Google & Your Website – A Blind Alliance

Assume you have a website “onlineshopperdotcom” and when you search it on Google with keywords “online shopper website” you might get a sneak peek on the page results of your website and other websites relating to your keyword. That’s quite universal as we all urge to have our websites searched and indexed by Google. This is quite common for all e-commerce websites.

A. Your website “onlineshopperdotcom” is directly allied with Google.

B. Your website & your web server (where you have all usernames & passwords saved) are directly allied with each other.

C. Alarmingly, Google is indirectly allied to your web server.

You might be convinced that this is normal and may not expect a phishing attack using Google to retrieve any information from your web server. Now given a second thought, instead of searching “online shopper website” on Google, what if I search “online shopper website usernames and passwords”, will Google be able to give the list of usernames and passwords for online shopper website? As a security consultant, the answer will be “MAYBE, SOMETIMES!”, but if you use Google dorks (proper keywords for accessing Google), the answer will be a big “YES!” if your website ends up with mislaid security configurations.

Google Dorks can be intimidating.

Google pops in as a serving guardian until you see the other side of it. Google may have answers to all your queries, but you need to frame your questions properly and that’s where GOOGLE DORKS pitches in. It’s not a complicated software to install, execute and wait for results, instead it’s a combination of keywords (intitle, inurl, site, intext, allinurl etc) with which you can access Google to get what you are exactly after.

For example, your objective is to download pdf documents related to JAVA, the normal Google search will be “java pdf document free download” (free is a mandatory keyword without which any Google search is not complete). But when you use Google dorks, your search will be “filetype: pdf intext: java”. Now with these keywords, Google will understand what exactly you are looking for than your previous search. Also, you will get more accurate results. That seems promising for an effective Google search.

However, attackers can use these keyword searches for a very different purpose – to steal/extract information from your website/server. Now assuming I need usernames and passwords which are cached in servers, I can use a simple query like this. “filetype:xls passwords site: in”, this will give you Google results of cached contents from different websites in India which have usernames and passwords saved in it. It is as simple as that. In relation to online shopper website, if I use a query “filetype:xls passwords inurl:onlineshopper.com” the results might dismay anyone. In simple terms, your private or sensitive information will be available on the internet, not because someone hacked your information but because Google was able to retrieve it free of cost.

How to prevent this?

The file named “robots.txt” (often referred to as web robots, wanderers, crawlers, spiders) is a program that can traverse the web automatically. Many search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use robots.txt to scan websites and extract information.

robots.txt is a file that gives permission to search engines what to access & what not to access from the website. It is a kind of control you have over search engines. Configuring Google dorks isn’t rocket science, you need to know which information to be allowed and not allowed in search engines. Sample configuration of robots.txt will look like this.

Allow: /website-contents

Disallow: /user-details

Disallow: /admin-details

Sadly, these robots.txt configurations are often missed or configured inappropriately by website designers. Shockingly, most of the government & college websites in India are prone to this attack, revealing all sensitive information about their websites. With malware, remote attacks, botnets & other types of high-end threats flooding the internet, Google dork can be more threatening since it requires a working internet connection in any device to retrieve any sensitive information. This doesn’t end with retrieving sensitive information alone, using Google dorks anyone can access vulnerable CCTV cameras, modems, mail usernames, passwords and online order details just by searching Google.

Headlines continue to abound about the data breach at Facebook.

Totally different than the site hackings where credit card information was just stolen at major retailers, the company in question, Cambridge Analytica, did have the right to actually use this data.

Unfortunately they used this information without permission and in a manner that was overtly deceptive to both Facebook users and Facebook itself.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to make changes to prevent these types of information misuse from happening in the future, but it appears many of those tweaks will be made internally.

Individual users and businesses still need to take their own steps to ensure their information remains as protected and secure as possible.

For individuals the process to enhance online protection is fairly simple. This can range from leaving sites such as Facebook altogether, to avoiding so-called free game and quiz sites where you are required to provide access to your information and that of your friends.

A separate approach is to employ different accounts. One could be used for access to important financial sites. A second one and others could be used for social media pages. Using a variety of accounts can create more work, but it adds additional layers to keep an infiltrator away from your key data.

Businesses on the other hand need an approach that is more comprehensive. While nearly all employ firewalls, access control lists, encryption of accounts, and more to prevent a hack, many companies fail to maintain the framework that leads to data.

One example is a company that employs user accounts with rules that force changes to passwords regularly, but are lax in changing their infrastructure device credentials for firewalls, routers or switch passwords. In fact, many of these, never change.

Those employing web data services should also alter their passwords. A username and password or an API key are required for access them which are created when the application is built, but again is rarely changed. A former staff member who knows the API security key for their credit card processing gateway, could access that data even if they were no longer employed at that business.

Things can get even worse. Many large businesses utilize additional firms to assist in application development. In this scenario, the software is copied to the additional firms’ servers and may contain the same API keys or username/password combinations that are used in the production application. Since most are rarely changed, a disgruntled worker at a third party firm now has access to all the information they need to grab the data.

Additional processes should also be taken to prevent a data breach from occurring. These include…

• Identifying all devices involved in public access of company data including firewalls, routers, switches, servers, etc. Develop detailed access-control-lists (ACLs) for all of these devices. Again change the passwords used to access these devices frequently, and change them when any member on any ACL in this path leaves the company.

• Identifying all embedded application passwords that access data. These are passwords that are “built” into the applications that access data. Change these passwords frequently. Change them when any person working on any of these software packages leaves the company.

• When using third party companies to assist in application development, establish separate third party credentials and change these frequently.

• If using an API key to access web services, request a new key when persons involved in those web services leave the company.

• Anticipate that a breach will occur and develop plans to detect and stop it. How do companies protect against this? It is a bit complicated but not out of reach. Most database systems have auditing built into them, and sadly, it is not used properly or at all.

An example would be if a database had a data table that contained customer or employee data. As an application developer, one would expect an application to access this data, however, if an ad-hoc query was performed that queried a large chunk of this data, properly configured database auditing should, at minimum, provide an alert that this is happening.

• Utilize change management to control change. Change Management software should be installed to make this easier to manage and track. Lock down all non-production accounts until a Change Request is active.

• Do not rely on internal auditing. When a company audits itself, they typically minimize potential flaws. It is best to utilize a 3rd party to audit your security and audit your polices.

Many companies provide auditing services but over time this writer has found a forensic approach works best. Analyzing all aspects of the framework, building policies and monitoring them is a necessity. Yes it is a pain to change all the device and embedded passwords, but it is easier than facing the court of public opinion when a data breach occurs.

Many small to medium sized businesses maintain their own IT infrastructure. When doing so they will hire an IT Manager to handle the day to day operations. While some may consider this a viable and economically sound solution, experience has shown that it may benefit the IT Manager, and the business, more to partner with a Managed Service Provider.

You may find your team understaffed at times resulting in an inability to stay on top of situations and procedures. Does this result in your need to hire temp help?

The break/fix model of many teams limits them to putting out one fire and moving on to the next. Conversely, paying staff to sit idly by while waiting for the next crisis hardly seems the best use of their skillset, and the business’ capital.

Managing multiple vendors, employees, contracts, budgets, temps, etc. can also become cumbersome, if not overwhelming, at times. Consider the following benefits when partnering with a Managed Service Provider.

Your MSP Is the Only Vendor You Will Need to Manage.

Management of all vendor/supplier contracts are handled by your MSP, thereby providing you more time to manage your day to day operations. They can handle all pricing/budgeting aspects and support issues regarding your IT needs all while providing a single point of contact.

The Need for Business Continuity

A quality Managed Service Provider will always take a proactive approach to minimizing downtime. The implementation of disaster prevention measures provide peace of mind and consistent day-to-day operations. However, in the event of any network failure or catastrophic event, predetermined disaster recovery plans immediately become operational. Data is restored from backups, networks are reinstated and your business services become operational in short order.

Trained, Certified and Experienced IT Staff Available 24/7

Throughout the business day, most MSPs provide you with access to experienced and trained IT staff to handle any situation. Your IT Support calls should be answered by a live person and not a canned answering system. But what about after hours or EOD? We all know, from experience, that situations do not always surface during normal business hours. A quality MSP offers you 24/7 access to qualified IT personnel, regardless of the time or situation. Does your in-house solution provide this benefit?

One Source for a Collective Perspective

Overseeing and monitoring all of your IT Services from one source allows for a collective perspective. One that provides an unbiased and consolidated point of view. The information we gather and report on, in real time, allows you and your business to make educated and informed decisions. An increase in overall performance of your business is our objective and is an obvious benefit to our partnership.

Helping the Bottom Line

The economical benefits of partnering with a Managed Service Provider are many. From alleviating the need for full time staff, temp help and disaster recovery, to less down time, more economical vendor pricing and more streamlined and efficient operational procedures.

If you are an IT Manager and are ready to discuss your IT Solutions with us, we invite you to contact us at any time.

WE’LL SHOW YOU WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT DOES AND WHY YOU NEED IT!

In the last decade, there have been more advances in 12V technology than in any other area in the 4WDing world. Some of the products that are available cheaply these days would have either cost a mint, or flat out didn’t exist not too long ago. Both input (batteries and charging systems) and output (lights, in-car entertainment, GPS) accessories have absolutely exploded in the last few years and these days you’d be hard pressed to find a touring 4WD that doesn’t have at least a few 12V upgrades.

However with so much choice now available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Over the next few pages we’ll show you what it is, what it does and why you need it!

DRIVING LIGHTS

If you do any sort of driving after dark, your 4WD’s stock headlights will come up short in terms of distance and lighting up the sides of the track where animals seems to always lie in wait for the very last moment they can before jumping out in front of your bullbar. You need a set of spotties or a lightbar. In terms of spread of light, it’s hard to go past an LED lightbar, but if you’re chasing distance – a set of HIDs will light up the track for kilometres in front of you. If you’re after the ultimate set-up, you could always run both…

12V PANELS

Having a 12V panel with a few different outlets is a fantastic way to keep things neat and allow you to run your cabling to a single location. This one is set up on the headboard of a ute tray and can run just about everything from this one spot.

ENGINE MANAGEMENT

Most of us will go for some sort of performance module or aftermarket engine management on the quest for more power in our 4WDs. Deciding on where you fit the module is an important part of this process, as if they’re prone to damage from heat and debris that can find its way into the engine bay.

WINCHES

There’s probably no better piece of recovery gear than a Domin8r X winch. These days quality winches with good solenoids and synthetic rope are available for a few hundred bucks, making them one of the best investments you can make in your fourby. They must be wired to a cranking (not deep cycle).

DUAL BATTERIES

The availability of 12V accessories is simply going nuts in the 4WD industry right now so plenty of people fit up a second or even third Adventure Kings AGM battery to keep up with the demand for amps from their camp lighting, fridges, winches and entertainment systems.

LED LIGHTING

Illuminator LED strip lights are fantastic ways to light up your campsite or interior as they will give an excellent spread of light and use next to no power. For a mod that you’ll appreciate every time you use them, look no further!

DUAL BATTERIES

WINCH

DRIVING LIGHTS

COST

$500 – $1200

$350 – $1800

$100 – $1200

DIY?

If you buy a complete kit with battery tray and all associated wiring then it’s definitely doable at home. If you don’t know your way around a soldering iron, leave it to the pros

Wiring a winch in is not overly difficult, but if you have to remove your front bar, expect to wrestle with it for the best part of a day. The time might be better spent elsewhere while a workshop handles it

If you can read a wiring diagram and know how to drive a soldering iron then go for it!

CONSIDERATIONS

There are a few different types of management systems, from marine switches to DC-DC chargers, so do your research. Also, keep in mind that batteries are fairly large so make sure you have enough real estate set aside for it

Mounting the control box on the front bar means that anyone with a controller can activate your winch. Wiring in a cut-off switch or mounting the box under the bonnet is the go. Also, be sure to unspool your winch after it’s installed and spool it back in under load

Check with your state’s laws before mounting lights up on the roof or on top of your bullbar. Also, forget about ‘twisting-n-taping’ wires together. These’ll be subject to a fair amount of vibration so a good solder it’s the only way to join them up

YOU WANT THIS IF…

… you’re going to be relying on your 12V gear when out in the bush. If you’re running a fridge then it’s almost essential to have it wired up to a good deep cycle battery.

… you often travel alone or over tracks that can change quickly depending on the weather or time of year. If you need a means of getting out of just about any situation, then a winch is for you.

… you don’t want to hit an animal! We’re not saying good lights will prevent it from happening, but they’ll give you a much better chance of seeing them and let you get off the loud pedal

12V – THE NEXT LEVEL

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BATTERY

Should I get a deep cycle or cranking auxiliary battery? It really comes down to what you’re using it for. High draw accessories like winches and halogen lights should be wired up to your cranking battery while lower draw items like LED lights should be hooked up to the deep cycle units, which are designed to be repeatedly drained and recharged. When it comes to choosing your battery, go for the highest CCA (cold cranking amps) you can get for a cranking battery, and the highest a/h (amp-hour) rating you can afford on deep cycle batteries.

CAMERAS

It’s no secret that fully loaded up 4WD wagons and utes aren’t exactly easy to see out the back of. By fitting up a camera or two you’re making reversing and towing heaps safer and easier. You will need a screen mounted up to the dash, but we’re yet to hear of anyone regretting fitting one of these up.

TABLETS AND LAPTOPS

Many 4WDers are turning to laptops and tablets to run their GPS software. Not only do these have much larger screens than dedicated GPS units, they also have a heap of other customisable features, and you can run plenty of other programs through them, including using it as a screen for your reverse cameras, making them a much more versatile option.

VOLTMETERS

Keeping an eye on how much charge your Adventure Kings AGM Batteries have holds a heap of obvious advantages. These things are relatively cheap and easy to wire in.

INVERTER

An Adventure Kings 1500W Inverter takes a 12V input and turn it in to 240V output, so you can run your household electronics through them. This is especially handy for things like chargers and the kid’s gaming systems, and on top of that, you now have the excuse you were looking for to bring your massaging foot spa camping with you…

SOLAR

Solar panels are great for running accessories while you’re at camp without draining your vehicle’s batteries. Their ability to provide power essentially comes down to the type of regulator they use, so spend a little extra on one with an MPPT (maximum power point tracking) regulator, as they work much more efficiently.

DC-DC chargers like the CTEK D250SA are a great way to oversee your dual-battery set-up as they can be plugged in to all DC power sources such as alternators and solar panels, plus they automatically adjust the charging voltage in line with the battery’s state of charge.

Revolution in AI Techniques:

Over the past many years, Artificial Intelligence revolution has provided the quality response for the different range of technologies. I am going to explain main reasons for the growth in its revenue. Functions of speech recognition, face detection, fingerprint recognition and much more are operating quite accurate because of Deep learning techniques. Deep Learning technique is based on the Artificial Neural Networks. Achievement in this field can be judged by its different products like a novel technique for Image Recognition, Object Detection and Prediction System for the stock market. Advances in image recognition have extended the limitations of medical treatment. Moreover, it is helping in reading X-rays, and predicting disease through improved services. Also, it is inspired by the natural intelligence of humans but now AI revolution has changed everything. It could lead to layoff, as it is overtaking human in many fields. The above graph shows the upcoming revenue for the next coming years. This will lead to highly profitable gain for the industry.

The following implementations are somehow causing the sudden growth in AI companies:

1) Implementation of Machine Learning: Object detection means analyzing the content of photos such as individual objects, faces, logos and text on them using a computer-aided cognition model. With the help of object detection, one can minimize the risk of any incident by detecting the presence of another object. Using latest technologies it can be performed in the live work environment. Within a single image, there are a lot of objects inside it, a good model can easily identify each object by extracting key visual features from an image. Different application area of object detection is Facial Biometrics, Motion Detector, Object Recognition and Text Recognition.

Any image recognition algorithm would take an image or its patch as input, an output will be the object in the image. In other words, the output will be a class label. How does an image recognition algorithm know the contents of an image? Well, you have to train the algorithm to learn the differences between different classes. If you want to find cats in images, you need to train an image recognition algorithm with thousands of images of cats and thousands of images of backgrounds that do not contain cats. Needless to say, this algorithm can only understand objects/classes it has learned.

2) Changed Technology: Today we have shifted our technology from analog to digital data communication and storage, which makes the change a convinient approach. Nowadays, robotics has made many advantages in the robots designing. They are able to take physical interaction of human being as a useful information. They can react to any physical interaction to perform the output task. This technology has made the change in robotics which has become an advantageous component in the era of Artificial Intelligence.

3) Meet Consumer’s Expectations: From time to time, customer’s need and expectation grow. Though industries are there to deal with digital data, this data is in huge amount and sometimes poor technologies may fail to handle and accomplish the goals with this data. Here comes an AI into play. High complex big data can be easily managed and handled with the aid of Artificial Intelligence. After dealing with huge data it produces better customer experience. It has brought customer’s expectations into reality which leads to great demand in industries. Facebook, Pinterest, Netflix and Google are some of the real time and effective examples to demonstrate the above fact.

4) Decision Making: By applying machine learning algorithms the power of machines has increased. These algorithms made machines able to make decisions by itself. AI has changed the scenario of decision making for business. Deep Learning has been widely used for decision making when the dataset is huge. As a demonstration Amazon has done the partnership with Microsoft to uplift projects based on Deep Learning. This reflects how effective Deep Learning is in Decision Making and handling high computation task. In today’s scenario TensorFlow, Keras has become an integral part from the business point of view. Fast and powerful processing using algorithm based tasks are applied in business for better customer satisfaction.

With all these benefits and advantages of this technology, it has proved itself a trending way for overcoming traditional issues of data handling and analytics. Thus, the growth of AI is making a path. From the study, it can be stated that market value of AI is growing due to advanced technology like Prediction System, Recommendation System etc. Up to 2021, the revenue will reach approximately $10000 Million which will be a rapid growth for the industry. AI could boost average profitability rates by 38% and lead to an economic increase of US $14 TN by 2035 with its innovative ideas. Google is exploring all aspects of machine learning with classical algorithms. It has overcome different challenges of research and technical tasks which leads to its greater demand and revenue as well.

What do we mean by data cleansing? It defines that a set of data is accurate. Companies rely heavily on computerization of data in a simple way, so data cleansing is a very regular task. In cleansing operation, to check for the accuracy and consistency different types of tools are used to check for consistency and accuracy.

Data Cleansing is of two categories depending upon the complexity of tasks.

Simple Cleaning. In order to verify accuracy various set of records are read by individual person or group of persons. In this task, correction of spelling mistakes and typos are done, proper filling and labeling of mislabeled data are done. Further incomplete and missing entries are completed. In order to ease operations, outdated and unrecoverable data are eliminated.

Complex cleansing. In this data, verification is done by a computer program according to a set of rules and procedures provided by the user. Misspelled words are corrected and the data which has not been updated since last five years are deleted. Even the missing city in the database can be filled by a more complex program. This is based on postal pin code and changes in currency types on pricing.

Data cleansing is required for creating efficiency of data related businesses. If the database is not updated or not correct, there is no use of contracting clients by the way of phone numbers given in the databases or sending regular emails saved to the addresses thereon. Further, it ensures that there is always consistent and correct data available in the databases. This helps to minimize errors and assists to maintain useful and meaningful records even if there is a large volume of data stored.

When two database work in cycle, data cleansing is considered as more relevant. Customer information available at one branch is available at the other branch and this gets updated at one branch gets automatically revised in the database of other branches also.

Database cleansing use techniques like transformation, rationalization, and standardization. Further, these comprise data profiling, data enrichment, and augmentation. So, databases need to be run through data cleansing periodically in order to avoid the errors which could lead to inefficient work and more complications. This process involves conversion, formatting, and preparation for upload. Since it is time-consuming, it is wiser to wiser to outsource the selected components. of business and it requires a lot of experience in data migration.

I have been involved in providing automated solutions for companies for years. I have prepared detailed presentations and have spoken at events, repetitively warning clients and our staff how to avoid being hacked. Yet, a couple of weeks ago I came seconds close to being a victim myself!

What happened? I was at a Chicago parking meter attempting to use my charge card to get a parking ticket for my car. The card failed the first time but after a few tries it finally went through. I chalked the incident up to the zero-degree weather and a frozen parking meter. Seconds later I received a text stating, “Your card has been restricted. Please call us at 312-985-5635.” I had received a similar email from VISA in the past when my card had been hacked.

“312” is a Chicago area code, and I figured that VISA was concerned about the multiple tries at the meter so I was about to call the number but got suspicious. Instead, I called the VISA number on the back of my card. VISA said my card was not on hold and that everything was fine. Always call the number on the back of the card! Case in point – never let your guard down. A simple coincidence like above can make it seem real and logical. I did a web search on the phone number and sure enough it is a known scam phone number.

What are some of the common ways that you can protect yourself?

  • Avoid Phishing Emails. 156 Million are sent globally daily. 10% fall for a scam and share their personal information. Any email suggesting great urgency or entertainment value, especially with a link should be avoided. One clever trick that is used is emulating a popular email address with just one letter changed. When in a hurry (and who isn’t) it is very easy to click on these. Would you click on an email from DisneyyWorld.com, complete with a picture of Mickey to check out a tempting vacation offer?
  • Avoid Smishing Text Messages. Same as phishing but to text.
  • Use several security programs and update frequently. Do not rely on just one program. Not performing the updates is the same as not having it because new viruses come out every single day.
  • Stay out of “creepy sites” when surfing. If you have a terrible feeling that something is wrong but have already clicked to the site there is a simple way to check if it is safe. In Internet Explorer® click on the picture of the lock on the top right of your browser. That will check the site validation certificate to let you know if it matches. If the site is OK it will say, “This Certificate is OK.” This means whoever says they own it does. If you are on Chrome® you have to click on the 3 dots and go to More Tools then down a few layers in order to find this in Security. Some browsers do not support this function. Be very careful what you click on when power surfing.
  • Build a better password. Use 2-factor authentication. Never store passwords on your computer. Routinely refresh and vary passwords. Use 20 characters or longer. If you can’t live with doing all of these things, at least pick a couple items which will be better than doing nothing.
  • We all know about the phantom messages from friends. Some are responding to emails that you did not send. Most contain a tempting link that you never want to click on. Oddly, while writing this I just received one of these. Very common. Easy to click on in a hurry. Look carefully before you click.
  • Locked computer. While surfing you receive a scary message of how law enforcement has detected a virus on your computer. You have been locked out by Ransomware. Don’t pay. It won’t make a difference.
  • Ignore “pop-up” ads that tell you that a computer virus was detected. Often these tell you to click and the virus will be removed.

Hacking/viruses are a very serious problem. Generally, all circumstances can be avoided by incorporating a simple thought process before you proceed and taking proper precautions. Everyone is hurriedly making it through their day so quick clicks are very common and hackers know this. It is always best to fully read the content and assess all emails and text messages before responding in any way. If you do not have time to thoroughly assess, leave the message until you have time to read it thoroughly. Keep your anti-virus up-to-date and surf safely!

Welcome to the world of overflowing regulations and compliance standards, of evolving infrastructure and the ever-present data breach. Each year, fraudulent activity accounts for $600 billion in losses in the United States. In 2017, more than 1 billion account records were lost in data breaches – an equivalent of 15% of the world’s population. 72% of security and compliance personnel say their jobs are more difficult today than just two years ago, even with all the new tools they have acquired.

Within the security industry, we are constantly searching for a solution to these converging issues – all while keeping pace with business and regulatory compliance. Many have become cynical and apathetic from the continuous failure of investments meant to prevent these unfortunate events. There is no silver bullet, and waving a white flag is just as problematic.

The fact is, no one knows what could happen next. And one of the first steps is to recognize the inherent limits to our knowledge and faculties of prediction. From there, we can adopt methods of reason, evidence and proactive measures to maintain compliance in a changing world. Dethroning the myth of passive compliance is an important step to achieve security agility, reduce risk, and find threats at hyper-speed.

Let’s debunk a few myths about IT security and compliance:

Myth 1: Payment Credit Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is Only Necessary for Large Businesses

For the sake of your customers data security, this myth is most unequivocally false. No matter the size, organizations must meet with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). In fact, small business data is very valuable to data thieves and often easier to access because of a lack of protection. Failure to be compliant with PCI DSS can result in big fines and penalties and can even lose the right to accept credit cards.

Credit cards are used for more than simple retail purchases. They are used to register for events, pay bills online, and to conduct countless other operations. Best practice says not to store this data locally but if an organization’s business practice calls for customers’ credit card information to be stored, then additional steps need to be taken to ensure to ensure the safety of the data. Organizations must prove that all certifications, accreditations, and best practice security protocols are being followed to the letter.

Myth 2: I need to have a firewall and an IDS/IPS to be compliant

Some compliance regulations do indeed say that organizations are required to perform access control and to perform monitoring. Some do indeed say that “perimeter” control devices like a VPN or a firewall are required. Some do indeed say the word “intrusion detection”. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean to go and deploy NIDS or a firewall everywhere.

Access control and monitoring can be performed with many other technologies. There is nothing wrong in using a firewall or NIDS solutions to meet any compliance requirements, but what about centralized authentication, network access control (NAC), network anomaly detection, log analysis, using ACLs on perimeter routers and so on?

Myth 3: Compliance is All About Rules and Access Control.

The lesson from this myth is to not become myopic, solely focusing on security posture (rules and access control). Compliance and network security is not only about creating rules and access control for an improved posture, but an ongoing assessment in real-time of what is happening. Hiding behind rules and policies is no excuse for compliance and security failures.

Organizations can overcome this bias with direct and real-time log analysis of what is happening at any moment. Attestation for security and compliance comes from establishing policies for access control across the network and ongoing analysis of the actual network activity to validate security and compliance measures.

Myth 4: Compliance is Only Relevant When There Is an Audit.

Networks continue to evolve, and this remains the most critical challenge to network security and compliance. Oddly enough, network evolution does not politely standby while compliance and security personnel catch up.

Not only are network mutations increasing, but new standards for compliance are changing within the context of these new networking models. This discrete and combinatorial challenge adds new dimensions to the compliance mandate that are ongoing, not just during an impending audit.

Yes, the latest generation of firewalls and logging technologies can take advantage of the data streaming out of the network, but compliance is achieved when there is a discipline of analyzing all that data. Only by looking at the data in real-time can compliance and network security personnel appropriately adjust and reduce risks.

Tightening network controls and access gives auditors the assurance that the organization is taking proactive steps to orchestrate network traffic. But what does the actual network tell us? Without regularly practicing log analysis, there is no way to verify compliance has been achieved. This regular analysis happens without reference to when an audit is forthcoming or recently failed.

Myth 5: Real-Time Visibility Is Impossible.

Real-time visibility is a requirement in today’s global business environment. With legislative and regulatory change coming so rapidly, network security and compliance teams need access to data across the entire network.

Often, data comes in multiple formats and structures. Compliance reporting and attestation becomes an exercise in ‘data stitching’ in order to validate that network activity conforms to rules and policies. Security and compliance staff must become de facto data scientists to get answers from the ocean of data. This is a Herculean effort.

When implanting a new compliance requirement, there is an assurance process where the standard is tested against the access the new rule allows or denies. How do you know if a given rule or policy is going to have the desired effect (conform to compliance)? In most organizations, you do not have the personnel or time to assess network activity in the context of compliance standards. By the time a new compliance standard is due, the data stitching process is not complete, leaving us with no greater confidence that compliance has been achieved. No matter how fast you stitch data, it seems that the sheer number of standards will keep you spinning your wheels.

Of course, the other side of this dilemma is that these standards genuinely do prevent data compromises. But while a good chunk of your resources is tasked with testing and rolling out standards, another part of the team is implementing even more permutations of the network. This is what physicists call a dynamical system.

The holiday season has arrived, and it is high time that consumers and retailers make arrangements for staying one step ahead of the prevalent holiday scams. With trouble lurking in the shadows due to multiple spikes in spending habits, it is important to avoid any that financial frauds and identity thefts. Apart from that, the winter holidays bring along possible opportunities for impersonation and data breaches which can easily take down systems and IT networks.

Previously, IT administrators concentrated more on the consumers but in due course of time, even the retailers have started getting the attention. While customers can lose a specific part of their payment and confidential data sets, retailers can face harmful catastrophic consequences when and if a holiday cyber security attack hits their systems. Once the retailers have are safeguarded their systems and network, they can add specific security measures to protect the interests of the prospective consumers.

How Retailers can Stay Protected?
It is common for hackers to ramp up their activities during the holiday seasons. Spear phishing and data breaches are at an all-time high which in turn calls for increased vigilance and improved cyber security practices. Retailers offer a wider landscape to the hackers as a lot of financial and personal records are usually at stake.

1. Amplifying Threat Detection Capabilities
While most retailers already have preventive security measures in their repertoire, the holiday season requires them to beef up their detection and threat monitoring capabilities. A host of additional authentication steps are usually preferred during the peak shopping season which blocks suspicious transactions. However, additional verification steps can thwart the customers and this is why retailers must try to implement functional threat detection techniques. This approach towards cyber security keeps malicious activities at bay, identifies threats quicker and doesn’t even negatively impact the user experience.

2. Prioritizing Employee Awareness
Adding new employees to the existing staff during a holiday season is probably not the smartest move of all time. Most of the temporary workforce looks to make quick money and some can even cause data breaches, deliberately or accidentally. Therefore, employee awareness in the form of training is extremely important, preferably as a part of the staff on-boarding process.

3. Sharing Threat Data
When criminals can easily share attack methodologies and breach through multiple databases, even retailers can share the threat data for procuring an additional layer of safety. They can make use of automated methods to share the threat data followed by some semi-automated strategies like threat intelligence and closed groups. Once the threat data is publicly shared, it becomes easier for other retailers and organizations to implement the strategies and stay protected.

4. Implementing Incident Response Plans
Retailers must have a functional incident response plan for every threat scenario. These shall typically include rebuilding systems, isolating the systems and having technical controls in hand. That said, these plans must be both communicational and procedural for adding value to the scheme of things. Apart from that, retailers must also have a backup plan in place lest the aforementioned security tips fail to detect and counter the attacks.

Can Consumers stay Protected?
Majority of online and offline consumers have already improved the existing security awareness; thanks to the increasing media coverage of cyber incidents. However, there are a few cyber security tips which can help them safeguard their hard earned money and shop freely during the holiday shopping season.

1. Assessing Convenience against Risk
Consumers need to assess the security risks before establishing connections with servers. Not just the retailers, but the consumers are also responsible when it comes to striking the perfect balance between privacy and personalization. Saving card details or working with the stored customer data can lead to catastrophic cyber-attacks in the form of SQL injection threats and even database compromises.

2. Looking out for Phishing Emails
Consumers must look out for suspicious email attachments before proceeding with any download or click. Unexpected links, for example, a mail reading ‘Track Package’ when you haven’t order anything, must be refrained from.

3. Using Multi-factor Authentication
Password security and hygiene are often ignored by consumers which in turn compromises their confidentiality and privacy. The preferred avenues for staying safe would include multi-factor authentication like OTPs, having a digital vault and even using paraphrases.

4. Checking Card Statements
The period of holiday shopping often misleads the consumers into shopping beyond limits. However, the spending spikes must be paired with periodic statements checks. This approach allows consumers to keep a close eye on their expenses and track the card for any kind of abnormalities. This strategy nips financial frauds right in the bud.

Inference

The correct balance between awareness and vigilance is the key to a safe and yielding holiday shopping season, both for the retailers and consumers. However, the perfect strategy would be to keep the cyber security guard up, right across the year. This round-the-year approach helps imbibe the best online shopping practices; thereby safeguarding the finances and mitigating unfortunate attacks.

According to World Health Organization, in each and every year more than 1.25 million people die in the road accidents or traffic crashes, and many are injured. As we know, sudden loss of a person or a body part is very terrible to manage their whole life. Mostly teens are injured and died in the road accidents because lack of awareness about driving skills and distracted driving solutions.

Distracted driving means the act of driving while engaged in other activities, which takes drivers attention and that causes an accident. To avoid those accidents, distracted driving solutions are introduced, which are helpful to avoid and prevent the vehicle crashes.

Some of the well-known companies provide solutions for distracted driving with DriveScreen technology that can be managed by the Android mobile devices. It offers great control over your surroundings and allows you to use any application, such as block, launch, hide and etc.

The DriveScreen technology ensures a safe and secure driving at anywhere for any vehicle. This technology is very beneficial due to its excellent features. The benefits include:

• Allows applications to be seen but disables user input.
• Install any app and fill the screen with all kinds of navigation applications, it’s very useful for easy navigation.
• When the vehicle goes in motion the screen can be configured to be hidden by any graphic that you choose. The default is a blank screen.
• Motion detection can be provided by the GPS.
• Works with Windows as well as Android.
• Can work with Android devices, also work with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10.
• Requires only a configuration file to install.
• Processes cannot be stopped by limited users.

This technology works based on GPS signals, it is specially designed to work along with external and internal GPS receivers. If GPS signals are unavailable, it can also work with the help of Motion Sensing devices in the indoor environment.

Best Solutions to Prevent Distracted Driving

• Completely avoid the texting and using mobile devices while driving.
• Keep your eyes on the road and be conscious, when you’re driving.
• Wear helmet or seat belt without fail to protect yourself from injury.
• If you are drowsy or drunk, don’t drive yourself.
• Check for the safety and make an adjustment before start driving.
• Install drive mode apps in your vehicle for easy navigation and to know about the surroundings.
• Secure children and pets before you get underway.
• Avoid eating meals or breakfast while driving on the road.
• Follow the speed limits and traffic rules.