Be prudent towards cybersecurity before its too late

10 steps to shield your organization from cyber threats

The prevalence of threats to cybersecurity can compromise the security of your organization’s data and cause serious ramifications. Therefore, it is important to take adequate measures to safeguard your organization from online attacks.

Here are the top 10 tips that can help strengthen the security of your enterprise

  1. Protect your hardware

    Data breaches due to stolen devices are quite common, it is essential to secure your company’s hardware. Make sure the servers and network devices are housed in a guarded space and accessible only to designated professionals. Regularly checking the hardware for any potential tampering can also help in detection of any foul play by intruders.

  2. Software Updates

    Keeping all your company software updated can mitigate security risks. Postponing updates can expose your organization to the latest online threats because the updates might have patches to deal with system vulnerabilities.
    Since new threats emerge on a regular basis, your software should be equipped enough to combat them. Although they might cost you a penny, however, the latest software products are worthwhile investments considering the potential loss due to cyber-crimes.

  3. Stringent Password Policy

    Since hacking passwords is an easy way to enter your organization’s online world, using strong passwords that are not easily guessable need to be made mandatory. Employees must also change their passwords periodically.
    There should be clear rules to discourage password sharing or inadvertent revelation of passwords. Passwords must never be written down on paper because it might fall in the hands of people with ill-intention who intends to gain unauthorized access to your information.

  4. Network security

    Make sure to monitor your network constantly and create logs that can help identify suspicious activity. Since the virus in one device can crawl through and shut the entire network down, hence one must make sure to scan every device connected to the company network.
    Restricting the use of external devices is also crucial because that can be used to not only export information but also bring in malware or other malicious software. Encrypting all data and regular automated backups can prevent data loss in the event of a harmful intrusion.

  5. Employee Awareness

    Your company should foster an environment of employee awareness, discussing the significance of threats to cybersecurity and the damage that can be caused to your organization. Employees need to be educated about the best practices to follow while logging in to the company online. Services like PhishGrid helps with education and simulation training which ensure that employees adhere to security protocols.

  6. Firewall and Anti-Virus

    Installing the latest security software can help protect your organization against Trojan horses and ransomware. Most anti-virus software might not be robust enough to detect the newer strains of malware that can create havoc in your network. Therefore, investing in buying firewall software that can prevent the entry of such perilous software into your company network is advisable. Installing specialized security applications that target malware can also help nip such security threats in the bud.

  7. Being up to Date

    Reading magazines and news articles about malicious software and constantly doing the rounds can help you devise an appropriate plan to counter the threats. Network security professionals need to know of the latest threats and efficient ways to banish them.

  8. Admin Access

    Granting admin privileges to only qualified professionals can minimize security risks. Make sure that network control is managed by only a handful of employees who are accountable for data security. Constantly monitoring user activity and auditing logs can help in preventing accidental exposure to threats to cybersecurity.

  9. Unsecured Networks and Unsecured Sites

    Access to unsecure websites within the organization must be curtailed. All employees connected to the network need to be aware of ways to identify potential dangerous websites. Telecommuting employees need to be informed of the perils of related to unsecure networks for logging in to the organization’s servers. Implementing Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help create a secure channel of communication between the company’s website and the remote employee.

  10. Incident Management

    A well-equipped Incident management system needs to be in place to curb the ill effects of an attack immediately after its occurrence. Incident management professionals are needed to be trained in disaster recovery procedures and should facilitate business continuity.
    The company must be ready to provide a prompt incident response to limit the consequences of an attack. Speedy efforts to take remedial action and quarantining affected systems can help restrict the spread of malware. Employees must also be instantly notified about actions to be taken to avert the crisis.

Conclusion

Fighting against malware that can sneak into your organizational network unannounced is a constant battle. Therefore, diligent efforts are needed, to effectively manage your company online and defend it from hackers. By following the aforementioned tips, you can fortify and enhance the security of your enterprise and guarantee its smooth functioning without any interruption.

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Cyber-crime: Payment facilitators falling prey to the scammers

Millions of complaints get registered around the world to the cyber-security regarding the cybercrime. In fact, many fraudulent activities may not even be getting registered to cyber-security.

Today, the e-commerce business gives a high return to the business organization.  These high returns bring high risk to them. E-commerce businesses depend upon electronic transactions so as to charge customers for products purchased and services offered. The magnitude of these electronic transactions is increasing day by day, thereby increasing fraudulent activities.

Payment facilitator companies take the responsibility legally for transferring funds from buyers to sellers. The payment facilitator faces challenges when the firm is smaller or if it is a start-up company. Because these firms don’t have proper technical resources, time, and funds required to get up and running. Payment facilitators while doing transactions for their respective customers often look for the easiest mode for payment transactions and restrict the barrier, which opens the gate to many scammers/fraudsters. Scammers then weave a web for these payment facilitators and attack their database system.

Digital payment frauds are the easiest way. Cybercriminals are very active over the internet as it provides them with the perfect environment and they often have a team. Because consumers and merchants are not interacting face-to-face, they remain anonymous to one another. If the payment processing facility like the process involves making payment initiation and the payment methods of the facilitators are weak it may easily attract the villains to breach their security system and get all the personal, as well as financial data of the customer. Scammers obtain all this information online. When they gain access to the internal systems, scammers may successfully be able to generate files as per the requirement.

Scammers then start sending messages over the phone, e-mail to the respective customers. These messages will appear to customers as if they are being sent by the merchants and customers fall for this trap. 

To further generate more revenues these facilitators develop an app for mobile. The app is used by numerous people and scammers too. Scammers use their app to know about the payment solution by making payments of less or higher value.

Scammers make calls, send emails, text, or send pop-up windows falsely claiming to individuals that their computers have malware or have been infected with viruses. Scammers promise to fix a problem for a charge or offer a download that gives cybercriminals access to their computers and their personal information. At times, cybercriminals also enroll people in long-term computer maintenance plans to protect their computers from problems they have never experienced. Most often, cybercriminals target older people and other demographics that may be less computer savvy.

Chargeback Fraud or Friendly Fraud: Let us say a customer makes an online purchase. Later, they claim that the purchase was made fraudulently and ask for a chargeback – even though they made the purchase themselves.

Merchant fraud: It occurs when someone creates a bogus company with no intention of selling any product to the customer. The business appears legitimate; but since it offers no actual goods or services, all users who make an online purchase only end up losing their money.

CONCLUSION

Risks are always involved in every job so it is in the case of payment facilitators too. While it’s challenging to eliminate the threat of fraud for e-commerce stores entirely, payment facilitator companies can still protect them up to some extent. They can do this by continually updating the network security systems. Firewalls and antivirus software are designed to act as a shield against hackers’. Constantly updating software helps ensure that sensitive business information is safe. 

It is not only payment facilitator’s but our responsibility too to act in a secure way. Today banks therefore warn their customers to not respond to the calls which ask for bank details like account number, credit card/debit card number because banks do not need such data from their customers.

Scammers continue to update their system and fraud technology and become more sophisticated. Payment facilitators have to keep themselves aware of the latest trends in high-risk scams so they can protect themselves. They have to be more vigilant so that they can protect themselves from problems and other digital payment frauds.

TIKAJ’s services will help you stay secure from online frauds.

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Compromised Account Signals and Prevention’s

Hacked accounts or Compromised accounts can lead to unauthorized access to personal information and financial loss. Change your password today if it matches any of the passwords here.

The following are the telltale signs of a hacked account, most of which can be identified in the account settings.

Notifications for unusual Logins
A new device, venue, or user logins may mean a compromised account. If the event-related specifics are irregular, such as signing in during bed hours, you should presume that your password has been compromised and change it quickly.

Inability to access the account
Failed authentication and reset password notifications suggest that the account password could have been changed by an attacker. If this is the case, double-check if MFA has been allowed. Most attackers automatically disable MFA to ignore the suspicious activity in event alerts.

Strange Emails in sent folder
Not all criminals pick over your account completely and shut you out. Sometimes they just want to manipulate your account, either submit spam or obtain more knowledge about you. Check your sent folder to see if you don’t remember sending any texts.

Complain from connections
When you start emailing or texting friends and family in your contact list to let you realize they are getting odd information from you, if it’s increasing and In your address book, you are receiving multiple reports from people, it is much more probable that your account has been hacked.

Shadow IT
Once an intruder has entered an account, certain programs can be linked to extend the reach of their attack. A single Shadow IT app could reveal risks (and even more compromise) to your enterprise.

Unexpected password reset emails
Keep an eye out for letters that you don’t recall calling for a password reset. An intruder can try to find out which banks, shopping sites, and other services you are using. Check for unusual emails or calls that appear to be from your bank and ask for more details.

Prevention’s

  1. Change Password

    When suspecting unauthorized access to the mailbox, automatically change the password immediately. Try the recovery option whether you have lost access to the account. Call customer support as early as practicable if it fails or doesn’t work.

  2. Provide protection by two criteria

    Two-factor authentication is one of the most effective ways to limit or prevent attacks, now is the time to use it. Some email providers support a second authentication stage method, which allows providing certain “factors” before access is given to the account.

  3. Investigate additional options for defense

    Check at your email provider’s other security options, or those unique to your computer. This may include security warnings while logging in from new locations or computers, or the ability to delete apps or accounts remotely if they are lost or stolen.

  4. Enable antivirus and disinfect the computer

    The attackers may have gained access to your computer through malware. Make sure you run an antivirus program to test for spyware, keyloggers, and other forms of malware. Be sure your software and apps are up to date.

TIKAJ provides several cybersecurity services which you can check out here.

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Common mistakes while Security Incident Response Planning

Well-prepared incident response teams are a powerful weapon in an agency’s arsenal in the unpredictable and fast-paced battle against cyber attackers. Incident response teams, which are responsible for evaluating security systems and reacting to security threats.

Addressing typical incident response mistakes may help companies assess if their incident response teams are able to fix their security issues rather than escalate them.

  1. Plans are reactive rather than proactive

    While a successful attack will tend to catch a company off guard in its very nature, the more your business is alerted to an attack’s potential and will be able to respond quickly, the more damage will be mitigated and the less intensive recovery efforts will have to be.

  2. Weak Password Policies

    A login strategy is a key component of a contingency plan to cyber security events. The rule should include some criteria that make simple (i.e. quick to hack) passwords difficult to use. Companies should use self-service and automation to make it easier and more efficient.

  3. Teams are unable to interact properly with the right people

    Many IT security organizations have segmented many functions such as vulnerability scanning, finding, coordinating, and communicating with key stakeholders involved in responding to an incident can be a major challenge.

  4. Inadequate Patching

    Criminals are constantly trying to find ways to sneak in the back door, if you haven’t addressed the weaknesses in your systems and infrastructure properly, then you’re leaving yourself wide open to become a target. Patches are sometimes necessary.

  5. You never think it could happen to you

    Often a smaller company ends up becoming subjected to a cyber-attack when their weakness has not been identified. Businesses of all sizes and sectors are at risk these days, so in order to minimize victimization, you need to be vigilant.

  6. Not learning from mistakes

    Having a successful incident response strategy and implementing it will take the organisation a long way to secure the business, but the refinement of your plan after each event is equally important, as the staff and the resources may have changed over time.

  7. Lack of reporting and control

    Avoid the deployment of increased monitoring after an incident. This is equivalent to firing in the foot during the response to the incident. Some businesses are unable to provide 24/7 safety surveillance, after an accident, there is no reason not to improve monitoring.

  8. Plans are not regularly reviewed and updated

    Each year, organizations with strategies to respond to safety incidents will evaluate their current processes, assess their efficacy, fix upgrades needed, and improve learning.

  9. Users do not know their role in the organization’s security position

    Exploiting clients is one of the most popular and simplest ways hackers will infiltrate organizations. Locating a loophole that allows a hacker full access to a network can be a lot of work, but convincing a customer to run malware is the play of the kid.

TIKAJ provides an end-to end incident response service, to know more visit here.

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Importance of Strong passwords in Today’s world !

Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized devices or accounts entry. You may be open to hackers frequently using the same credentials or using ‘weak’ passwords. Strong passwords are essential to avoid unauthorized access to your online services and computers.A study conducted by BitDefender found that 75% of users also use their Facebook email addresses.

Importance of strong password

  • Protect your website from hackers.
  • Reduce the risk of targeting the web through malware and botnets.

Following are the ways of guessing a password

Brute Force Attack-  An attacker uses automated software to infer the answer to your username and password. The algorithm attempts any possible combination of characters and will first attempt the most widely used passwords, so poor or common passwords can be relatively simple.

Dictionary- A hacker can run a given ‘ list ‘ against your passwords with this hacking tool. This dictionary also contains the most popular variations of passwords, which allows breaking into weakly secured accounts relatively easy and fast.

Keyloggers- A keylogger is a software that hides in the memory of your machine and starts running. This records every keystroke you type and generates a file that is sent to the hacker afterwards. It can be modified so that it can not be shown in the the Windows Task Manager making it difficult to spot.

Social Engineering- Social Engineering is becoming a common password acquisition form. Through their social media accounts, social engineering takes advantage of the people’s trust. Connecting people to share their passwords is a common technique used, and it is often quite effective, unexpectedly.

Instructions for the creation of strong passwords

  • Contain 15 characters or more.
  • Do not include any character patterns.
  • Use nothing, which can be seen on social media pages.
  • Change your password periodically (about every 90 days).
  • The password should not be a dictionary word, company name, user name or pet name.
  • Use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters in lower case and upper case.
  • It is advised that the generated password should not be the same as the previous set password.
  • Use password manager to keep your all strong passwords at one place.