Posts Tagged Data Security

Data Security For Small Business

Businesses of all sizes may use Internet to access and use different computer-based or cloud hosted tools and databases to work efficiently. This makes it important for businesses to have data security as a part of their overall strategy. Small organizations may safeguard their on-premise data by fulfilling these five requirements:

Gathering, categorization, and storage of data

Create a centralized list of various kinds of data collected, collection procedures and storage facilities available and in use. Verify whether the collected data is stored safely and is secured by various authentication mechanisms. Sensitivity of every kind of data varies on the basis of a lot of parameters. Email lists, for example, must be protected, but their level of confidentiality is far lower than that of customer records, such as Credit Card information. By classifying data according to confidentiality and the consequences if their privacy is compromised, you may obtain a sense of what your security program requires.

Law of the land

Depending on your sector of work and your business location, you may be subject to legal compliance
obligations. These are the rules that govern how you get, manage, store, and transmit sensitive data. These
may alter based on your industry, geography, and who or where your customers are. Business owners must
clearly describe the infractions and their repercussions, which must be read and understood by all workers.

Threats and dangers

A risk assessment aids in the discovery of flaws in the security implementation strategy. Determine what forms of personal data are regulated and what efforts are being done to ensure compliance. It’s important to examine the risks that unregulated PII poses to reputation, competitiveness, security, and other factors. From the most likely to the least likely, threat sources are rated. Controlling procedures and precautions are examples of risk management approaches you may apply. Insider threats are sometimes disregarded because they aren’t always carried out maliciously. Negligent behaviors and errors, which are also insider risks, can lead to a data breach or data destruction. The outcome usually costs regulatory fines, reputational damage, and financial loss to the business. Security solutions to protect against both unintentional and intentional insider attacks is a must.

Data retention and disposal

Data is stored and saved by any business for a certain period of time as deemed fit to their business application and compliance requirements. While saving as much data as possible may seem like a good thing, confidential data can become a security risk if left unmanaged. Examine your organization to discover what data may be deleted. Customers who have moved away, or had their service terminated, as well as old personnel data, are just a few examples. People who have asked for their personal information to be removed and data discovered on unused devices or in accounts that have been abandoned. Data, especially PII, accumulates over time, “cleaning your house” can both save you money and reduce your risk.

Policies should be reviewed, updated, and upgraded

Examine your entire security program to determine which safeguards need to be updated. Similarly, make sure you’re using the most up-to-date technology and solutions to safeguard sensitive data. Setting up SOCs and NOCs, as well as developing holistic IT strategies, can help firms stay one step ahead of attackers. As a result of the introduction of new data privacy legislation, your policies may need to be revised. Examine your internal security policies and develop policies that include best-practice security procedures. Maintaining compliance with the SOC2 framework and CIS benchmarks criteria helps ensure the security of the data you store and handle.

Centex Technologies provide data security solutions for businesses. The IT security specialists work with clients to provide customized security solutions for their business. For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Types Of Data Security

Data security refers to a set of standards, protocols, and techniques that are focused on protecting personal or organizational data from intentional or accidental destruction, modification, and disclosure. Different technologies and techniques can be applied to ensure data security. These techniques include administrative controls, physical security, logical controls, organizational standards, etc.

In order to choose the right data security protocols, it is important to understand different types of data security.

Authentication: It is the process of validating a registered user’s identity before allowing access to protected data. It is used in conjunction with authorization; the process of validating that the authenticated user has been granted permission to access the requested resources. Authentication involves a combination of ways to identify a user, such as passwords, PINS, security tokens, a swipe card, or biometrics.

Access Control: Authentication and authorization happen through access control. It is a method of guaranteeing that users are whom they say they are and that they have the appropriate access. Access control systems can include-

  • Discretionary Access Control (DAC) assigns access rights based on user-specified rules.
  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC) assigns user access based on information clearance.
  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC) grants user access based on the user’s role and implements key security principles such as ‘least privilege’ and ‘separation of privilege’.
  • Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) assigns a series of attributes to each resource and user. The user’s attributes such as time of day, position, location, etc. are assessed to make a decision on access to the resource.

Backups & Recovery: An efficient data security strategy requires a plan for how to access the organization’s data in the event of system failure, disaster, data corruption, or data breach. This puts an emphasis on regular data backups. It involves making a copy of the data and storing it off-site or in the cloud. Also, it is important to formulate proper recovery protocols.

Encryption: Data encryption involves the translation of data into another form, or code so that it is accessible only by the authorized personnel who have the decryption key. However, it is highly important to ensure the security of decryption keys, critical management systems, and off-site encryption backup.

Data Masking: This type of data security involves the masking of original data by obscuring letters or numbers with proxy characters. The data is changed back to its original form by software only when it is received by an authorized user.

Tokenization: In this case, sensitive data is substituted with random characters that cannot be reversed. The relationship between data and its token values is stored in a protected database lookup table.

For more information on types of data security, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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5G & Data Security

PDF Version: 5G-and-Data-Security

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Ways To Verify Data Breaches

A data breach is an incident where a hacker gains access to a database that contains the user’s personal details such as login information, financial details, Social Security Number, address, PHI, etc. In the case of an organization, a data breach can result in revealing of trade secrets and other critical business information. Once stolen, this information is then sold on the dark web to cyber criminals who use it for their profit.

The damage caused by a data breach can be minimized if it is detected in time. Here are some ways to verify a data breach:

  • Online Tools: A number of online tools are available to help users in verifying if their email account has been breached. Another way of verifying a data breach is via a data breach database. A data breach database such as HIBP (created by Troy Hunt, a Microsoft regional director, and MVP) contains a list of compromised email accounts and passwords. Users can search these databases for their email to see if their email and password are among the compromised lists.
  • Updated Browsers: Using an updated browser that has special features can help users in knowing if their password has been compromised. Browsers such as Chrome 79 include ‘Password Checkup Feature’. When a user enters a password, the feature warns the user if the password has been compromised without the need of saving the password.
  • Unauthorized Activity: Regularly check your accounts for any unauthorized activity in your account. Keep an eye on your sent emails. If you notice any emails sent to anonymous accounts, this indicates that your email account has been hacked. In case of any social media account, make a note of any unusual posts, messages, etc. Any unauthorized activity indicates a data breach including username and password.

Whilst these methods may be helpful, there is no bulletproof method of verifying a data breach. An ideal way of approach is to employ stringent data protection strategies. Some of the most efficient personal data protection strategies include access controls on the network, use of automated backup system, equip the data storage center with a protective suit, robust monitoring & reporting, and use of a secure password.

For more information on ways to verify data breaches, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Data Protection From Malicious VPN Apps

Web users intend to use VPN services with an assumption that VPN keeps their web browsing and personal data safe. However, recent research has thrown light on some vulnerabilities found in common and popular VPN apps.

These vulnerabilities include:

  • Missing encryption of sensitive data.
  • Hard-coded cryptographic keys within the app; thus, even if the data is encrypted, hackers can decrypt it using these keys.
  • Some VPN apps have user privacy breaking bugs such as DNS leaks which expose user DNS queries to their ISPs.

These vulnerabilities of VPN apps allow hackers to intercept user communications including web browsing history, username, passwords, photos, videos, and messages. The privacy breaches include location tracking, access to device status information, use of the camera, microphone access and ability to send SMS secretly. Using these vulnerabilities, hackers can manipulate the users to connect to their malicious VPN servers.

In addition to these vulnerabilities, there are some other concerns associated with free VPN apps:

  • Some free VPN apps sell your bandwidth to paying customers allowing them to use your device’s processing power.
  • Malicious VPN apps incorporate ads that may include malware. These apps may also share the online activity of users to third party marketing professionals.

Some signs that your phone has been affected by malware are:

  • Phone becomes slow.
  • Higher loading time of app.
  • Battery drains faster than usual.
  • Large number of pop-up ads.
  • Unexplainable data usage.

As the number of data breaches is exceeding, it has become important to take necessary measures for safeguarding yourself against malicious VPN apps. Following are some measures that you should take:

  • Check if you have sufficient information about the app developer. Download the VPN apps provided by trusted app developers only.
  • Check the app reviews. You can also search for the app on the search engine to check if there is any controversial news about it.
  • Audit the apps on your phone to check if they were downloaded by you or not.
    Delete apps that you don’t use frequently.
  • Run a malware scan after downloading any app to ensure it is safe.

For more information on ways to protect your data from malicious VPN apps, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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