20 October, 2016
In today’s challenging business environment, employees are required to be more flexible and productive. As such, many employers have started to implement a ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy instead of providing employees with company’s computer systems. BYOD is an innovative business model that offers numerous benefits, such as minimizing hardware costs for the organizations, enabling employees to work from anywhere and staying connected to work even after the office hours. However, despite these benefits, there are a lot of data security risks that BYOD brings for the organizations. Some of them have been listed below:
Insecure Application Usage
When employees use their personal devices for work, your company’s IT department cannot control which applications can or cannot be used. This can be a major security threat to the corporate data, particularly if the employees do not maintain caution while downloading apps or files from the internet. These may contain a malicious code that records the user’s keystrokes or steals data stored on the device.
In case your employee’s device gets stolen or lost, the information stored in it is at risk of unauthorized access. This is particularly true if proper security measures, such as strong password and data encryption policies, are not in place. In some instances, important organizational controls may also be accessed by anyone who has the device.
Wireless Access Points
Some employees configure their mobile devices to detect and connect to the available open networks. Accessing internet from free Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops, hotels or internet may put your company’s data at risk. The information transmitted over such networks is not encrypted and all the communication can be intercepted by a hacker.
Access From Non-Employees
The use of employees’ personal devices by the family members is a common scenario. Considering this, there are chances that the data be accidently deleted or shared with unauthorized users in case the employee fails to log out of the application.
Jailbroken And Rooted Devices
Employees who are tech-savvy may also jailbreak their device in order to get the latest app or software program. This removes the limitations imposed by the manufacturer and lowers the security of the mobile device, making it susceptible to hacking attack. Rooted devices are also at risk as they give administrator-level permissions to the device owner, facilitating him to install potentially malicious apps.
For more information and tips on data security for your Central Texas based organization, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.
13 October, 2016
Patch management is a complex process that involves maintaining and applying upgrades to various software applications installed on an organization’s computer systems. These patches may either be released to fix a security issue or to improve the functionality of a software. Even a single unpatched computer can make the entire corporate network vulnerable to online security threats. Therefore, implementing a patch management policy is important to handle this process efficiently.
Given below are some tips for effective patch management in an organization:
Know Your Network
The ultimate objective of patch management is to secure every computer and mobile device accessing the organizations’ network. However, analyzing the software installed on all computers can be tedious and time consuming. Poorly managed assets can easily turn into the network’s weakest links and lead to hacking attacks. Therefore, you should consider automating the analysis and deployment of patches. With this, you can manage the application of patches to all the computers through a single system.
Plan Your Approach
Even if you have automated the patch management process, you must devise a plan to keep everything in streamlined order. Group the computer systems according to different departments or users. Following a systematic approach will ensure timely and effective patch upgradation on all computer systems. Begin by installing updates on computer systems that are more sensitive to the problem addressed by the patch. IT team or the tech savvy employees should use the patches first so that they can identify and report if any problem is detected.
Conduct Regular Scans
Patch management is not a one-time process. It is an ongoing activity that requires continuous scanning and assessment of resources by the IT managers. This is essential to identify systems that do not support automated patch management and need to be manually updated. The patches should also be tested before deployment as they may lead to problems if not properly applied.
Rely On A Single Source For Patches
Another way to simplify your patch management is to rely on a single solution for all the software and applications. This will help to lower the complications involved in the process as you do not have to maintain and learn the procedures as well as techniques of multiple solutions. It will also reduce overall operating costs and facilitate end-user communications.
We, at Centex Technologies, provide efficient IT security solutions to the organizations in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.
October 7, 2016
Setting up a dedicated IT infrastructure can be quite complex and requires exorbitant investment. As a result, entrepreneurs are embracing cloud to facilitate file storage, data processing, accounting, business communication etc. However, many small and medium business (SMB) owners are uncertain of the benefits of cloud computing and are apprehensive about adopting this technology.
Given below are a few reasons why SMBs should switch to cloud computing at the earliest:
- Cost Reduction: One of the major advantages of cloud computing is that it offers significant cost savings to the SMBs. They do not have to incur an upfront cost on new servers and hardware. The initial costs for cloud computing are also minimal, as it is essentially a pay-as-you-go service. Through cloud computing, businesses can have access to advanced enterprise applications and productivity platforms even if they have a limited amount of capital to invest.
- Increased Data Security: Small and medium sized businesses often do not have round the clock monitoring, endpoint security and efficient disaster recovery strategies implemented. The cloud computing model incorporates strong encryption, filtering, patch management and cryptography techniques to make sure that your data is completely secure.
- Scalable: SMBs usually have limited IT requirements at the time of start-up. However, with time, there may be a need to upscale or downscale the computing resources at certain times. Most cloud service providers allow you to alter your resources as and when required, without having to make any major changes in your existing IT infrastructure.
- Flexibility: Cloud computing allows the employees to work more flexibly, irrespective of their geographic location. They can access important documents and data from anywhere anytime. All they need is a web-enabled device and an internet connection. They can also share files with other team members and stay updated about the status of each project. Many employers are now adopting Bring Your own Device (BYOD) policy which further adds to the functionality of the cloud computing.
- Equal Opportunities: Cloud has provided a platform for the SMBs to compete and stay at par with the large business firms. With access to the same advanced platforms and hardware as the competitors, it can reduce the overall IT workload. As they use the same resources used by established businesses, SMBs can efficiently direct themselves to the path of a faster success.
For more information on the benefits of cloud computing for SMBs, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.
September 29, 2016
Website security is one of the major issues faced by businesses of all sizes. Even a minor mistake in website coding may increase the risk of unauthorized access by the hackers. Without proper security measures in place, there are higher chances that the database may be manipulated or the hacker may infiltrate the restricted parts of the website.
Listed below are some common website security issues that business owners need to watch out:
Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is one of the most prevalent attack vectors used by the cybercriminals. In this, a malicious code is injected to delete important data, steal payment card details, insert spam links into your website or alter sensitive information stored in the back-end database.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cookies are a vital part of website development that allow users to log in to a website, view personalized ads and promotional offers as well as manage items in a shopping cart. Cookies can also be tampered or hijacked by the cybercriminals to create fake user accounts and capture information of the logged in users. This can ultimately evoke serious consequences for your website, particularly if you do not have any set criterion to validate cookies.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
In a cross-site request forgery, the user is tricked to perform a malicious action when he is logged in to the website. The attack mainly involves two stages – attracting the logged-in users to another malicious website and using their online identity to post spam comments or collect confidential data. Social media websites, online banking portals and web-based email clients are the most common targets for a cross-site request forgery.
Email Form Header Injection
This form of vulnerability is not much common and often overlooked by web developers. It occurs when the hacker injects a malicious code into the website’s contact form to send out bulk emails. This can eventually cause your website, email address and web server to be blacklisted for sending spam emails.
Contact Centex Technologies for complete website security solutions for your business firm in Central Texas. We can be reached at (855) 375 – 9654.
24 September, 2016
Due to the advancement in technology, financial institutions are rapidly shifting their mode of transactions to the internet. Though online banking offers much more convenience and saves you the hassles of visiting the bank, the indiscernible risks associated with it cannot be overlooked. Before accessing your account online or transferring funds over the internet, it is essential that you understand the risks involved to keep yourself protected.
Discussed below are some of the potential security risks of online banking:
Most banks implement strong security measures to prevent hacking attacks, but your personal computer may not be fully protected. Once you access your account, all your personal information, including account number, social security number, PIN etc., is at risk. The hackers may infect your computer with a malware or use social engineering techniques to acquire your banking details and conduct fraudulent transactions.
Phishing is another common attack in which the hacker sends fake emails to compel the users to give out their personal information. These emails often create a sense of urgency and require the user to click on a specific link. When the user clicks on the link, he is redirected to a fake website that looks similar to the bank’s login page. As soon as the user enters his online banking credentials, the information is transmitted to the hacker to be used for malicious purposes.
Your computer system may have a malicious script installed that stealthily records and stores all the keystrokes of the user. This information is then sent to the hacker to get unauthorized access to your online banking account or other websites that require login credentials.
Man-In-The-Browser (MITB) Attack
This type of attack is similar to the man-in-the-middle attack. However, an MITB attack involves the use of Trojan horses to infect the user’s internet browser. The Trojan may be installed by tricking the user to download a software claiming to be a legitimate update. When the user initiates a financial transaction, the Trojan alters the form fields and information submitted to the bank’s website. This change is not visible to user and takes place before SSL encoding. As a result, the hacker gets control of the user’s banking interface, while bypassing all the stringent authentication mechanisms.
Centex Technologies is a leading IT security company in Central Texas. For more information on online banking threats and security measures, feel free to call us at (855) 375 – 9654.