Archive for category Security

Understanding Graphical User Authentication

With continuous growth in the number of cyber-attacks, user authentication has become one of the most important aspects in information security. User authentication is accomplished through passwords that should be entered by a user in order to prove his identity and gain access to a computer or communication system. Traditionally, text based passwords are used for authentication. However, text passwords are highly vulnerable and pose as an easy target for hackers. Thus, modern authentication techniques based on graphical methods are now being used to combat hacking practices.

Graphical user authentication is an attractive alternative to alphanumeric passwords. To setup a password, the users have to select an image at a series of subsequent screens. The images are presented specifically in a graphical user interface. As a large number of pictures are presented at every screen; the number of possible combination of images is extensive. This offers better resistance to dictionary attacks as compared to text-based password approach. Also, the graphical password approach is considered to be more user friendly than a text based password.

Due to the advantages that graphical passwords offer, there is a growing usage of these in workstations and web log-in applications. Graphical passwords are also being applied to ATM machines and mobile devices.

Categories of graphical password techniques are:

  • Recognition Based System: In this technique, the user is presented with a set of images and is challenged to identify a single or more images that were selected during the registration stage. The user has to identify the pre-selected images in order to be authenticated. Such recognition systems are also called search metric systems. To use graphical recognition schemes, the system is required to retain some information from user specific profile data. This helps the system to know which images belong to a user’s portfolio and display them at the time of login authentication.
  • Recall Based System: In recall based techniques, the user is required to create a drawing to set up the password. The recall based passwords are typically drawn on a blank canvas or a grid. At the time of login, the user has to reproduce the drawing that he created during the registration process. These graphical based systems are referred to as draw metric systems because user authentication is based on using the drawn image as a reference.

Following are some points that should be considered before implementing a graphical password:

  • The password contains image as a reference and encryption algorithm.
  • The login contains username, images, graphical password and related methods.
  • SSR shield for shoulder surfing.
  • The grids contain unique grid values and grid clicking related methods.

For more information on graphical user authentication, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Effects Of Computer Hacking On Organizations

Computer hacking is the term used for describing the act of gaining access to a computer without authorization and by unfair means. Hacking is generally performed for financial benefits; however, hackers may have variety of other motives as well. Some of these motives include stealing sensitive data, learning business secrets, defaming an organization, etc.

As computer hacking incidents have increased in the corporate world, it has given rise to an increased need for cyber security among organizations. But, before deciding a course of protection against cyberattacks or hacking, it is necessary to understand the effects of computer hacking on organizations or businesses.

  • Identity Theft: Organizations maintain a wide variety of information databases on their computers including financial information of customers, business credit card information, confidential accounts, etc. They may also store files with employee information such as home address, health information, Social Security Number and other personal details. If a computer hacker gains access to this sensitive information, he may impersonate an employee or customer leading to identity theft. This poses a threat to the employees, customers as well as reputation of the organization.
  • Stolen Trade Secrets: In addition to stolen customer information, hackers may also steal trade secrets of an organization. They may sell these trade secrets to a business competitor which may result in a serious blow to the market position of the victim organization.
  • Website Security: As internet marketing and E-commerce has taken over the businesses, websites play an important role in attracting new customers and offering internet feasibility to existing customers. However, if a computer hacker gains access to the website, he may destroy the website data, compromise customer transactions, alter the product information and steal financial information. Some hackers may use malicious viruses to permanently destroy the website data, which can cause huge financial loss.
  • Email: Email hacking is a well explored forte by the computer hackers. Once they gain access to the email accounts of an organization’s employees; they may exploit the accounts for eavesdropping on business communication, send illegitimate emails to clients and steal confidential documents or other sensitive data.
  • Defamation: Hackers may have a personal grudge against an organization or the ideologies that a business follows. Thus, they may hack the social media accounts of the organization to post obscenity, fake announcements, change the look of social media page, etc. These actions may lead to serious and widespread defamation of the organization.

Considering the impacts of computer hacking and the numerous roadblocks it can create in the success of an organization; it is important to make efforts to keep your business safe. Following are some ways to keep your organization protected:

  • Invest in cybersecurity
  • Keep the computer software updated
  • Regularly update the antivirus
  • Maintain a back-up of your data
  • Educate your employees about computer hacking and sources of attack

For more information on how to protect your organization’s data and ways to implement different computer security measures, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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What Is Cognitive Computing?

PDF Version: What-Is-Cognitive-Computing

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Features Of Data Protection Solution

Data is one of the most important business asset. During the course of business, there may be instances which can lead to data breach or complete data loss. Such occurrences can result in huge financial losses and litigation for an enterprise. This makes investing in state-of-the-art data recovery and protection solutions as one of the most important tasks for an enterprise.

Comprehensive data protection solutions enable enhanced data backup and data recovery. These solutions help in eliminating accidental data loss, recovering quickly from ransomware, virus or other malicious attacks and preventing data corruption.

Some of the main features that you should look for in a data protection solution for your organization are:

  • Incremental Forever Backup Solutions: This type of backup technology requires only one initial full backup. Once the full backup is completed, it is followed by an ongoing sequence of incremental backups. These solutions are useful in reducing the amount of data that goes around the network and the length of backup window. It is an optimized process of data restoration as only the latest version of backup blocks are restored.
  • Instant Recoveries: There are a variety of new technologies that allow data to be restored almost instantly from backups that are both local and in the cloud. It is a feature that allows a backup snapshot to run temporarily on secondary storage so as to reduce the downtime of an application.
  • Cloud Data Backup: Cloud backup solutions offer many advantages such as accessibility, file recovery and ability to tackle corrupted documents. It is commonly used in cases such as long-term retention, disaster recovery or even application testing. Cloud backup can replace on-site disk and tape libraries or they can also be used to store additional protected copies of data.
  • Orchestration: Today’s advanced orchestration tools have made it possible to automate the entire recovery process. Also, orchestration provides coordination across many automated activities. It mainly enforces a workflow order to automated tasks and enhances data security with identity & access management policies. Additionally, orchestration eliminates the potential for any errors in provisioning scaling and other cloud processes.
  • Deep Application Integration: It is important to ensure that the protected data can be accessed instantly without cumbersome consistency checks or other processes that may delay data access. Some of the basic requirements for a deep application integration are appropriate business rules and data transformational logic, adequate connectivity between platforms, longevity and flexibility of business processes, flexibility of software, hardware and other business goals.

For more information on Data Protection Solutions, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Tips For Business Owners: How To Know If Your Phone Is Hacked?

Smartphones are nowadays an integral part of business operations. They are used to receive & send business mails, messages and getting business updates. Also, mobile banking applications & business specific mobile apps are being extensively used to manage operations of a business. As smartphones may contain important business and financial information, any kind of breach can leave you at a serious risk.

Hackers use numerous ways to get into your phone e.g. using public internet to download a program. They may make use of the applications downloaded on your phone to access files, passwords and other sensitive information. So, it becomes imperative to keep your devices safe from hackers. However, it is equally important to be able to recognize if your smartphone is hacked.

  • Decreased Battery Life: Though mobile applications, software and programs need to use phone’s battery in order to perform to their full capacity; there are chances that a smartphone is compromised by a malware if the phone’s battery decreases at a fast rate. This may be a sign that the malware running in the background is zapping phone’s resources and transmitting important information.
  • Performance Differences: If your device is operating slower, constantly freezing and applications are frequently crashing; there is a possibility that a malware is secretly running in the background. Also, the phone may turn on and off randomly or your applications can keep on running even after multiple efforts to close them.
  • High Data Usage: A smartphone that has been compromised by a malware uses a lot of data. Unusually high data usage may be due to the spy apps running in the background.
  • Unknown Calls Or Texts: Hackers may send links or strange codes to target your phone. Once you click on the link, the hacker will gain remote access to the information on your phone. Thus, it is important to check your phone bills regularly for calls or texts to unknown numbers as this can be a possible malware activity.
  • Unusual Pop-ups: If your phone is regularly disturbed by pop-ups, it’s likely that your phone has been hacked. These pop-ups may have phishing links designed to steal sensitive information or download more malware. Users should be careful when clicking the closing icon as these are designed in a way to trick users into clicking on the area that opens up another malicious site.
  • Unusual Account Activities: If your device has been compromised, hackers may have access to accounts linked to the device like social media apps, emails and other lifestyle apps. Thus, keep an eye on activities like password reset, unauthorized emails, etc.

For more information about safeguarding your computing devices and protecting your computer network, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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