Gone are the days of simple passwords. I remember the days (yes I am showing my age here), where everyone had the same password for everything. If you were security conscious you had a different password for the “less secure” account and had another password for all the other accounts. If you are still doing that then I officially name you the Gambler. You would be surprised by how innocuous accounts lead hackers to other accounts until the eventually get into something that causes you real pain. But the question is how to stop this. Well, there are a couple of ways.
As spammers have graduated from simple Nigerian Prince SPAM emails to sophisticated Spear Phishing attacks, there hasn’t been as big a corresponding technology shift to stop this new attack. SPAM filtering continues to stop hundreds of emails a day to each user’s inbox, but the more sophisticated attacks will continue to get through. This is where the Human Firewall comes in.
In the past people have always relied on technology to stop malware and virus from coming into their network. This was great prior to laptop computers and when everyone worked in the same office. Now people work from home, the coffee shop, and a myriad of other places all connecting to their data in the cloud. The attacks have changed from trying to get past the corporate firewall to getting past the user and onto their machine.
For the last 4 years, I have been very happy with my Linksys Wi-Fi enabled router at home. But when the kids knocked it off the shelf, I was suddenly in the market for a new router. This prompted me to dive deeply into the Wi-Fi world, which has changed drastically in the last few years. Many of our smaller clients would use these home routers for their Wi-Fi needs and they worked pretty well. If you had to do some serious data crunching though, you always plugged in.
Well, things have changed now. Wi-Fi networks, though not as fast as wired, have substantially decreased the gap. Without breaking the bank you can have multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, all using the same SSID (the name you connect to) and will happily pass you from one access point to the next as you travel from your office to the conference room. Now you can securely wander the office with great speeds without having to cross your fingers each time you give a presentation.
Many of us wake up in the middle of the night in cold sweats thinking, do we really know what is happening within our network? This is normally after another story about how a large or small company was hacked and their data was stolen and strewn throughout the Internet. But then you resign yourself to the fact that your firewall will protect you and you go back to sleep.
Although your firewall is an indispensable part of your security posture, it isn’t the only way to protect yourself. Many people in the security industry describe security as an onion. It has multiple layers to protect you and give you time to find and fix the issue prior to something happening.
So while your firewall will protect you from bad people trying to get in, it is only as good as the rules that are configured. If you allow access to your wiki from the Internet, then your wiki is now available and can be hacked and potentially exploited. Even if it is properly secured there are always new vulnerabilities. So how do you protect against this?
There is nothing any business fears more than a complete collapse of its IT systems. The financial cost of such an outage can be great, and additionally retrieving the data and rebuilding the system into its former state is often an extremely time consuming and logistically complex proposition. Businesses have literally gone under due to such IT issues, and although this is something that many companies dread, often SMEs don’t have sufficient provisions in place to provide effective disaster recovery.
It is a basic facet of human psychology that we often assume that the best case scenario will occur, and nothing fundamentally will go wrong. This tendency is amplified in the case of disaster recovery, where providing satisfactory backup for a business can involve a certain financial outlay.
The battle between network security experts and hackers is an ever evolving and unending conflict. No matter how hard security experts attempt to keep Internet and computer users across the globe safe from harm, hackers are continually finding new ways of threatening personal data. This is becoming ever more complex given that the number of platforms which people are using to access the worldwide web, and consequently store personal data, continues to increase.
In accordance with this, here are three of the biggest network security issues that the world will face during 2015.
Worldwide issues, such as the recent Heartbleed bug, bring into focus the importance of Internet security. Of course, we have all heard scare stories about the dangers of the world wide web, and in some cases, these can be dismissed as scare stories. However, some of the more rabid reporting on the issue of Internet security shouldn’t disguise the fact that there are real threats out there.
Outsourcing has been growing in popularity. It represents an opportunity for companies to expand, as needed, while cutting the costs associated with new technologies and services. Recent studies conducted by Computer Economics, Inc. showed outsourcing made up only 4 percent of IT costs in 2008. By 2009 this percentage increased to more than 6 percent. By 2011, outsourcing IT services made up more than 10 percent of the total IT expenditures, and this trend has only continued in 2012.
This means that choosing the right outsourced IT provider is now more important than ever. There is a lot at stake in terms of business continuity, company productivity, growth of revenue, and company expansion.
Part of choosing an outsourced IT provider is knowing what mistakes to avoid. Investing the time at the beginning means fewer headaches over the long term and minimizing the potential for unexpected costs as a result of making the wrong decision.
There can hardly be a person who has used a computer in the last ten years who hasn’t received a spam email at some point or another. For most of us, this is a daily occurrence, a nuisance that can be filed alongside the daily commute and packaging that won’t open properly. It rarely occurs to many of us why we receive so much spam. While it is pretty obvious that there is a basic commercial imperative behind a lot of spam, why is this particular marketing technique so prevalent in the modern world?
Quite simply…because it works! Pitching goods via spam earns the people engaged in it hundreds of millions of dollars per business per year, while the cost and time involved in sending spam is somewhere between negligible and non-existent.
In the every changing world of online threats, a new type of spear phishing attack has emerged.
Have you ever gotten an email in your office asking you to receive money on behalf of someone in distress? These emails are easy to spot as pure SPAM and/or Phishing attempts. Even if you didn’t recognize this as SPAM, you would remember what your mother told you as a kid: “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.” Take a look: