Posts Tagged Cyber Security

Tips To Manage Your Digital Footprint

19th Sep 2017

Your digital footprint includes all activities that you perform online. Right from posting comments/ photos/ videos on social media to online subscriptions and blog post updates, the internet tends to keep a record of everything that you do online.  In order to keep your data safe from cyber criminals as well as to prevent ID thefts, you must be cautious of what you post online.

Here are some tips can assist you in efficiently handling your digital footprint:

  • Utilize Privacy Settings:  Keep a check on privacy settings on all your social media accounts to manage who all can view your information. Facebook for instance, provides you an option to either display your posts to specific friends, to entire friend list or to public. It is strongly recommended to not make all your posts visible to everyone. Similarly check the privacy setting on other platforms too.
  • Don’t Overshare Information: In order to avoid any issue pertaining to your digital footprint at a later stage, it is best not to overshare information. This is applicable to all networking sites and tools because sharing everything with everyone may land you in trouble. Always keep your usernames, passwords, photographs, addresses and other sensitive information up to you only.
  • Manage Cookies: If you check your browser cookies, you will be surprised to note that multiple cookies have been sent by sites that you are not even aware of visiting. You can control this by blocking third-party cookies or enable plug-ins that help to prevent such cookies.
  • Understand That Online Content Is For Eternity: Anything that you post or upload online is likely to be there forever. Although it is out of the public view, your content can still be viewed through other means. Even deleting your account does not ensure all the information is wiped out as it can be found in archives and databases. Thus, always think before putting up anything online so that it does not impact you negatively later on.
  • Know What Others Are Posting About You Online: For this, adjust the settings on your social media profiles to get notifications when someone tags you in a post or picture. Whenever someone comments on your posts or shares content, you should instantly get to know about it. Enable the setting to first approve the posts before they are available for public viewing. Reviewing the posts ensures that no irrelevant or harmful content is posted with your name in it.

To maintain a positive digital footprint, it is important to be selective about who all are authorized to view your information. For more tips, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Warning Signs That Your Web Server Is Being Attacked

12th Sep 2017

Web server security should be a priority for any organization, particularly those who deal with sensitive customer data. With advanced hacking concepts such as URL interpretation, session hijacking, HTML injection, SQL injection etcetera, attackers can breach into the network and steal the stored files. In order to identify such attacks, the administrators must monitor their web servers and watch for the following warning signs:

  • General Indications: Most of the hackers try to breach the web servers by attacking the web applications to exploit any loopholes. In order to identify such attacks, you need to keep a check on signs such as multiple ‘404 page not found’ or ‘500 internal server error’ reports in the web server log.
  • Your Website Has Been Blacklisted: If your web server has been attacked and is sending out spam, there is a good chance that it has been blacklisted in search engines and email lists. The visitors on your website may get a message that the site cannot load. It will also become impossible for the end user to reset passwords as sending a reset password email will not be feasible from your end.
  • The Presence Of Web Shells: Web shells are files through which hackers can easily execute other files on the system. Mostly in the form of text, web shells can be easily masked among other files on the system. It is accompanied by extensions such as cmd.aspx or commandshell.php that gives out a code which can be used by the hacker to gain access to your website.
  • Unexplained Server Activity: Keep a regular check on the website so that you can immediately identify any suspicious activity. For instance, your email server process may show high volume of received emails whereas there may be no active visitors on your site. You could also see a Perl script running on your server even though you don’t use it. This is another sign of unauthorized access to your server.
  • Attack On Administrative Interfaces: Almost all the web applications have an administrative interface which can be targeted by hackers in order to reach your system. Watch out for telltale signs such as repeatedly failed login attempts, changes in the account or modifications in the application configuration. This can help you identify if your servers have been compromised.

We, at Centex Technologies, can provide businesses with effective network security solutions.  For more information, feel free to call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Cyber Security Tips

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Cyber Security Risks In The Health Care Industry

12th June, 2017

The drastic increase in hacking attacks against medical institutions reveals that the health care industry has become a prime target for cyber criminals. As most of the services and information is provided online, hackers have found a convenient way to gain access to the internal network and extract sensitive data that can be used for malicious purposes. This can have serious financial and reputational repercussions for the targeted institution.

Given below are some of the common cyber security risks faced by the health care industry:

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have become a common technique to extract confidential information through social engineering methods. Moreover, the high demand for patient’s medical records in the black market lures the hackers even more to carry out such attacks. To avoid being a victim, the hospital staff should be educated about the precautionary measures. They should be cautious while clicking on embedded links or downloading attachments received in emails from unknown senders. They should also not share any information without confirming that the email has been sent by an authorized personnel.

Ransomware

In order to further capitalize on the loopholes in a health care institution’s network security, hackers are using ransomware. It is a type of malware that locks down the files and data stored on the infected computer system, making them inaccessible for the authorized users. The malware then pops up a message on the computer screen, asking the victim to pay a certain amount of ransom to unlock the files. Hospitals must make sure that have a complete backup of the patient records so that hackers cannot gain anything out of a ransomware attack.

Cloud Threats

As health care institutions are constantly making the switch to cloud computing, there are a lot of variables concerning data security that need to be accounted for. Unrestricted file permissions and software vulnerabilities may provide a backdoor for the hackers to view or steal the files in the cloud. Ensure that you know exactly what information and assets have been uploaded to the cloud. Implement strict encryption policies for all the sensitive data. Determine the employees as well as computer systems that can have access to the information and to what extent.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete cyber security solutions to clients in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Bloatware: What It Is And How To Get Rid Of It

22nd May, 2017

Bloatware, also known as crapware, refers to the multiple pre-installed applications and software programs on a computer system that do not serve any important function. It usually consumes a lot of RAM and storage space on the hard disk, causing the system to work slowly. Certain types of bloatware are easy to detect, i.e. they may be present as a desktop icon or a start menu shortcut. However, some of them may remain unidentified and just clutter the computer system.

Types Of Bloatware

Trialware: These are the trial versions of software that are installed for a specific period of time, usually a week or a month. They mainly include anti-virus and anti-malware programs, which need to be purchased if one wants to use them after the trial period is over. In most cases, trialware can be easily identified and uninstalled.

Adware: This is one of the most annoying types of trialware that pops up unwanted ads on the computer screen. It can not only hamper your internet browsing experience, but also slow down your PC and make it vulnerable to various hacking attacks.

Utility Applications: Computer manufacturers may install certain utility applications that allow users to troubleshoot any hardware/software problems, update programs, install third party browser toolbars etc. The purpose served by these applications is similar to the in-built programs of the operating system. Add-on software to create videos, edit photos, play DVDs and other media or write CDs also come under the category of bloatware.

Tips To Remove Bloatware From Computer System

One of the best ways to completely uninstall bloatware from your computer is to wipe off the hard drive and re-install the operating system. This will delete all software installed on the system and you can install the ones that are required. If you simply use the system’s recovery utility, it will install all the applications again, including the bloatware.

Another option is to perform the uninstallation process manually from the control panel. Identify and delete the software that you do not use. However, it may leave certain associated files or programs on your computer. For applications that are operated by the Windows registry, it is recommended that you perform a complete uninstall from the software vendor’s website.

We, at Centex Technologies, offer efficient computer security solutions to the organizations in Central Texas. For more information on bloatware, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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