All You Need To Know About A Degree In Cybersecurity

Introduction

With more and more of our lives becoming interwoven with the online space, from our social lives to even our private information, it is becoming more and more important that our data stays protected and safe from malicious actors. The goal of cybersecurity is to protect our digital devices as well as the networks they operate on from threats that could exploit weaknesses to gain access to your information.

There is a lot of progression available in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, as the industry is only set to expand, with skills that can be transferred to any sector of the economy. It can be difficult to navigate all the different types of programmes and niches of cybersecurity, so we have compiled the information that you need to know in order to better understand the field of cybersecurity and whether you should consider taking cyber security courses.

What is a cybersecurity degree for?

A degree in cybersecurity is a great option for those who have or want to develop their critical thinking skills and are knowledgeable about computing. Getting a degree in cybersecurity will help you better develop and understand skills relating to the securing of networks and information. Not only will you be able to know how to secure devices such as computers and devices, but also systems like networks and databases from cyberattacks. You will also know how to look out for exploits and monitor for threats before they even cause any damage.

There are a few different variations of cybersecurity degrees that can be attained, depending on what aspect of cybersecurity you want to specialise in. All The skills that any of the degrees will teach you will better enable you to minimise the number of data breaches that your company or organisations face, either proactively or reactively. 

The courses and skills needed for a cybersecurity degree

The different cybersecurity degrees will also have some specific prerequisite skills and courses that you would need to possess, though there are some universal ones that you should definitely have. You should definitely be comfortable with programming and understanding information law and ethics, as well as operating systems. Cybersecurity-specific courses like cybersecurity policy, digital forensics and system vulnerability assessment are also vital to gaining a firm understanding of cybersecurity operations. 

What’s great about getting a cybersecurity degree?

Work that helps other people

The information about people is important and dependent on the industry you ultimately choose to work in, this information can be life-changing if it gets in the hands of people who aim to do people harm. Doing your job well means that you protect people from getting their credit card details stolen, as well as their addresses and other sensitive information. Fraud and blackmail and various other crimes are life-changing for many people and ensuring that every facet of your information security is secure means that they will never have to go through that.

Your employers will also benefit greatly, as data leaks and compromised systems result in significant delays in operations, meaning that companies value what you bring to the organisation and your prospects are greatly secured.

Develop and hone your skills

A degree programme in cybersecurity will help you advance your career through the further honing and widening of your skills. A degree programme will endow you with skills that you can take back to the workforce, skills that would be difficult to learn outside of a school setting. A degree programme offers you a chance to practice and dry-run your skills and offers you a chance to spot your mistakes and improve on them without any adverse consequences to your employers. 

Job prospects

The cybersecurity and cloud industry is only set to grow in the next decade, meaning that there will be greater demand for people with skills to protect information and data online. Many estimates by government agencies are expecting a large increase in the demand for these roles to be filled, which means that you can expect higher starting salaries and job opportunities. Many other sectors are expanding into cloud services as well, such as finance and healthcare where there is a lot of data management, meaning that you’re not pigeonholed into working in just one industry. 

Salary

Though you may not need a degree in order to get into cybersecurity, many data studies have shown that a degree in cybersecurity will often net you an increased salary and higher positions as you continue working in the field. 

This is especially compelling if you’ve been in the industry for a while without a degree and are looking for a  way to increase your salary and job prospects!

Build your network

When you take a degree programme, you won’t be doing it alone. You’ll meet and interact with many other like-minded people, from your fellow classmates to your lecturers and professors. This gives you the opportunity to build networks and connections with others. These connections are very useful in a professional setting, whether you may be looking for other positions or interests, or have contacts that you can reach out to for collaborations or advice. 

Some programmes may also offer the chance for an internship or job attachment during your studies, meaning that you can develop your professional skills in a real-world setting. You can also interact with the professionals in the organisations you’re in, meaning you have a better chance of landing yourself a job straight after your graduation. 

Conclusion

There are plenty of different cybersecurity degrees that you can choose to pursue depending on your specific interests and capabilities. From computer science to engineering or even the study of cybersecurity itself, each degree will offer you the opportunity to get into the cybersecurity role and understand the inner workings better. Taking a degree offers you a ton of other benefits as well, such as being able to better find a job position that suits your needs and to also develop your professional circle so that you can better leverage the opportunities networking can provide.

Why IBM pushing fully encryption

As enterprises shift more workloads to cloud computing, security and data are almost synonymous. Next-generation security is required to unlock new uses of that data, including richer AI and machine-learning.

Companies have been creating confidential computing to ensure that data is encrypted as it is processed. After a long gestation period, fully homomorphic encryption, which is a security method that encrypts data while it is being processed, is finally coming out of the labs.

Homomorphic encryption is preferred by researchers because it allows data to be tracked across multiple systems. Confidential computing, on the other hand, is more dependent upon powerful hardware that may be limited in certain respects.

Microsoft and Intel are strong supporters of homomorphic encryption.

VentureBeat reports about a “next generation security” method that allows data to be encrypted even as it is being processed.

“A security technique known as fully homomorphic encrypted is on the verge to make its way from the labs into the hands early adopters. It took a long gestation period. Homomorphic encryption has been a big advocated by companies like Intel and Microsoft. IBM made a splash last December when it launched its first heteromorphic encryption services. This package provided support and educational materials, as well as prototyping environments to allow companies to try out new technologies. Eric Maass, IBM’s director of strategy and emerging technologies, spoke out about why the company is so excited about “fully homomorphic encryption (FHE ).

Maass stated that IBM has been working on FHE more than a decade and is now at an apex. The next challenge is widespread adoption. FHE is currently only available in a few organisations. IBM Research released open-source toolkits to accelerate this development. IBM Security launched its first commercial FHE services in December…

Maass stated that FHE is attractive to highly-regulated industries such as health care and financial services in the short term. He said that while they have the ability to unlock the value of data, they also face severe pressures to protect and preserve the privacy information that they are computing on.


According to Wikipedia, homomorphic encryption is “an extension or symmetric-key and public-key cryptography.”

Automated Breach and Attack Simulation Is Rapidly Growing

The automated breach and attack simulation (BAS) market is relatively small. In Reportlinker.com’s recently released report entitled “Automated Breach and Attack Simulation Global Market Report 2022,” its estimated market value in 2022 is around $380.89 million. This is considerably smaller compared to other segments of the cybersecurity industry like the antivirus market which is worth around $4 billion.

What makes the automated BAS market notable, though, is its rapid growth. Reportlinker.com estimates that it is set to become a $1.35 billion market by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 37.3 percent. Many are seeing its benefits, but there are still many more organizations that have not incorporated it into their security posture management.

Adopting automated breach and attack simulation

Breach and attack simulation was introduced in 2017. It took a couple of years for it to be polished and become more acceptable as a cybersecurity solution. By now, it can already be considered a mature enough technology with proven benefits in real-world scenarios. Organizations that have adopted it are already reaping the benefits of being able to prevent more sophisticated cyber attacks.

However, it is never too late to embrace this relatively new cybersecurity technology. Breach and attack simulation delivers real-time visibility that allows organizations to have a clear understanding and control over their dynamic business and cybersecurity environments. This is not just some hyped-up cybersecurity strategy or the result of concerted marketing efforts among cybersecurity firms.

As Reportlinker’s study reveals, “rising complexities in maintaining security threats due to an increased number of attack vectors are expected to propel the growth of the automated breach and attack simulation market in the coming years.” Organizations need a better approach to dealing with the evolving nature of cyber threats, and automated BAS provides a suitable solution.

Compelling reasons to adopt automated BAS

Automated breach and attack simulation (BAS) provides numerous advantages. For one, it does not rely solely on cyber threat and attack identities or threat intelligence. It entails simulations aimed at replicating real-world cyberattacks to test how security controls hold up. Many cyberattacks take advantage of unique vulnerabilities in an organization, and threat identities are unlikely to be useful in addressing these. 

Automated BAS spots security weaknesses that are unique to an organization, so they can be fixed before threat actors find and exploit them. Phishing, for example, is a very common attack, but it requires the “right” conditions to work. The perpetrators of phishing schemes need to find an organization whose employees, for example, are clueless or not so cautious when it comes to clicking links and filling out forms.

Automated BAS can determine weak points in an organization’s security posture such as the failure of email filters to block links to sites associated with phishing. It can also identify employees or departments that appear cavalier when dealing with potential social engineering attacks.

Since the process is automated, organizations can undertake BAS repeatedly and cost-efficiently to ensure continuous security validation. This is not possible if only human security analysts take the responsibility of evaluating the security posture of an organization. It would take innumerable human analysts to perform continuous security validation, and this idea is remotely viable, given the global cybersecurity skills shortage at present.

The continuous security testing automated BAS affords ensures that opportunities for unchecked vulnerabilities to linger, get discovered by threat actors, and become points of entry for attacks are almost entirely eliminated. It only takes minutes or less for hackers to launch an attack and steal data. It only takes a few seconds for a careless employee to download a malware-laced file and infect a network. Every moment of vulnerability that is left unchecked and unaddressed is a good enough opportunity for threat actors.

Moreover, breach and attack simulation emphasizes meticulousness in finding security weaknesses. It goes beyond the superficial to find possibilities of lateral attacks through a network. It can simulate endpoint attacks, malware distribution schemes, data exfiltration, and complex APT attacks that are difficult to detect and appear harmless.

Leveraging an established cybersecurity framework

It is also worth mentioning that automated breach and attack simulation is compatible with the MITRE ATT&CK framework. There are automated BAS providers that operationalize MITRE ATT&CK as part of their continuous purple teaming process. Through the up-to-date adversarial tactics and techniques information of the ATT&CK framework, organizations get to continuously test the effectiveness and optimize their security controls across the full cyber kill chain.

Created from an adversary’s perspective, the ATT&CK framework injects useful inputs into the security posture management of an organization. It departs from the conventional defender-focused mindset when it comes to risk and threat lifecycle modeling. It provides insights into the attacker’s behavior to help defenders better understand how attacks work and how they can be modified or tweaked to evade defenses.

Proving the benefits of automated BAS

Again, automated breach and attack simulation is not just a marketing ploy. Market intelligence and advisory provider International Data Corporation (IDC) describes it as “a critical tool to test the efficacy of security controls.” IDC considers automated BAS a great addition to traditional cybersecurity vulnerability testing, citing its robust range of features and functionality and ability to enable a more proactive thrust in establishing cyber defense.

A 2020 Frost & Sullivan white paper also backs the idea that breach and attack simulation is helpful in improving cyber risk management, especially amid the growing complexities of cyber threats. “Leveraging advanced automated BAS technology is a best practice that more enterprises with a large number of endpoints need to embrace. It will unquestionably enable organizations to raise the bar on security hygiene while simultaneously allowing IT departments to become more efficient,” the paper explains.

Moreover, different companies that offer automated BAS solutions have long lists of satisfied clients that share their testimonials on the benefits of automated breach and attack simulation. These are verifiable information involving real organizations. Also, just recently, the United States Army granted an Authority to Operate to a BAS solution provider, marking the first time that the US Army uses a breach and attack simulation platform to achieve enhanced defense posture across mission-critical assets.

There are reasons why automated breach and attack simulation has become one of the fastest growing cybersecurity solutions in recent years. It provides palpable benefits and there is a growing number of organizations that have already adopted it. Also, authoritative organizations and institutions acknowledge its advantages.

If there is a reason to hesitate trying out automated BAS, it would be the reputation of the company that offers it. Otherwise, it is high time to take it as an essential part of an organization’s security posture.

Features of a Web Application Firewall

Cybercrime has grown in the last decade. This culminated after the pandemic. Businesses are now under increased threat from cybercrime, as more people work online than ever.

What is a Web Application Firewall?

What are Web Application Firewalls and How Does it Actually Work?

Web Application Firewall or WAF is an internet security software that is used to protect the web applications from hackers and cyber attacks. It protects the web application from any vulnerability that can be exploited by a hacker to attack the application and steal data.

How Do I Implement a Web Application Firewall on my Website?

A web application firewall (WAF) is a software that protects your website from hacking and other cyber-attacks. It’s an additional layer of protection for your website.

A WAF is a security system that monitors traffic to and from your website, looking for malicious activity. It blocks suspicious requests, preventing them from reaching your server.

A WAF can be configured in many different ways, depending on what you want it to do. You can configure it to block all traffic or only specific types of traffic such as HTTP or HTTPS requests, POST requests, or just GET requests.

Picking the Right WAF for your Website

A WAF is a Web Application Firewall, which is an application that monitors traffic to and from a website. A WAF can block malicious requests to the website or allow them.

The best way to pick the right WAF for your website is by finding out what kind of attacks it blocks and how well it does so. You should also check if it blocks any of your legitimate requests and what kind of impact on load time the WAF has.

Conclusion: Start Using a Web Application Firewall to Supercharge Your Website Protection Today

A web application firewall (WAF) is a software solution that offers protection for web applications and websites from cyberattacks.

A WAF is a software solution that offers protection for web applications and websites from cyberattacks. It can be used to protect against SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other types of attacks that target the application layer.

It can also help to mitigate denial-of-service attacks, which are typically aimed at overloading the server’s resources or at exploiting vulnerabilities in the network stack.

Some WAFs also offer protection against brute force login attempts by limiting login attempts from an IP address to a certain number in a given time frame. A WAF is usually deployed as an appliance or as an add-on module for an existing firewall product.

TOP Multi-factor authentication solutions

What is MFA provider?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA/2FA) software secures user accounts by requiring them to prove their identity in two or more ways before granting access to accounts, sensitive information, systems, or applications. The use of MFA software is an effective way to mitigate the risks associated with account compromise.

What are the benefits of using MFA/2FA software? MFA software protects sensitive information and systems by requiring users to provide two or more pieces of information before granting access.

This article reviews the top security solutions offered by Protectimus – Two-Factor Authentication Provider.

On-Premise Protectimus platform

The Protectimus on-premise MFA just needs to be installed on your computer’s server or in your private network.

You protect your customer information and also make your account more secure. For an example, you could place the on-premise platform on an isolated network without internet access and add additional security using firewalls.

This 2 fa platform delivers strong authentication across your whole organization. On-premise authentication platform supports multidomatic environments, clusters and replication. Backups and backups are easy to set up and maintain.

  • Cross-platform
  • Multidomain environments
  • Replication and backup functionality

You don’t have to worry about logins getting breached because Protectimus is partnered with leading companies like SwiftKey and Microsoft. All of the features are included in our comprehensive strategy.

Additional MADP features can be added, or you can back up to text by sending your messages via SMPP.

Protectimus Winlogon – 2FA/MFA for Windows Logon and Microsoft RDP

Protecting your Windows account is easy with 2 fa windows logon. You can connect the Winlogon or Microsoft RDP 2FA solution to Protectimus in just 15 minutes.

Protects both local Windows logins and remote desktops (RDP). Easy to install Windows 2FA and suits either corporate or personal Windows accounts. Works in offline mode.

Using a Windows password manager is a great way to protect both your local Windows logins and remote desktop sessions (RDP). This software eliminates the need to create and remember complex passwords. When used offline, it can still access your stored data when disconnected from the Internet.

Windows 7, 8.1, 10, Server 2012, 2016, 2019 and 2022.

Now you can have an added level of protection for your Windows account with the Protectimus 2FA software. Instead of just a standard password, you’ll use a time-based one-time password as well.

Windows 2FA eliminates the possibility of Windows account compromise when the password is intercepted, guessed, discovered, or stolen through social engineering or phishing.

The State of Cybersecurity

The COVID-19 pandemic has launched a revolution in the digital world. Workforces have shifted to online platforms, which has led to a significant rise in cyberattacks ranging from simple phishing attacks to sophisticated supply chain management attacks surrounding the remote work environment. According to FBI reports, cyberattacks have increased by 300% since the pandemic started.

Google has highlighted that its company blocked over 18 million coronavirus phishing attempts per day at the start of the pandemic. Overall, the cyber threat trend has increased as more individuals and firms rely on the internet to carry out their everyday operations.

As companies have moved to flexible work hours or full-time home-based work models, so have attack surfaces. Threat actors use current events and changing situations to target people who are most vulnerable.

Every individual has encountered a fraudulent email, phone, or text message related to Covid-19. Some of them have claimed to sell safety equipment, hand sanitizer, or food. Cybercrime has increased by a huge margin since the start of the global pandemic

Cybersecurity statistics for 2021

Given below is a detailed look at the cyber security statistics 2021.

1- Malware Statistics

Malware is the most expensive type of security breach for businesses. Since 2019, the cost of malware attacks has increased by an enormous amount. Meanwhile, The cost of malicious insider attacks has increased even more. Malware, Web-based attacks, and denial-of-service attacks are the major contributing factors to this revenue loss.

Based on the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), a sum of 5,258 confirmed data breaches occurred in 16 different industries and 4 distinct world regions. 86% of the breaches were financially motivated. This is a substantial increase from the 2020 DBIR’s 3,950 confirmed attacks (out of 32,002 incidents).

CSO online research shows that roughly 95% of all malware attacks are delivered via email. According to Statista report 2021, the number of malware attacks worldwide reached 5.4 billion between 2015 and 2021. Over 80% of the attacks that occurred in North America were carried out as automated bot attacks.

Security Driven Artificial Intelligence has been cost-effective, saving up to $3.81 million (80% cost difference). Zero trust security strategies have been crucial and saved $1.76 million per breach.

2- Ransomware Statistics

As per 2021 statistics, Ransomware continues to thrive, and organizations continue to pay a high price for these attack vectors. Additionally, attackers target a diverse range of entities, from local and national governments to businesses and nonprofits, making it difficult to solve. In 2021, ransomware was 57 times more harmful than it was in 2015.

  • Accent Consulting stated that ransomware attacks were predicted to cost businesses $20 billion by 2020, having increased more than 50 times since 2015.
  • Ransomware Infection rates remain increasing. According to the BlackFog report,  Ransomware seems to be most prevalent in populations that are highly connected to the internet, such as those in the United States and Europe.
  • As per NCBI, REevil was the most prevalent ransomware in the 4th quarter of 2019, with attacks continuing into 2020.
  • PWC stated that malicious email attacks have increased by 600% during 2021, primarily driven by the pandemic.
  • According to National Security Institute, the average cost of ransomware incidents has risen from $5,000 in 2018 to around $200,000 in 2020.
  • Cybercrime Magazine estimates that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021.
  • Fortinet declares that almost one out of every 6,000 emails contains a potentially malicious link that is associated with ransomware. 
  • According to Cybereason, 42% of users reported that their cyber insurance did not compensate for their ransomware-related losses.

3- Industry Specific Cybersecurity Statistics

Several Industries were affected due to cyberattacks during the pandemic:

  • According to Comparitech, public companies lose 8.6% of their value due to cyber intrusion.
  • In 2020, 66% of firms suffered some form of phishing, including the most common type, spear-phishing attacks. This is dropped by 83% from 2019.
  • Companies in France and Japan are less likely to pay a ransomware attack and seem to have reduced breaches.

According to Proof Point’s research, the engineering and telecommunications industries have been particularly vulnerable to phishing attempts, whereas legal firms and hospitals have passed phishing tests more often.

4- Cybersecurity Jobs statistics 2021

Cybercrime is estimated to cost the world $6 trillion by the end of 2021. This figure is expected to rise to $10.5 trillion by 2025.

To keep up with escalating cybercrime, the worldwide information security market is expected to grow to $170.4 billion by 2022.

61% of cybersecurity experts say that their team is understaffed. Furthermore, the cybersecurity skills gap will continue to be a major issue, with 3.5 million unfilled jobs in 2021.

Packetlabs has developed a list of 2021 cybersecurity statistics to help with internal or external stakeholder presentations or meetings. These current statistics may illustrate the importance of upgrading an organization’s cybersecurity posture. It may also broaden the understanding of where the firm stands in the cybersecurity landscape.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, 2021 has been the most affected year by COVID-19 after 2020, as several workforces have switched to digitalizing data. As a result, cybersecurity risks and attacks have increased with the increase in the online work environment. It has been a good year for job applicants in the cybersecurity sector. However, companies have had to fill the skill gap and number of work positions to reduce cyberattack risks.

Your IP has been banned – Read this

What is IP Address Banning?

IP addresses are banned or blocked by firewalls or IP addresses.

It’s a network-based service that blocks requests of host computers using specific IP-assigned addresses in an IP network. In reality, blocking the use of IP addresses is often used as a way of protecting a user from a malicious attack. Services may also help limit access within or out of a geographic region. IP banned functionality is also available for multiple computers via host files.

For Unix-like software it is commonly possible to block IP addresses via the use of a TCMP Wrapper. It can be useful to block IP addresses from websites for security purposes as a matter of law if there are any. But that’s a little frustrating for us all too.

Why did I get IP banned?

IP address blocks are usually imposed on computers if a particular person does something wrong with the system. What is the reason behind your suspension? You entered incorrect usernames and passwords in many places. This could result in your browser blocking your site.

It’s not the end of the world

I hope you get rid of your instagram IP and stop panicking. It will be easy for some people to regain the internet. Keep reading these suggestions so we can send a quick email back with your photo. How can I make my Facebook account more secure using a proxy? Find out how Instagram can be manipulated? Automatization and anonymity advocates at Smartproxy. He supports data-free practices and believes everybody should become an independent start-up. He shares his knowledge on the best residential proxies.

Quick navigation

Once connected to the Internet, a provider of internet services can assign an IP address on your computer. Depending on your Internet type you can be given a static or dynamic IP address. But a user’s IP is able to block certain websites. How can IP be blocked? The answers will be discussed at a later stage. What are fake IP addresses?

How long does an IP ban last on Instagram?

There are no specific times for a temporary or permanent ban on IP addresses. It may help with residential proxies like CoughSmartproxy*Cough and VPN services which can be used to host IP addresses for a client’s home.

Summary

How can I block an Internet Protocol Address? How can we stop IPs from being used for other purposes? The MiniTool article will help you answer some questions.

Tell me the IP address?

IP addresses are identification codes assigned to your devices via your ISP. Your phone’s IP address can be seen as an internet license plate. Although IP addresses identifie an individual device, it can also identify users in a specific way. The IP address is traceable by knowing where this connection came from. Basically it allows a website to block certain users from accessing its contents in certain regions on a particular continent.

How can I avoid being banned from Google?

You can create multiple accounts or backup your files locally without fear of being blocked by Google. For example if storing pictures in Google Photos you can just back it to your computer to keep it safe. You can also upload a video to your YouTube video or a document or folder into your Google Drive.

What happens if you get your ip banned from yahoo?

Sometimes your IP address is blocked or it will be impossible to access your favorite sites. An IP address is often blocked by someone who did something wrong. Tell me the reason for your suspension? You had to use the wrong username on many sites. This may result in blocking your internet service.

What happens when a Gmail account is suspended?

Upon suspension of the user’s Google Gmail account you are allowed to return the Gmail account to Google admin. As long as users’ accounts are blocked, the user will not get emails. You are also allowed access to Google calendars and other apps. What are the steps to get your account back?

Google has almost 23% of all internet usage worldwide, compared with a billion. If a person is banned from Google, it could mean losing their access to Googlemail. A lock on a Google account can, however, cause a device’s battery to fail.

Reasons behind the “Your IP Has Been Banned” error

What are the reasons for blocking my e-mail account? Maybe that’s your problem. Typically, the IP address can’t be logged if someone’s done something wrong with their system. Often times, users may have forgotten their usernames or passwords. Other possible causes can also occur.

Can I change my IP address to avoid being banned?

Your Internet service provider leased you that IP address and therefore your IP reputation. Now you are banned from all your activities. You can now change your IP for a better solution.

Can a VPN get you banned from a website?

Web sites that block a user’s IP address will block the VPN service. If a VPN service uses static IP addresses to send a message to clients, it is banned.

How do you know if your IP banned?

What’s the easiest method to find out if IPs are blocked by someone? Please try logging into the server and see if the server is blocking your connection. The error usually explains why your Internet connection is blocked.

How long does an IP ban last?

A Fortnite ban is valid on players from 30 days to 30 days and lasts for the entire lifetime. Typically the length of ban is dictated by severity of offense or number of previous incidents. If you are able to get back to games without having your internet access disabled, you may want to use an encrypted VPN to hide it from your computer.

What does it mean when your IP is banned?

IP blocks or IP bans are configurations that block requests for IPs by hosts that use specific IP addresses. IP blocking is usually utilised to prevent the penetration of malicious addresses and to protect against brute force.

How do I get rid of IP ban?

Tell me the way to avoid IP restrictions? Change your IP address – Change your Internet Protocol address on a device. Utilizing VPN – Utilizing virtual private networks to obtain the IP address of the new VPN Providers. Use an IP proxy server – Use proxy servers to access services via different IP addresses.

Amazon privacy: How to clear your Shop Story

Amazon has a wide range of products. You’ll find it slowly learns about you by browsing your purchases. You’ll be able to see all of the products you’ve looked at in the Amazon app if you have ever opened it.

These recommendations can be very helpful and highlight products that you might not have otherwise considered. There are many reasons Amazon might not track your online interests.

Perhaps you are looking for something unexpected and don’t want your partner to know. Perhaps you are tired of being targeted ads based upon your browsing history. Maybe your recommendations are out of control since you clicked that strange product link in a buzzfeed article.

No matter the reason, Amazon users can delete items from their personal history. Here’s how it works.

BROWSING THE HISTORY

Amazon tracks everything you see, regardless of whether you purchase it. Although you cannot access a history of all your viewed items, it is possible to look at a list and delete any.

Tap the “three-line” icon at the bottom of the Amazon app for iPhone or iPadOS and choose Your account. Select Recently Viewed Items from the next menu. To delete specific items from your history, click the Remove From View button.

To remove all items from the list, press Manage at the top right. Then press Delete history at the bottom. The browsing history option can be toggled off completely, so that it doesn’t track future product views.

DELETE SAVED EARCHES

You may also want to delete any records of previous searches. You can do this by simply tapping on the search box “What are you looking for” at the top.

A chronological list of searches will appear. To delete an entry, press the X button to the left.

MULTIPLE DEVICES

It is worth noting that Amazon searches history and recently viewed items are different for each device. For example, if you are using the app on an iPhone or an iPad, you will need to repeat the steps above twice.

You’ll also need to manage your history on any computer you log into Amazon from. Go to Amazon’s website from your computer and click Your Amazon in the top menu. The Your Browsing History sub-menu will appear. From this menu, you can delete items much like the above.

Squareball’s Partnership with Okta

Identity Management (IAM) is a fundamental security component for businesses that want to secure their data and applications. IAM manages who has access to what, and makes sure that only authorized people have access to the information and systems they require.

There are many different methods for implementing IAM, and the subject is complex. The basic ideas, on the other hand, are constant:

  • Modern IAM must be centrally planned and managed.
  • Other security measures must be used in conjunction with AWS Identity and Access Management.
  • IAM must be adaptable to meet the changing demands of a dynamic company.

There are several commercial and open source IAM solutions accessible, but they all have one thing in common: careful planning and implementation is required. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that two of the most dependable IAM firms have collaborated to provide a new solution that is both simple to use and highly effective.

Now that Okta has collaborated with Squareball, we’ll look at the significance of this new partnership in this post.

Squareball company

Okta partner Squareball, is a German company that specializes in the creation, design, and implementation of IAM-oriented applications, platforms, internal systems, and services. You may create a secure foundation for your team, customer base, and critical information as an Identity as a service provider with Okta.

Squareball works with Okta as a certified and authorized partner and solution provider. This covers developer, managerial, administrative, and consulting skills. They provide knowledgeable assistance on full-service development, implementation, rollout, maintenance, and governance of Identity solutions to multinational corporations and startups.

Squareball’s Identity group specializes in creating and managing identification solutions, including onboarding. They can assist you in resolving an application or identity management software problem as well as improve the user experience if things aren’t going smoothly. Finally, decades of expertise in full-stack development, cloud infrastructure, DevOps, UX, and product management have helped to cement their position as one of the most qualified and dependable IAM solution providers.

Products and Services

– Discovery & Definition: The first stage in implementing a new IAM solution is the information architecture evaluation, requirements gathering, and solution development workshops. The discovery & definition service includes the information architecture assessment, requirements gathering, and solution creation workshops.

– Deployment Strategy: The managed service provider’s IAM deployment approach aids in the planning and execution of a successful IAM rollout. It includes an IAM roadmap, deployment planning, and change management best practices, as well as an IAM road map.

– Project Management: The project management solution has the tools and expertise you need to successfully manage your IAM program. It also includes scrum masters, as well as product owners.

– Single Sign-On (“SSO”): The SSO service provides you with the tools and knowledge you’ll need to get up and running with SSO in your organization. Customized SSO solutions, as well as training on how to use them, are included in the package.

– Multi-Factor Authentication (“MFA”): The MFA service offers you with the knowledge and resources you’ll need to get started with MFA for your company. It begins with a thorough examination of your present MFA demands and ends with training on how to utilize the MFA solution.

– UI Design: The UI design service assists you in developing a distinct user interface for your IAM solution. It begins with an examination of your current UI needs, followed by the development of bespoke UIs and training on how to use the finished product.

– Cloud Infrastructure: The cloud infrastructure service may help you get started with identity and access management by providing the tools you need to implement it. It includes an IAM roadmap, deployment planning, and change management best practices, as well as a provider engagement model.

– Technical Leadership: The Technical Leadership Service provides you with all of the tools and knowledge you’ll need to successfully manage your IAM project. It includes an evaluation of your present technical demands, the development of bespoke solutions, and training on how to utilize them.

Okta

Anyone who interacts with your business, from customers to employees, may be verified by Okta. More than 10,000 organizations rely on Okta’s software and APIs to log in, authorize, and manage users. Okta gives you a single location where you can manage all of your identity verification needs.

For many years, Okta has been a leader in identity and access management. For the continued development of their Identity as a Service platform, industry experts have recognized Okta in key research areas.

The Okta Identity Cloud links the appropriate people and technologies to help customers get the most out of their digital transformation. With over 6,000 pre-built integrations to leading businesses like Salesforce and Google Cloud, Okta’s clients can leverage the finest technology available. 20th Century Fox, JetBlue, and Nordstrom employ Okta to help them securely connect their people to the right resources they need.

Okta makes it simple to secure your digital transformation with the appropriate identity solution for your organization. Okta’s platform sets the groundwork for safe interactions between people and technology. You may move swiftly knowing that your users’ security and data are secure while using Okta.

It’s simple enough to understand why more organizations are opting for these new providers of authentication rather than relying on on-premises solutions.

As your company develops, you’ll have to deal with an increasing number of user accounts and access permissions. Maintaining control of your data and keeping your users secure should be at the top of your list.

It’s also easy to see why so many people are excited about the collaboration between Okta and Squareball. Okta’s Authentication as a Service platform allows humans and technology to communicate securely, and merges seamlessly with Squarball’s own features.

With the appropriate identity solution for your company, the Okta/Squareball partnership makes it simple to protect your digital transformation. Customers will get a comprehensive identity management solution, from sign-up and login through access and permission management, with these two companies’ combined products.

Five tech commandments to a safer digital life

101

Cyber-security is just as important when using our smartphones as when working online.

Summary

Security is ‘only as good as the weakest link’, a rule that applies to cyber-security. This article identifies five critical rules to follow regarding digital security:

  1. Use strong passwords, at least eight characters, different ones for different sites. A password manager automatically generates long, complex passwords for accounts with one master password.
  2. Use multi-factor (two-step) authentication (as used by banks) where a phone code is used and a login and password—you can generally add this feature to most online accounts.
  3. Don’t overshare. Smartphone cameras can automatically capture our location, but this feature could compromise security. Ensure the photo location feature is off by default.
  4. Don’t share data about friends. Sharing your address book may compromise others. If you are interested to see if your friends are using a service, ask them. 
  5. Stay sceptical

Worth thinking about the consequences of not following these rules.

What Is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

Security Operation Center (SOC), a central function within an organisation, uses people, processes and technology to monitor and improve security posture of an organization while responding to cybersecurity incidents.

The SOC is the central command point or hub of telemetry, collecting data from all parts of an organization’s IT infrastructure. This includes its devices, networks, appliances and information stores. Due to the proliferation of advanced threats, it is important to collect context from multiple sources. The SOC is basically the point of correlation for all events that are logged within an organization. The SOC must determine how each event will be handled and acted on.

Security personnel and organizational structure

A security operation team (or, more often, a security center) is responsible for monitoring, investigating, responding to, and investigating cyberthreats 24 hours a day. Security operations teams are responsible for protecting intellectual property, business systems, brand integrity, and personnel data. Security operations teams are the core of an organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy. They act as the point of convergence in coordinated efforts to assess, monitor, and defend against cyberattacks.

SOCs are typically built around a hub and spoke architecture. This allows for a wide range of systems to be integrated, including vulnerability assessment solutions (GRC), application and database scanners (IPS), entity and user behavior analytics ( UEBA), endpoint discovery and remediation ( ), threat intelligence platforms (TIP).

SOC managers usually lead the group. They may include threat hunters, incident responders, SOC analysts (levels 1, 2, and 3), and incident response manager(s). The SOC reports directly to the CEO or the CIO.

SOC processes

Stage 1: Event Classification and Triage

What is the importance of this?

Log data analysis is a valuable tool that allows you to correlate and analyze log data. Key indicators of compromise include user activity, system events, firewall acceptance/denies, and firewall accept/denies. You should also be alerted to specific sequences or combinations of these events within specific patterns. This stage is crucial for success. You need to be able to quickly classify events so you can prioritize and escalate important events that require further investigation.

What do SOC Analysts do at this Stage?

The latest events with the greatest severity or criticality are reviewed by Tier 1 SOC analysts. After confirming that these events warrant further investigation, they will escalate the matter to a Tier2 Security Analyst. Please note that smaller teams may have the same analyst who investigates issues as they escalate into a more detailed investigation. Documenting all activity is key to success at this stage (e.g. notation, trouble ticket, etc).

It is crucial to identify attacker activity early in an attack before sensitive data or systems are compromised. It is more likely that attackers will succeed in their attacks as they move up the kill chain stages. You can identify which events need your attention by looking at infrastructure activity and environmental behavior from the attacker’s point of view.

Stage 2: Prioritization and Analysis

What is the importance of this?

Prioritization is key to success in all endeavors, but it is even more important in cyber security. The stakes are high, and the rate of attacks is increasing at an alarming pace that shows no signs of slowing down. The resources available to protect assets from this attack are very limited. You need to focus on the events that have the greatest impact on business operations. This requires you to know which assets are most important. The most important responsibility of the SOC team is to ensure business continuity.

What do SOC Analysts do at this Stage?

Any activity that suggests an adversary has infiltrated the environment should be reviewed and addressed. This could include the installation of a rootkit/RAT, backdoor or other means to exploit an existing vulnerability in network communications between an external host and a known bad address associated with cyber adversaries’ C2 infrastructure.

Stage 3: Recovery & Remediation

What is the importance of this?

You can prevent similar attacks from occurring by responding quickly to any incident you detect. It is important to note that there are many decisions to be made when investigating an incident. This includes whether your organization is more concerned with recovering from the damage than investigating it as a criminal offense. Your management team should be involved in your investigation. Communicate clearly and frequently with your management team. Document everything.

What do SOC Analysts do at this Stage?

Although each attack is different in terms of the correct remediation steps that should be taken on affected systems, it will usually involve one or more the following steps:

  • Re-image your systems and restore backups
  • Update or patch systems (e.g. Update apps and OS versions
  • System access can be re-configured (e.g. Account removals, password resets
  • Re-configure network access (e.g. Re-configure network access (e.g.
  • Monitor servers and assets for vulnerabilities (e.g. Enable HIDS
  • Run vulnerability scans to validate patching procedures and security controls

Some SOC teams also delegate remediation and recovery tasks to other IT groups. In such cases, the SOC analyst would open a ticket or change control request and then delegate it to system and desktop operations.

Stage 4: Audit & Assessment

What is the importance of this?

It is always best to fix vulnerabilities as soon as possible to prevent attackers from gaining access to your environment. It is best to conduct periodic vulnerability assessments, and then review the report findings. These assessments will not identify procedural vulnerabilities, but technical ones. Make sure that your team also addresses gaps in your SOC processes that could put you at risk.

What do SOC Analysts Do at this Stage?

SOC team members are most commonly responsible for running network vulnerability scans or generating compliance reports. SOC team members can also review their SOC processes and share them with external audit teams (internal or extern) in order to ensure policy compliance and to determine how to improve SOC group performance.

The SOC performs 10 key functions

1. Take stock of all available resources

The SOC is responsible to two types of assets: the various processes, applications, and devices they are charged with protecting, and the defensive tools that they have at their disposal to ensure that protection.

  • What the SOC Protects
    Devices and data that the SOC cannot see can’t be protected. There are likely to be gaps in the network security posture without visibility and control, from the device to the cloud. The SOC’s goal in gaining a comprehensive view of the threat landscape of the company includes all types of endpoints, servers, and software, as well as third-party services and traffic between them.
  • The SOC Protects
    A complete knowledge of all cybersecurity tools and workflows used within the SOC is essential for the SOC. This improves agility and allows the SOC run at its peak efficiency

2. Preparation and preventative maintenance

Even the most agile and well-equipped response systems are not able to prevent problems from happening in the first place. The SOC has two major categories of preventative measures that can be used to keep attackers away.

  • Preparation
    Keep your team informed about the latest security trends, cybercrime developments and new threats. This research can be used to help create a security roadmap for the company that will guide its cybersecurity efforts moving forward. It will also include a disaster recovery plan that will offer guidance in the worst-case scenario.
  • Preventative Maintenance
    This step covers all actions that are taken to make successful attacks more difficult. These include regularly updating and maintaining existing systems, updating firewall policies, patching vulnerabilities, and whitelisting, blocking, and securing apps.

3. Continuous Proactive Monitoring

The SOC uses tools to scan the network 24 hours a day to identify suspicious activity or anomalies. The SOC can monitor the network 24/7 to alert them of any emerging threats. This gives them the best chance of preventing or minimising harm. A SIEM, an EDR or an EDR are all possible monitoring tools. Better still, an SOAR, or an XDR can be used to use behavioral analysis to teach systems the difference between normal day-to-day operations or actual threat behavior. This reduces the amount of human triage and analysis.

4. Alert Management and Ranking

The SOC is responsible for reviewing all alerts issued by monitoring tools, discarding false positives and determining how serious any threats might be. This allows them to quickly triage any emerging threats and deal with the most pressing issues first.

5. Threat Response

These are the actions that most people associate with the SOC. The SOC is the first responder when an incident is confirmed. They perform actions such as shutting down or isolating any endpoints, stopping harmful processes from executing, deleting files and many other tasks. It is important to provide a quick response that has minimal impact on business continuity.

6. Remediation and Recovery

The SOC will restore data and systems in the wake of an incident. The SOC may need to wipe and restart endpoints, reconfigure systems, or in the case ransomware attacks deploy viable backups to avoid the ransomware. This will restore the network to its previous state if it is successful.

7. Log Management

The SOC is responsible to collect, maintain, and review the logs of all communications and network activity for the entire organization. These data can help establish a baseline of “normal” network activity and reveal threats. They can also be used to remediate and forensically investigate the incident. Many SOCs use SIEMs to combine and correlate data feeds from applications and firewalls.

8. Root Cause Investigation

The SOC is responsible for investigating the incident’s aftermath to determine what happened, when and how it occurred. The SOC uses log data, as well as other information, to track down the source of the problem. This will allow them to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

9. Security Improvement and Refinement

Cybercriminals constantly improve their tactics and tools. The SOC must implement continuous improvements to keep them ahead. This step will bring to life the Security Road Map’s plans, but it can also involve hands-on practice such as red-teaming or purple-teaming.

10. Compliance Management

While many of the SOC’s processes follow established best practices, some are subject to compliance requirements. Regular audits of the SOC’s systems are required to ensure compliance with regulations. These regulations may be issued by the organization, their industry or by governing bodies. These regulations include HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS. These regulations can help protect sensitive data the company has been given, but it can also protect the organization from reputational damage or legal challenges that may result from a breach.

Optimizing security operations models

The SOC is primarily responsible for incident management, but the chief information security officer (CISO), is responsible to ensure compliance and risk management. An adaptive security architecture is required to bridge the operational and data silos between these functions. It allows organizations to implement optimized security operations. This approach improves efficiency by integrating, automating, and orchestrating. It also reduces labor hours and improves information security management.

A security framework is essential to optimize security operations. It makes it simple to integrate security solutions with threat intelligence into daily processes. SOC tools such as centralized and actionable dashboards integrate threat data into security monitoring dashboards. Reports are used to keep management and operations informed about any changes. SOC teams can improve their overall risk management by linking threat management to other systems that manage risk and compliance. These configurations allow for continuous visibility across domains and systems. They can also use actionable intelligence to improve accuracy and consistency in security operations. Centralized functions make it easier to share data, audit and report across the board.

A thorough assessment is essential in order to operationalize threat management. An organization must evaluate its processes and policies, in addition to its defenses. What are the strengths of your organization? What are the weaknesses? What is your risk profile? What data are you collecting and how much data are you using?

Every organization is unique, but there are certain core capabilities that every company should have and best security operations practices. A plan is the first step in a reasonable threat management process. It includes discovery (including baseline calculations to promote anomaly detection and normalization and correlation), triage (based upon risk and asset value), analysis, contextualization, scoping, and iterative investigation. Interruption response programs are fed from the prioritized and characterized incidents managed by threat management processes. It is essential to have a well-crafted response plan in place to contain a threat and minimize the damage caused by a data breach.

Figure 1.

Although there are many data sources available for effective visibility and threat management, it can be difficult to find the most useful and current information. Event data from countermeasures and IT assets, indicators or compromise (IoCs), produced internally (via malware analyses) and externally via threat intelligence feeds, and system data collected by sensors (e.g. host, network, and database). These are the most valuable data. ).

These data sources are more than just an input for threat management. They provide context and make the data valuable and actionable, allowing for more accurate, precise and quick assessment during the interactive and iterative threat management process. Organization maturity is measured by the ability to access and make effective use of the relevant data to support plans or procedures. A mature scenario is one that has a workflow that allows for direct action within the operational consoles or across products. This flows integrates IT operations with security teams and tools to provide incident response for critical events.

These assessments will help you prioritize areas where more investment or less friction is required to achieve your threat management implementation goals. Penetration tests and consultants can help to benchmark strategy, organizational maturity, and security response to attacks in order to determine the current level of an organization’s ability detect and contain malicious events. This vetted review, which compares against other enterprises, can help to justify and explain the need for cybersecurity operations resources to be redirected or invested in.

References

  • https://www.checkpoint.com/cyber-hub/threat-prevention/what-is-soc/
  • https://www.trellix.com/en-us/security-awareness/operations/what-is-soc.html
  • https://www.microfocus.com/en-us/what-is/security-operations-center
  • https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-security-operations-center-soc

Are Passwords Obsolete?

Increasingly, we see an organizational move away from the use of passwords, at least in the traditional sense. Companies are working to meet the changing demands of more remote and hybrid work. They need to ensure that users can access resources securely but remain productive. 

A lot of this comes from using features like single sign-on and multi-factor authentication

Both are part of a Zero Trust architecture, and along with these concepts, many are questioning whether or not passwords will become altogether obsolete. Below, we explore the topic. 

Passwords are Still Alive… for Now

The discussion about the death of the password started nearly 20 years ago at the RSA Security Conference. In 2004, passwords were described as not being able to meet the challenge of securing critical resources. At that time, it was said their extinction was inevitable. 

Here we are, all this time later, and passwords are still with us, but their death is still being discussed. 

Even though we have made tremendous advances in so many technology areas, we still rely on passwords for security. 

Last year, hackers were able to breach Colonial Pipeline Company with one single compromised password. After shutting down the largest fuel pipeline in the country, the hackers were able to walk away with $4.4 million. 

That left many once again questioning why passwords are still so often used as the only authentication factor. 

While passwords are alive, largely due to convenience, their ability to be your company’s sole source of protection is very much dead. 

That brings the world to the multi-factor authentication (MFA) era. 

Why Are Passwords Alone So Problematic?

Employees often use weak passwords or reuse them. 

Recent research finds that the word itself, password, is still being used as the most common password in all industries. Other passwords that are commonly used include Hello123 and sunshine. 

Around 20% of passwords researchers recently uncovered were either the exact company name or a small variation. 

In some industries, employees have their particular types of a weak passwords. For example, in the financial sector research, profit was a common one, and in energy, it was snowman. 

We can think back to the SolarWinds hack, which was triggered by someone using the password solarwinds123 to protect a secure server. 

Company officials say the weak password wasn’t the reason for the hack, but they were warned of a weak password by a security expert, and then took two years to change it. 

In 2019, according to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, compromised credentials were the reason for 80% of all data breaches

Phishing scams are the most common type of cyberattack directed at passwords. In a phishing scam, employees give their credentials in response to fake emails or spoofed websites. 

A cybercriminal can also use automated tools like a brute force to guess passwords. 

Cyber attackers can steal credentials through malware or from database dumps of stolen passwords or try to crack coded versions of a password that an organization stores in their system. 

It’s very difficult for anyone to remember a random, complex password. The average online user also has at least dozens of accounts online, requiring a password. There’s a very high likelihood that they’ll use the same or at least a very similar password across sites, and often both business and personal accounts. 

How Can Multi-Factor Authentication Help?

We can talk about passwords being dead or obsolete all we want, but the reality is the conversation is decades in the making, and we’re still using them. 

Rather than planning for passwords to be entirely obsolete, it’s better to consider other security measures—namely, multi-factor authentication or MFA. 

MFA adds another layer of authentication on top of a password when someone goes through the login process, significantly improving security. 

With the enabling of MFA, a hacker can’t get into a system with just a stolen password. They’ll also need another factor, like a security code that’s randomly generated and sent to your smartphone. 

The vast majority of hacking occurs remotely, so MFA can safeguard against hacking almost entirely. 

According to the Center for Internet Security, MFA is the recommended first-line approach for authentication. Second, to that recommendation is the use of password policies. 

Password Replacements

There are password replacement options, although they might not be the right fit for every organization right now. 

  • Some organizations are using passphrases rather than passwords. A passphrase is a longer mix of words, and it can add curveballs to the typical password. While passphrases are one option, you have to remember they’re still going to be incredibly weak if they’re being reused. 
  • Organizations are increasingly adopting single sign-on. With single sign-on, the end-user experience is easier because the users can rely on one username and password to access various programs and services. However, the problem here comes in when a cybercriminal gets access to all systems if they compromise the SSO itself. 
  • We talked about multi-factor authentication above, and if you talk to cybersecurity professionals, they’ll tell you how valuable it is. We briefly went into how it works, but MFA lets your users access data by providing two of three possible things. The first is something you know, which can be a password but also a PIN. Then, the second can be something you have. This is also called an ownership factor. It could be a physical item, like a smartphone. The third is something you are, also known as biometric factors. Biometric factors can include voice recognition, fingerprints, or retina scans. 
  • Passwordless authentication systems rely on two elements of MFA—something you have and something you are. There’s no password that your users have to remember or that can potentially be stolen. Many of these passwordless systems will include some public-key cryptography that will generate a unique key to log in with. 
  • PINS aren’t the same as passwords, and they can be tied to a specific physical device, so it becomes the “something you have” MFA factor. 

Finally, advanced threat detection and endpoint detection tools can also provide a way to stop a hacker, even if they’ve managed to get a username and password.

Ways to Prevent SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection is a common cybersecurity issue used by attackers as an entry point to your database. It can be a precursor of many other attacks like credential stuffing, account takeovers, and other forms of fraud. Therefore, it is essential to understand how to protect the application’s database to avoid heavy losses from SQL injections. In this post, we will discuss various ways that you can use to prevent SQL injection attacks.

Ways to prevent SQL injection attacks

Among the most dangerous threats to web applications today are SQL injection attacks. All is not lost to a network or database admin because there are various ways to prevent them from ever happening or minimize their occurrence frequency.

As we will see below, you can take various steps to reduce the risk of exposure to SQL injection attacks.

Regular auditing and penetration testing

It is becoming increasingly necessary to perform regular application, database, and network audits nowadays. With regulations like GDPR, a company does not have the luxury of relaxing on matters of database security. In addition, auditing the database logs for suspicious activities, privilege escalation, and variable binding terms are necessary practices.

As crucial auditing, the system for malicious behavior is, it is equally essential to perform penetration testing of your database to gauge the readiness of your response mechanisms to potential attacks that include SQL injection. Penetration testing companies can find threats like cross-site scripting, unpatched vulnerabilities, retired software, insecure password, and various forms of SQL injection.

User Input Validation

Validating the user inputs is a common step to preventing SQL injection attacks. You have first to identify the essential SQL statements and make a whitelist containing all valid SQL statements. This leaves out the invalidated statements. We refer to this process as query redesign or input validation.

Ensure you configure inputs for user data by context. For instance, you can filter email addresses to ensure that only strings that contain specific characters such as “@” are allowed. In a similar fashion. Ensure that you filter the social security and phone numbers using regular expressions to allow a specific format and number of digits in each of them.

typical eStore’s SQL database query

Sanitization of data through special character limitations

You can safeguard your database against SQL injection attacks through adequate sanitization of user data. SQL injection attackers use specific character sequences that are unique to exploit a database. Therefore, sanitizing your data not to allow concatenation of strings is a critical measure.

You can achieve this by configuring the inputs from a user to a function. It ensures that an attacker does not pass characters like quotes in an SQL query as they might be dangerous. Various administrators use prepared statements to avoid unauthenticated queries.

Parameterization and enforcing prepared statements.

Input validation and data sanitization do not fix all SQL injection-related issues. Therefore, organizations must use prepared statements containing queries that are parameterized to write database queries. We also call this variable binding. Distinguishing user input and code is made easy to define the SQL code used in a query or a parameter.

Although dynamic SQL as a programming method allows more flexibility in developing an application, it has the drawback of allowing SQL injection vulnerabilities as instructions. In addition, sticking to the standard SQL means malicious SQL inputs will be treated as data but not as a potential command.

Enforcing stored procedures in the database

Stored procedures use variable binding like parameterization. Unlike mitigating SQL injections using prepared statements, when you implement stored procedures, they are resident to the database and are only called from an application. If you use dynamic SQL generation, they minimize the effectiveness of stored procedures. According to OWASP (The Open Web Application Security Project®), only one parameterized approach is required, but neither is enough to guarantee optimal security.

Increasing the capability of the virtual and physical firewalls

To help fight malicious SQL queries, we recommend using software or appliance-based web application firewalls. Both NFGW and FWAAS firewall offerings are easy to configure and have a comprehensive set of rules. If a software security patch is yet to be released, you can find WAFs to be useful. One popular firewall is ModSecurity. It is available in Microsoft IIS, Apache, and Nginx servers. It has ever-developing and sophisticated rules to help filter potentially dangerous requests from the web. Its defenses for SQL injection can catch many attempts to sneak in malicious SQL queries from the web.

Reducing the attack surface

An attack surface is an array of vulnerabilities that an attacker can use as an entry point. Therefore, in the SQL injection context, it means that you do away with any functionalities in the database that you do not require or ensure further safety.

A good example is the xp_cmdshell extended storing procedure for the Microsoft SQL Server. It can spawn a command shell and pass a string for execution in windows. Since the process started by the xp_cmdshell has similar security privileges as the SQL Server service account, severe damage from the attacker can befall the database.

Encryption

One rule should always reign when dealing with matters on the internet. No connected application is secure. Therefore, ensure that you hash and encrypt your connection strings and confidential data. There are many encryptions and hashing tools that are cheap, easily accessible, or even open source. Today we must universally adopt encryption as a data protection mechanism. It is for a good reason. Without encrypting your data using appropriate hashing and encryption policies, when it falls in the hands of a malicious actor, all the data is in plain sight. There are various hashing mechanisms like SHA, LANNAN, and NTLM. Encryption algorithms in the market today are bcrypt, DES, RSA, TripleDES, among many others. According to Microsoft, through encryption, we transform the problem of protecting the data protecting cryptographic keys.

Monitoring the SQL statements continuously

Third-party vendors and organizations should ensure continuous monitoring of all SQL statements within an application or database-connected applications. They should also document the prepared statements, database accounts, and stored procedures. It is easier to identify SQL statements that are rogue and various vulnerabilities when you scrutinize the functioning of the SQL statements. Therefore, a database admin can disable or delete unnecessary accounts, the stored procedure, and prepared statements.

There are monitoring tools that use technologies like behavioral analysis and machine learning. They include tools like SIEM and PAM and are an excellent addition to an organization’s network security.

Take away about prevent SQL injection

It is essential to conduct regular penetration testing to evaluate how you have implemented measures to prevent SQL injection attack responses. Through this option, you can stay ahead of the attacker and prevent lawsuits and hefty fines from coming your way. Besides the above measures, you can implement other safeguards like limiting access, denying extended URLs from your application, not divulging error messages, among many others.

How to Manage Your Bitcoin Wallet Security?

In the early days of Bitcoin, it was very easy to manage your wallet account. In fact, you didn’t even need a wallet account. You simply had some bitcoins, and that was that. Now, things are a little more complicated. Cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin, has become highly valuable and because of this, there are several types of wallet accounts you can use to store your bitcoins.

Bitcoin wallet account security is extremely important.

You don’t want to lose your money or get scammed, so it’s worth doing some research on the topic.

(Overview) Practice good security habits for your bitcoin wallet account 

To keep your bitcoin wallet safe, follow these five steps:

  1. Keep your passwords (and usernames) secure. Make sure you use unique passwords for every account that has an associated bitcoin wallet.
  2. Back up your wallets. Try to avoid using online wallets if you can, but if you do use one make sure to back it up regularly. Also, make sure your computer is secure and the antivirus software on it is up to date.
  3. If you are using an online bitcoin wallet, make sure your passwords are secure and not easily guessed.
  4. If you’re using an offline wallet, back it up regularly.
  5. And last but definitely not least: NEVER share your private keys with anyone! If you do get scammed by someone who has them, there is nothing you can do to get your bitcoins back.

For the lazy, if you follow these rules, you should be fine. For more detail on some of these, please read on.

Expert Help

Get help from an expert if you have any questions about managing your bitcoin wallet account. This is not something you should try to tackle on your own, as there are many security considerations that need to be taken into account.

Backups

Don’t forget to set up automatic backups for important files that might be lost without them!

You never know when something could happen to wipe out all of your digital content – it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Consider using a hardware-based or paper-based backup to protect against data loss. A hardware-based backup is a great way to protect against loss or theft. Paper wallets are also an effective method of protection – they are simply pieces of paper containing your public key and a private key that is not connected to the internet.

Two-factor Authentication

Use two-factor authentication with your password and phone number whenever possible. Turn on SMS-based 2-factor authentication for added security. You can also use Google Authenticator or Authy, which generates codes even when your phone is offline.

Alerts and Notifications

Monitor your bitcoin wallet account and any other bitcoin accounts you used to send the bitcoins with at all times. Make sure someone doesn’t gain access to any of your bitcoin wallets by leaving an alert on all accounts.

Keep Records

Keep track of your transactions on a secure, encrypted platform like Blockchain Wallet (or another reputable site). This way, you can see how much money is in each of your accounts at all times and avoid overspending by accident!

Always check the bitcoin wallet address you are sending bitcoins to, as well as the amount of bitcoin that will be sent. Make sure both details match what you agreed with the recipient before completing the transaction. Also, monitor all transactions and account activity regularly.

Don’t Share Sensitive Information

Never share sensitive information such as bank details, passwords, or social security numbers online unless it’s 100% safe to do so! Your bitcoin wallet is no exception. Make sure you share all your information only when the page you are on starts with https (the “s” stands for secure).

Avoid Keeping Large Amounts of Bitcoins in One Place

You don’t want to lose everything if someone gains access to your bitcoin wallet by sending a phishing email. Avoid keeping large amounts of bitcoins in one place and only enter your bitcoin wallet address when you really need to.

It might seem like common sense, but clicking suspicious links can put your bitcoin wallet at risk. Never open an email attachment unless you know what it is. Instead, go directly to the website and look for your transaction information.

Take Away

Following these rules will put you well on your way to effectively managing your bitcoin wallet account. We all want to keep our finances safe, so use the above tips to ensure your money is secure against scammers.

Thanks for reading!

Why a VPN is the First Security Layer?

VPNs have become a popular buzzword in the world of cybersecurity in recent years. That is for a good reason, though. Many have realized the numerous benefits that come with using this type of software. You can use it to remain private online, encrypt your data, protect files, and watch geo-restricted content – the perks are endless. In this article, we will cover the most important points about VPNs, and discover why you should include it in your digital protection kit.

Do You Need a VPN?

Firstly, let’s answer the question – what is a VPN?

It stands for a virtual private network, and it is a type of software that acts as a security gateway between the user and the internet. What makes this particular software solution great is that it is multi-use, which we will discuss further in this article. In today’s age of digital exploitations, it has become a favorite tool for preserving one’s online anonymity. Most modern websites collect user data through cookies, tracking your online habits, and signup pages. Privacy is becoming more exposed, which is precisely why everyone should consider maintaining a secure online environment. .

Top 3 Benefits of Using a VPN

  1. It Preserves Your Online Privacy
    As we have briefly touched on before, data-driven marketing has become extremely popular. Companies use their websites and signup pages to collect user data, so they would optimize their campaigns and obtain a more significant reach. Moreover, hackers have also realized the worth of this data, so they often try to cause breaches and steal it – it has a huge value on the dark web. By using a VPN, you will stop leaving a digital footprint, your IP address would remain hidden, and you would be protected from both data farming companies and identity thieves.
  2. You Can Score Better Prices When Shopping Online 
    Dynamic pricing is a rather new pricing model that utilizes different factors to display prices accordingly. So, the algorithm considers information such as geolocation, shopping habits, and how many times you’ve entered the website to create a custom price. Unfortunately, these prices are often higher, especially if you’re based in first-world countries. However, by using a VPN, you can connect to another server, or simply hide your previous shopping habits. Consequently, you will receive better prices and save a couple of bucks.
  3. It’s Great for Cryptocurrency Users
    Because of how lucrative it is, the crypto industry has fallen victim to numerous cyberattacks. However, VPNs can help by encrypting all user data and traffic, deeming this information unusable for hackers. That means that your IP address, as well as your location, won’t be tied up with your crypto wallet address. Moreover, you will also be protected from viruses and other malicious software.

4 Tips for Choosing a Suitable Solution for Your Needs

Because VPNs have become so popular, more and more companies have started creating their own VPN-based solutions. However, because the market is becoming slowly saturated, it can be challenging to decide which provider to go with. Here are some essential tips you should take into consideration when choosing a suitable VPN solution.

  1. Always Go with Premium
    We strongly recommend purchasing a premium VPN subscription to enjoy all the benefits fully. Although free versions can be useful for smaller tasks, such as streaming geo-restricted content, they won’t be enough for more complex tasks. Moreover, premium subscriptions offer more server locations and a more reliable internet connection.
  2. Compare Features
    Although some features are standard for all companies, not all of them offer the same services. Look for companies that provide advanced security features, military-grade encryption, secure internet protocols, an integrated killswitch, and anonymous DNS servers.
  3. Look for No-Log Policies
    The whole point of using a VPN is to conceal your online activities and remain anonymous online. However, some VPN companies log data for a set number of weeks because of rules and regulations they have to abide by. When choosing a suitable provider, make sure to look for companies with strict no-log policies, to ensure that your information is safe and secure.
  4. Beware Where the VPN Provider is Based
    Some countries, such as the USA, the UK, Canada, and Sweden, belong to a pact known as the fourteen eyes. The countries have agreed to share all user data with each other’s intelligence agencies. If your particular VPN provider is based in any of these fourteen countries, your data may be subject to international sharing. 

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How Much Does a Hosting Server Cost Per User for an App?

When designing a business plan for a heavy load application, it is very important to take into account and accurately calculate such costs as the pricing of the hosting service where the application data will be stored. Large-scale applications, such as social networks, can become a real problem for their owners if the associated costs are calculated wrong initially.

Just imagine: thousands of users every day supplement the application database with messages, photos, and other media files – how much storage space is needed, how much can it cost and how much does a hosting server cost per user for a social network app? Will your application become a “dead” project because of the high maintenance expenses? In this article, we plan to describe the order of calculating the cost of the server hosting for large applications to avoid unpleasant financial surprises after the app release.

What is the basis for calculating the average server cost per user?

It is important to keep in mind that server hostings are characterized not only by the provisioned storage space but also by communication channel bandwidth and hardware capacities. Thus, the mobile app backend hosting cost can be calculated based on the following indicators:

  • The cost of each Storage Gigabyte;
  • The cost of each Megabit of Bandwidth;
  • The cost of the Server’s Performance.

Also, the cost of server hosting can be affected by equipment maintenance expenses, technical support charges, and other factors.

How to calculate the cost of Server Hosting?

How much does a social app cost to run? Depending on the pricing parameters, the cost of server hosting for a heavy application can be calculated in several ways.

#1 Calculation according to the Storage Space Cost (SSC)

A very simple calculation scheme, for which it is required to approximate the number of application users and the maximum storage limits for each of them. The rough estimation is simple: if the cost of storing the object is $0.1 per GB of space per month and your application is calculated, say, for 5000 users, with a limit of 2 GB, the result of multiplying all the numbers (5000 × 2 × 0.1) the monthly cost of the server would be $1000.

It is important to understand that this calculation gives only an approximate cost of required hosting. The actual number of users may differ, and each user will not necessarily use all the space provided to them. Thus, you can make an assumption about the actual use of the server space (as a percentage of the initial number of users and disk space) and use this coefficient to adjust the appraisal.

#2 Own/Rented server

Buying or renting a whole server can significantly reduce the cost of hosting, but requires the seed capital. For example, for an application designed for the same 5000 users and 2 GB storage limit (10,000 GB or 10 TB), you need to purchase about 2 servers with 8x 2TB SATA disks (taking into account the cost of server space for user data, operating systems, application backend and RAID reservation), the cost of which is about $3000 each, plus additional equipment (racks, etc.), the totals would approximate to $6500. If you have such a starting amount, you can recoup the costs for 2 years at a server cost of $270-300 per month. Thus, the price of one GB of space for one user would equal to $0.06.

Making a long-term business plan with the calculation of hosting costs for the above scheme it is important to consider the expiration of the equipment. Any device has an approximate service life and needs regular replacement.

Another variant suitable for those who do not have sufficient starting capital is server equipment rental. Calculating the cost to maintain an application when renting server hardware can be carried out according to the same scheme, but taking into account the monthly rental fees.

Testing the application to determine the required hosting parameters

All the previous estimation methods are based only on the approximate assumptions of the user numbers and the necessary space for each user. Such calculations do not take into account the traffic, the required processor power, the average load on the server and many other factors. The calculation for these models is suitable for compiling a primary business plan for understanding the profitability of the application even before work on it is started.

However, in order to obtain more or less accurate data on the required server capacity and volume for an already developed application and, accordingly, calculate the cost of server hosting, a deeper approach is needed.

The best and accurate calculations are given by testing the required application efficiency using the specially developed software. Such test programs create “virtual users” that simulate the actions of real users of the application, measuring the loads to identify the optimal configuration of the application’s server part infrastructure.

The essence of the testing

To test the application architecture, worker threads mirroring virtual users are used, each of which can execute one of three action scenarios:

  • Light (authorization, login to the server, viewing the application partitions, sending/receiving requests);
  • Medium (to the light scenario’s actions, sending/receiving messages, uploading photos, viewing photos of other users, sending/receiving pictures are added);
  • Heavy (extensive exploitation of all the application features).

Typical time between each script action is established to 1 second.

Thus, gradually increasing the number of threads, each of which randomly engages one of the scenarios, the testing application measures the load on the server part of the application in its different configurations. As soon as any element of the application starts to work incorrectly, the test stops and changes the infrastructure configuration.

Most of the established outsourcing software development companies have such a sophisticated in-house testing program.

Results

The result of the test is the optimal configuration of the application infrastructure, which can support the maximum number of users simultaneously using the application. It also calculates the maximum hardware capabilities required for the application, based on which you can calculate the server hosting cost for the application most accurately.

Also, based on the results of the test, you can choose the hosting model (renting server hosting, renting server equipment or colocation, own server), which will not only be most advantageous financially but also meet the requirements of the application in the case of high loads.

Summary

When developing large applications similar to social networks or media hosting, an important part of the business plan will be to estimate server costs per user. For preliminary calculations at the design stage of the application, you can employ simple mathematical models:

Number of users/space for each – to calculate hosting and storage costs/necessary equipment expenses/monthly fees – when buying or renting equipment

However, for accurate calculations of the cost of hosting and choosing the most beneficial server interaction model (purchase, lease, colocation) in mobile development for Android or iOS, professional testing is necessary that would take into account all the appropriate factors. Only after calculating the necessary application load on the server can you tell exactly which server parameters will best meet the needs of the application and, based on the received data, clearly estimate the cost of hosting – total and average server cost per user.