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Honeypots For Cyber Security Intelligence

The honeypot acts as a decoy, diverting hackers’ attention away from the real target. It may also be used as a reconnaissance tool, with the adversary’s methodologies, capabilities, and sophistication assessed through intrusion efforts. Any digital asset, such as software programs, servers, or the network itself, can be used to create a honeypot. It is carefully constructed to resemble a valid target, with structure, components, and content that are similar to the actual target.

Honeypot intelligence is important in assisting businesses in evolving and improving their cybersecurity strategy in response to real-world threats. It also helps in identifying possible weak spots in existing architecture, information, and network security. A honeynet is a collection of honeypots that are designed to appear as though they are part of a genuine network, replete with various systems, databases, servers, routers, and other digital assets. The cybersecurity team can track all the malicious traffic inside this isolated network while preventing the movement of the attacker outside.

Examples of Honeypots deployed in IT infrastructure

  • False/apparent looking database: In this type of honeypot, a decoy database is created with a motive to mislead the cyber attackers. These databases include dummy information that resembles the actual database, however sensitive business information is missing from the decoy database. The honeypot database has some system vulnerabilities and weak system design, SQL injections, etc. These vulnerabilities pose as a soft target & attract the hackers.
  • Spam honeypot: Spam honeypots work by accepting all the emails without filtering out the spam mails & other proxies. The program opens the mails to reveal their IP address of the spammers so that it can be blocked by the IT team for protecting the network systems.
  • Fake email address: In this case, a fake email address is created which is not visible to legitimate users. The email address can only be reached by automated address harvesters. Thus, the cyber security team is not required to analyze every email and can rest assured that all the emails received on this address are spams and sent by cyber attackers.
  • Spider honeypot: The motive of spider honeypot is to identify spiders – automated web crawlers. A net of web pages and links is created which is concealed from legitimate search engine web crawlers. Only automated and malicious web crawlers can access them. This helps in identifying how bot crawlers work to develop a way to block them.
  • Dummy malicious software: A dummy software or an application programming interface (API) is created to attract the malware attacks. This helps in studying the vulnerabilities that are exploited and the techniques used by the attacker. The information is then used by the cyber security team to develop an effective anti-malware system.


Classifying Honeypots by their Complexity of interaction with hackers

  • Low-interaction honeypots: This type of honeypots is not designed to behave like production systems but can be scaled, if needed. Although they fail to hold the attention of cyber attackers for long but are useful in causing a distraction for some time.
  • High-interaction honeypots: These honeypots are more sophisticated and pose as actual network target. They have the capability to engage the cyber attackers for a longer period and are used to study the malware attacks to improve cyber security practices.
  • Pure honeypots: Pure honeypots are full-fledged network systems and are designed with mock information, user data, etc.

Advantages of deploying Honeypots

  • Recognizing threat actors: Since honeypot systems are only accessible to malicious actors, it makes it easier for the cyber security teams to identify and block them.
  • Break down attacker chain: While the attackers might be crawling through your organization’s network, honeypots can be used to stop these crawlers and trap them from moving further.
  • Adaptation and evolution of ML-AI algorithms: Honeypots assist in studying the mode of action of cyber-attacks and help in adapting ML-AI algorithms to protect against modern attacks.
  • Insider & Outsider threat detection: Honeypots are unique systems that not only help in recognizing malicious actors but also insider attackers.

Risks

  • Hackers might detect a decoy and try to deceive with fake intrusion attempts in order to divert the attention of SOC Analysts away from actual attacks on legitimate system targets.
  • False information is conveyed to the honeypot by hackers to enable them to conceal their identities and confuse the detection algorithms and analytical models.

Honeypots are just one part of a larger cybersecurity posture. When used alone, the honeypot will not be able to safeguard the company from a wide range of dangers and vulnerabilities.

Centex Technologies provides cyber security solutions to businesses. To know more, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740.

Cybersecurity Leadership Principles For Secured Business Operations

Businesses becoming more reliant on the internet and digital platforms must examine cyber resilience from a business standpoint. The leadership must look at the cybersecurity posture of the various operational risks. They must also develop a flexible attitude in terms of how they would respond to and recover from a significant cyber incident. The ideas that follow help organizational leaders outline a plausible course of action balancing short-term goals along with the medium to long-term requirements.

Encourage a cyber-resilient organizational work culture

Businesses must establish plans to maintain durable and sustainable networks while also taking advantage of the benefits that digitalization may offer. Following important measures assist executives in instilling a cyber resilience culture throughout the organization and wider ecosystem: –

  1. Enforce the cyber-resilience governance in place
  2. Designing infrastructure for disaster flexibility
  3. Exceed the call of duty hours and deploy 24/7/365 security team
  4. Employee habits and behaviors that assists in being flexible and proactive in responding to cyber threat should be strengthened

Concentrate on safeguarding the most vital capabilities and services

The leaders are advised to identify the possible repercussions of a crisis on revenue, workers, customers, and the availability of key services. Business executives must have a holistic and systemic perspective of their critical services, applications, suppliers, and assets. The important steps listed below assist executives in maintaining their company’s cyber health and protecting critical capabilities and services: –

  1. It is necessary to ensure strict digital hygiene
  2. It is important to keep crucial assets safe, isolated, and air-gapped
  3. Keep a watch out for any strange activity around the most valuable assets
  4. Automating cybersecurity helps to reduce the fatigue of Security teams

Risk-informed decisions and judgments during and after the crisis

Enterprises should realize that their business risk posture has shifted dramatically and, following the crisis, has to be restored to an acceptable level. Leaders may balance risk-informed choices by taking following important steps: –

  1. Transition the switch to a zero-trust approach to supply chain security
  2. Define and utilize useful cyber-resilience measurements
  3. Concentrate on cyber-threats that are vital to operations

Revise and rehearse your response and continuity strategies

Veteran cyber-resilience leaders and CEOs use their previous crisis expertize to respond to cyber-attacks. The important steps listed below assist leaders in maintaining business continuity through the volatile and dynamically changing period: –

  1. Develop a thorough crisis management strategy
  2. Keep the reaction and resilience plans up to date and revamp them as required
  3. Get ready to adopt the changes

Collaboration throughout the cyber security ecosystem should be strengthened

Leaders in the public and private sectors must encourage collaboration and actively participate in projects to ensure that steps are made to protect the broader ecosystem from existing and potential cyber threats. Furthermore, businesses must set clear expectations with suppliers about their cybersecurity controls in order to encourage regulatory alignment in terms of 3rd party assurance. They should also advance a variety of community initiatives to raise cybersecurity risk awareness throughout the supply chain. Following important measures assist leaders in building a collaborative culture inside the organization and across the ecosystem: –

  1. Boost overall situational awareness
  2. Motivate people to work together
  3. Take a holistic strategy to manage cyber risks

Business leaders may better satisfy their duties to sustain their organization’s security posture and ensure business continuity if they follow the guidelines set up in cyber-security plan. Businesses can create smarter, quicker, and more connected futures with strong cyber-risk management and cyber-resilience strategies, promoting corporate development and efficiency.

Centex Technologies helps business leaders understand and implement necessary cybersecurity principles. To know more about cybersecurity, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740.

How Would You Protect Your Remote Workforce From Emerging Cyber-attacks?

The pandemic has facilitated, rather than forced, many office workers to work remotely for their individual firms. Professionals working remotely encounter a number of challenges particularly in the arena of cyber security. The onslaught of pandemic has led cyber threat actors to exploit the situation and target those working remotely.

It is advised that businesses and employee undertake the below measures to ensure that their remote working experience is safe and secure:

Security-first environment – When working remotely, it’s critical to choose a physically secure location. The employer or employee has to avoid disclosing any PII (Personal Identifiable Information) when connected online. Remote workers delivering online video conferences and presentations must try to mask their personal surroundings. Malicious actors are continuously on the lookout for PII that is revealed during such video calls. It is also important that other persons in the house do not have access to your laptop and desktop system. Do not use public networks for personal or business purposes.

Securing your Wi-Fi network – Make sure your WiFi Security is set to WPA2 on your Broadband Router. The default credentials across your routers, modems, and cellular WiFi hotspots must be changed. As you are working remotely, it’s a good idea to set up specific Wi-Fi networks. A Host network must be reserved for employees-employers and the Guest network available to the rest of the family. This will allow you to isolate data transmission between WiFi networks and avoid bottlenecks and network clogs.

Remote working communication and collaboration platforms – Employers need to invest in video conferencing apps, cloud-based office suites, and other technologies to be able to operate remotely. As managers and leaders, it is your responsibility to ensure that these tools are safe to use by your employees. You may assess the safety and security of any apps you want your employees to use by working with your IT and Security staff. It’s also crucial to remind your remote workers to update their software applications on a frequent basis to ensure that they have the most up-to-date security updates.

Do not use office equipment for personal use – Employees who have been given work equipment should avoid using it to log into personal social media accounts. Remote workers should not engage in any personal activities of interest on company-issued devices and appliances.

Avoid any suspicious content, emails and chat messages on social media – The pandemic has prompted criminal actors to take advantage of the situation and send phishing emails around the world. They replicate emails from local government officials and containing forms to be filled out with personal information or work-related information. Rather than believing in any random unconfirmed message on social media being propagated by bad actors, pay attention to your local and regional government news broadcasts and laws.

Strengthen the cyber security posture of your organization – Antivirus software alone is no longer sufficient to keep hackers and cyber criminals at bay. You should invest in a complete cybersecurity system that can protect you from all types of malware, frauds, and zero-day assaults.

VPNs must be provided to ensure encrypted and secure transmission of work data – Enable the different security features offered by vendors and OEMs in your devices and use them to protect yourself and your data while working remotely. It is advised to use VPN connections to connect to official applications.

These are just a few of the security options remotely working employers and employees must adopt. While the employees might not be physically protected from the office, employers must ensure to provide them adequate digital security while working remotely.

Centex Technologies provide complete cybersecurity solutions to businesses. For more information, call at (254) 213-4740

The Need For Automated Security Awareness Training

Cybercriminals are skilled at exploiting how firms conduct their daily business operations. While the Covid19 pandemic was at its peak of causing havoc across the world, cyberattacks witnessed a 500 percent surge. As human factor is the weakest link in the entire cybersecurity domain, it is important to conduct Automated Security Awareness trainings to make employees aware of methods on how to safeguard assets from such attacks.

How to plan an automated security awareness campaign?

Fraudsters are excellent strategists, and they build phishing campaigns that are focused on a certain attack approach to increase their success rates. A security awareness campaign should also be planned to be automated over a 12-month period. This strategy should correspond to your employee’s role in planning, managing, and delivering the most relevant parts to the correct audience at the right time. Computerized and automated security awareness training must include the following aspects:

  1. Blogs for upskilling and reskilling
  2. Phishing emails that aren’t real to check employees’ alertness
  3. Online learning that is customized as per business requirements
  4. Surveys and skill-check quizzes to evaluate employees’ security awareness
  5. Risk evaluations and assessments for disaster resiliency of systems and networks
  6. Crucial Security and GRC (Governance, Risk management, and Compliance) Policies

Each of these factors contributes to employees’ gradual awareness of how security approaches and tactics function, as well as how security incidents can occur.

How the leadership will be able to determine the success of such training?

Simulated phishing that is automated and integrated with metrics and feedback cycles is important for training your personnel about phishing and social engineering techniques. These simulations teach your employees how to spot common fraudster tactics. This includes techniques such as BEC (Business Email Compromise), infection through malicious attachments, malicious URLs, spoof sites, and so on. vendor updates the templates used to replicate phishing campaigns on a regular basis to reflect any changes in the phishing landscape. An automated security awareness training provides a vital audit trail of immutable metrics & feedback. Data from the metrics and audit of awareness training across many touchpoints can be sent back into the awareness training to help it improve. These audit trails also aid regulatory defense in the case of a breach or during a compliance examination. Employee reactions to the mock phishing communication are automatically captured as part of the phishing simulation exercise. This generates measurements that reflect how well the training is going and allows the phishing templates to be tailored to improve overall phishing education.

Advantages of automated security awareness training campaigns

All stakeholders in the delivery, management, and end-user experience of cybersecurity awareness training benefit from the automation in the following ways:

  1. Increasing the organization’s resilience to cyberthreats
  2. Assisting in establishing a security-conscious work culture
  3. Procure buy-in and support for cyber security measures
  4. Improving the audit results and showing regulatory compliance
  5. Reducing human error and addressing security concerns
  6. Reducing the time and resources needed to organize an awareness campaign by creating a 12-month calendar of activities, identifying areas of overlap, and identifying user fatigue
  7. Control policies, phishing simulators, eLearning, and surveys from a central location

Automated security awareness training solutions actually do quite more than just impart knowledge; it also develops tangible cyber-hygiene skills and habits in employee staff. Such solutions and services help your company at every stage of improving your corporate security awareness journey. Leadership can envision the entire journey right from goal-setting to results-evaluation through actionable reporting and analytics. Simplified goal-setting, automated learning paths, and practical activities based on real-life circumstances all help participants and training managers achieve effective results and a successful outcome.

Centex Technologies provide state of the art cyber-security and IT systems for enterprises. To discuss requirements for your organization, you may contact at (254) 213 – 4740.

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