Posts Tagged Cyber Attack

Tips For Disaster Recovery Planning After A Cyber Attack

A well-planned cyber-attack can wreak havoc on any business. Although, it is advisable to take precautionary steps in order to avoid such attacks; still, some cyber-attacks can catch your business off-guard. Thus, it is important to have a Disaster Recovery Plan for dealing with the after-effects of any cyber-attack. A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) helps in softening the blow of the attack by minimizing the loss. A successful DRP should conduct a thorough Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and Risk Analysis (RA). This will help in determining the business areas that need to be prioritized for security. Also, this will enable you to establish an estimated Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

For drafting an effective DRP, it is important to consider following tips in addition to BIA and RA:

A DRP needs to include all the aspects of the business to ensure that no aspect is left exposed during a tragic event.

  • To begin with, segregate your data as per priority. This will facilitate you in increasing the security of vital data, resources, devices, and systems. Also, you can draft separate recovery plans for critical data that is of sheer importance to your organization.
  • It is advisable to set up a separate ‘safe house’ or satellite location and keep a backup of your data. This will help you in avoiding the loss of business in face of a cyber-attack. However, weigh the cost of setting up a separate location against the loss that will be incurred if the business becomes inoperative during RTO. Consider the cost-effectiveness to make an effective decision.
  • If your business organization has some mobile devices that are not linked to the main server, then formulate an alternative backup plan for these devices. This will ensure that these devices do not have to depend upon the DRP.
  • Make it a point to encourage the individual users to run regular backups for their own safety.

The 5 W’s Of DRP

The 5 W’s of DRP help in developing an accurate contingency plan to maximize the longevity of your business:

Who? In order to create a risk-free environment, make it a point to educate every single user about the DRP. This is the key to ensure the success of your recovery plan. Thus, if any cyber-attack threatens our organization, every user will be able to play his role in the recovery plan efficiently.

What? An organization’s DRP should address what steps would be taken if the business meets with an unfortunate situation. The steps should be clearly laid out and should address diverse situations ranging from damaging cyber-attacks to regular risks of losing staff/vital data.

Where? DRP needs to look ahead of the geographical business location alone. Some other aspects that should be included in the DRP are company vehicles, remote workforce, etc.

Why? It is important to understand why you need a DRP. It is a contingency plan that would help the business sustain if met with a disastrous cyber-attack.

When? A common question is that when do you need to formulate a DRP. The answer is that you should formulate a DRP well in advance so that you are equipped to handle any situation, whenever it arises.

For more information on Disaster Recovery Planning, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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What Makes Location Tracking A Privacy Concern

Undoubtedly using location-based services like Google maps, taxi services, etc. has made our life easier, however, location tracking or geo-tracking poses some real privacy threats as well. In order to understand these threats, it is first important to understand how this data is collected.

How Is Your Location Tracked?

Location is tracked via your devices such as a laptop, mobile phones, tablets, smart-watches, smart jewelry, etc. In the case of a computer, your IP address can be used to track your location. If you are using a mobile device, the location is tracked via GPS, cellular tower data, Wi-Fi signals, and Bluetooth beacons.

A number of popular apps also track your location such as Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp, Uber, dating apps, etc. Some apps may track your location even after you have turned off location tracking in your mobile settings. A common example is Facebook. The app can track your location by your city mentioned in the profile or check-ins.

Additionally, information about your location is also revealed by the metadata attached to your photos. Most mobile phones and digital cameras embed information such as GPS coordinates or Geotags when you take a photo. When such photos are posted on a social media profile, the embedded information is also shared along.

What Kind Of Information Is Revealed By Location Tracking?

Location tracking can be used to disclose a variety of information:

  • Where do you live
  • Your financial status based on where you live
  • Your place of work
  • The regular route of travel
  • Frequently visited stores
  • Your real-time location
  • If you are on a vacation and where are you staying

These are some common types of information that can be disclosed by location tracking.

Privacy Concerns Caused By Disclosure Of Such Information:

  • Stalking & Harassment: Availability of detailed information about your location increases your risk of being stalked or harassed. If a stalker knows your frequently visited places, he can easily identify a place and the best time to confront you.
  • Robbery: Burglars can get hold of sufficient information about you by eyeing your location tracks. This enables them to know when you won’t be home or if you follow a secluded path to your work. Discloser of such private information puts you in a danger.
  • Contextual Advertizing: Contextual advertizing is a rising problem among social media users. Marketing professionals pay a high price for access to personal information such as location data of individuals. This helps them in understanding the user behavior to modify their advertizing campaign accordingly. This has led to a rise in the number of cyber-criminals trying to track the location of individuals for building databases that can be sold to organizations.
  • Frauds: Fraudsters can gain access to your location data for building and studying your individual profile. This profile helps them to have a sneak-peak in your personal life to fabricate a fraud.

For more information on privacy concerns arising out of location tracking, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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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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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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Ways To Spot Phishing Emails

PDF Version: Ways To Spot Phishing Emails

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