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Steps To Improve Your Public Wi-Fi Security

by Administrator 15. September 2017 15:17

In the recent years, dependency on internet connectivity has increased manifold. People want to stay connected to internet 24X7, be it at their offices, colleges, airports, hotels or even coffee shops. Seeing this rising trend, many public places are now offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to attract more customers. Most of these don’t even require passwords, one just needs to connect to the hotspot and start browsing the internet.

Though ‘free-Wi-Fi’ may sound appealing, but if not wisely used, it may expose the sensitive data of your device to cyber-criminals. To avoid connecting to fake wireless networks, also known as ‘Wi-Fi honeypots”, you must be aware of whose network you are connecting to. Here are some rules that you must consider.

Avoid Connecting To Wi-Fi Networks That Require No Passwords

A good thumb rule is to never connect to a wireless network that doesn’t ask you to enter any password.  A network without WPA or WPA2 password is termed as an unsecure network. Connecting to these may easily make your personal information, contacts, photos, logins and other data in your phone/laptop vulnerable to hackers.

Turn Wi-Fi Off When Not In Use

When you are not using the internet, disable the Wi-Fi on your device. This will not only keep your data safe, but will also increase the battery life of your system. Ensure that the option to automatically connect to an available Wi-Fi network is turned off.

Do Not Perform Sensitive Or Financial Tasks When Using Public Wi-Fi

It is strongly recommended not to access online banking websites or perform any financial transactions (such as on online shopping websites, bill payments etc.) on open networks. Through Wi-Fi snooping and sniffing techniques, hackers may gain access to all your online activities and capture your login credentials. If you need to perform any urgent transaction, you can always opt to use your mobile internet connection.

Disable Public Sharing

Laptops and similar devices usually have an option to share their resources within the same network. If you are using such devices, make sure that the ‘’File and Printer Sharing’ option is turned off before you connect to a public Wi-Fi. Not doing so may provide hacker easy get access to important files and documents stored in the cloud as well as in other connected devices.

Connect To Websites That Open With HTTPS

Whenever you open a website on a public Wi-Fi, check if the address bar shows “https://“at the beginning of the web address. Such websites are relatively secure as all the communication is encrypted. Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera provide certain extensions that help to encrypt the data i.e. by default provide secure connection while browsing.

For more information about public Wi-Fi security, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Data Encryption: Types And Benefits

by Administrator 30. August 2017 16:53

Encryption is one of the most effective and popular data security methods used by business organizations. It translates data into a different encoded form which can only be accessed by those people who have the secret key. Data Encryption is widely used in securing information that is submitted over internet. Almost all ecommerce portals, online businesses, portals where financial and personal information is processed utilizes different methods of data encryption.

Types Of Data Encryption

Symmetric Data Encryption:
In this type of encryption, only one private key is used to encrypt and decrypt data. The sender encrypts data with the help of a key and receiver decrypts it with that same key. However, the encryption key must always be protected to prevent data from being decoded by the unauthorized users.

Asymmetric Data Encryption:
Also known as Public-key Cryptography, this is most commonly used encryption. It uses two separate keys to encrypt and decrypt data. The key used to encrypt data is a public key which is generally available to everyone and the other key, called private key, is provided only to recipient to decrypt the data.

Hashing:
Hashing generates a unique, fixed-length value summarizing the contents of a message or a file. Each hash is unique to a specific message, so even a little bit of tampering with it can be easily tracked. Although hashing is not a technical term for data encryption but it can still be useful to check whether the data has been tampered with or not.

BENEFITS OF DATA ENCRYPTION

Data encryption has changed massively in past few years. Here are few benefits of data encryption:

  • Data Encryption techniques relies on global standards that can guarantee mitigation of flaws.
  • Data Encryption systems are affordable and can even provide a military level security.
  • Data Encryption protects sensitive information whether on mobile, laptop, desktop computer or any external storage device. This helps you to access your data wherever you go.
  • Even if the data is stolen, the information will be protected by data encryption mechanism. It can also free up your resources being used for security perimeters.

To know more about the benefits of data encryption for your organization, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Big Data Analytics: What It Is And Why It Matters

by Administrator 25. August 2017 12:29

With the recent advancements in technology, data analysis has entered a new phase in which large amount of data can be harvested and processed. Big data analytics refers to the process of examining this data set to uncover existing patterns, trends, demands and correlations between various factors, which further helps to make informed business decisions. For instance, Netflix uses big data analytics to improve its video streaming services and improve user experience.

Big data is basically characterized by 3Vs i.e. Volume, Variety and Velocity.

  • Volume: Different Machine-to-Machine and Human-to-Machine communications result in large amount data, which need to be analyzed to extract useful information.
  • Variety: All the data that is generated is of the unstructured nature. It needs to be processed, curated and annotated to bring out important piece of information or facts from it.
  • Velocity: Large chunk of data is being generated every second and needs to be processed. Therefore, there is need for tools that can handle the flow of this data and produce required results.

Why It Matters?

Big data analytics can provide valuable business intelligence by harnessing the company data and use it to identify new opportunities. This helps the company to make smart decisions, increase profits and most importantly, satisfy the customers. Few of the advantages of big data analytics are as follows:

  • Big data analytics frameworks like Hadoop have started to bring significant cost reduction when it comes to storing huge amount of data.
  • The ability to analyze new data can help the companies to break down every bit of information into something useful and make decisions based on the results. 
  • Big data analytics is important for firms that have a large amount of data flowing every second. The analysis can provide useful information from that data and in turn, gives them a competitive edge over others.

Some of the industries that benefit from big data analytics are:

  • Public Sector Services
  • Healthcare
  • Learning Services
  • Insurance Services
  • Industrialized and Natural Resources
  • Transportation Services
  • Banking Sectors and Fraud Detection

If used wisely, the analytic tools can help to make predictions and explain the entire growth pattern of your business. For more information about the importance of big data analytics, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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How To Prevent Phishing Attacks

by Administrator 23. August 2017 21:42

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Security Checklist For Businesses

by Administrator 31. July 2017 20:03

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What Are Backdoors And How To Remove Them

by Administrator 28. July 2017 19:57

Backdoors can be defined as malicious programs that provide a convenient way for the hackers to sneak into your corporate network. If they gain access, they may exploit the security vulnerabilities in the computer system to steal personal information, modify or delete files and install additional software. A backdoor is probably one of the most harmful types of malware as it allows the hacker to get complete control of the infected computer.

Once a computer system is infected, a backdoor may perform the following activities:

  • Delete, rename, edit or copy any file stored on the computer
  • Make changes in the Windows registry and execute or terminate certain applications
  • Record keystrokes, gather confidential data, capture screenshots and send it to a remote host
  • Reduce internet speed and performance or consume extended bandwidth
  • Initiate attacks against other systems connected to the same network

How Does Backdoor Infect Computer Systems?
The typical characteristic of a backdoor is that it installs itself sneakily without being detected by the user. It operates in the background and stealthily transmits all your information to a remote server.

Here are some of the ways in which backdoors spread themselves to the computers systems:

  • A user may inadvertently install backdoor through email attachments or file sharing programs. Hackers send the malware in the name of a legitimate file attachment to trick users to download or execute it.
  • A backdoor may also get installed when a system is already infected with a virus, spyware or Trojan.
  • Unknown remote access features in certain applications may lead to installation of backdoor on your computer. The hacker connects to the computer that has the software installed to gain complete control over its functionality.
  • Unpatched software vulnerabilities are another common means through which backdoors spread themselves.

Tips To Remove Backdoor

  • Though it is difficult to detect the presence of a backdoor on a computer systems, here are the steps that should be taken if you find one.
  • Download and install the latest anti-virus software
  • Update the operating system to its latest version
  • Disconnect the computer system from the internet network
  • Run a complete scan of the computer and remove all the infected files
  • Once the process is complete, restart your computer before accessing the internet or opening any file

For more information on backdoor and other malicious software, you can contact Centex Technologies. We can be reached at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Things To Know Before Choosing Storage For Virtual Environments

by Administrator 12. July 2017 10:56

Storage virtualization has become a necessity in the IT industry, mainly because of the need to store an extensive amount of data in a safe and secure environment. It not only saves on the costs of physical hardware, but also allows for a better utilization of the available resources and streamlines business operations.

Given below are some factors that need to be considered while choosing storage for virtual environments:

Opt For A Simple Solution

The virtual storage solution you choose should offer simplicity in its usage. All the complex and low-level tasks such as performance testing, updates, data placement etc. should be automated. This will beneficial for the IT professionals as they will be able to focus on other important configuration tasks.

Ease Of Management

Reliability and consistency in performance are other important elements that should be looked for. The virtual machines should support multi-tenancy functionality, so that all the users can individually manage data stored on their systems. Manageability of a virtualized storage should be considered in regard to data flow at three different levels - virtual machine (VM), virtual machine to physical storage and the server to virtual machine.

Performance

All virtual storage solutions are designed to handle a specific amount of data. Therefore, you must analyze your storage requirements, both at present as well in the future, to determine the most suitable type of service. Make sure that all the resources in the virtual environment are utilized to their maximum efficiency. Also, the performance of any application should not be hampered due to lack of storage space.

Customer Support And Service

When you implement storage virtualization in your organization, you need to procure services from multiple vendors so that the entire system can work efficiently. Therefore, constant support is essential to address any issues and ensure non-stop functioning. Without this, you may have to experience extended downtime which can be critical for your company’s reputation.

When choosing a vendor, you should evaluate the level of customer service it provides. Gain complete knowledge of how the virtual environment will fit into and enhance the productivity of your business in the long run.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide comprehensive information security solutions to the business firms in Dallas. TX. For more information, feel free to call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Blogging Tips For Beginners

by Administrator 29. June 2017 09:35

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Steps To Better Vulnerability Management

by Administrator 27. June 2017 14:57

Maintaining the information security of an organization has become a necessity in the present times. Though identifying and patching potential vulnerabilities is important, it may not always be possible to completely shield your network against hacking attacks. Therefore, it is essential to formulate a strategic vulnerability management program to strengthen your IT security system. It will not only help to detect the risks, but also identify the most viable way to understand and mitigate them.

Given below are some of the steps that you need to take for better vulnerability management:

Identify Your IT Assets

Though this may sound quite obvious, it is really important to identify and keep a track of your IT assets in order to adequately protect them against attacks. Cloud computing technologies and adoption of mobile devices have expanded the boundaries of an organizations’ IT infrastructure. To deal with this problem effectively, IT professionals must create an inventory of all the computer systems and applications that have access to the corporate network. You can even use some cloud based tools to streamline the process and automatically record all the internal as well as external IT assets.

Understand The Risk

Vulnerabilities can exist in any layer of the network. Hence, an in-depth scanning is critical to understand what all systems are at risk and the level of risk they pose for the company, in the event of a data breach. Conduct an external penetration test as well as internal application scan to identify all the potential threats to the network. Prioritize the vulnerabilities according to their severity so that you can focus on rectifying the more critical risks first. Set exceptions on the level of risk that you can accept and manage at a later point of time.

Identify Which Controls Are Already In Place

Take a note of the security measures that have already been deployed in your organization. These may include firewall, intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS), data encryption, virtual private network (VPN), data loss prevention etc. Identify the efficiency of these systems to protect your confidential data and other IT resources. This will also give you an idea of the threats that are not being managed and require the use of more sophisticated security software.

Centex Technologies is a leading IT security company serving business firms in Dallas, TX. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

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Tips For Implementing BYOD In Your Organization

by Administrator 12. June 2017 15:43

Over the years, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy has become an accepted norm in organizations across the globe. Employees are continuously using their smartphones to access company’s network, download important files and share sensitive data for collaborative projects. However, a number or organizations are still looking for ways to implement a strong BYOD policy, which increases employee productivity and eliminates any potential security risks.

Tips for implementing BYOD in your organization:

Specify Which Devices Are Permitted

Firstly, you need to set clear policies regarding the devices that are allowed to be used for work. Depending upon the network settings and security measures, you should decide the devices that will be supported. For instance, most organizations permit the use of only iOS devices due to their advanced security software and privacy-enhancing features.

Establish Strict Security Policies

Before allowing the employees to bring their own device, make sure you mandate a strong password policy. Ask the employees to lock their device using complex log in credentials and change it at frequent intervals. This will prevent unauthorized access to the official accounts and sensitive information, even if the device is lost or stolen. You can also require two-factor authentication for employees who access company’s financial details or client information on their mobile device.

Install Mobile Security Software

You cannot have complete control over the type of information an employee accesses through his smartphone. Malicious file downloads and spam websites can install malware on the device which may jeopardize the security of files stored in it. Therefore, you should make it mandatory for them to install an anti-virus software and run frequent scans to detect as well as remove any potentially dangerous application. You can even choose a security software that offers additional features, such as device tracking and remote wipe.

Decide The Apps That Will Be Allowed

This applies to all the devices that connect to the corporate network, be it your organization’s computer system or the employee’s personal smartphone. You should restrict the use of social networking applications, games, remote desktop access, VPN and other software that may pose a threat to the company. You can also block downloading of applications from third party sources.

For more tips on successfully implementing BYOD policy in your organization, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

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