Posts Tagged Data Security

How Private Is Your Personal Information

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Tokenization: Benefits For Securing Transaction Data

30 January, 2017

Tokenization is one of the most advanced technologies to strengthen digital payment security for customers and e-commerce business owners. It involves replacing the sensitive credit card information with randomly generated unusable symbols or tokens. As a result, the hackers are not able to decode the data as it passes from the user’s network to the payment gateway.

Businesses that deal in online financial transactions are required to provide a secure payment processing system to protect the customers’ data. Right from the pre-authorization stage to the processing and final payment, information should be transmitted only through secure channels. With the advancement in technology, hackers have started to use more sophisticated tools and techniques to steal online transaction data. Tokenization offers an additional layer of protection that goes a step ahead of what is achieved through PCI compliance.

How Does Tokenization Work?

When an ecommerce business employs tokenization during processing online payments, the sensitive information of the customer such as username, password, card number etc. is sent to a secure server, known as vault. Here, all the data is converted into a random string of numbers, which is completely different from the original card number. It is then passed through a validation test to make sure that the token, in any way, is not similar to the account number.

With tokenization, even if cybercriminals are able to decode the card information, they cannot gain any monetary value as the data does not reveal any information about the customer’s account.

Benefits Of Using Tokenization For Online Transactions

  • Reduces liability for customer data protection
    Tokenization does not require the customers’ card details to be stored in the computer system or network. It only consists of the random string of numbers. This minimizes a business’ liability towards protecting financial data because the information stored is not related to the customers’ primary account numbers.
  • Significant saving of time and money associated with PCI compliance
    Ensuing PCI compliance often requires the online retailers to make expensive hardware and software upgrades in their payment processing systems. Non-compliance, on the other hand, can be costlier. As tokenization does not require the merchants to hold sensitive data in the back end, PCI compliance can be made much more cost efficient.
  • Reduces the scope of PCI compliance
    Using unique tokens in place of encrypted card holder data can reduce the scope of the systems for which PCI compliance is required. Thus, you can eliminate the need of penetration testing and regular vulnerability as well as PCI scans.

We, at Centex Technologies, offer IT security solutions to business firms in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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How To Improve Your Organization’s Mobile Security

29 August, 2016

Mobile security is becoming an important issue for the organizations to address. There is no denying the fact that mobile devices help to save time and increase employee efficiency to a great extent. However, the potential security risks posed by these devices cannot be overlooked. It is seen that most employees use the same mobile device for personal and official purposes. It means that connecting to an unsecure network or downloading a malicious app puts both type of data at risk.

Listed below are some tips to improve mobile security in an organization:

  • Use Strong Passwords: A lengthy and difficult password is the first line of defense against a potential data breach. Therefore, encourage your employees to keep their devices protected with a strong password. Besides the basic mobile security options like PIN numbers or patterns, they should opt for more sophisticated ones like fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, voice recognition etc.
  • Install Anti-Malware Software: Owing to the ignorance of users, hackers are constantly targeting mobile operating systems to initiate a malware attack. It is important that the devices used by your employees to connect to the corporate network have an anti-malware software installed. They should also regularly update the software to stay protected against the recent forms of malware.
  • Avoid Unsecured Wi-Fi: Many organizations today are allowing employees to work from remote locations, which increases the risk of your company’s important data being accessed and shared over public Wi-Fi connections. Make sure your employees are aware of the potential security risks and access corporate data through secure Wi-Fi networks only.
  • Encrypt Confidential Data: Encryption of sensitive information sent and received on mobile devices can go a long way in improving your company’s cyber security. Organizations can implement encryption policies according to the employee groups or the level of data confidentiality.
  • Choose Mobile Applications Carefully: You should limit or block the use of third party software on mobile devices being used for official communications. This can help to prevent the occurrence of a breach resulting from unintentional drive-by downloads or installation of applications having backdoors to transmit company’s information to the hackers. Employees should be allowed to install only reliable and a limited number of apps from a legitimate source.
  • Create Secured Mobile Gateways: You can consider directing mobile traffic through a special gateway with targeted security controls, such as firewalls, web content filtering and data loss prevention. This will restrict the employees from using the company’s internal network for personal communications, thereby preventing unwanted software downloads.

For more tips on improving your organization’s mobile security, you can contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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How To Improve IT Security In Your Organization

September 24, 2015

IT security is one of the biggest challenges faced by every organization. Considering the different malware and networking threats discovered frequently, the impact of a feeble security policy can be disastrous. Hence, data security should be your company’s top priority, specifically if your business activities involve storing sensitive customer details.

Here are some practical tips that can help to improve IT security in your organization:

  • Establish A Definite Plan: Chalk out a well-defined plan stating the actions that should be taken to evade a data breach. This should include terms and policies regarding which data can or cannot be accessed by the employees. The rules mentioned in the plan should be strictly followed by each and every individual who is a part of the organization. Also, the security policies must be reviewed and updated from time to time.
  • Educate Your Employees: Let your employees know about the potential security risks and the best practices to mitigate them. They should be educated about creating strong passwords, handling spam emails, maintaining data backup etc. Also, there should be a dedicated IT staff that they can turn to in case of any doubts or concerns.
  • Set A Data Storage Policy: You should also implement a data storage policy in the organization. It should have a clear mention of the data that should be stored or deleted from their devices. Keeping files with certain extensions can also increase the risk for a security breach.
  • Ensure Encryption: If you need to store any sensitive customer data such as names, passwords, credit card details, email addresses, bank account numbers etc., make sure they are properly encrypted. Only a limited number of employees should have access to the computers containing this information. You can also consider using two-factor authentication for added protection.
  • Avoid BYOD Culture: With a rise in the work from home culture, the data security risks have also increased manifold. The personal devices used by the employees may not be compliant with your company’s security plan. This provides hackers an easy pathway to gain access to your organization’s confidential data. To prevent this, do not allow employees to use their own devices as long as they are made to comply with the company’s policies. Connecting portable networking devices with the office computers should also be restricted to prevent a malware breach.

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

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Data Loss Prevention

March 23, 2015

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) can be defined as a strategy to identify or monitor confidential data to ensure that it is not sent outside a corporate network. It involves real time tracking of data as it moves through the end users in an enterprise and prevents its unauthorized access by implementing strict privacy policies. The term may also be used to describe software solutions that enable the web administrator to control the data that can or cannot be transferred by the users.

With the increasing number of devices connected to the network, Data Loss Prevention has become extremely important for the organizations to maintain their stability and protect confidential information. The types of data that may be leaked include:

  • Corporate Data: such as employee information, company strategies, financial documents etc.
  • Intellectual Property: such as product designs, price lists, source code etc.
  • Customer Data: such as financial records, personal details, credit card and bank account numbers, social security numbers etc.

Mainly, Data Loss Prevention products offer three different types of protection:

  • In-Use Protection: This is applicable when the confidential information needs to be used by certain applications. Access to such data depends upon the user’s ability to pass through different levels of control systems to authenticate his identity such as employee ID, job role and security policies. Additionally, such information is likely to be stored in an encrypted form to prevent the attempts to access snapshots, paging or any other temporary files.
  • In-Motion Protection: This is applicable when the sensitive data is being transferred through the network. Proper encoding methods are implemented to alleviate the risk of spying or hacking attack. The more confidential the information, the tougher the encryption will be.
  • At-Rest Protection: This is applicable when the data is saved on some kind of physical storage medium. It involves restricting access to the programs, monitor the attempts to use such information and use strong encryption to prevent threats to the physical media where the information is stored.

Requirements Of A Data Loss Prevention Software

  • Your DLP product should be capable of finding and protecting all information, regardless of its storage location.
  • It should also be able to track the usage of the data and prevent it from getting out of the organization’s internet network.
  • The system must also accurately detect any potential threats or breaches of network security.
  • Lastly, DLP software must be able to encrypt the sensitive information to prevent loss of data.

It is extremely important to have an effectively functioning Data Loss Prevention system to keep your business and data protected from potential security threats.

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