Posts Tagged Data Breach

Comprehensive Guide To Mobile Data Security

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The Risks Of Cloud-Hosted Data

With the increasing need of improving efficiency and reducing latency, most organizations are opting for cloud-based services. However, there are some risks associated with using third party cloud hosting services. These risks may have an impact on various aspects of business which could have financial, legal and technical implications.

Some of the common risks associated with cloud-hosted data are:

  • Consumer Visibility & Control: As the operations of an organization are transitioned to the cloud, it results in shifting of some responsibilities to CSP (Content Security Policy), which may lead to organization losing visibility or control over certain operations and assets. For example, network based monitoring and logging, limits an organization from accessing the details about its own application or data which should otherwise be easily accessible to the IT department. Thus, it is important to thoroughly ask the cloud service provider about various cloud hosting models and the level of control available before transitioning the operations.
  • Unauthorized Use: In order to inculcate user-friendly approach, some cloud hosting service providers may allow self-service to the users. This gives end users the authority to add more services without seeking necessary permission from the IT department of the organization. The lack of extra security increases the chances of addition of malicious links or code in the application and use of unsupported software, which can lead to enormous security breaches. This makes it important to understand access levels and service specifications provided by cloud hosting company.
  • Cloud Data May Be Compromised: Most of the business applications use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to manage and interact with the cloud services. If there are any vulnerabilities in API security, hackers may access and attack cloud resources and data of an organization. Compromised organization assets can be further used to perpetrate attack against other linked customers.
  • Exploitation Of Software Vulnerabilities: A shared cloud hosting service is simultaneously used by different organizations. Thus, it is important for the service provider to maintain clear separation between the resources of different cloud hosting users. If the infrastructure fails to maintain this separation, it leads to the risk of cloud data leakage. This loophole provides the hackers a chance to access the cloud resources and assets of an organization to launch a successful data breach.
  • Stolen Credentials: If organization’s credentials are compromised, hackers can easily take over the entire application which could result in Identity Theft attacks, deleted information, defamation of application interface, etc.

The risks associated with cloud-hosted data may lead to financial losses. Also, the cyber-attacks resulting from these risks mark a blow to the reputation of an organization. Thus, it is important to choose a cloud-hosting model and service provider after thorough diligence.

For more information on managing the risks of cloud-hosted data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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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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