Posts Tagged IT security

What Is M2M Communication?

World has become a global village where technology has made communication process more effective & easy. It has brought along a revolution & transformed a lot of things around us. One such thing is M2M communication.

M2M communication refers to Machine-to-Machine communication. It involves a set of machines connected with each other that communicate or exchange information without any human interaction. Such communication between machines has become easier with the rise of wireless technology. As per Strategy Analytics, by 2020 the global M2M industry size will grow to around 200 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Examples Of M2M Communications

  • Manufacturers can receive notifications & alerts from devices in operation whenever they need servicing due to M2M tools. The machine itself tells you when it needs repairing.
  • Inventory information sent out by vending machine.
  • ATM machines dispensing cash.
  • The air conditioner automatically switch’s down when the room temperature reaches the set point.
  • Wearable devices that track down the number of steps you take & also monitor your heart beat.

Benefits Of M2M communication

  • Reduced Costs – M2M communication enables automation and allows businesses to reduce operational costs. It helps in saving time & effort resulting in better efficiency.
  • Prompt Action– It is easier to gather data when machines are connected to each other. This enables a prompt action to the request made.
  • Open New Avenues – M2M will open up numerous opportunities. With more machines being connected to each other it is possible to provide new service based offerings.
  • Improved Customer Service

Applications Of M2M Communications

M2M communication is presently being used in the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing
  • Billing
  • Telemedicine
  • Security
  • Robotics
  • Industrial
  • Traffic Control
  • Banking

Security Risks

  • Access Point Attack
  • Denial Of Service Attack
  • External Interface Attack
  • Device Triggering Attack

Difference Between IoT & M2M?

Often used interchangeably, M2M communication & IoT are not the same.

  • M2M communication uses point to point communication between machines, sensors & hardware. While on the other hand, IoT relies on IP based networks and sensors.
  • M2M is deployed in a closed system whereas IoT connects to a larger network.
  • M2M communication does not rely on an internet connection. However, Internet of Things (IoT) as the name suggests requires a strong & active internet connection.
  • Where IoT uses IP protocols, M2M uses non-IP protocols.
  • M2M refers to the communication between machines. IoT on the other hand involves communication of machines with humans as well as machines with machines.
  • M2M communication has a long way to go. With the advancement in technology we will be able to use M2M communication systems in a better and more effective way. That day is not far when every sector of the industry will recognize its importance and leverage more benefit from it.

For more information related to M2M communications & IT security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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What Is W-2 Phishing Attack?

W-2 phishing was launched with an intention to swipe away your tax refund. More than 100 employers became victim of W-2 phishing attack in first 10 weeks of 2017, putting 120,000 taxpayers at risk of an identity fraud. As per statistics by IRS Return Integrity Compliance Services, reports of W-2 phishing emails increased by 870% in 2017 and the figures are quite alarming.

How Is It Launched?

The cybercriminal shall send an email in which he might impersonate himself as the CEO of the company. The email contains an urgent request to send employee tax information. On receiving the email, the concerned employee often sends the file and hands over confidential & personal employee information to the fraudsters.

W-2s are important forms that are attached when one files their tax return. It contains a person’s confidential information such as name, address, income, social security number etc. Employee’s sensitive information is acquired from W-2s to commit an identity fraud.

Following are some ways in which this information can be misused –

  • Your social security number can be used to claim a duplicitous tax refund.
  • Take a loan on your name
  • Open up a new credit card
  • Make payments from your account

Ways To Protect Yourself From W-2 Phishing Attack

  • Raise Awareness – Since W-2 phishing attacks are on rise it is important to keep your staff aware about the phishing scam. Make sure that you educate your employees on regular basis about the recent phishing scams. It is important that your staff that deals with all the financial statements and tax information is aware about the W-2 and other similar threats.
  • Set Relevant Policies – To protect your company from such attacks, it important to set up some secretive policies and communicate them to your employees. There should be policies that decide what kind of requests should be catered to through an email. For e.g. when there is a policy that top executives would never ask for sensitive information via email, then the concerned employees would not be deceived by any fraudulent email asking for employee credentials. Also it is important to be vigilant when responding to any email.
  • Flags Spam Emails – If you are able to identify a W-2 phished email then flag it and forward it to your employer and other concerned employees to prevent them from falling into a trap.
  • Verify The Sender – Make sure that your employees do not revert to an email sent from an untrusted source. Follow a practice of reconfirming the request of sending any confidential information with the concerned executive once, before actually sending it.It is important to stay alert about such attacks to take preventive measures well in advance.

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

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Ways In Which Hackers Can Hack Your Facebook Account

With more than 2.19 billion users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most popular social media website that comes with a promise to reconnect you with your family and friends. Given its high rising popularity, cyber criminals are targeting Facebook users each day.

In order to protect your Facebook logins from being compromised, it is first important to understand ways in which hackers can hack your Facebook account. Here we have listed few ways to help you gain an insight over this.

  • Facebook Phishing – It is one of the most common way for hacking a Facebook account. The hacker creates a fake login page that replicates a real one. The victim is then sent an email in which he/she is asked to login through that page. Once this is done, the hacker steals away victim’s username and password. They may use a person’s personal information to either harass them or earn money.
  • Mobile Hacking – Millions of people operate their Facebook accounts on mobile. A hacker can hack your Facebook account easily if he is able to gain access to your mobile phone. It can be done by using mobile spying software or by simply accessing the device.
  • Keylogging – A person can unknowingly fall victim of keylogging. In this attack, a program is installed on a person’s computer. When once this is done, it taps everything that a user types on one’s device. The login credentials are then sent to the hacker on his email address.
  • Man In The Middle Attack – This can happen when the victim and attacker are on the same network. The hacker alters the communication between server and user, steals away user’s credentials in between the channel and hacks victim’s Facebook account.
  • Browser Stealing – A lot of people store Facebook passwords in the browser which can prove to be really dangerous. No matter how convenient it seems, storing passwords in browser often opens up doors for hackers to hack your account. The only way out is to either avoid saving passwords in browser or use password manager. They can also launch a USB attack with an auto installed program that steals away all the passwords saved in browser.

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

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Ways To Improve Your Database Security

PDF Version : Ways-To-Improve-Your-Database-Security

 

 

 

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More About Cerber Ransomware

Cybersecurity is a rising concern. The soaring high figures that represent cyberattacks have been a cause of worry for businesses as well as cybersecurity professionals.

Ransomwares and phishing attacks have been a great threat throughout. Cerber is a ransomware that came into picture when 150,000 window users were infected worldwide via exploit kits in July 2016 alone.

What Happens When An Attack Is Launched?

The victim receives an email which contains an infected Microsoft office document attached to it. A malware is injected as soon as the user clicks & opens it.

When a device is attacked by the ransomware, Cerber encrypts the user’s files and demands money to decrypt and get the access back. The malware encrypts files with RC4 and RSA algorithms and renames them with a .cerber extension.

How Do You Know That You Have Been Infected By Cerber?

You will come to know that you have been attacked by the ransomware, when you’ll find a desktop note the moment you log in. Ransom notes will also be left inside folders that have been encrypted by the malware.

Apart from giving a notice about your files being encrypted, it also provides instructions on how to send the ransom amount to the attackers. The amount keeps on increasing with time and ranges from few hundreds to a thousand dollars.

Is It Possible To Decrypt Files Encrypted By Cerber?

It may or may not be possible. Though decryption tools were available for previous versions of Cerber. However, there is very less scope of recovering encrypted files for the most recent versions. Even paying the ransom amount does not guarantee that you will be able to recover your files.

How To Prevent The Ransomware?

Once your files are encrypted it is very difficult to restore them. So it is best to take preventive measures well on time. Install a latest antivirus software. Also make sure that you do not open any link or attachment sent from an unknown source.

Backup your data regularly and educate your employees about cyber security.

What Is Distinctive About Cerber

It has certain features which you must take a note of:

  • It Talks – Surprisingly, it is a malware that talks and speaks to the victims. Some versions contain VBScript due to which you may hear audio alerts and messages informing that your files have been encrypted and you must pay the ransom amount to decrypt them.
  • Works Offline – People might think that disconnecting the device may prevent files from being encrypted. However, this is not true as cerber does not need an active internet connection to operate.

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

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