Posts Tagged Cybersecurity

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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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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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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