Posts Tagged Cyber Security

Better Alternatives To Setting Passwords

Till date, passwords were the most widely used way for authentication and to keep critical information secure. However, given the present scenario and state of cyber security it can be stated that traditional password systems have not been able to meet the security challenge. As per a report by Verizon, 81% of data breaches in 2017 were either due to stolen or weak passwords.

What Is The Problem With Passwords?

First, passwords are not secure at all. A weak password can easily be guessed or hacked by the cyber attacker leaving the user’s confidential information at risk. Secondly, a strong password is formed by the combination of alphabets, numerals and symbols. With an intention to set a strong password that is not very easy to hack, people complicate it too much and quite often forget it (now that’s a valid paradox).

Thirdly, employees often expose the organization to risk due to their carelessness. Writing the passwords and sticking them up on their desks in order to remember and keep them handy is the most common mistake and is a serious security threat. Also, it is very difficult to remember so many passwords for different login credentials which is why an alternative to setting passwords is required.

Better Alternatives To Setting Passwords –

– With things like Apple Touch ID, Face ID passwords, unlocking using fingerprints etc. biometrics has gradually ingrained itself into our lives. It is an excellent alternative to using passwords as it involves our unique biology which makes it difficult to forge or hack. From fingerprints, eye retina scans, face scan etc. are all widely being used by people today. Also with time, more and more devices are becoming compatible to biometric verification.

Two- Factor Authentication
– It provides an added layer of security. It uses a piece of information that only the user knows apart from the username and password. Either a one-time password that is sent to the user on their mobile phone or a specific user information that only he/she knows makes it difficult for cyber criminals to hack the password.

Heart Rate – Another safe alternative is using a security technology that resorts to heart rates of a person. Now this is something that is quite difficult to hack as each person has a unique heartbeat.

Security Tokens – There are two types of tokens – soft and hard security token. They are not connected to a network and generate one time passwords instead making them a great alternative.

With the evolving technology, there has been a paradigm shift in techniques that are opted to protect the confidential information. As predicted by Bill Gates in 2004 at a RSA Security Conference, passwords would soon become extinct as people are now opting for other alternatives which seem to be safer somehow.

For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.


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All About Spoofing Attacks Launched Through Emails

Spoofing is nothing but a form of cyber-attack in which the hackers camouflage their identity. The term spoofing means to deceive or trick and involves presenting a deceptive thing in the right & truthful way. In this, the hackers disguise their identity to beguile the user and inject malware into their systems. The most common way to launch a spoofing attack is through emails.

How Do Cybercriminals Spoof Emails –

The hacker generally spoofs the email address to makes it look genuine. They work on “From” field such that the sender’s name and email address appear to be legitimate & authentic. This is done so that the receiver opens up the mail thereby giving hackers an opportunity to inject virus.

Another high end attack called BEC (Business Email Compromise) is being initiated by the cyber attackers. It is generally targeted towards executives at the top level in order to gain access to their company’s confidential & sensitive information. The primary loophole is in the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) technology, as it does not verify the sender’s email address. Cybercriminals generally use services of a free SMTP server available online to spoof the email address in order to dupe the target user and steal their private & confidential login credentials.

Ways To Spot Spoofed Emails –

  • The best way to spot a spoofed email is by closely looking at the sender’s name and email id. Do not click any link in a mail that has some strange content that you are wary & suspicious of.
  • Gmail provides an additional security feature and allows the user to check ‘mailed-by’ and ‘signed-by’ fields apart from sender’s email id. If the fields are incomplete then there is high probability that the email is spoofed.
  • If the content in the email is strange and weird then ask for a confirmation by replying the email. Now the best part is that the reply you send is directed at the original address. If you get a genuine reply then its fine. Otherwise, you will get to know if the email was fake or genuine.

What To Do If You Detect A Spoofed Email –

  • If you spot a spoofed email then immediately inform your internet service provider.
  • Next change the passwords for all your email accounts.
  • Ensure that you have enabled sender & recipient filtering options.
  • Make sure that you do not respond to any email you receive from that fake email id in future.

How To Prevent A Spoofing Attack –

  • Don’t open emails that do not contain the sender’s name or are sent from an unknown source.
  • Update your system regularly.
  • Install a good anti-virus software.
  • Enable the feature that allows you to filter blank senders.

Other Common Types Of Spoofing –

  • Caller ID spoofing
  • GPS spoofing
  • Referrer spoofing
  • DNS spoofing
  • IP address spoofing

For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Safeguard Your Business From Cyber Attacks












































PDF VERSION: Safeguard Your Business From Cyber Attacks

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How Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping Cyber Security.


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Medical Identity Theft: Detection And Prevention Tips

20th Nov 2017

Almost all the industries today have integrated online systems into their operations making large amount of personal information being stored in digital form. This has exposed more and more people to identity related frauds.
Medical Identity Theft is the most recent form of identity theft where a person uses somebody else’s medical information without their knowledge. The stolen information such as name, social security number etc. are used to pay for medical treatments as well as for purchasing medical equipment. Fictitious medical records and bills are often submitted to the insurance companies asking for claims. This affects the financial and medical status of a person whose personal information and credentials are stolen.

Who Are Responsible –

  • Hackers – While cyber security professionals are making efforts to avoid cybercrimes yet internet based crimes are taking a toll each day. Hackers illegally steal the medical information and give it to people who masquerade their identity to avail medical facilities and insurance claims.
  • Others – This category may include the hospital staff or fraudulent healthcare providers who steal and sell your medical information to other people who in turn file for false insurance claims. Sometimes, even friends or other family members use it for their advantage.

How To Detect –

  • This theft can be identified by regularly checking your medical bills and transactions. Immediately report the hospital or medical center when you find any suspicious activity that may lead to such an identity theft.
  • If the insurance company denies your claim even when you haven’t used their services for a long time, there are chances that your medical and personal information has been compromised. Sometimes, an insurance claim is accepted by the insurance provider for a medical condition that you have not been diagnosed with. This is the point when you must recheck your records and notify the service provider.

Theft Prevention Tips –

  • Ensure Information Security – The more information you share, the more you are prone to such identity threats. So, try to share as little information as possible to avoid its misuse.
  • Monitoring Medical Records – Do check all your medical records regularly. This will help you to notice any suspicious activity and take a corrective action immediately.
  • Password Protection – Set up unique passwords and credentials for your online accounts to avoid hacking.
  • Phishing Emails – A user sometimes, clicks a phishing email that has legitimate appearance. A malware is then installed in the system that hacks all the important files and information. Try to spot and ignore such emails.
  • Storing The Information – To prevent any internet based crime, it is important to correctly store the records containing sensitive information. Along with storage, it is imperative to dispose them off safely when they become outdated or irrelevant.
  • Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi –Browsing websites through public networks increase the risk for information and identity thefts. Make sure that you do not access sites that require sensitive information on public Wi-Fi.

Hospitals and medical facilities should also have foolproof systems to store patient’s information. It is important for medical institutions to install, and upgrade to latest software and hardware to prevent misuse of patient’s data. Proper protocols and accesses should be implemented in order to keep a track on people accessing patient’s information.

For IT infrastructure and security solutions for medical establishments, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.


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