Categories
News

3 Crucial Online Security Tools to Keep Your Data Safe Online

As news of major data breaches seems to come on what feels like a daily basis, from Heathrow airport and the NHS to social media services, it is understandable that cybersecurity is a growing concern, not just for businesses of all sizes but for everyday internet users too. According to the Gemalto Breach Level Index, the first six months of 2018 saw 4.5 billion records compromised.

In an environment where even major international organisations are failing to prevent breaches, it is understandable to feel that it’s impossible to keep your data safe. Thankfully, most data breaches can be prevented with simple software that is affordable and readily available.

Online Security Tools – How to Keep Your Data Safe Online

Essential online security tools to keep your data safe online
Online data security is all that matters in this new economy (where data is the new sexy), and that is why it is essential you have an online security tools in place to keep your data safe online.

If you want to keep yourself secure online, using these three essential online security tools will make sure that your data and online activity are protected, and the threat of becoming the victim of an attack is significantly reduced.

Antivirus

Probably the most common form of defence against data breaches and hacks is antivirus software. While human error is responsible for four out of five data breaches, antivirus software can help to identify or remove malicious software and spyware before it causes irreparable damage.

Email attachments, for example, can help to spread viruses through various phishing techniques. To minimise your risk of opening a potentially malicious attachment, be sure to choose an antivirus that includes an email scanner. An integrated scanner will monitor your emails in real time, flagging potential viruses, spyware and Trojans, and preventing you from opening dangerous files.

For many mobile users, it has become a routine to actively avoid installing updates for fear of reducing their device’s performance. This is a dangerous habit, as updates and patches across all of your devices are essential for ensuring that you are protected against new and emerging threats. Updates cost nothing, take moments to implement and can often be automated – so there’s really no excuse for not keeping your antivirus software up to date.

VPNs

An increasingly popular online security tool for improving the state of your online security is a VPN service. Standing for Virtual Private Network, the tool’s main ability is to provide anonymity to your browsing sessions. This is done by allowing users to connect to the internet via secure servers located across the world.

By ‘tunnelling’ user data through their servers, VPN services are able to conceal a user’s IP address and browsing activity. This not only prevents prying eyes, but also prevents tracking by advertisers, reducing your chances of seeing targeted ads.

For extra security, VPN services also offer end-to-end encryption to ensure that even if your data was accessed, all that would be visible would be a string of unintelligible letters and numbers – keeping your bank details or passwords secure.

An important feature to make sure your VPN service includes is a kill switch. As with any online connection, there is a risk that a connection to a VPN’s servers could go down unexpectedly. If this happens, there is a possibility that your IP address and other information could be exposed, revealing your activity and putting your data at risk.

A kill switch will notice the dropped VPN connection and disconnect your internet at the same time, ensuring your data remains safe. Some services will implement this automatically, while some will have the option in the settings, but users should ensure a kill switch is in place before connecting to their service.

Password Managers

Despite it being common knowledge that simple passwords like ‘abc123’, ‘passw0rd’ or ‘letmein’ are easy to guess, people still use them because they are easy to remember. A 2017 survey by Splash Data shockingly revealed that the most popular password is still ‘123456’, followed by ‘password’. This demonstrates that despite the risks, many people still choose to prioritise convenience over security.

With the average business employee needing to track 191 passwords for accessing their various accounts across banking, shopping, work and personal accounts, it is understandable that using memorable passwords is more preferable than complex strings of complex letters and numbers.

The safest way to use complex, secure passwords without struggling to remember them all is a password manager. This tool will remember all of your complex passwords, and will mean you will only need to remember one – the password manager’s own password. While there are many options, both paid and free, be sure to choose an online security tool that reminds you to regularly update your passwords and will suggest new complex passwords to keep your accounts as secure as possible.

No matter your knowledge of cybersecurity or your budget, these three online security tools are essential steps towards ensuring that your online security is strong enough to keep your online activity, passwords and data protected. However, it is also important that common sense is also applied alongside software.

While these online security tools can help to protect you, careless activity, such as opening suspicious attachments, is something that security software cannot protect against. So, personal responsibility also needs to be a factor in building a multifactor security setup.

Categories
Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Computer Tips & Tutorials

Online Security: 3 Ways to Protect Yourself Online from Hackers

The fact that you are reading this article shows you are among the millions of global citizens who are connected on the internet. The digital revolution has brought with it many benefits but also changed the way people look at their personal security.

Not so many years ago the term ‘security’ solely referred to one’s physical security but the internet introduced a new dimension – online security. With shunning the internet not being an option at all, you have to find ways to secure yourself online amidst all the issues of security breaches and personal data theft.

Online Security Tips for Staying Safe At All Times

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 online security experts.

Secure passwords

As a customer, you hope that when a company collects your personal data they will keep their end of the bargain and keep it safe. That also means not selling it to third parties for profit either through targeted ads or mass marketing.

Before it gets to that point though, your security starts with you. The passwords to your online accounts are the first security feature to protect yourself online. Do not compose simple passwords that can be easily guessed from your basic personal information.

Avoid passwords with your name and year of birth or simple numeric combination like 1234. Your passwords should be a combination of several characters to minimize the risk of someone guessing and logging into your accounts.

More importantly, have different passwords for your various accounts. Having the same passwords for all your accounts extends the threat to other accounts when one is hacked.

Have an updated antivirus software

Anti-virus software protect your machine from virus infections that can wipe out all your data and also prevents malicious software from getting installed into your machine especially when you are connected to the internet.

You could be online browsing a genuine site like gameguideworld.net but without an updated antivirus software, you are exposed to many online threats include spyware and malware want to install themselves into your machine undetected.

Look before you leap

Phishing scams are one of the most common tactics used by cybercriminals to collect important personal information from users. It usually comes in the form of an ostensibly genuine looking email from resembling that of reputable organization they are impersonating.

They link in the phishing email will direct you to an insecure login page where they will be able to collect your username and password.

The key to avoiding phishing scams is to verify the URL of any link in your mails before clicking on it. Most reputable organizations have also secured there sites and you will notice this in the form of a padlock in the address bar.

Two-step verification

You can improve your online security by activating the two-step verification login method for all your online accounts. This acts as a second layer of protection should someone hack into your account.

After logging in with your password, another code is sent to your phone for verification before you can finally have access to your account. Some people disable the two-step verification for the devices they regularly use but this may be dangerous should you lose the one or all of the devices.

Categories
News

5 Ways To Have a Secure Online Transactions

Secure online transactions…is that even realistic in this era?

We are living in modern times where almost everything can be bought via the Internet. You can just simply click on a purchase button, enter the requested information and that’s it. This is one of the easiest ways of shopping but, as well as it is convenient, it’s is also dangerous.

When you purchase something, you’re doing it using your credit or some other type of card, or via paycheck. You must be really careful when it comes to this because you can easily get tricked and leave some information to someone and put yourself in danger. They can literally take everything you have.

But come again, does that mean one cannot have a sweet internet purchasing experience? Or are you telling me there aren’t ways around it? I’m already assuming what’s already going on in the minds of many reading this. And for this purpose, I’d be sharing with you techniques and guidelines you can follow to have a sweet and secure online transactions starting from this moment.

Here are some examples of how to have a secure transaction and not lose a penny using the internet.

How to Enjoy a Secure Online Transactions Without Breaking The Bank

How to Enjoy Secure Online Transactions Without Breaking The Bank
How to Enjoy Secure Online Transactions Without Breaking The Bank | CC:- Viktor Hanacek

Avoid using public computers

You know where you will be safe and sound, at your own home using your personal computer! There are many reasons why you should prefer using your PC. First of all, people tend to overlook the question which every browser asks, which is “Do you want this browser to save the password for this site?” or “Do you want to stay logged in.” If you neglect those questions, you can put yourself and your personal information exposed. Therefore, anyone that can access that computer can access the information that you just left there.

You should also have in mind that you should do these kinds of transactions while being connected to a password secured Wi-Fi network rather than a public Wi-Fi because many hackers can steal your personal information if he has access to the Wi-Fi on which you’re connected at the moment of the transaction.

Also Read: 10 Tips to Make Your Online Shopping Safe and Secure

Use Appropriate Security Software’s

Well, since there are hackers who can steal you information, there is also a kind of software protection against them. You should also be very careful when you choose which kind of software protection you want. Always have in mind that all of the protection software often has a small glitch which hackers tend to use to their advantage. So if you get protection software, that still doesn’t mean you’re 100% safe. You always have to keep your webmail or web browsers up to date to encounter many dangers such as hacking and virus attacks.

You should consider using Lifelock software because that is one of the most popular and the best identity protection services out there. Or better still, check our article here on other mobile security softwares.

Use SSL Certified Websites

In general, what SSL Certificates does is that it digitally binds a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When you install it on the browser you use, you then have a more secure connection which goes from a web server to a browser. Another thing you should have in mind is that the website, which doesn’t have an SSL certificate, are not the ones to be trusted. You must be extremely cautious if you’re purchasing anything from a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate. Therefore, that should be the first thing you check before you make the purchase.

Also Read: Understanding Digital Certificates’ Architecture, Process and their Interactions

Choose a Trusted Payment Gateway for Secure Online Transactions 

If you buy something from someone via the internet, then there must be some kind of service between you and the seller. These are so-called payment gateways, and that’s exactly what their business’s primary focus. They are that “one” in between. Their main job is to get some crucial information from you and guarantee the other side that you are a valid and trustworthy buyer. There are many different payment gateway services, and some of them are PayPal, Skrill, eCommerce, Payoneer, etc.

There are also those websites which are not using any of those payment gateways, and that’s where you need to be careful the most because that’s a perfect place for a hacker to get some critical information about you.

Avoid Sharing Your Personal Account Details

This is where it gets tricky; it’s hard to determine who to trust and who no to trust. You must be sure if you can trust that someone who is asking for some critical information about your account or something else before you give them that information. For example, a hacker can be posing as an employee or a member of a support team, and he’s asking for some of your personal information. That is just one of the reasons why you should be careful when it comes to information sharing.

Like I used to say, in some of our previous publications, about online security, particularly on having a secure online transactions experience without much glitch, we can’t get everything perfected for you! You are the best person to help yourself stay secured almost all the time you are online.

Also Read: Ready for a Virtual Personal Assistant? Try Win 10 Cortana

Do everything possible to “stay awake and aware” of what’s going on around you so you can make good decisions when next you find yourself in the similar situations. Purchasing online is fun, and should remains that, as long as you don’t jeopardize what’s most important to you and your loved ones out of care.

Thank you for taking time to read this piece once again, I look forward to meet you guys pretty soonest and if you have comments, you know how we do it! Engage me below. 🙂

I love you all.

Categories
Business Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Digital Certificate – Its Architecture, Process & Interactions

Digital Certificate which is also called as Digital ID, is one of the credential which is used to provide identification over internet. In other words, you can say it’s similar to driving license, national or international passport. It gives an information about the identity of the particular entity or any information related to it. It comes with digital documents, which helps in serving the identification. It is issued by the trusted CAs (Certificate Authorities,) who also provide the validity of the certificate which are issued by them, which in return work as a proof that the person or any entity to whom the certificate is issued is not fake and they are what they say are. For proving this, CAs applies their digital signature, which tells that the certificate is not altered and it’s original.How Digital Certificate Works by Comodo

Every certificate issued by CAs are unique to identify, as they offer serial number, holder’s name, how long the certificate is valid (expiration date), public key of the owner of the certificate which is used during the process of encryption & authentication, lastly signature of the CAs who has issued the certificate.

Commonly it’s used where business transactions asks for encryption, digital signing or authentication. Before we get more into Digital certificate, first let’s see what SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificate is. SSL/TLS is one of the today’s trending technology which offers security protocol in order to secure communications and transactions which happens on internet. It plays a big role in today’s internet transactions which took place in regard to e-commerce or e-business. Though SSL/TLS certificates uses the protocol of digital certificates to make a successful, secured & confidential communication between two parties, but still it differs from Digital certificate.

The main difference between SSL/TLS certificate & Digital certificate is that SSL/TLS certificates are used for securing the transactions or communications which happens between web browsers and server, which is done by showing the secured connection of “https,” whereas Digital certificates, are mostly used to do code signing of the software or its related content, which is later on used by its distributors.

Sometimes, digital certificates are also referred to as code signing certificate which helps users to identify that the signed software is by authorized person.

Contents of Digital Certificate:

The content of Digital Certificate is in text format which is visible to everyone, as it does not contain any confidential information which should be remain private. Due to this, visitors of the website are able to decide whether they can trust the certificate holder and certificate provider or not.
Contents of Digital Certificate

Preview of contents you can find embedded into Digital Certificates.

Though it provides content which are not encrypted, but that also mean that it isn’t quite possible to make any change to the provided information. CAs uses two keys; Private and Public key. Private Key remains only with the holder of the certificate, which is used to sign the digital certificate whereas Public Key is used in order to do the verification of the digital signature.

An Architecture of Digital Certificate:

Certain information regarding user, computer or services are kept in public key, which is provided as the information regarding the subject of the certificate like, services, and applications which can be used by certificate. As per the certain standards of Public-Key Infrastructure (X.509) Working Group (PKIX) of IETF (Internet Engineering Tasks Force), these are some of the objectives which is mandatory to be met with the certificates that are issued for Windows Server 2003 or earlier PKIs.

X.509 version 3 certificate is the latest format of the certificate which is used in a Windows Server 2003 PKI. Below is the figure of the same.

Digital Certificate - X.509 Version 3 Certificate
X.509 Version 3 Digital Certificate

X.509 Version 3 Certificate:

Here are the fields that are supported by X.509 version 3 certificate.

Subject: It is also referred through the use of X.500 or LDAP format (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.) It provides certain information like computer name, user information, network device, services which are issued by CA for the certificate.

Serial Number: It’s used for the unique identification of every certificate that’s issued by CAs.

Issuer: The name of the issuer is most of time referred through format of X.500 or LDAP and it offers the notable name for the CA who issues the certificate.

Valid From: The date & time from when the certificate became valid.

Valid To: The date and time, when certificate expires and can no longer be considered as valid.

Public Key: Provides the public key which is used with the certificate.

In X.509 version 3 certificates, additional extensions are provided which offers additional features and functions to certificates. Though it’s optional and it’s not necessary that it will be included in all the certificates which are issued by CAs and they are as follows:

Subject Alternative Name: More than one format can be used to make the subject. Let say, if the certificate has to be issued which must have the account name of the user in LDAP distinguished format, name, e-mail address, UPN (User Principal Name,) then it can be included in the certificate through adding the extension of subject alternative name which provides the formats for additional name.

CDP (CRL Distribution Points): Whenever any user, service or computer issues a certificate, a service or an application, is there to acknowledge that the certificate has been revoked before the expiration of its validity period. The work of CDP extension has to do the same, it offers more than one URL where the service or application are capable of getting the CRL (Certificate Revocation List.)

AIA (Authority Information Access): Once a certificate gets validated by the service or an application, the CAs certificate who issued the certificate, also called as parent CA is also tested for the validity period and revocation. This AIA extension provides more than one URLs, from which the service or an application can recover the certificate of the CA.

EKU (Enhanced Key Usage): This extension comes with an OID (Object Identifier) option for all the services and application which can be used by other applications. All OID comes with a unique number sequence from the worldwide registry.

Certificate Policies: It determines the rules and regulations which has to be followed by the organization to get the validation of the certificate request or before a certificate get issued. For the process of validation, OID is used which can also include URL which is policy-qualified, which fully describes what measures had to be taken in order to validate the identity.

Certificate Templates:

Certificate templates are used by CAs of Windows 2000 & Windows Server 2003 Enterprise. It is stored under the services directory named Active Directory. It offers default attributes to certificate, which includes authorized uses of the certificate, cryptographic algorithms that are used along with certificate, length of public key, format of the subject, requirements of issuance.

Certificate templates are basically configured over enterprise CA, and these templates are used to accept or reject any new certificate request which is coming in. Another thing to note is that, only enterprise CAs are able to issue certificates which are based on certificate templates. Information regarding certificate template is stored under the directory named as Active Directory.

CN=Certificate Templates, CN=Public Key Services, CN=Services, CN=Configuration, DC= BrattRootNameDN

To note, BrattRootNameDN is the LDAP distinguished name of the forest root domain.

By default few certificate templates are offered to new CA installation. If needed more, they had to be assigned additionally.

Certificate templates are divided under two different categories. Firstly, certificate templates which are allotted for users and another one is certificate templates that are allotted for computers. One thing to know is that, certificates which are issued for computers can only be used by computers and the certificates which are issued for users can only be used by users. Apart from that, you can also distribute the certificate based upon their use.

Single Function: As it name says, this certificate template is limited for the single function. For example, at a time it can be used for only one function for which it is assigned like for only encrypt to decrypt files.

Multiple Function: Multiple function certificate templates offers more than one function. For example, you can use the same certificate template for encrypting & decrypting the files, to authenticate with server and also to send and receive emails.

Process & Interactions of Digital Certificate:

As discussed earlier, digital certificates are one type of credentials and like other credentials such as passport or driver license, this also has to be created before making any use of it. Once it’s created, there has to be a valid reason to validate the authenticity of that certificate and verification is also needed to know its usage purpose. Once these certificates are created and validated, it can be used for some of the below basic cryptographic functions

  1. Public Key Encryption.
  2. Message Digest Functions.
  3. Digital Signing.

Digital Certificates – How it’s created?

CA (Certificate Authority) are the ones who issues Digital Certificates. CAs can be any service or valid entity who is ready to do the verification of identity and validate them with its provided keys, to those the certificate has been issued. For example it’s possible, that companies might issue certificates to their employees. One important thing is that, public key of CA’s should be trustworthy or else the certificates won’t be trusted. As anyone can become a CA, digital certificates can be trusted up to a level as much the CAs who has issued the certificate, can be trusted.

Below steps shows the procedure for requesting and issuing the digital certificate.

1. Pair of Keys: The applicant is provided with the private and public by any authority or any valid organization.

2. Collecting Mandatory Information: Applicants have to provide all the necessary documents asked by the CA for issuing digital certificate. The information are like applicant’s e-mail address, fingerprints, birth certificate and some other documents asked during the identity verification process.

3. Requesting for Certificate: In order to get the certificate, request has to be send for the issuance of the certificate with all the required documents. It can be sent through email or postal & courier is also allowed. Request for the certificate should also be notarized.

4. Information Verification: The CA follows through their policies and guidelines in order to issue the certificate. These policies includes verification of provided information as well.

5. Creating Certificate: After all the verification process, CA generate and sign a digital document which also includes the public key of the applicant and other necessary information. The digital document which is signed is called as certificate.

6. Sending the Certificate: After the certificate has been created, it’s sent to the applicant.

Validation Process of Digital Certificate:

Once the certificate is received, before it’s acknowledged that the certificate is trustworthy Windows perform certain validation process to make sure that the certificate is valid.

To know what the status of the certificate is, it’s categorized under three different steps which are implemented through CryptoAPI.

  1. Discovery of Certificate: Here the process of collection of certificates of CAs is done through Group Policy, Enterprise Policy and AIA pointers which are all issued in certificate itself.
  1. Validation of Path: The steps through which issuer certificate & public key certificates are processed through in a hierarchical order till the chain of certificates reach an end point which is trusted and self-signed certificate. Most of time it’s a root certificate of CAs.
  1. Checking of Revocation: All the certificates goes through verification to make sure that none of them has been revoked.Generally this revocation checking occurs during the process of chain building or after the completion of chain building.

Chain Building: It’s the steps through which chain of trust or say certification path is built from the last certificate to the root CA. The process of chain building is to do the validation of the certification path by checking through every certificate which is in the certificate path from the end certificate to certificate of root CAs. These certificates are retrieved through Intermediate Certification Authorities store, URL specified in the attributes of AIA or through the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store. The point to consider here is that, if even the problem with one certificate discovered by CryptoAPI, or it fail to find the certificate, the whole certification path will be discarded and it will be called as non-trusted certification path.

Storage of Certificate: In Windows XP & Windows Server 2003, certificates are stored in local computer or hardware device for which the certificate has been requested. Generally, there are two different type of certificate stores which is called as the machine store and another one is the user store. Its user store is known and referred to as “My Store,” which is used by the user who is currently logged-in. These certificate stores contains more than one certificate, which are most probably issued by different CAs as well.

Purpose of Chain Building: All the certificate chain are built through certificate chain engine. Graph of certificate chain is created, and from that it’s ordered through its quality. The certificate chain with finest quality is selected and returned as an end certificate for the application it’s requested for as by default chain.

All the certificate chains have one thing in common, they are built with the combination of certificates which are available in the published URL locations and certificate stores. Every certificate included in the chain, have a status code which shows that the certificate is like, does it contains a valid signature, is the start and expiry date of the certificate properly configured, is the certificate expired, has the certificate ever been revoked, is any of the certificate expired which is higher in PKI, is there any restrictions set on certificate. 

Path Validation of the Certificate: The validation path of the certificate gives an assurance that a valid path of the certification can be made for any given end certificate. It is defined as a certificate of end-user which can be tracked with a certificate chain in a trusted root CA. At the time of an occurring of this process, it’s possible that certain certificates might not be considered valid, and it could be due to some of the reasons:

  1. Valid time period is not configured, it usually happens when the start and expiry date of the certificate is not proper.
  1. If the format of certificate is not proper or does not match with the format of X.509 (versions 1 to 3 mostly for digital certificates), it is possible that certificate might go unrecognized due to which it gets discarded.
  1. The information in the fields of certificate is not filled properly or something is left.
  1. The digital thumbprint and signature of the certificate do not pass the integrity check which in result shows that the certificate has been altered or its corrupted.
  1. The status of the certificate has been kept for revoke.
  1. The CA who is issuing the certificate does not belongs to the list of trusted certification.
  1. Trusted Root Certificate Authorities store does not have the certification path of the root CA.
  1. The certificate does not have the permission to be used as per the specification of the CTL.
  1. The certificate carries an extension which is not understand by an application.

Policy of Issuance of the Certificate: Issuance policy also known as Certificate Policies Extension as per RFC 2459, gives permission to authorized CAs to define their requirements for issuing certificate. Issuance policy are set of guidelines which has to be followed to get a certificate. Authorized CAs, defines all the rules in certificate through OID. Though, OID is defined in the certificate template.

Application Policy: Certificates offers important information which is not specific for any application, but it is important to know which certificates should be used for some of the functions. Application policy let you issue certificates and also restrict their use for specific tasks.

Basic Operations of Cryptography: Information provided in certificates are like the identity of the holder of the certificate (which is known as subject) as an entity over network, public key of the certificate’s owner. It also provide information of who is the CA (Certificate Authority) that issued the certificate.

All the certificates issued by CAs are digitally signed with the help of their private key. CAs create Message digest from the certificate itself and encrypt it with the private key, to make the digital signature which further becomes a part of the certificate. Anyone can verify the integrity of the certificate by just using the CA’s public key and message digest function.  If by any chance a certificate get corrupted or shows that it’s altered by someone, the message digest of that altered certificate won’t match with the digest which is in the digital signature of the CA. This image shows how CA signs the certificate.

Digital Certificate Authority Keys
Digital Certificate Authority Keys

In the certificate X.509 version 3, Subject Public-Key Value field holds the cryptography operations for which both public and private key set can be used. Here are the basic cryptography operations which are maintained with the security system of Public Key.

  1. To do the verification of the integrity and origin of the data, digital signing of digital data is done.
  1. The symmetric secret encryption which are shared and transmitted over networks are protected with the help of secret key encryption.

Below are some of the operations of Cryptography which shows the purpose of the certificate.

1. Signature: It’s used for signing, authenticating the data or assuring that data is not duplicated.

2. Encryption: For the encryption and decryption of data.

3. Signature & Encryption: It combines both, does the authentication and digital signing of the data and encryption & decryption as well.

4. Signature & Smart Card Logon: Digital signing of data and smart card logon.

Several security functions regarding security technologies can be achieved through public and private key set. Some of the security functions which can be made through public key are:

  1. During e-mail communications, providing security by offering authentication, integrity & confidentiality.
  1. Securing web communications done between web users and servers, by offering authentication and privacy.
  1. Code signing for the integrity of the codes, which are shared over internet.
  1. Local or remote login credentials for the users associated with the network.

Public Key Encryption: Different keys are used for encryption and decryption of the information, when it comes to public key encryption. Among the keys, first one is a private key (only known to the holder of the certificate,) whereas the public key can be shared among others. Both the keys are different but are dependent to each other. The information which is encrypted through public key can only be decrypted using the matching private key which is with the holder of the certificate.

Digital Certificate - Encryption & Decryption using Asymmetric KeysEncryption & Decryption using Asymmetric Keys

Public key encryption is quite popular for offering strong security over internet. It is mostly used for the below functions:

  1. To encrypt symmetric keys for protecting it during the sharing done over internet or other networks.
  1. Digital signature to offer authentication& integrity to online data.

Message Digest Functions: Message digest function which is also called as hash functions, are mostly used in combination with asymmetric keys to provide an extra layer of security to public key encryption. They are mostly in 128 to 160 bits length and offers unique digital identifier for all the files and documents. It contains two copies of the file which have the same message digest, but among them even if the slight change happens to document, the whole message digest will change.

Digital Certificate - Process of Message DigestProcess of Message Digest

Mostly, message digests are used in combination with public key to make digital signatures, which are used during the process of authentication & integrity of the online data and files.

Digital Certificate - Integrity Check through Digitally Signed Message Digest

Integrity Check through Digitally Signed Message Digest

As the message digest is signed digitally along with the private key of the sender, it’s not possible for any intruder to alter or play any mischief with the message.

Digital Signatures: Mostly public key encryption is used to offer digital signatures. Digital signature is similar to hand-written signatures or an actual thumbprints of humans which is used for the identification of the people for important things like online transactions. Digital signatures does the unique identification of the data which is signed with the digital signature and also assures that data is not altered.

One of the way to create digital signature is through the actual owner of the data. Simply create the signature by encrypting all the data with the private key of the owner of that data and assign the signature along with it. Anyone, who have its matching public key will be able to decrypt the digital signature and able to see the actual message. As digital signature can be made only by someone who possess private key, it will be sure that the decrypted message is not altered and it’s original. Even if any mischief has been done, then also the attacker won’t be able to create a new original signature. Lastly, if the signature get altered, it won’t be able to pass the verification which will make it invalid.

Here are few of the reasons which clears that it’s not necessary to encrypt all data to offer digital signature.

  1. The encrypted message is almost same or greater in size, than the plain text message. Due to this bandwidth and storage space is consumed in huge amount.
  2. It affects the performance of computer negatively as the encryption of Public key takes a lot of load while doing computation.
  3. The huge data of cipher text which are produced during the encryption of all data, can make some negative impact. As these cipher text can be used during attacks like cryptanalysis.

Algorithms are very efficient which are used to create digital signatures. These days message digest with the private key of the owner, is widely used for creating digital signatures. The advantage of creating digital signature this way is that the signature will be shorter compared to the actual data which needs to be signed, as only message digest is signed in the whole process. The advantage we get is that due to this, load is low on computer during the data signing process, which will not lead to huge consumption of bandwidth and finally the cipher text which is produced will be not be big enough which can become helpful during any attacks like cryptanalysis.

The SSL Store™, is one of the biggest reseller who is Platinum Partners with the world’s most recognized CAs (Certification Authorities), which includes Symantec, GeoTrust, Thawte, RapidSSL, Certum and Comodo. If you are looking for digital certificate, we can help you get your own SSL/TLS certificate. The Digital certificates offered by us are exactly the one which are sold by the Certificate Authority. Benefit of purchasing from us is that you will get in the price range, you can afford easily. As we purchase in bulk quantity, you will be able to enjoy the discounts we offer. We also offer one of the best technical support to solve any of your query. We have the team of experienced web security specialists, which will guide you to getting your digital certificate.

With all the information we’ve been able to provide about Digital certificates, the technology behind it, its structure, its processes and the different interactions that takes place during encryption, do you think we’re a bit behind? Let’s talk below.

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Why Online Security Plays an Important Factor for Online Users in Today’s Virtual Jungle of Internet?

In its infancy the internet was only used by Physicist and Research Academics, but now internet has become an essential part of life. Throughout the world, people are becoming habitual with using the internet. People are getting their work done with computers rather than doing it manually. The Internet is one of the biggest revolutions of our time.

Internet: Today’s Virtual Jungle

Nowadays, the new trend is for online shopping. From big to small things, you’ll find everything online. People are also getting more advanced with technologies, whether it’s desktop or smartphones, it’s becoming easier to shop online.

As per the surveys done, global ecommerce market is of around US $ 840 billion which keeps on increasing day by day. Among top countries related to ecommerce, USA tops the chart and China ranks second. It’s hard to predict the exact numbers, but in the near future you will see a significant increase. It seems that by increasing amount of internet usage, the world is becoming one of the virtual jungle of internet where everyone is connected to internet technology in one way or another. As the technology increases people’s lives get easier.

Virtual internet jungle

Online Security – An Important Factor

Online security is one of the important factor which should not be taken lightly. With internet usage growing, online security is also becoming a major issue. It’s not possible to solve the security issue completely, but it’s our responsibility to take proper precautions.

HeartBleed left many exposed

Heartbleed was the biggest vulnerability which literally shook the core of Online Security. It was so intense that it left millions of websites at risk of data breach when it hit in April 2014. Some other shocking vulnerabilities such as Poodle and Shellshock, gave proof that cybercriminals are more aggressive with their attacking tactics.

From 2013 to 2014 data breach took its toll, in many sectors. Whether it’s related to Healthcare or Financial department, everyone saw the loss of data, which leaves their clients at risk.  In 2014, one of the American bank, JPMorgan Chase, even accepted that about 83 million accounts with 76 million households and 7 million small businesses were affected, making this one of the biggest data breaches in history.

Top 10 Sectors Breached by Number of Incidents by HeartBleed

Cybercriminals targeted some of the major institutions such as healthcare, retails, education, insurance and many more. Some of the major causes behind these type of severe data breach are Hackers, and in some cases it was likely that accidentally data was made public.

Total Cyber Attack Data Breaches Summary

Healthcare industries faced the biggest data breach, it’s obvious that they have the more detailed information of the patients which attracts more attackers. Several attacks have been done on all types of healthcare organizations, and one of the more shocking examples was the case of rural hospital of 22-bed of Southern Illinois, which received an email with stolen patient data. The hackers requested the hospital to pay ransom or else information will be made public.

More shocking was that, the institutes who faced the problem of data breach did not make the news public. It might be that they didn’t disclose it as it could affect their reputation which could lead to distrust from people. As per the survey of 2014 it has been said that around 20% of websites were having critical vulnerabilities when it was scanned.Websites scanned with vulnerabilities

Cybercriminals are just waiting to get an opportunity to take advantage of people through frauds. Now, closing down the access of Internet is not the solution to this behavior, but taking proper measure and being more secure is the right way to go. In 2014, some of the websites which were frequently targeted are websites based on Technology, Hosting, Blogging, related to Business and Anonymizer.

Top 5 Most Frequently Exploited Website Categories

Steps to Strengthen the Security of Your Website

  • Depending upon the type of your business and the targeted clients, its best to put the limit of payments from one account which can prove to be quite helpful. It eventually also prevent you from fake transactions.
  • Owners are the one who carry the best knowledge of their stores. It’s best for them to track all the transactions. Billing address which have an issue with matching of shipping address are prone to frauds. There are several ecommerce websites which offers the tracing of IP address, so it’s advisable for them to block the transactions of the country which are quite risky.
  • It’s best to keep the ecommerce related software updated on regular basis, as it offers the fix to any of the software loop holes.
  • Using the Address Verification System is not bad idea. It compares the billing address of the customer with the credit card issuer have on file, which ultimately shows that the transaction is genuine.
  • It’s best to insist customers that they use long passwords with some special characters.
  • Owners of the stores must analyze the risk factors, such as what data is prone to risk, and they should take important steps to avoid any problem in future.

Different Types of Attacks:

Spam or Spamming: Flooding your inbox with numerous copies of the same email. Mostly, it’s done for the commercial purpose such as advertisement, often for the launch of new product or even some of the bogus scheme.

Slimbox: How to slim your inbox spam messages with ease

Scamming: Generally used to define any fake business or schemes who takes money on pretext of false promises. Some of the major scams were recorded in few years and most of them took the advantage of social media platform like Facebook, some other popular scamming are like dating websites.

Social Media Scams Shift to Manual

Phishing: This type of attack is done by sending an email with the hope that user will click the given link. Once the link has been clicked and opened, users are then asked to fill up their personal credentials such as passwords, credit card numbers, bank details and much more.

Phishing gone viral

Malware: “Malicious Software,” is any program or file which is made with the intention of doing harmful activity to ultimately damage the computer. Some of the common ones are like virus, worms, spyware or Trojan horse, which are used to get the information of the user without their permission. Here is the graphic of some of the serious malware which hit in 2014.

Top 5 Malware in 2014

Recently, it has been reviewed that there has been increase in malware infected websites. 2014 saw the increase of malware infected websites by 26% rise.

Increasing malware activities

Crypto-Ransomware: It’s one of the other unique type of attack which was seen in this few years. It grew by 45 times more from 2013 to 2014. It usually encrypts your personal credentials and keep the private keys for ransom at some remote site. It’s one of the serious attacks compared to that old one ransomware.

Crypto-Ransomware effect

Web security is one important topic which should be taken seriously. All the measurable steps should be taken specifically when the website in question is related to ecommerce. If the website is not secured it will leave their customers at risk as it involves financial transactions. The reputation of the company is also on the line when dealing with transactions which involves money.

There are several ways you can go for, but the most popular safety measure which is taken by ecommerce websites in today’s date is through an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. It provides you security by encrypting the data and also gives the green pad lock.

Several attacks which happened in 2014, has forced SSL to be stronger than ever. You will see that SSL certificate nowadays use SHA-2 signing algorithm as default. SSL certificates offer numerous advantages, which not only protects your website from attackers, but also gain the trust of your customer.

Why You Need SSL?

The main reason behind using SSL is to provide security to sensitive data. Ultimately only the recipient is the one which can understand and see the real message. Apart from encryption, it also offers an authentication, which means the information you are sending is safe and is sent to the correct server.

In order to know that you are on safe website, web browser gives certain visual clues in URL bar, in order to gain the trust. Some of them are like a lock icon, green padded bar and the major companies use extended validation type of certificate which also provide the name of the company in green bar.

Where & What to Look for SSL Certificate:

I would suggest that you better go with SSL2BUY. They are a leading reseller of the SSL certificates in the whole world. You will get some of the best deals, as they purchases in bulk from all the major companies – Symantec, GeoTrust, Thawte, Comodo, GlobalSign, and RapidSSL.

As they purchase in bulk quantity, they get huge discount which they share it among customers. Moreover, you will get the best support which is necessary as questions can arise at any time while installing the certificate.

Update!!!

Recent breaches and flaws detected in SSL security system has brought about an upgrade from the most common Secure Socket Layer security to Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council’s latest Data Security Standard (DSS) 3.1 which is due to be rolled out mid-month, and it will mandate businesses; small scale, medium-sized and large corporation, that make use of the system in accepting payment and processing data online move away from SSL web encryption because it is no longer considered secure and strong enough as before.

This step to retiring and upgrading Secure Socket Layer to PCI DSS 3.1 is in a swift response to some of the most notable security breaches recorded last year such as Heartbleed, ShellShock, and Poodle etc. which uncovered several flaws in the SSL web security layer. Read the article here for more information on online security breaches and steps taken to reduce them by Payment Card Industry.

Categories
News

Computer Security and Internet Security Tips

Computer Virus has become a real time headache to many newbie computer users because of lack of computer security ideas and techniques. Some users finds it hard to understand that when it comes to the issue of virus attack; staying away from it is not the main solution to the problem on ground but to get the solution that can help you.

Computer security doesn’t have to be something you will keep on neglecting when it comes to protecting your computer from unauthorized access. You need to have a full system protection method being put in place for your computer performance so that you can be sure of having your data secured both online and offline.

In this article are three tips to help you secure your computer system at all times.

Avoid Unnecessary Sharing of Your Connection

Sharing your internet connection with people can be one of the reason that makes your information unsecured. You need to avoid sharing internet connection on your computer so as to make people not to be able to see what you are hiding on your PC.

Always Use the Best Internet Security Tool

Antivirus is a cool tool that can help you protect your files from unauthorized access. You can install the best form of securities on your computer. Make sure that you don’t make your computer suffer attacks by using the best and most powerful mode of securities that you can lay your hands on.

Use Good Authentication Method for Your Security

Securing your files from people that can prove to be dangerous to you can help you a lot. You can protect your password by using the UPPERCASE and LOWERCASE symbol to protect yourself online and offline so that people can avoid coming nearer to you.

Do you have any addition to this write up? Share them below…..

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) News

Microsoft Warns of Mobile Phone Phishing Scams Attacks

There lots of phishers throughout the world that are posing as a computer security experts and the major purpose of their lies is to steal money from individuals and businesses by installing malicious software on people and companies computer for easy access to it in order to steal viable information.

According to a survey conducted which involves 7,000 people, the results shows that 15 percent of the people across the US, UK, Ireland and Canada were reported receiving calls from online scammers, Microsoft disclosed this on Thursday.