Posts Tagged Security

What Is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint security is a methodology to protect the business network when being accessed by remote devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets & other wireless devices. It includes monitoring their status, software as well as activities.

Nowadays, employees are granted network access through the internet on their mobile devices which increases the need to focus on endpoint security. Enterprises have to work on securing the data available on their employee’s mobile device such that if the device falls into wrong hands, the data still stays protected. Security software such as antivirus, antispyware, firewall, etc. are installed on all endpoint devices as well as network servers.

Why Is It Called Endpoint Security?

Devices connected to the network are called endpoints as they are placed on edge of the network and are used by individuals to perform various tasks. Individuals connect to the central network using these endpoint devices. However, these devices may pose a security threat to the network and the strategy that is employed to secure these endpoints is thus known as endpoint security.

Why Is It Important To Ensure Endpoint Security?

  • There has been a significant increase in BYOD culture
  • There is a rise in number of employees who work from home
  • Increase in security threats via mobile devices

Ways To Implement Endpoint Security

  • User Management: Businesses should control the user access to the network. It can be done by setting up password protocols, restricting administrative privileges, usage policies, mobile device management, etc. It should be implemented in such a way that if a user loses his device then the IT team can remotely lock the device to protect the data from being compromised.
  • Encryption: Another way to keep the data safe is to implement encryption on endpoints. It is simple yet effective way to prevent the data stored on corporate devices from any risk.
  • Antivirus & Malware: In the wake of rising phishing & ransomware attacks, it is mandatory to install antivirus & malware protection software on your mobile devices. This helps in increasing endpoint security.
  • Updating & Patching: It is important to keep the devices updated. This is because devices without latest updates & patches are most vulnerable to security breaches.

Often there is a confusion between endpoint security & antivirus, although they differ from each other. The former is much wider than the latter. Antivirus protects the PCs, single or many, depending upon the type of antivirus being deployed. However, in case of endpoint security the whole network is made secure. It provides provisions for application whitelisting, endpoint detection & response, network access control, etc. unlike an antivirus software.

By implementing endpoint security solutions, businesses can exercise greater control on number & types of access points on the network.

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

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Cybersecurity Trends For 2019

PDF Version: Cybersecurity-Trends-For-2019

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How To Stay Anonymous Online

Internet has become an integral part of daily life because everything possible is seemingly available online. This is the reason, why there is a constant risk of your privacy being hacked by cyber criminals. Not only can they track your online presence but also snoop away on everything you do.

This constant tracking imposes the need of staying anonymous online. Following are some ways through which you can achieve the desired anonymity:

  • Hide Your IP: The best way to stay unidentified online is to hide your IP with an anonymous VPN service. This way a virtual IP replaces your real IP address and prevents cyber criminals in gaining a sneak peek of your online activities.
  • Keep Your Web Searches Private: Conducting searches on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. collects a lot of information such as your IP address, searches made, device used to make the search, location, etc. This is the reason why users are now opting for alternate search engines which do not track the search history and retain their privacy.
  • Block Third Party Cookies: Advertizers often use third party cookies to keep a track of your browsing habits. However, it is possible to hide them by blocking third party cookies within the browser settings. If you want to delete the cookies and other browsed information, you may use programs like CCleaner./li>
  • Use HTTPS: In order to prevent sensitive information from being intercepted Transport Layer Security (TLS) is extremely important. However, every website does not support a TLS connection and in that case HTTPS can help. It helps in keeping the internet traffic secure & private by enforcing TLS connections on the websites you visit.
  • Opt For Anonymous Email Communication: There are two ways to ensure email anonymity in a situation where you want to send somebody an email without letting them know your email address. You can use an alias which is essentially a forwarding address and allows the recipient to see your forwarding address only. The other way is to use a disposable email account which can be done by creating a new email account which you can use when you need. Another alternative to is to create a temporary forwarding address. This address gets deleted after a specific time, so it is best to use it while signing up on untrusted websites.
  • Encrypt Your Emails: Encrypting your emails can help you prevent unauthorized access by a middleman. There will be a limiting control as only you will have a private key for it.
  • Enable Privacy Settings: Your social media profile speaks volumes about you and hackers usually resort to a victim’s social media accounts to garner their private information. So make sure that you enable your privacy settings and hide personal information from public view.

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

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Security Risks Associated With Your Smart TV

Gone are the days when your TV sets were just used to watch regular TV shows. Smart TVs rule the market nowadays and can be used to play games, browse internet, download and access apps, etc. Since smart TV sets can be connected with internet, pen drives, webcams, gaming consoles and other devices, they are susceptible to a number of security risks.

As per Statista, there will be an estimated number of 759.3 million TV sets connected to the internet globally by the end of 2018. The figures are startling, and they necessitate the need to cognize people about security and privacy threats associated with smart TVs. Although there has been massive increase in number of IoT devices being used, the question that arises is whether devices such as your smart TV are safe to use or not?

Following are some security risks associated with your smart TV:

  • Hackers can gain access to data i.e. photos and other information through storage devices such as USB or your smartphone connected to the smart TV.
  • Your data is also at risk if you operate social and communication apps such as Skype on your smart TV.
    Once your smart TV is connected to Wi-Fi then there is risk to your personal information/ browsing history etc.
    Smart TV can also be used to target you with instant advertizing messages.
  • Your smart TV can be used to launch a botnet attack.
  • You might have to make subscription payments through your smart TV for viewing different programs, web series or videos. However, your financial information can be tapped and is at risk in case your smart TV is hacked or is compromised.

Preventive Measures To Be Taken

  • Update Regularly – The first and foremost thing is to buy a smart TV of a reputed brand. They usually take measures to protect privacy of their users. It is also important to regularly update the TV’s software to prevent security & privacy issues.
  • Use Firewalls – All devices that are connected to internet should be protected by firewalls. The smartest move is to install a router based firewall or any other firewall which your television set supports.
  • Camera Security – Disconnect your smart TV from plug as well as internet when not in use. Also to prevent the problem altogether, cover the smart TV camera with a piece of opaque tape.

It is important to stay vigilant to protect yourself from such vulnerabilities. For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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What Is Vishing & How To Avoid It

Vishing is the term used for voice or VoIP (voice over IP) phishing. It is a social engineering attack that is launched with a primary goal to extract user’s confidential information and is usually done using an automated dialing and voice synthesizing equipment.

Vishing works just like any other phishing scam. The imposter generally pretends as someone from the bank or as a government representative seeking information. Sometimes, the fraudster may even use voice to text synthesizers or recorded messages to masquerade himself. The attack is launched with an intention to gain access to a person’s PIN number, credit card details, passwords, social security number etc. In most cases, the scammer is successful in making the victim part with their credentials.

When a vishing attack is launched, either of these things happen 

  • A person will receive a call. On answering that call, an automated voice system will ask the victim for their personal information.
  • Sometimes, a fraudster will call the victim and inform that they should call their bank to avail some offer or to provide certain information. The victim then hangs up the phone to dial bank’s number but fraudster doesn’t and keeps the lines open. Victim hears a spoofed dialing tone and some other scammer answers the phone call. They impersonate their identity as bank official to steal the required information.

How Do They Obtain Your Number?

There are several possibilities by which the fraudsters obtain your number. Some of which are

  • Using stolen phone information
  • Auto – generated numbers
  • Numbers and details compromised in a previous data breach

Techniques Used By Them

  • Impersonate As Genuine Callers – There is high probability that these scammers already have your personal information and address you as genuine people over the phone.
  • Holding The line – Sometimes, cyber criminals hold your call. They then direct your call to another scammer when you call them back.
  • Sense Of Urgency – The most common approach is to incite fear in the mind of a person. The caller makes the victim believe that their money is in danger. He/she then acts hastily without thinking much and commits the mistake of sharing their confidential information with the fraudster.
  • Phone Spoofing – The number from which the call comes seems to be genuine and so you believe what the caller says, often ending up in sharing your login credentials or passwords.

How To Avoid Them

  • Never Share Your Personal Information Over The Phone – If you pick a call that seems to be from a legitimate caller, never share your personal information over the phone in the first place. No bank or government institution will ask you to provide your credentials over the phone. In case they do, then ask the caller’s name and tell them that you would call them back after some time. Search for the bank’s official number and inquire from them about the call.If you sense something suspicious then there are chances that the call was a vishing attack launched at you.
  • Use A Caller ID App – There are numerous apps such as Truecaller that allow you to know the callers identity. It has billions of spam numbers locked in their database and if you come across such a number then you can also add it to their spam database.

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

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