Posts Tagged Cybersecurity

What Is Email Masking?

Email masking is a method of changing email addresses to keep sensitive information from being abused. In most cases, a disguised email address retains its original format and cannot be traced back to its source. Email masking is often a part of a larger data masking process that hides sensitive data. The objective is to keep the true information hidden from prying eyes. Email masking can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • To test software or shuffle real user data.
  • Ensure the security of any user data being shared with other parties.
  • Observe privacy regulations and safeguard data in accordance with the standards.
  • Entering masked email addresses on platforms you don’t trust.

In the end, it comes down to whether you want to disguise your personal email address or whether you have a database of user addresses that need to be hidden. Regardless of the reason, this includes the data you keep as well as any copies you make of it. And there are lots of good reasons to make new copies of your users’ information.

The two most frequent techniques of data masking are as follows:

  • Static email masking: Allows you to duplicate a database with data that is identical to the original one. The copied data is then transformed into a new set of data using SQL queries. The objective is to produce realistic records without exposing critical information, as it will be used mostly for testing and development.
  • Dynamic email masking: No copies are generated. Production data is protected with additional layers of security. The major purpose is to ensure role-based database security.

Even though you use the most advanced techniques for concealing genuine email addresses and spend hours modifying your data, something could go wrong at some point. You might miss some records in your database or submit the wrong contacts unintentionally. Some emails may be mishandled by the masking method, and inaccuracies may be difficult to detect in huge data sets. You can mask emails from within your email client if you don’t want to utilize any additional software.

Gmail: Gmail has two features that might be useful:

To begin, add words after the ‘+’ symbol to create aliases of your actual email account. The email address abcdefg@gmail.com, can have the following aliases:

abcdefg+breakingnews@gmail.com

abcdefg+important@gmail.com

You can also send emails from a different address using Gmail.

Outlook: Free aliases and a customizable “From” field are also available in Outlook. To make an alias, go to the Add an alias option and establish a new Outlook.com account. An existing email account can also be used as an alias. Send and receive emails to and from your personal Outlook account. You may send emails from this alias or the account you just added, just like you could with Gmail:

  • Open the Compose window, select “Send From” from the three dots.
  • Then, from the list, choose the required email address.
  • Open ‘Settings’ -> ‘View all Outlook settings’ to alter the default “From” address.
  • Choose ‘Sync email’ from the ‘Mail’ section of the ‘Options’ pane.
  • Finally, in the ‘Set default From address’ section, select the desired email.

You can unmask any email address you want at any time and resume sending from your original account.

Centex Technologies provide cybersecurity and web application services to clients. For more information on protecting your data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Manufacturing Business Security: How To Protect Your Manufacturing Business From Cybersecurity Threats?

Manufacturing businesses across the world were able to operate without strengthening their cyber security posture as that sector initially did not face critical cyber threats. However, the advent of PLC-SCADA (Programmable Logic Controller – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), IoT (Internet of Things), Robotic Automation, M2M (Machine-to-Machine) Communication, and State-of-the-Art Technological innovations have attracted the heat from APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups. Disrupting production and assembly lines, intellectual property theft, economic and employment failures, and hacktivism are some of the causes and motives that drive attackers apart from just the financial gains.

5 Best practices businesses can follow to protect manufacturing, production and assembly lines from hackers:

  1. Educate and train the employees, partners, and customers: Humans are the weakest link in the entire IT infrastructure that is evident when attackers phish employees for credentials. Security awareness training must be conducted periodically and the company can release advisories and suggest best practices as well. People must be trained to identify, block and report phishing and malicious emails which often is the simplest yet effective way to ward off the biggest cyber threats. Employees must be able to differentiate between genuine and spoofed email senders and user profiles on social media based on a list of red flags provided to them. Everyone in the organizational ecosystem must take ownership of cybersecurity from the entry-level work roles to the C-Suite.
  2. Deploy 2FA / MFA with Biometrics: Implementing 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) along with biometric locks will keep unauthorized users or hackers at bay. It is advised to periodically change the credentials used to access the various digital resources across your organization. Modify and update the vendor-supplied default security configuration to customize as per the business requirements. Deploying an appropriate IAM (Identity and Access Management) plan not only prevents an accidental information modification from employees unauthorized to do so but also limits the scope of access for hackers having stolen the employees’ credentials.
  3. Update and upgrade the software and hardware: Always update the hardware and software components used in your equipment and technologies periodically as per the vendor’s suggestions. Your lethargy or temptation to ignore the security updates might attract the attention of attackers to hack into your production systems and cause damage. Customers, partners, and end-users must be notified every time a new hardware or software update or upgrade is available for roll-out with the company. Patch the software for existing vulnerabilities and also design plans for setting up network communication architecture implementing defense-in-depth and depth-in-defense approaches.
  4. Data Privacy & Security with Disaster Resiliency: Companies must be aware of all the T&Cs (Terms and Conditions) about data storage and usage policies of its partners and customers. It is advised to conduct KYC (Know Your Client) background checks before storing any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) or confidential data of your customers and partners. You must encrypt the trade secrets, blueprints, business strategy related files in online and/or offline storage. Utilize encrypted and secure channels to share or transfer data with authorized users and groups. Businesses must aim to procure and deploy a robust and reliable technology tech-stack. The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) applications must be used along with leveraging Military-grade encryption, Fail-safe Data Backups, Anti-Ransomware Solutions and Disaster Recovery mechanisms to protect your data from loss or corruption in case of any human or natural disaster.
  5. Holistic IT Strategies: Maintaining your organization’s credibility in the market among customers via complying to the various regulatory compliances is very important to protect highly sensitive business information. In-house SOC (Security Operations Center) team can monitor the real-time activities of Users, Services, and Applications in your productions and assembly environment. Alternatively, to facilitate inadequate budgets and lack of resources, you can hire an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider) to outsource your security logging & monitoring requirements. They help in preventing, detecting, analyzing, & mitigating security risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and incidents. Protect the industrial automation machinery & M2M communication equipments with various security solutions such as NGAVs (Next-Gen Anti-Virus), DLP (Data Loss Prevention), XDR (Extended Detection and Response), Honeypot and likewise. Securing the productions and assembly lines would give Hackers a hard time targeting your manufacturing business.

Centex Technologies provide IT and Cybersecurity solutions to businesses including manufacturing units. For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740

 

 

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Web Application Vulnerabilities: Securing Online Applications

Web application vulnerabilities are system flaws that can arise due to improper validation or sanitization of form inputs, misconfigured web servers, or application design flaws. Such vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals to compromise the application’s security and gain access to use the application as a breeding ground for malware.

Common security vulnerabilities that affect web applications.

  • Injection: This happens when an interpreter receives a compromised query or command. Examples of injection flaws include SQL, LDAP, and OS. The best way to stay protected against injection flaws is to avoid accessing external interpreters. Language specific libraries can be used to perform functions for system calls or shell commands as they don’t use shell interpreter of the Operating System. If a call must be employed (such as calls made to backend database), make sure to validate the data carefully.
  • Cross Site Scripting (XSS): XSS attacks occur when a web application sends data to a client browser without thorough validation. XSS vulnerabilities allow intruders to run malicious scripts on victim browser which spy on user sessions and redirect users to malicious websites in some cases. In order to avoid XSS, applications should be designed to perform vigorous checks against defined specifications. It is recommended to adopt a positive security policy which defines only what should be allowed.
  • Broken Authentication & Session Management: If these functions aren’t properly configured, attackers can compromise user identities and exploit a vulnerability to steal session tokens, keys, and passwords. This type of attack can be avoided by using custom authentication and session management mechanisms. Some session management criteria that should be incorporated include password change requests, password strength checks, session ID protection, browser caching, trust, backend authentication, etc.
  • Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF): In this case, the attacker forces the victim to send requests that the server will consider to be legitimate. The requests are sent in the form of forged HTTP requests including session cookie of victim and other identification information. To prevent this, applications should use custom tokens in addition to tokens received from browsers because custom tokens are not remembered by browsers to initiate a CSRF attack.
  • Security Misconfiguration: It is important for applications to have a secure application environment. Application developers need to consider guidelines pertaining security mechanisms configuration, turning off unused devices, logs & alerts, etc.

Centex Technologies offers web application development and cybersecurity solutions to its clients. For more details on how to make your web application secure, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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What Is Encrypted Virus?

PDF Version: What-Is-Encrypted-Virus

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Technology In Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals are using multiple techniques to infiltrate targeted networks. Some of the most common methods used by cybercriminals are:

  • Man-in-the-Middle attacks – To eavesdrop on data conversations across different networks
  • Spying software – To track fingerprint movements on touch screens
  • Memory scraping malware on point-of-sale systems
  • Bespoke attacks that steal specific data

In order to manage these scenarios, firewalls, anti-virus measures and tool-based security approaches are no longer sufficient.

New age cybercrime problems require new age solutions. Some technologies that can help organizations in formulating an effective cybersecurity strategy are:

Context-Aware Behavioral Analytics

  • Problem: Over-whelming number of meaningless security alerts.
  • Solution: Sophisticated context-aware behavioral analytics helps in monitoring and identifying suspicious behavior. Examples of behavioral analytics approach include Bioprinting, Mobile Location Tracking, Behavioral Profiles, Third-Party Big Data, and External Threat Intelligence. The trick is to use data from all these techniques to arrive at informative decision.

Next Generation Breach Detection

  • Problem: Cyber criminals are using “zero day” exploits that allow them to establish a strong base and mine data in networks and systems for a long time (for example, target’s stolen credit card details can be used over a long duration).
  • Solution: A combination of technologies such as Machine Learning and Behavioral Analytics can be used to detect breaches and trace them to the source.

The next generation breach detection focuses on what will happen once the criminal is inside the system. Breach detection operates by identifying strange changes in big data to determine the presence of a criminal inside the network.

Virtual Dispersive Networking (VDN)

  • Problem: MiM attacks are cracking traditional encryption techniques to target intermediate nodes.
  • Solution: Employ Virtual Dispersive Networking to split a message into different parts, encrypt each part separately, and then route these encrypted parts over servers, computers and mobile phones. This helps in randomizing the paths the message will take while taking into account network issues such as congestion. This makes it easier to avoid cyber criminals lurking around to eavesdrop on transmitted data.

Smart Grid Technologies

  • Problem: Smart meters & field devices have increased the vulnerability of critical infrastructure.
  • Solution: Employing a range of new security measures and standards can help in tackling this problem. For example, some tools and strategies that can be implemented to protect energy sector include Padlock, Watchdog, SIEGate, NetApt, etc.

We, at Centex Technologies, assist our clients in formulating effective cybersecurity strategies. To know more about latest in cybersecurity technology, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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