturbing concerns is how to protect the sensitive information of the patients.

  • In the recent ransomware attacks, some of the significantly popular healthcare providers’ data were “hijacked” and in several cases, the providers had to pay a significant sum of amount in order to get their data released.
  • With the help of BlockChain, the hospitals can be able to build a more efficient database that is highly secured and resides in the cloud or offsite secured location.
  • It could only be accessed by the doctors and the patents and no other elements can have access to the same. It can revolutionize the way the healthcare sector works and reinforce the trust of the people.

Blockchain 2020 and Beyond - What Are Your Expectations?
What are your expectations for block chain technology by the year 2020 in terms of technology in use, in terms of infrastructure deployment, and in terms of adoption patterns, and acceptability.

Conclusion

Block chain technology is an emerging technology that cannot be considered fully ripe for its potentials, but we are certain of great impact it would have by 2020 and beyond. There are many ways block chain technology could be useful to humanity aside from the ones explained above. And like I’ve said earlier on, we are just getting started to know how blockchain technology works. It is just a matter of time for 2020 to be here!

Categories
CyberSecurity Data Theft Disruption Hack IoT (Internet of Things) Security Software

3 Emerging Technologies Impacting Cyber Security Space

It’s a cat and mouse game between cyber security experts and cyber criminals. While the security guys endeavor to protect users and information, the criminals threaten to compromise data security using different innovative methods. It all seems to be part of a never-ending cat ‘n’ mouse game!

Ours is the age of digital connectivity; we are now on to automating all processes in the business world. Hence, as security guys keep on safeguarding users and data using encryption tools, security risks also go on increasing. Thus the security industry now focuses on building cyber security into applications and the devices that are interconnected. In addition to the basic encryption tools, lots of other security features and tools are now used to ensure comprehensive security.

Let’s here discuss some emerging technologies that would help secure vital information from hackers in a very effective manner:

The Evolution of Cyber Security and Threat Control

Emmerging Technologies Affecting Cyber Security
There are new developments in the cyber security industry lately with the emergence of newer technologies to disrupt the cyber security space such as development of user hardware authentication, cloud technology, and machine learning and artificial intelligence, with aim to combat and eradicate threats.

Cloud technology to have a great impact! 

Cloud technology is making a big change in the realm of information security. In fact, the cloud is impacting systems security technology in a very significant manner. Business enterprises and government agencies are now embracing cloud technology in a widespread manner; they use the cloud to store vast amounts of data on a day-to-day basis. The future looks bright as regards the employment of cloud technology in information security. Experts believe that techniques for on-premise data storage would end up being migrated to the cloud. Many components, including virtualized intrusion detection and prevention systems, virtualized firewalls etc would be used from the cloud.

Development of user hardware authentication 

Security experts, in a bid to come up with more secure authentication methods, have now focused on the development of user hardware authentication known as 2Factor hardware authentication. This kind of a development has become relevant as hackers now find it easy to get access to information systems and sensitive data of business/government organizations by cracking weak usernames/passwords created by data users. Security guys have hence developed a solution in the user authentication process with a new Core vPro processor belonging to the sixth generation of processors. This processor can combine different hardware components with enhanced factors simultaneously for the purpose of user identity validation. It’s to be noted that such enhanced hardware authentication methods are needed when it comes to securing IoT devices, wherein any device could prove vulnerable at any point in time.

Cyber Crime is on the rise
Cyber crime is on the rise but with the influx of emerging technologies into the cyber security space, combating crime will become easy for cyber security experts.

Deep learning is really relevant

Deep learning has its own relevance in cyber security. There are technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, that are encompassed in deep learning. Such technologies have a great role to play in cyber security. To be noted is the point that deep learning focuses on anomalous behavior. Hence when we feed machine learning systems and AI systems with the right data regarding security threats, these systems end up making decisions as regards preventing hacks, depending on their immediate environment. These systems would scrutinize entities having access to the information system and analyzes different entities found in an enterprise at the macro level as well as the micro level. This helps an organization to block, using machine learning or AI, any persistent or advanced cyber threat.

A conclusion…. 

To conclude, it’s to be specifically mentioned that such new technologies are to be used with the existing security fundamentals (like, for example, the encryption tools) to ensure that all information remains secure, in all respects.