Archive for March, 2016

Understanding Fileless Malware Infections

March 30, 2016

A fileless malware infection refers to a malicious program that is written directly to a computer’s RAM, instead of storing files on the hard drive. The code is usually injected into the running processes and the data is stored in an encrypted format in the registry, making it difficult to detect as well as remove the malware. Since it is stored in the computer’s volatile memory, the infection cannot sustain a system reboot. However, fileless infections can cause maximum damage when they are active.

Fileless malware attacks are mainly aimed at:

  • Avoiding Detection: The malware often cannot be detected by elude intrusion prevention systems and antivirus programs, thereby allowing the hackers to initiate the attack.
  • Gathering Information: The hackers may steal important information stored in the computer, such as financial details, sensitive files, login credentials etc.
  • Escalating Privileges: Exploiting security flaws in the system may provide administrative access to the hackers so that they can launch bigger attacks or download more malware.

Types Of Fileless Malware Infections

  • Memory Resident: This type of fileless malware takes up the memory space of a genuine windows file. It inserts the code into the file memory and stays dormant until triggered or accessed.
  • Windows Registry: It is present in the Windows registry as the folder is not typically accessed by the users. The hacker may place malicious code in the operating system’s thumbnail cache and set the folder to delete itself once the attack is executed.
  • Rootkits: This malware masks its presence behind an application programming interface (API) in order to gain administrator access to the infected system. Fileless rootkits are often hidden at the kernel-level and thus, can remain active in spite of antivirus scan and system reboot.

Tips To Protect Against Fileless Malware

  • Keep your operating system, internet browser, software and applications updated by installing the current security patches.
  • Configure the security settings of your web browser.
  • Disable Java, JavaScript ActiveX, cookies and browser extensions that you do not use.
  • Avoid clicking on suspected URLs and email attachments from unknown sources.
  • Do not download software packages that require installing several applications on your system.
  • Frequently remove unwanted temporary files, cookies and registry files from the computer.
  • Avoid visiting malicious websites or those that use illegal ad networks.

For more tips to keep your computer system protected against fileless malware infections, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Considerations For Mitigating Risk In IoT Devices

March 28, 2016

With the exponential growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the security risks associated with them have also increased manifold. Each device, including TVs, refrigerators, home automation systems, air conditioning units etc., which is connected to the internet has an in-built operating system, making it vulnerable to the prevalent online threats. This, ultimately, puts the end-users’ privacy and security at stake.

Here are some factors that must be considered to mitigate security risks in IoT devices:

Keep devices updated

Keep all the IoT devices and routers updated to the current versions of the software applications. This will provide protection against any minor security flaws in the software which may make the device vulnerable to a hacking attack.

Change default login credentials

You must create unique and difficult usernames as well as passwords for all your IoT devices. If you do not change the default login credentials, hackers can easily gain access to your personal internet network by breaching your IoT accounts. Make sure the password you create is complex enough to be cracked.

Limit the data you provide to the IoT service or device

Provide only a limited amount of information that is absolutely required for the IoT device to function efficiently. Avoid giving in sensitive personal information and if possible, enter a nickname instead of your full name. This will protect you against a potential identity theft.

Be careful when selling or purchasing used IoT devices

When you buy a used IoT device, it is quite possible that it has a malware or backdoor that can provide hackers an access to your internet connection. With this, they can infect your network, track your online activity and steal other important information. If you need to sell off your IoT device, make sure you restore it back to the factory settings to delete all the personal identifiable information (PII) stored in it.

Set up a different network for IoT devices

Some internet routers allow the users to create a separate network for different devices. You can make all your IoT and wireless devices operate on a network other than your home’s internet connection. Therefore, even if any of your devices are compromised, the hackers will not be able to access your entire network.

We, at Centex Technologies, can help to safeguard your IoT devices against common cyber security threats. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Top Cloud Security Issues For 2016

March 18, 2016

Security has always been a major concern for the organizations that use cloud computing. Though it offers a myriad of benefits, such as scalable storage of important business data, improved collaboration of employees from multiple locations and the saved costs on hiring a specialized IT staff, failure to implement proper safety measures can lead to drastic consequences. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to be familiar with the common security issues that may impact their cloud security efforts in 2016. Some of these have been discussed below:

  • Account Hijacking: Phishing, software exploits and malware attacks may be launched by the hackers to break into business accounts. They may monitor the victim’s online activities, steal or manipulate confidential files and modify financial transactions. The hackers may also use the cloud application to infect other computer systems connected to the server. Therefore, all the cloud accounts, specifically those that comprise sensitive information, should be closely monitored.
  • Improper Authentication and Compromised Credentials: As cloud resources can be accessed from remote locations, proper authentication measures are important to determine the identity of the users. Make sure you use two-factor authentication, such as a one-time password or phone verification, before providing account access to any user. Also, the usernames and passwords should be complex to make it difficult for the cybercriminals to crack them. Data breach and other hacking attacks are often a result of compromised log-in credentials as well as weak authentication systems.
  • Excessive Data Exposure: Files stored in the cloud should have well-defined permissions to limit who can access any specific information. For instance, your company’s accounts department should be able to access all the financial data whereas the human resources division requires the employees’ personal identifiable information. All the files stored on the cloud should be encrypted so that they can be read by only those who have the password to decrypt.
  • Cloud Malware: The computers systems connected in a cloud network should be protected with firewall, antivirus, spyware, content filter and spam blocker software. This will help to identify and block any unauthorized traffic trying to access information in the cloud. Also, your service provider should follow standard and regularly updated security practices.

The cybersecurity services provided by Centex Technologies are aimed at helping business firms stay protected against common cloud computing threats. For more information, you can call at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Email Security Tips

March 11, 2016

Emails are by far the most common means through which hacking and phishing attacks are carried out. It is important to properly configure their security settings so as to keep yourself protected and prevent data breaches. Besides, there are certain simple ways by which you can keep your email account secure. Some of these are:

Use Multiple Accounts

Ideally, you should use different email accounts for all your online activities. This will not only increase security but also help to organize your emails. You can create separate accounts for work, social media websites, and personal communication. Thus, even if one of your accounts is hacked, rest of the information will remain safe.

Change Passwords Regularly

In addition to having separate accounts, you should create different and unique passwords for each of them. Also, make sure you regularly reset the passwords to keep your information protected.  Passwords for the accounts that you use for bill payments, online shopping, work and other sensitive tasks should be more often changed. Create passwords that are unique, lengthy and hard to crack.

Beware Of Phishing Scams

You should be careful to avoid being a victim of a phishing scam. It involves the use of fake emails from unknown senders or websites disguised as legitimate ones in order to trap users to reveal their confidential information. Make sure you do not click on any link provided in such emails as they may direct you to a malicious website or infect your computer with a malware.

Do Not Open Unsolicited Attachments

Avoid downloading any attachment as long as you do not know the sender or the contents of the file/folder. You may end up downloading a virus, Trojan or worm simply by clicking on a malicious email attachment. Install and regularly update security software on your device to scan all the downloaded files for any potential threats.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Avoid using your email account on a public internet connection. Information sent and received on such networks are usually unencrypted and can be manipulated by the hackers for malicious purposes. When you use Wi-Fi to log in to your email account, your username, password and other sensitive information is at risk to be retrieved by the cybercriminals.

Centex Technologies provides complete cybersecurity solutions to the business firms in Central Texas. For more information, feel free to call at (855) 375 – 9654.

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