The Importance of Security Testing

As technology continues to etch itself into nearly all aspects of our daily life, the threat of being hacked – whether that be your personal information or your company’s data – becomes more real. In fact, some major companies such as Apple and Google, offer large cash rewards to hackers who can identify security vulnerabilities in their websites and software products.

Cyber security is a serious concern for both individuals and businesses who are trusted to securely store data online. This ranges from customer names and email addresses to more sensitive information like credit card numbers and trade secrets. In today’s technological age, data is currency and there are many people who are willing to go to great lengths to obtain it. It is because of this, that enterprises now more than ever before, must practice extensive software and security testing for their applications, websites and any other digital platform where sensitive information is stored.

Security and software testing is a necessity for both individuals and companies who want to protect themselves from outsiders accessing their information, but what methodology and approach is best for deterring hackers?

Historically, many businesses and they technological partners only addressed security testing after they had completed their works. This meant they were leaving themselves vulnerable to hackers from moment they commenced their project up until completion and when testing began. Nowadays, vendors are using an end-to-end approach when it comes to security testing. This proactive approach to cyber security ensures that individuals and companies are being protected before they even begin new works. Below is a basic timeline of steps involved in security testing by vendors who use the end-to-end approach:

  • Outline security requirements for products or platforms
  • Determine security requirements, abuse cases and perform ambiguity testing
  • Work with solution architects to determine secure architecture of websites or applications
  • Evaluate design process against established security criteria
  • Perform decision and risk analysis
  • Perform security testing and risk-based security testing based on attack patterns
  • Review code and perform static code analysis for common vulnerabilities
  • Perform web/mobile application penetration testing (WAPT)
  • Perform vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT)
  • Expose application’s security controls and network vulnerabilities

While many vendors use security scanners to quickly run through the code review, it is important not to overlook manual testing to validate every bug, even if you think it might be harmless.

It is recommended that vendors take a comprehensive approach to data testing which involves testing absolutely everything thoroughly before deployment, before moving onto penetration testing where they enlist the help of ‘white hat’ hackers to exploit the application and try to identify any real-world vulnerabilities. This helps to keep testers on their toes and ensures they can identify any issues first. The old saying ‘better safe than sorry’ rings true for cyber security so the more thorough ones testing is, the better.

Hackers trying to access the sensitive information of individuals and business’ online, whilst being a serious threat, is not the only threat. Individuals and companies must also be vigilant when it comes to virus’ and bugs that can inhabit your system which means testing is required to protect from these type of threats also. Think of this type of testing as the anti-virus software that keeps things running smoothly, some of the following benefits include:

  • Fixed attack paths are closed both on-premises as well as in private and hybrid cloud environments
  • Risk is managed properly across all networks
  • Business disruption is avoided without cyber-attack disruptions
  • Attacks on client/customer information are minimised
  • All parties interacting with your business are protected
  • PR and brand image remain untarnished

So before your brand faces a PR nightmare from a devastating cyber-attack, make sure you thoroughly assess your current testing program and consider contacting a security and software testing company who uses an end-to-end approach.

 

The Importance of IT Consultants in Data Security

Think fast: When is the last time that somebody you do not understand had physical access to your business’s construction? And before you say “never!” –require a moment to reconsider. Based upon the dimensions of your organization, odds are high that you have experienced maintenance and repair employees, friends of your workers, as well as customers who you do not understand well at all work within your building. While the fair premise is that every one of these people were on your area for reasons this is untrue, it only requires a couple of minutes to get a hacker-in-hiding to do severe damage to unprotected information. We do not intend to freak you out, but, well, perhaps we do, whether it keeps you and your business safe from becoming completely pwned.

 

Say What, Now?

For those of us born before, say 1980 or so, the word “pwn” could be fresh, but ignorance is far from bliss when it comes to getting “owned” by hacker’s hell bent on obtaining access to a company’s vital information. This past year, banks in London obtained a crash course in information security when somebody posing as an IT adviser attempted to exchange a tiny device made to hack into their network.

While we frequently consider data safety being something which only occurs remotely by away offenders, the unfortunate fact is that hacking programs are getting increasingly more accessible, meaning that the industry of “pwnage” is flourishing. Thus, what do you really do about it?

Safe Physical accessibility to Machines

Vigilance around your business’s computers, smart phones, and tablet computers is a wonderful place to begin in regards to securing your IT systems. While an IT services company is able to help you mend damage, and also prevent significant hacks through regular monitoring, we cannot change your organization’s culture instantly.

Getting clear with your employees about the value of keeping strict protocols around technology usage can help encourage a culture of vigilance. When users are complete in a workstation, they ought to be in the practice of constantly logging off. Additionally, users ought to know the appropriate protocols for reporting any suspicious activity in their machine. When a worker sees something bizarre plugged in to their USB port, the very last thing you need is for them to dismiss it or just presume that “IT came by to do something.” Rather, workers should make like it is the T, and say something if they see any suspicious looking improvements to either their hardware or applications.

Your workers can–and should–be the first line of protection when it comes to cyber security, however, regrettably, they can also be your worst nightmare. Just take a fantastic look in your retention rate—could you be developing an army of dissatisfied workers without realizing it? Speak to HR about setting exit interviews with each worker who’s requested to depart or selects to sign up. Exit interviews provide the chance for workers to air some grievances–and also give up any passcodes. The last thing anybody needs is Bob from accounting coming back to wreak havoc on your valuable information.

Beware the Booming Business of Pairing

As our personal technology becomes more and more complex, it’s apparent that hacking is becoming an increasing sector unto itself. Fantastic news for amateur hackers, bad news for businesses with plenty of secure information available.

Working with an experienced IT consultant firm on a regular basis can keep you on top of incoming risks, and will keep you and your staff from creating the risky choice to go DIY in your cyber safety. Do-it-yourself cyber safety, you state, that seems mad! We concur, but sadly the market doesn’t. A growing number of devices and applications are being marketed together with the explicit goal of paramount security systems or present protections, and some of it’s even being done under the guise of user friendly, useful tips.

If you are a parent who has tried to limit what your teenager has access to in their smartphone or tablet computer, this might seem familiar. If you have ever looked into choices to be aware of how much trouble your children are exposing themselves to, a fast Google likely revealed a completely different universe of spy ware choices. There are an infinite number of options for various kinds of “spy” software, all aimed to “track/monitor/spy” at a certain level, from tracking and pinning place, to copying images, text messaging, email, phone logs, in addition to the capability to turn on the telephone mic to follow conversations. These products offer you a way to hack or break into the telephone so that your kid wouldn’t observe that the telephone was changed. There are even services to help non-techie lay individuals with assistance getting via the “modification” procedure. Hmmm…they state “modification,” we are going go ahead and state “hacking.” Tomato, tomahto?

In Summary, A number of businesses have built a great business model on supplying simple to use, “ethical” hacking choices to check up on our family and friends. So can you imagine how company is moving from the non-ethical camp? Here is a hint: Wonderful!

Pairing Businesses have managed to transfer their merchandise as a result of the proliferation of internet based retail. Quite simply–it is simpler than ever to purchase electronic thievery software on the internet. Devices such as the “pwn plug,” which almost devastated those banks in London, are being fabricated just like modern day toasters. And applications such as wanna be hackers isn’t just accessible, but popular sites like YouTube are full of friendly user testimonials so prospective thieves can shop smart because they plan their following data breach.

The beam of sun This is that for each hacking apparatus and sneaky software business on the market, they are all relying on your own institution’s capability to pay attention and be vigilant. Working frequently with a reliable IT company to assess your vulnerabilities and track anti-spy applications in real time is a sure-fire method to maintain the crooks at bay. Knowing the reality of what is out there can assist you and your workers change from a reactive mindset into a proactive approach where new challenges like the recent cloud computing security issues are easily managed. It is far better to call the IT service team before anything important goes, and this proactivity will send a message that cyber security is an Important problem, which will then help develop a civilization of severe cyber Safety.

Vulnerability in Smart House Gadget Security

Security weak points in “smart house” gadgets and smart home automation such as light bulbs, power switches and web cams inside and on gates are putting customers at risk of cyber attack and break-ins, scientists caution. Tests on popular internet-connected items suggest that many have loopholes that hackers might possibly make use of snooping individual details, guess when houses are empty, take control of gadgets, or plant harmful software application to trigger prevalent web viruses. Lots of producers appear to have hurried to market without making sure gadgets are completely protected, a University of New South Wales and Australian Communications Customer Action Network report cautions.

Engineering faculty scientists laboratory-tested 20 home appliances consisting of electronic cameras, light bulbs, power switches, health displays, a smart television and a talking doll over 2016. The tests were consistent and disconcerting. Every gadget evaluated revealed some type of vulnerability – lots permitted possibly severe security and security breaches. With many customer IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets emerging over the coming months and years, these tests reveal that producers should act urgently to fight a series of varied vulnerabilities.

Lead author Teacher Vijay Sivaraman advised customers to upgrade item software application if gadgets did refrain from doing this immediately, and to alter default passwords after purchase. It is approximated that the typical Australian family currently has 13 internet-connected gadgets. By 2021, a common house is anticipated to have more than 30. The tests discovered 5 items – a light bulb, power switch, movement sensing unit, printer and cam – did not send out information in encrypted kind, making it simple for burglars to spy on user details.

2 light bulbs, a power switch and a printer permitted enemies to take control of them; while 2 web cams had weak passwords. Majority might stop working after being bombarded with a high volume of destructive web traffic. Many could be controlled in some way to take part in larger attacks on sites. ACCAN deputy CEO Narelle Clark stated producers need to prioritise security and repair recognized issues, while internet service providers must make sure networks are safe and secure.

She warned that customers who are using these gadgets must be security mindful. Do not share unneeded individual details when using these gadgets, find a tradie to check out handbooks for repair services, and follow any suggested security actions. Many clever house items are susceptible to cyberattack, according to a brand-new research study. Services associated with making gadgets for the linked house have to invest more in avoiding destructive hacking and information theft.

The brand-new warning about the vulnerabilities of smart house gadgets originates from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The scientists have revealed security interest in smart lights produced by business like GE, IKEA, Philips and Osram. The clever house represents a crucial location for technologists and services to establish brand-new items for the noteworthy increase in customer interest over the past year. The basis is connection, managing parts of the house, such as multi-colored lights, through mobile innovation.

To show the security weak points of house lighting, academics Philipp Morgner and Zinaida Benenson linked into smart lighting systems of various producers. In each case they made the house lights flash for a number of hours by means of single radio command. The radio signal was sent out from around 100 meters away. In another trial, the scientists had the ability to customize the bulbs by means of radio commands which caused the resident being not able to manage the lights. With some producers it was also possible to alter the color and brightness of the lights.

In each case smart lights, from leading providers, were revealed to have insufficient security functions. This boils down to ZigBee, which is a typical cordless basic standard used to manage a variety of smart house items in a home extension. In the past 2 years some 100 million items have actually been dispersed around the world including ZigBee innovation.

The vulnerability exists with the most recent variation – ZigBee 3.0 – which was released in December 2016. The brand-new variation has a touchlink commissioning treatment which makes it possible for the user to include brand-new gadgets to an existing smart house network. The touchlink commissioning was revealed to be a simple path in for prospective hackers. This presumes that other elements of the smart house, in addition to lighting systems, are also insufficient and likewise susceptible to attack second storey extension designs. Therefore security vulnerabilities might level to heating unit, door locks and security alarm.

The market has reacted to the issues and brand-new security functions are being set up by numerous produces. A site has been established by the university with information about the development being made to deal with security interest in smart house gadgets. However, the research study shows how business producing gadgets for the house’s Internet of Things have to thoroughly embed security defense which security ought to be viewed as something of equivalent value compared to performance and compatibility requirements.

Internet Security for E-commerce Sites

Establishing an e-commerce website is simple nowadays. Maintaining your website to make it safe from fraud, hacking and copycats, is not too much. As small business owners understand all too well, one key violation or too many charge backs or somebody stealing your business name or copying your merchandise could signify the end of your small business.

Here are a few tips on how you can increase your e-commerce site’s security and prevent copycats.

1. Trademark your business name and logo

Too many entrepreneurs mistakenly feel that as a domain name is available or that they could form an LLC or business using their regional Secretary of State that their organization name or brand can be obtained as a trademark, but this is not the case.

To be certain that nobody else may use your business name and logo, you want to trademark them. Registering the name for a trademark also protects against potential copiers, infringers, knockoffs, etc., who [may] attempt to steal or capitalize upon [your own] brand.

I would suggest all, especially those smaller businesses to register a logo design for their organization name and any item that may possibly be reproduced by a competitor or Oriental maker when they begin doing business.

2. Use a reliable e-commerce platform

Building your site on a Software-as-a-Service platform such as BigCommerce, Shopify or Magento means that you have a domain which is hosting your store and taking care of any problems or security threats that may arise. Having website designers customise your e-commerce site allows you to specifically cater your customers.

3. Use HTTP using SSL = HTTPS

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Safe SSLs are extremely important to e-commerce transactions, helping to make sure sensitive personal and financial information is protected through the purchase process while creating confidence for your online shop and providing shoppers extra reassurance when purchasing products. HTTP over SSL is popularly called HTTPS and provides greater protection (encryption). However, a surprising variety of sites still do not support HTTPS.

For a much higher degree of safety consider allowing HTTP Strict Transportation Security (HSTS). This reduces the probability of deceptive modifications to your consumer’s net requests and aids to stop man-in-the-middle attacks.

4. Ensure Your Website is PCI DSS compliant

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

Many payment integrators, such as Stripe or Braintree, store and encrypt credit card information for you, so not one of the important payment information is saved on your side.

5. Keep your website updated

Unpatched extensions and applications will make your e-commerce site an easy target. Maintaining your site with appropriate web design and backend software, upgraded with the latest security patches is your single largest (and simplest) measure a small company can take towards security and the prevention of an attack.

A site which is not entirely up-to-date using its own security patches is exposed to an attack. Therefore, it is critical that e-commerce merchants guarantee that all available patches are applied to their internet platforms. Keep on top of release cycles to make sure that people are always up-to-date. Additionally, utilize a firewall facing the e-commerce shop to help protect against vulnerabilities which may be discovered. This is an added measure of security before patches are implemented.

6. Require strong passwords

Using long-term and random passwords make the probability of hackers crashing your site less likely. Have employees use strong passwords, a mix of upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers, or an online advanced password generator to safeguard yourself.

7. Use a Firewall

As the Name Implies, a firewall is a hardware or software program that essentially works as a portal or gateway between networks, allowing authorized traffic and preventing unauthorized or potentially malicious traffic from accessing a system or network.

It essentially protects from threats on the internet like backdoor and DDoS attacks. Since e-commerce websites have a lot of incoming traffic, they need firewalls to protect themselves against any attack or malicious behaviour.

There are several distinct kinds of firewalls, but two quite effective firewalls for internet retailers are program gateways and proxy firewalls.

Application Gateways

Using an application gateway set up, there are just two lines of communication: one between your computer and the proxy, then one between the proxy and the destination computer or community. It’s basically a checkpoint that all network information has to stop at. By functioning at this middle stage, the gateways help hide and protect your community from other people, only letting in visitors that have been authorized.

Proxy Firewalls

Just like the application gateway, the proxy serves as an intermediary connection. But they take it one step further, instead of your network connection going all of the way through, a new network connection is launched at the proxy firewall. This usually means that there is not any direct link between systems in any way, which makes it even more difficult for attackers to discover your network and get in.

It’s important to note that, such as a firewall to be effective, it has to be properly configured.

Have a professional website design enhances reliabiloity in the e-commerce site and encourages trust with potential customers.

Security Tips for Online Brokers

While there are many concerns about online security which will always be present; rest assured that brokers themselves have a very, very substantial stake in making you feel comfortable about the level of security being used. All online broker websites have had some of their site dedicated to describing the steps they employ to safeguard your transactions. Whilst it is true that nothing is absolutely safe in this world, online trading certainly needs to provide security for your financial transactions.

How is this for a statistic — throughout the first half of 2015, there were 888 statistics breaches globally, which works out to about five every 24 hours. That might seem rather innocuous, yet there is no sign that social security numbers were tapped; yet it has the potential to be incredibly harmful. Accounts are very vulnerable as they are really just like a vault with one thin door. Wherever you do your online trading, it is important to acknowledge that vulnerability exists, and that your broker accounts could easily be next. Here are some simple steps to prevent this from happening to you in the future.

This first safety measure offered by most agents and financial institutions imposes an excess layer of security. Rather than simply allowing complete account access with a username and password, some mortgage broker websites may require further verification if certain actions are taken, such as a change in contact information, during fund transfers, or during account withdrawals. These are extra added on safety features that add extra security whenever a significant change is made to your account. Many financial service firms now supply this, but you might want to make sure it is implemented. Your password, email address or telephone number is altered, so you are able to respond if you did not update the info. It is worth signing up for each excess security measure your broker offers. You can generally do this within your account profile (there is probably a safety tab) or by calling customer services. You really should be protecting yourself and your investments, as you need to live a clean online financial lifestyle, and this is one means to do it; buy a cheap computer that you use just for obtaining bank and brokerage accounts and other sensitive financial information. This will protect you against malware getting onto your computer, which may then steal your passwords as you log into your accounts.

The biggest risk of malware for mortgage brokers is what is called cross contamination. This is when you open infected email attachments or your children download something off the internet, or have even visited an infected site. If you buy a computer that you do not use for email or surfing, you do not give access to your children, and you do not plug USB drives into, the odds of becoming infected are minimal. An entirely new computer may seem extreme, but nowadays, malware is sophisticated enough to justify it. As it can skip anti-virus applications, and even scanning with something like malware bytes will not capture everything. Purchasing a small laptop for under $250 may end up being your very best investment of all. Do not let your guard down whilst using online platforms.

The method of cleaning up after a data breach on a mortgage broker website is becoming familiar, but this sort of monitoring has a drawback. Consumers are vigilant following the online assault, then, tend to gradually let down their guard; after all, a security company is watching their backs. That means all consumers will need to be watching their back nowadays whilst using online broker sites, whether they have been a victim or not.

 

How you can protect your cloud data

Cloud management systems have been an important tool to use this decade, and the area of technology for obvious reasons. As it allows data storage and management, it also aids in accessing information anytime, anywhere on the web. While cloud computing comes with a lot of benefits, however, if the question of security arises, we cannot be too sure about how secure the information is, especially the ones saved at a public cloud.

The safety issues faced can be broadly categorized into issues faced by cloud supplier and those faced by the client. The sales management system of cloud services, providers must make certain that their infrastructure is protected and their customers’ information is protected.

At the same time, clients must make certain they password-protect their programs and have other verification steps in place. Some of these commonly seen cloud security risks are:

  • Loss ofsensitive information
  • Violation of existing regulatory controls
  • Malware infections
  • Hacked interfaces
  • Permanent data loss
  • Abuse of cloud Support
  • Insider threat
  • Hijacking of accounts

However, the possible dangers to our data do not indicate they cannot be made secure. Cloud safety can be made effective if appropriate defensive measures are implemented. Here are a few practical tips that will make your cloud encounter risk-free.

1. Backup data locally
Among the most important things to consider while handling data is to make certain that you have backups for your information. It’s always great to have digital copies of your information so that you can keep on getting them even if the original has damaged or corrupted. You can either choose to back them up in another cloud management system, or manually back up in an external storage device. To be on the other hand, it would be great if you can do both because the latter will come in handy in instances during poor, or no internet connectivity.

2. Avoid storing sensitive information
Let us be honest. There is no such thing as real privacy on the world-wide-web, and the growth in the amount of identity thefts is standing evidence of it. So it is always a good idea to avoid storing information like passwords, credit/debit card information etc. on the cloud. Sensitive information could also be intellectual property such as patents and copyrights. Even if we take every possible precaution to protect them, this sort of information can land in a different individual/company’s data management system somehow, which then may result in potential data leakage.

3. Use Cloud Management systems which encrypt data

4. Encrypt your data
Before you upload your files to the cloud, it is always beneficial to encrypt your information, even if the cloud storage automatically encrypts them. There are lots of third-party encryption tools, which will apply encryption and passwords to files as soon as you’re finished editing them so that they’re encrypted before uploading.

5. Install anti-virus software
All of the above security measures could be taken to secure your information, but sometimes the issue is not cloud safety but the system you have logged in from. Hackers can easily access your account if there is not any appropriate protection in place for your system. In such cases, you are exposing yourself to viruses, which is a very bad thing in terms of privacy and hacking.

6. Make passwords stronger
This might be something you have heard over and over again. But still, it is extremely important to provide stronger passwords to keep your files from being hacked. There are websites offering suggestions on how best to form strong passwords. Aside from creating a solid and unique password, it is also important to change them regularly, and not discuss it with anybody. Most login pages nowadays have added identification questions to verify the authorized user.

7. Test the security measures in place
Rather than assuming that all files are perfectly protected on the cloud, some organizations, especially highly data-sensitive ones, hire certified ethical-hackers to check their security position. When it is possible for you to obtain unauthorized access to your own data, it is likely that someone else can too.

Cloud storage comes with its own set of benefits in several ways than one. But always keep in mind that security assurances are not guaranteed, yet potential. Adopting a few safety steps from our perspective can go a long way in keeping safe files off and on the cloud.

Always better to be safe than sorry, right?

Major Internet Security Update is Postponed by ICANN

ICANN, the Internet oversight body has postponed their plans to change the cryptographic key which safeguards the global Domain Name System (DNS).It claims that some infrastructure operators just are not ready for the change.

To change the key, it involves generating a new cryptographic key pair as well as distributing the new public component to Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) thus validating resolvers.

Newly obtained data, however, shows a significant number of resolvers used by various ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and network operators are definitely not yet ready. Potentially this could affect up to 750 million netizens.

The reasons why resolvers are not yet ready for the key rollover according to ICANN is that there multiple reasons including misconfigured resolver software. Its approach going forward is that it will reach out to its Security and Stability Advisory Committee called the Regional Internet Registries, to Network Operator Groups and all other stakeholders in an effort to try and fix the all the issues.

The president and CEO of ICANN, Göran Marby said, “the security, stability, and resiliency of the domain name system is our core mission. We would rather proceed cautiously and reasonably, than continue with the roll on the announced date of 11 October. “It would be irresponsible to proceed with the roll after we have identified these new issues that could adversely affect its success and could adversely affect the ability of a significant number of end users.”

The “key signing key” (KSK) rollover was tentatively scheduled for October 11. However, it has now been postponed. It is hoped to be rescheduled for the first quarter of 2018 ICANN’s according to ICANN’s Chief Technology Officer. But that all depends on how easily the problem can be fixed.

Until this happens, it is suggested by Marby that network operators use the extra time to get their systems in order. A helpful diagnostic tool they can use is ICANN’s testing platform. This will help to ensure their resolvers are configured properly with the new key.

To make the internet more secure, the KSK rollover is part of a process and this process began back in May of 2016. A long time coming and yet, still not a reality.