PDF Version: Tips-to-Secure-Data-Access
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Information is often broken into smaller units when it is transmitted over the computer network. These small units known as data packets are fragmented at the sender’s node and are reassembled in their original format at the receiver’s node.
Every data packet has to cross a number of traffic control devices such as routers & switches. However, the data packet is susceptible to the risk of being captured each time it crosses these control devices. This act of collecting data packets illegally by hackers is known as packet sniffing. Hackers often use specialized devices
known as packet sniffers to do so.
How Does A Packet Sniffer Work?
A packet sniffer can exist in the form of software or hardware specifically designed to collect the data being transmitted over the network. They intercept & log network traffic with the help of wired or wireless network interface it has an access to. Hackers might use it to capture:
- User names
- Downloaded files
- Audio & video activity
- Other sensitive information
An illegal packet sniffer is installed somewhere on the network without the knowledge of an IT administrator to gain unauthorized access to confidential information. Hackers also use sniffers to eavesdrop on unencrypted data to spy and checkout information being exchanged between the two parties and use it for their benefit.
Types Of Packet Sniffing
There are 3 types of packet sniffing, let us understand how they work:
- IP Sniffing – It uses the network card to sniff all information packets that correspond with the IP address filter. These information packets are all used for analysis and examination.
- MAC Sniffing – It also works through a network card and sniffs away the information packets that correspond to MAC address filter.
- ARP Sniffing – In this type of sniffing, information packets are sent to the administrator through the ARP cache of both network hosts. The traffic is forwarded to the administrator directly instead of sending it to the hosts.
How To Protect Yourself From Packet Sniffing?
- Use VPN – VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections provide complete privacy and secure your computer’s internet connection. It makes sure that all the data you are sending and receiving is encrypted & secured.
- Always Check the HTTPS – Make sure that the websites that you visit have an HTTPS in its URL. Having it in the URL ensures that the website is safe to use.
- Be Cautious – The risk of packet sniffing rises when a device is connected to a public Wi-Fi network. So be highly cautious of the websites you visit when you are on that network. Avoid doing financial transactions, entering sensitive information etc.
- Scan your network
- Use the Antisniff tool
- Log out when you are done
For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.
30 January, 2017
Tokenization is one of the most advanced technologies to strengthen digital payment security for customers and e-commerce business owners. It involves replacing the sensitive credit card information with randomly generated unusable symbols or tokens. As a result, the hackers are not able to decode the data as it passes from the user’s network to the payment gateway.
Businesses that deal in online financial transactions are required to provide a secure payment processing system to protect the customers’ data. Right from the pre-authorization stage to the processing and final payment, information should be transmitted only through secure channels. With the advancement in technology, hackers have started to use more sophisticated tools and techniques to steal online transaction data. Tokenization offers an additional layer of protection that goes a step ahead of what is achieved through PCI compliance.
How Does Tokenization Work?
When an ecommerce business employs tokenization during processing online payments, the sensitive information of the customer such as username, password, card number etc. is sent to a secure server, known as vault. Here, all the data is converted into a random string of numbers, which is completely different from the original card number. It is then passed through a validation test to make sure that the token, in any way, is not similar to the account number.
With tokenization, even if cybercriminals are able to decode the card information, they cannot gain any monetary value as the data does not reveal any information about the customer’s account.
Benefits Of Using Tokenization For Online Transactions
- Reduces liability for customer data protection
Tokenization does not require the customers’ card details to be stored in the computer system or network. It only consists of the random string of numbers. This minimizes a business’ liability towards protecting financial data because the information stored is not related to the customers’ primary account numbers.
- Significant saving of time and money associated with PCI compliance
Ensuing PCI compliance often requires the online retailers to make expensive hardware and software upgrades in their payment processing systems. Non-compliance, on the other hand, can be costlier. As tokenization does not require the merchants to hold sensitive data in the back end, PCI compliance can be made much more cost efficient.
- Reduces the scope of PCI compliance
Using unique tokens in place of encrypted card holder data can reduce the scope of the systems for which PCI compliance is required. Thus, you can eliminate the need of penetration testing and regular vulnerability as well as PCI scans.
We, at Centex Technologies, offer IT security solutions to business firms in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.