Posts Tagged Application Security

Network Security Tools

The importance of data in business growth is imperative; however, network holds equal importance as it facilitates the flow of data. This makes it important to secure the organizational network to protect data as well as secure network endpoints. Thus, organizations need to implement effective network security and network visibility strategy.

Here is a list of network security tools that can help organizations in securing their network against security attacks:

  • Access Control: The best way to control damage caused by threat actors is to keep them out of the network. In addition to limiting the access of outside threats, it is equally important to take care of insider threats. Access control tools help organizations in keeping out threat actors and limiting user access to network areas that directly apply to user’s responsibilities.
  • Anti-Malware Software: Malware including virus, trojans, worms, keyloggers, spyware, etc. are designed to spread across computer systems and infect an organization’s network. Anti-malware tools assist organizations in identifying, controlling and resolving malware infections to minimize the damage caused to network.
  • Anomaly Detection: In order to detect anomalies in a network, it is first important to understand usual operations of the network. Network security tools such as Anomaly Detection Engines (ADE) allow organizations in analyzing a network, so that when and if any anomaly or network breach occurs, the IT team will be alerted quickly enough to limit the damage.
  • Application Security: Most cyber attackers consider applications to be a defensive vulnerability that can be exploited to cause network disruptions. Including application security tools can help organizations in establishing security parameters for applications.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Threat actors tend to use humans to cause data breach or network security breach. DLP technologies and policies help in protecting the employees and other users from misusing or possibly compromising sensitive data or allowing data flow out of the network at any of the endpoints.
  • Email Security: Email security tools are another set of network security tools that help organizations in minimizing human-related security weaknesses. Hackers or cyber criminals persuade employees to share sensitive information or inadvertently download malware into targeted network via phishing strategies. Email security tools assist organizations in identifying dangerous emails and blocking attacks.
  • Endpoint Security: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture has become highly integrated in organizations to an extent that it has become tough to distinguish between personal and business devices. Cyber attackers take this as an opportunity and attack personal devices to launch a network security attack. Endpoint security tools add a layer of defense between remote devices and business networks.

For more information on network security tools, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Different Areas Of Cyber Security

Cyber security strategies aim at protecting any user or organization’s inter-connected systems, hardware, software, and data from cyber attacks. Absence of stringent cyber security strategies can offer an opportunity for hackers to access the computer system and network and misuse organization’s data such as trade secrets, customer data, etc.

In order to formulate an efficient cyber security strategy, it is imperative to pay heed to all areas of cyber security.

Following are different areas of cyber security:

  • Critical Infrastructure Security: This area of critical infrastructure security consists of cyber-physical systems that modern societies rely on. Some examples of such systems include electricity grid, water purification, traffic lights, shopping centers, hospitals, etc. Hackers can attack the vulnerable infrastructure systems to gain access to connected devices. Organizations which are responsible for managing the infrastructure systems should perform due diligence to understand the vulnerabilities for society’s safety. Other organizations which are not responsible for the systems but rely on them for some part of their business operations should develop contingency plans to be prepared for any cyber attack or network breach that can be launched via an infrastructure system.
  • Application Security: It is one of the most important areas of cyber security strategies of an organization. The branch of application security uses both software and hardware methods to tackle external threats that can arise in development or implementation stage of an application. As applications are majorly accessible over network, they are highly vulnerable. Thus, it becomes highly important to include application security in cyber security strategy of an organization. Types of application security include antivirus programs, firewalls, and encryption programs. Application security techniques ensure that unauthorized access to applications is prevented. Also, these techniques can help organizations in detecting sensitive data sets and implementing relevant measures to protect these data sets.
  • Network Security: This area of cyber security guards an organization against unauthorized intrusion of internal networks due to malicious intent. Network security protocols inhibit access to internal networks by protecting the infrastructure. For better management of network security monitoring, network security teams use machine learning to flag abnormal traffic and issue threat alerts in real time. Common examples of network security protocols include multi-level logins, password security, etc.
  • Cloud Security: Cloud security is a software-based security tool that monitors and protects organizational or personal data stored in cloud resources. Increasing use of cloud services has made way for stringent cloud security strategies.
  • IoT Security: IoT devices can be highly vulnerable and open to cyber security attacks for numerous reasons including unawareness of users. Threat actors target IoT’s data centers, analytics, consumer devices, networks, legacy embedded systems and connectors. So, organizations have to implement stringent IoT security protocols.

For more information on different areas of cyber security, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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A Layered Approach To Network Security

25th July, 2017

Cyber criminals today are getting tech savvy and coming up with more sophisticated hacking techniques, thus a meticulous approach is required to address all the potential causes of an attack.

Moreover, as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) trends continue to rise in the workplaces, it has led to an increase in the endpoints that are vulnerable to attacks. Cyber security professionals must follow a layered approach to address the multiple aspects of network security.

Given below are the different layers that must be incorporated in a network security program:

Physical Security

The first step towards protecting your network should be to ensure security of all the computer systems and other devices connected to the network. Establish proper access control systems to prevent unauthorized usage. Limit the number of employees who can use computers that contain sensitive information. There should also be certain restrictions on accessing the corporate network, such as allowing only those devices that that have proper security software installed.

Computer Security

Unpatched software vulnerabilities provide the easiest backdoor for the hackers to gain access to your company’s network. Therefore, it is critical to fortify the computer systems’ security by installing anti-virus software, creating an application whitelist, removing unused programs and services, closing unwanted ports etc. Restrict software downloads by any employee except the system administrator. Software updates and patches should be downloaded directly from the vendor’s website.

Application Security

This layer focuses on securing the different web applications to ensure that they receive only genuine and relevant traffic. This may be done by using email spam filters, secure socket layer (SSL), virtual private network (VPN), XML security system etc. You can even set role based access control systems that prevent the ability of employees to view, create or modify files that are not related to their work.

Network Security

This is an important layer between the computer and application security. It involves real time monitoring of network anomalies, blocking unwanted traffic and monitoring bandwidth usage to ensure availability for critical processes. With network security, organizations can not only prevent breaches but also boost productivity and efficiency.

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

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Application Security Tips For Developers

27 February, 2017

Mobile applications play an integral part in our daily lives. Right from online shopping, banking, gaming to controlling IoT devices and tracking fitness level, there is an app for almost every task that we perform regularly. Considering the extensive usage of apps, hackers are continually looking for vulnerabilities that can be exploited to initiate an online attack. Therefore, developers need to follow stringent testing procedures to ensure that the mobile apps are secure and do not provide a backdoor to the hackers.

Listed below are some useful application security tips for developers:

Create A Secure Code

There are a lot of vulnerabilities in an application’s source code that can provide an easy access to the hackers. You must make sure that the code you write is absolutely confidential. If possible, encrypt the code so that it cannot be read by anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. Perform constant source code scanning to test for any vulnerabilities right from the beginning of the app development process.

Secure The Network Connections At The Back End

The web servers accessed by your application programming interface (API) should also have proper security measures in place. Sensitive information transmitted between the app’s server and the user must be protected against eavesdropping. You can consider carrying out vulnerability scan and penetration test to ensure that the data is secure.

Input Data Validations

Input validation is the first line of defense from attacks against your application. In order to design a secure application, you should always test and retest the input entered by the users. It is important to ensure that the data entered is consistent to what the specific form field is designed for. If the data does not match the expected set of value, such as a number in place of alphabets, it may hamper the proper functionality of the application.

Actively Deny Bad Requests

You should be familiar with the types of data and programs accessed by your application. User requests that can potentially jeopardize the security of your app must be actively blocked. Unsupported headers, excessively long URLs, unusual characters and other unlikely requests can be eliminated by using an application firewall.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete network security services to the business firms in Central Texas. For more tips to secure your web applications, feel free to call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Application Security Testing Checklist

16 January, 2017

Web applications have provided a convenient way for businesses to offer better services to the customers. However, security is one of the biggest concerns while developing an app as even a minute vulnerability can provide a backdoor for the hackers to initiate a malicious attack. It is important to have a strategic testing procedure throughout the app development process. The process involves an in-depth analysis to identify the technical flaws or security vulnerabilities in the app and subsequently repair them. It ensures that the app can adequately protect important data and serve its intended functionality.

Given below is a complete checklist for application security testing:

Threat Modeling

Threat modeling is the first and most crucial step in testing a web application’s security. It involves analyzing the application bit-by-bit to map down the entry points, data flow and identify the exact location of the existing vulnerabilities. Thread modeling also includes ranking the vulnerabilities in order of severity and devising suitable countermeasures for the same.

User Authentication

Proper authentication mechanism is important to eliminate the risk of a brute force attack, making sure that only the authorized users and servers can have access. It should be verified that account suspension mechanism is working accurately and triggers a lock-out after repeated failed login attempts. Testing can be done by entering wrong combinations of username password till the account gets locked.

Access To Application

After the user’s login credentials have been authenticated by the application, the next thing to determine is the type of data he can or cannot access. Superfluous elevated rights can pose a risk of data breach. You can create multiple user accounts and set different access rights for each of them. After this, login with all the accounts and try to access the modules, screens, forms as well as menus. If any security issue is found, it needs to be corrected immediately.

Session Management

Session hijacking attacks are quite common in web applications. Hackers may attempt to steal the cookies of an already authenticated session to get control of the user’s access rights. In another form of session hijacking, the hacker may also passively capture the login credentials of the user. In order to protect the app users’ information, make sure that the cookies do not contain any sensitive information. Also, the session IDs should be unique and generated randomly after authenticating the user’s identity.

Contact Centex Technologies for more information on application security testing. We can be reached at (855) 375 – 9654.

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