Posts Tagged Cyber Attacks

Cyber Security Controls Every Business Needs To Know

As cyber attacks are becoming more evolved and complex, it has become critical for organizations to possess basic cyber security controls. In order to ensure the safety of business’ confidential data, organizations need to enforce appropriate security controls.

Here are some cyber security controls that every business needs to know:

  • Automated Patching: Patches are introduced by tech developers in order to fix critical vulnerabilities found in a network, app, or system. Timely fixes or patching is essential to prevent the spread of security breaches via open vulnerabilities which may cause extensive damage to a business. Automating the updates can save time and resources spent by IT professionals for manually searching devices to evaluate and install latest updates. Automation allows simultaneous implementation of patches for several vulnerabilities.
  • Full Disk Encryption: A great way to strengthen the security health of an organization is to allow Full Disk Encryption (FDE) data on hard disks in an organization. Enabling cyber security controls that store user credentials securely and drive data confidentiality helps in ensuring safety of business data from cyber criminals. In addition to FDE, make sure to backup the data regularly to tackle situations such as disk crash. Also, make sure to store passwords and encryption keys at separate location as no one can access a system without appropriate credentials.
  • Screen Lock: The next cyber security control to be implemented is automatic screen lock. Once this control is activated, a machine enters sleep mode after being idle for a set time and user has to enter password when returning to the machine. This prevents any one from accessing a machine when unattended. This cyber security control becomes even more important for users working from remote locations.
  • Enabling Firewall: It may seem like a basic strategy but it is highly important to activate firewall across all company devices. A firewall is a software that tracks inbound and outbound activities from a network and blocks the traffic that seem unsafe for the network based on a set of security rules. This prevents unauthorized applications from reaching endpoints and penetrating into the network. This helps businesses in mitigating risks and overcoming new cyber challenges.

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

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User & Entity Behavior Analytics: Definition & Benefits

User & entity behavior analytics (UEBA) is a type of cyber security process that understands how a user conducts normally. Further, it detects any anomalous behavior or instances, such as deviations from normal conduct. A simple example being, suppose a user downloads 10 MB of files everyday but suddenly downloads gigabytes of files on an instance, the system will detect this anomaly and update the user.

UEBA relies on machine learning, algorithms and statistical analyses to detect the deviations from established user behavior and determine the anomalies that can translate into potential cyber threats. UEBA also takes into consideration the data in system reports, logs, files, flow of data and packet information.

UEBA does not track security events or monitor devices, instead it tracks all the users and entities in the system. The main focus of UEBA is insider threats.

Benefits Of User & Entity Behavior Analytics:

As the cyber threat landscape has become complex, hackers are now able to bypass peripheral security such as firewalls. Thus, it is important to detect the presence of hackers who have entered the system in a timely and efficient manner.

This makes user & entity behavior analytics an important component of IT security. Here are some benefits of user & entity behavior analytics system:

  • Detect Insider Threats: Insider threats such as an employee gone rogue, employees who have been compromised, people who already have access to organization’s systems, etc. can cause a serious threat to an organization’s security by stealing data and information. UEBA can help in detecting data breaches, sabotage, privilege abuse, and policy violations by analyzing a change in normal behavior of an employee.
  • Detect Compromised Accounts: There is a great probability that a user’s account may be compromised; the user may have unknowingly installed a malware on his system or a legitimate account may be spoofed. As soon as a compromised account performs an unusual action, it is detected by UEBA before it can cause major damage.
  • Detect Brute-Force Attacks: Scammers can target cloud-based entities as well as third-party authentication systems to launch an attack. UEBA helps in detecting brute-force attacks allowing the organization to block access to these entities.
  • Detect Changes In Permissions: Sometimes hackers create super user accounts to grant unauthorized permissions to some accounts. UEBA detects such changes in permissions to nip the attack before it is launched.

For more information on user & entity behavior analytics, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Common Malware Entry Points

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Tips To Reduce Cyber Crime In Inbound Call Centers

Business security is one of the prime priorities for every business and as the number of cyber attacks is on a rise, the cyber security practices have become a necessity. Cyber criminals tend to find weak entry spots for targeting a business. Due to the nature of operations, inbound call centers act as an easy target for cyber criminals. The inbound call centers receive customer calls and acquire customer information to answer their queries. If hackers breech the inbound call system, they can get hold of consumer’s personal information.

Thus, businesses need to be vigilant and take proper steps to secure consumer information. Here are some tips to reduce cyber crime in inbound call centers:

  • Regularly Audit The Environment: Audits are generally overlooked, but regularly auditing the network environment of the call center can help in detecting any intrusion at an early stage. Audits can also help businesses in detecting any vulnerability in the system. A simpler way is to automate the network audit using a remote monitoring and management system (RMM). Also, businesses should consider password audit for all the staff in the inbound call center. This helps in tracking the users with weak or outdated password.
  • Strengthen The Authentication Process: Passwords alone may not be sufficient for proper authentication of users. So, inbound call centers should strengthen the system by incorporating multi-factor authentication.  Also, it is important to backup the authentication data with either a knowledge based, possession based, or inherence based requirement such as having a physical key or smartphone for receiving one-time password.
  • Boost Weak Security Through Automation: A great approach to ensure security of the systems is to automate the security process. A common example is to automate password generation such that the users themselves don’t know their passwords until the time of login. This eliminates the risk of knowingly or unknowingly leak of passwords by the users. This can be achieved by using software such as Password Management System or privileged Identity Management.
  • Secure The Endpoints: Endpoints are highly vulnerable because cyber criminals attack these endpoints to create holes in the network security perimeter. Inbound call centers can use advanced endpoint detection solutions to improve system’s ability to defend itself.

For more information on tips to secure network in inbound call centers, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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5 Reasons For Increased Cyber Security Threats During COVID-19

While the world is busy fighting against COVID-19, there is a section of cyber criminals who are exploiting the situation for lucrative benefits. They are taking advantage of the efforts made by organizations to sustain their operations during this pandemic. The cyber security attacks include phishing attacks, data breach, ransom, etc.

In order to defend your organization against cyber security threats during COVID-19, it is first important to understand the reasons that have resulted in an increase in cyber-attacks. Following are the 5 top reasons:

  • The foremost reason is that the employees are working from their home networks and their personal devices. These networks and devices are usually not updated with latest antivirus or operating system versions. The lack of a properly patched and protected system results in vulnerabilities leading to easy access for hackers.
  • The second reason that has led to an increase in the number of the cyber-attacks is the flow of organizational data. When employees work from their homes, sensitive organizational data travels outside the secure network of the organization. Additionally, while working with this data, employees tend to save it on their personal devices. This allows for easy data theft.
  • The third reason is that employees need to access the organization’s network to complete their work. This remote access may be insecure. Some organizations have already established a VPN for remote access. But again all the employees are not trained to install or use a VPN. Such untrained personnel pose a cyber-security threat when they access the organization’s network. On the contrary, there are some organizations that do not have a VPN setup for remote access. This may cause a cyber-threat of greater magnitude.
  • Fourth reason that has caused a rise in the number of cyber-attacks is an organization’s requirement to keep the employees involved and informed. The regular team meetings that were conducted to discuss the team operations have been replaced by online meetings. Organizations are making use of conference video calls or unique apps like ‘Zoom’ to conduct these meetings. The shift has been hasty and not all the involved employees are aware of how to use these apps securely. Insecure logins, poorly managed user credentials and login via an insecure network are some factors that have led to cyber-attacks such as video call hacking.
  • Fifth reason accounts for unauthorized access to an organization’s funds. The underlying reason is the need of the time to do things differently. A simple example of such an attack is that an employee receives an email from a fake account created on behalf of senior personnel in the organization. The email may instruct the employee to transfer funds to an account in lieu of some organizational purchase. Since employees may not be able to validate such emails, they may end up transferring funds to the hacker’s accounts.

In order to prevent such attacks, the organizations need to educate the employees to update their systems, download antivirus updates, secure their login details, use secure VPN to access the organization’s network and be aware of fake emails.

For more information on cyber security threats during COVID-19, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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