Posts Tagged Data Breach

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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What Is Doxing?

Doxing is referred to as the dark side of OSINT or Open Source intelligence. OSINT is an overt method of data collection and involves the practice of gathering information from publically available resources such as public media, internet, public government data, professional or academic publications, corporate databases, financial assessments and grey data (unpublished papers, business documents & patent reports).
The term Doxing is an abbreviation for ‘dropping documents’ which means compilation and release of a dossier of personal information on someone. The information included in the dossier is gathered via public resources and thus, the act falls under the category of OSINT.

Sources Of Information
The perpetrator gathers information from public and open sources. Some common sources of information are:

  • Social media
  • Blogs
  • Personal websites
  • Online forums & web discussions
  • Online gaming profiles

Targeted Information
Typically a dossier contains following information about an individual.

  • Contact information
  • Social Security Number
  • Personal photographs
  • Social media profiles
  • Credit card details
  • Credit report
  • Banking information

Why Is Doxing Called Dark Side Of OSINT?
Although the information is gathered using overt methods; the online publication of personal information usually results in illegal implications. The tactic is rarely in public interest and is often targeted at breaching the victim’s personal information and publishing it to attract unwanted harassment. It can pose following threats:

  • Threat To Personal Safety: Public release of contact information, personal photos, address, etc. can be used by cyberbullies for harassing the victim. Also, it may lead to some hacking acts such as fake memberships or serious crimes such as stalking, swatting, etc.
  • Threats To Cybersecurity: The information collected by Doxing may be used by hackers or cyber criminals to pressurize either an individual or an organization for financial gains.

Ways To Protect Yourself
Here are some simple tricks to protect yourself from Doxing attacks:

  • It is important to understand the basics of social engineering. Social engineers scan the online profiles and data for useful information that can be used to victimize the target. Thus, it is important to scrutinize the information you share on your social media profiles and avoid oversharing your personal information.
  • Check the privacy settings of your social media profile and edit them to ensure that your personal information is shared with your friends only. Also, be critical of people you add to your list of social media friends.
  • Hide your IP address by using a trusted proxy or VPN service for anonymity while using internet.
  • When purchasing a domain, invest in WHOIS protection to prevent unwanted access to the information you share on your website.
  • Avoid using a single email address for all online accounts. It is advisable to use different emails, passwords & usernames for different profiles, gaming and bills. Also, deploy multi-factor authentication for your accounts.

For more information on Doxing and its outcomes, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Things To Include In Your Data Response Plan

Making efforts to ensure organizational data security is of utmost importance in the wake of rising identity data breaches as well as cyber-attacks. It is extremely important to stay aware and alert of data breach incidents to minimize the effect and loss. Thus, in order to avoid the implications of data loss, one needs to design a data breach response plan.

Data Breach Response Plan acts as a guiding force to be followed when a data breach is discovered. If you already know what to do and how to do it; it would help in saving both time as well as efforts. Also, a well drafted strategy helps you avoid missteps at the time of crisis.

Setting Up A Response Plan

  • Define Breach: The first step is to define the term ‘breach’ i.e. deciding the type of incident that would initiate a response. For example, a phishing email might not have as much impact on the company as a ransomware attack. So, a business needs to categorize the serious issues and then work on the causes of disruption. There are many aspects that need to be monitored i.e. from compromise of private & confidential information to material loss such as distributed denial of service (DDoS).
  • Form The Response Team: There are numerous things that need to be done once a data breach is discovered. So, a good data response plan pre-sets the roles that everyone needs to perform. Every individual has a designated and defined task that he has to perform in the need of hour. Following are the teams who should be assigned the roles & responsibilities beforehand:
    • IT Security Team
    • Legal Team
    • Communication Team
    • Risk Management Team
    • Human Resource Team

    However, it is important to make sure that you vest this responsibility in your trusted employees who understand the complexity of the situation. Other factors such as size of the company, type of data breach etc. also govern the size and composition of response team.

  • Design Course Of Action For Every Scenario: The response plan should lay down a proper procedure of steps that need to be taken when a data breach occurs. Decide the course of action that needs to be followed for escalating the incident through the organization hierarchy once a data breach is discovered.
  • Setup A Follow-Up Procedure: Once you have been able to implement the plan to control a data breach, sit with your response team and review. Do a follow up and list down the problems faced by members, lessons learnt, etc.

For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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The Five Key Steps To Take After A Security Breach

8th May 2017

Every business firm implements stringent security policies to mitigate the risk of a data breach. However, as hackers are becoming more sophisticated in the use of advanced tools and technologies, ensuring complete security against an attack may not be possible. It is important that you formulate an incident response plan that specifies what needs to be done in the event of a data breach in order to minimize its impact on the business operations.

Listed below are the five key steps that you need to take if your organization witnesses a security breach:

Conduct Complete Investigation

Clear thinking and immediate action is important to deal with a security breach in an efficient manner. Analyze when the attack occurred, how the hackers got access to the network, which systems have been compromised as well as what information has been leaked. This will give you an idea about the steps required to reduce the impact of the incident.

Ensure Containment

All the potential causes of the security breach should be controlled with immediate effect. Install software updates and patches to make sure your network does not remain vulnerable for a long period. Change the password for all the compromised accounts as well as those that use the same log in credentials. Restrict the infected computer systems from accessing the corporate network.

Communication

There should be constant communication between the company management and incident response team. Providing frequent updates to the customers, regulatory authorities or third party investigation agencies may also be necessary, depending upon the extent and nature of the data breach. In order to avoid any delays or miscommunication, lay out a specified medium through which information should be conveyed.

Implement And Test The Security Fix

Once the vulnerability has been identified and fixed, you must ensure that you have completely recovered from the breach. The IT security team should review the server logs and network traffic. You can also consider executing a penetration test to identify any unpatched security flaws.

Prevention Of Future Breaches

Lastly, you should thoroughly audit your data security practices to determine if there is a scope for improvement. Provide training to your employees on the best practices to keep their official accounts and data safe. Regularly re-evaluate your security policies to identify any modifications or additions required to stay protected against attacks.

We, at Centex Technologies, can help you prevent deal with a security breach and minimize its impact on your business. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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What Is Data Breach And How To Prevent It

August 31, 2015

A data breach can be defined as an unauthorized access, viewing and retrieval of a database, application or program. The attack is carried out to steal, manipulate or use information for malicious purposes. Data breaches are usually targeted towards large organizations and businesses to steal sensitive, confidential or patented information.

A data breach typically takes place in the following stages:

  • Research: After deciding on a target, the cyber criminals look for network security flaws that can be exploited. This involves researching about the kind of infrastructure a company has.
  • Attack: When the weaknesses have been identified, the hacker initiates a data breach either as a social attack or a network based attack. In the former one, social engineering methods are used to jeopardize the target’s network. This may include spam emails, malware infected IM attachments, installing programs with malicious code etc. A network based attack, on the other hand, is when the cyber criminals use vulnerability exploitation, SQL injection or session hijacking to access the network on which the target computer is operating.
  • Exfiltration: Once the attack is successful, the hacker can easily take out the important data and transfer it into another system. This data may either be used for spiteful purposes or to carry out another attack.

Tips To Prevent Data Breach

  • Be Careful With Passwords: Make sure you do not store passwords for any website or servers. You should also avoid using same passwords for any two accounts. Also, consider using two-factor authentication for all accounts that contain sensitive business information. Thus, you will require a password along with a personal authentication method, such as OTP or biometric scan to access the account.
  • Use Data Encryption: You must mandate encryption of all personal or official information that is transmitted over the organization’s internet network. The IT staff should be directed to encrypt all software and hardware at all times, including the devices issued to the employees.
  • Outsource Payment Processing: In order to safeguard your customers’ financial data, you should consider outsourcing your payment processing system. Whether it is for point-of-sale or online banking, hiring a credible PCI complaint dealer will ensure better and dedicated protection of the data.
  • Educate Employees: You must implement and let the employees know about the data security policy of the organization. Restrict the usage of computer only for official purposes and confine access to unsuitable websites. You must also educate the employees about their responsibilities with regard to protecting and maintaining confidentiality of any information.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete data security solutions to the businesses in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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