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How And Why Do You Need To Secure Your IoT Devices?

Why should you secure your IoT devices?

Widespread digitization has increased the convenience of using the internet, but it has also increased the risk of being targeted by cyber-attackers. Hackers can steal and exploit your personal and financial information, as well as take control of smart cameras and microphones to spy on you. As a result, your privacy and security may be jeopardized.

How to easily secure IoT devices?

Here are the seven ways to secure your IoT devices: -

Router configuration

Router ties all your IoT gadgets together and makes them useful. Don't use the default name for your router which is generally set by its manufacturer. People might find the default login and password and get access to your smart home network (if they discover the brand and model). So, set some strange name that has nothing to do with you or your place. Your router name must be very unique; also avoid revealing any personal information.

Strong access credentials

Set the router's password to something genuinely unique. Use passwords that are made up of a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. The login credentials used to log into your IoT devices must also be set complicated. It's now critical to set unique set of credentials for each IoT device's user account and smartphone or web application. This ensures that even if one device's password is hacked, the other IoT devices remain secure.

Wi-Fi Network isolation for IoT wearables and gadgets

Many routers support guest network creation. It is advised to protect the primary home network from IoT cyber risks. You can build and deploy a secondary WiFi network. This will be devoted just to the IoT wearables and gadgets. Now, the IoT gadgets are operating via an isolated WiFi network. Hence, even if the hackers intrude, they would not be able to hack into your other vital personal devices.

Disable any features that you aren't using

Many IoT gadgets allow you to control them from any location on the earth. Disable remote access if you only use them on your home's Wi-Fi connection. Smart speakers, too, include Bluetooth alongwith a Wi-Fi connection. What if you don't utilize it? It should be turned off. It may sound weird, but an active microphone might be utilized to listen in on your chats if it is hacked. As a result, deactivating features entails blocking as many of those various entry points as feasible.

Updating and patching devices

Updating the firmware on your IoT devices may not happen automatically. Essential security patches are frequently included in these updates. So, do a manual check every few months and, if any outstanding firmware upgrades are discovered, install them without any delay.

Enable 2FA and MFA

Having a password plus an MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) adds an extra degree of protection. When someone tries it hard to log in the IoT devices using 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication), they must offer extra evidence of identification every time. This proof could be an OTP or a verification code delivered to your phone or email address. MFA is activated by-default on most of the IoT devices in the market. You can use third-party apps like Google Authenticator to activate 2FA.

Installing an NGFW

A typical firewall lacks the essential security functions such as intrusion prevention and virus protection. Sometimes intercepting the SSL/SSH content and QoS management services aren’t available on traditional firewalls. The NGFW (Next-Generation FireWall) is an integrated network platform that combines a standard firewall with additional security features. An NGFW also contains almost all the features of a typical firewall. This makes it effective at detecting and defending against cyberattacks. NGFWs are an expensive investment, but the amount of security increment they provide for your IoT device network makes it quite worthwhile.

Even if you get the costliest IoT equipment from the most prestigious firms, the safety and security of your IoT devices’ network is ultimately in your own hands.

Centex Technologies provide complete network security solutions. For more information, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213-4740, Dallas (972) 375-9654, Atlanta (404) 994-5074, and Austin (512) 956-5454

5 Ways Online Businesses Can Secure Their Customer Information

Privacy, securing data, and providing end-to-end security are unquestionably important components of doing business with clients online. The dynamically changing expectations and habits of online customers’ demands adoption of the best practices of securing user data and guaranteeing seamless user journeys. Some of the ways by which online businesses can secure their customer information are:

  1. Tell the customer how the business uses their personal information - Customers may be cautious to share personal information with brands, owing to a lack of transparency between businesses and customers over how their data is handled. Transparency may go against traditional business practices. But being transparent brings genuine value to products and services while boosting brand loyalty in the current business-consumer connection. Customers can understand and subscribe to the wider picture if you are honest about how you use their data.
  2. Check the IT environment for vulnerabilities and patch them - Businesses, particularly eCommerce sites, should test their sites on a regular basis to find vulnerabilities that aren't detected by their current security measures. Businesses must hire cybersecurity specialists or ethical hackers to identify code vulnerabilities. Running daily scans to ensure that malware hasn't been planted on the site is a basic check to be done. Businesses are also advised to invest in more powerful security programs as well.
  3. Monitor and control the access to customers’ data - Software to assist the integration of devices into IT infrastructures provides extra security layers for login processes. It also provides tools to encrypt emails. While these tools can help prevent unwarranted attacks, they don't address the source of the problem. Human employees and their unpredictable behavior is the most concerning factor. The greatest strategy to reduce the risk to your data is to educate your employees about your company's data protection policies. No amount of technology innovation can insulate a business from human error and oversight. Employees must be educated about the ways to handle sensitive customer information. They must also undergo specific courses that train them in preventing classified corporate information from falling into the wrong hands. The staff must be made to think twice about sending sensitive information over email. Also, the IT teams must ensure that passwords are changed and updated on a regular basis.
  4. Encryption is the need of the hour - Less than half of firms say they encrypt critical data, indicating that it is still a serious flaw. Payment processors such as Visa and MasterCard require retailers to encrypt card information by default during transactions. If the personal data is saved on corporate servers, there is a substantially higher danger of getting it hacked. The data has to be safeguarded with rigorous industry-standard security and the newest encryption technology.
  5. Proactively prepare for a disaster and be resilient - Most businesses have a disaster recovery strategy in place to deal with human error, data center outages, and natural disasters, but cyber-attacks are sometimes overlooked. It's critical to put protections in place to ensure business continuity even after facing a data breach. Care must be taken to ensure cyber-attacks must not be able to disrupt day-to-day business operations.

It makes sense to invest the time and resources necessary to protect sensitive customer data. Businesses must build a culture of joint responsibility for securing data. Data breaches are on the rise, and their impact is expected to be seen for years to come. As a result, criminals are getting wiser about hacking their target networks. Companies are advised to prioritize customer data protection now more than ever.

Centex Technologies provides computer networking, IT security and Cybersecurity solution to businesses. For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375-9654.

Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats In 2022

Cybercriminals launched numerous cyberattacks in 2021 that were not only well-coordinated but also far more advanced than anything previously seen. Recent cybersecurity incidents affecting some of the world's largest corporations may have caught your attention. In reaction to the COVID-19 epidemic, the globe transitioned to a remote work paradigm and has since progressed to a 'hybrid' work culture. This has resulted in a flurry of new threats, technologies, and business models in the cybersecurity area. Everyone is a target of these cyberattacks, but small enterprises appear to be one of the most popular. CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) across the globe think these five cybersecurity issues are going to become the new cyberattack norm in 2022:

A range of cyberattacks targeting the Networks and Wifi of remote workers- A firewall and VPN deployed however reduce the common cybersecurity concerns. But educating the staff, and implementing stringent security policies are also a must. Putting up cybersecurity measures, on the other hand, becomes challenging when workers operate remotely. Almost half of the senior IT professionals in companies see their staff developing undesirable cyber-security behaviors. While working from home has been good for many employees, this is turning into a nightmare for security professionals. Unsecure networks, personal devices, and human error are just a few of the top cybersecurity threats connected with remote work. Ongoing employee training, among other security measures, can help to limit the danger to a large extent.

Threat to big data and cloud infrastructure - Increasingly, businesses are turning to the cloud to accelerate their digital transformation. Despite the growing popularity of cloud computing, data security remains a top priority for many businesses. Some of the reasons for cloud environments to be a lucrative target for hackers are: - 

  • RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) has not been properly administered and monitored
  • Misconfigurations of cloud instances
  • Failure to deploy and configure MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
  • Lack of monitoring and surveillance of the cloud environment
  • Improper configuration of IAM (Identity and Access Management) policies

Vulnerabilities in IoT enabled devices, wearables, gadgets, and appliances - It's all about becoming data-driven in the digital transformation process. One of the main sources of that data is the IoT (Internet of Things). IoT devices are vulnerable mostly due to a lack of built-in security safeguards to protect them from attackers. Cyberattacks on IoT devices have more than doubled in 2021, according to Kaspersky. Cyber attackers might obtain access to sensitive data and launch attacks against other linked systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in IoT devices.

Ransomware and APTs are here to stay - The classic ransomware narrative involved malicious programs encrypting files quickly with public-key RSA encryption. Then it deleted those files if the victim did not pay the ransom. Threat actors steal data from enterprises in addition to encrypting files in double extortion ransomware attacks. These are also well known as threats that force you to pay first or else they shall breach the company networks. This means that, in addition to demanding a ransom to decrypt data, attackers might threaten to expose stolen data. However, you cannot trust a hacker even if you made a second payment. Blackmailing and extortion are inherent characteristics of APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups. Most of these cyber attackers belong to some or the other APT groups. 

Social engineering and phishing - Anti-phishing software is in huge demand nowadays due to the wide scale advent of the work from home model. Credential stuffing is a cyber-attack in which credentials obtained from one service's data breach are used to log in to another unrelated service. These attacks are increasing their intensity. The sophisticated bots attempt multiple logins at the same time and pretend to originate from different IP addresses. The fact that many users employ the same username and/or password combination across several sites makes credential stuffing assaults quite effective. Credential stuffing will remain a severe issue if this practice persists. The most common source of data breaches is human mistakes. Many social engineering attacks will continue to grow in 2022. The lack of end-user cybersecurity knowledge and the attitude that it is the cyber team's responsibility is a red flag that people must rectify.

In 2022, there are a number of other threats that businesses should be aware of. Being aware of the top cybersecurity threat predictions for 2022 is just not enough. It's also critical to have a cybersecurity plan that can defend businesses from these dangers.

Centex Technologies provide state-of-the-art cyber-security and IT systems for enterprises. For more information, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213-4740, Dallas (972) 375-9654, Atlanta (404) 994-5074, and Austin (512) 956-5454

What Is Business-IT Alignment?

Business IT alignment refers to the correspondence between business objectives and IT requirements of an organization. As the use of technology has become eminent for achieving business goals, it has become necessary to bridge the gap between the business units and IT department.

Before understanding more about business IT alignment, it is first important to know the reasons that have led to the progress in this direction. Here are some problems faced by organizations that keep IT department separate from other business units:

  • Under performance leading to limited success
  • Expensive investments with low ROI
  • Slow or faulty deployments resulting in bottlenecks that hinder service delivery
  • Lack of coordination between processes and solutions
  • Poor communication and support for end users and potential customers

In order to achieve business IT alignment, it is important to acquire a well-planned strategy. Following an iterative process by defining one change, putting it in place, analyzing the results, and making required changes can help an organization in achieving effective alignment between business operations and IT processes. This strategy can be defined as Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

Plan:

  • Analyze current problem & conditions
  • Establish change objectives
  • Create processes to achieve solution

Do: 

  • Implement plan
  • Test small changes
  • Gather data on effectiveness of change

Check: 

  • Evaluate data
  • Identify deviations between goals & outcomes

Act:

  • Standardize the solution
  • Review & define next issues
  • Repeat the cycle

For aligning IT & business, consider these best practices:

  • Include all business teams along with IT team in continuous strategic loop so that all teams understand each other to function better.
  • View IT as a support to transform business results; so, add IT to other business units to offer solutions to address their problems and improve business efficiency.
  • Aligning all the business teams under common language and goals makes it easier to integrate the business and IT units. The main goal of the teams should be improve customer experience.
  • Implement equal level of transparency for all business teams and make them aware of what are the good investments the company is making, what are the problems being faced, what decisions need to be re-evaluated, etc.

Benefits Of Business-IT Alignment:

  • Reduce IT expenses by making only those IT investments that aim at business goals
  • Increase collaboration between the teams
  • Gain visibility into problem areas across the business units
  • Improve ROI
  • Speed up delivery time
  • Up-skill industry and employee knowledge

For more information on strategies and solutions for IT infrastructure management and IT alignment with business operations, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

 

 

 

Information Security Policy

Since, the evolution of security risks and vulnerabilities is constantly ongoing, compliance requirements have too become increasingly complicated. Many businesses fail to develop a comprehensive security approach to address their concerns. This is why, in terms of cybersecurity, every firm must pay close attention to their information security policies and security posture assessments. 

So, what is an InfoSec (Information Security) policy? 

An information security policy assures that all InfoTech (Information Technology) users within an organization's domain follow the InfoSec principles and advisories. InfoSec policies are created by organizations to protect the data contained in their network systems.

Every organization will need to adopt an information security policy to ensure their staff follows the essential security protocols. InfoSec policy aims to keep data disclosed to authorized recipients on a “need-to-know” basis only. An ideal example of using an InfoSec policy is a data storage facility that holds database records on behalf of a financial institution.

All businesses have confidential information that must not be shared with anyone who isn't authorized. As a result, in order to protect all of their vital data, enterprises must learn about strengthening their information security posture.

An organization's information security policy will only be effective if it is updated on a regular basis to reflect any changes that occur inside the organization. Such, malicious changes or modifications could include: 

  1. Emergence of new cyber-attacks and hackers
  2. Evolution of existing cyber-attacks and hackers
  3. Investigations and analysis of existing cyber incidents
  4. Resolutions and remediation done after prior data breaches
  5. Other modifications that have an impact on the vulnerabilities in security posture

It's critical to improve the data security in any network infrastructure by making it enforceable and resilient to malicious cyber incidents breaches. An effective information security strategy should address urgent issues that occur from any department inside the company. In addition, information security rules should always represent a company's risk appetite, risk impact and security management attitude. This policy lays down the groundwork for establishing a control system that safeguards the company from both external and internal dangers.

4 noteworthy characteristics of any information security policy

The most significant factors to consider when developing an information security policy are: - 

#1. The purpose of the information security policy

Information security policies are created for a variety of reasons. The protection of company’s sensitive data and network systems is one of the most important factors. Organizations must adopt a comprehensive strategy to maintain the security of the data and information stored in their systems. Data security, network security, infrastructure security, endpdoint security, perimeter security and likewise are a part of cyber security strategy. To retain the company’s credibility, reputation in the market as well as respect consumers’ rights, every organization must develop an information security policy. This policy also includes how to respond to queries and complaints regarding non-compliance of the regulatory standards. 

#2. End-goals for adopting the information security policy

The business and its leadership should agree on clear objectives as a group and not as individuals. The first goal the executives should establish is the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of data and systems nicknamed as CIA Triad. Although employees should have access to data when necessary, essential data assets should only be accessible to a few top-tier personnel in the firm. Integrity refers to the fact that data should be complete and accurate. Executives can extend the CIA triad by also including Authentication, Authorization and Non-repudiation making it CIA-AAN. 

#3. Data categorization according to sensitivity in the information security policy

Employees with lesser clearance levels should not be able to access sensitive data A strong RBAC (Role Based Access Contol) must be enforced within the information security policy. Data organization will aid in the identification and protection of key data, as well as the avoidance of unnecessary security measures for irrelevant data.

#4. The demographic target of the information security policy

The target audience for an information security policy is determined first and foremost. In the policy's scope, leadership executives can describe what employees' responsibilities are based on their hierarchy and job descriptions.

For more information about Information Security policies and methods to mitigate cyber-attacks, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213-4740, Dallas (972) 375-9654, Atlanta (404) 994-5074, and Austin (512) 956-5454

 

 

What Is Man In The Browser Attack?

MitB (Man-in-the-Browser) attacks are variants of MitM (Man-in-the-Middle) attacks in which an attacker compromises a user's Web browser in order to eavesdrop, steal data, and/or interfere with a user session. MitB is regularly used by attackers to perform different financial scams, the most prevalent of which being interfering with online banking systems.

Adversaries can use security holes and/or modify built-in browser capabilities to change content, shift behaviors, and intercept data in order to damage the browser. The attack may be carried out with a variety of malware, the most common of which is a Trojan.

MitB malware / attack campaigns targeting online banking and other internet services include Zeus, Spyeye, Bugat, Carberp, Silon, and Tatanga. MitB attacks, also known as man-in-the-mobile attacks, can occur on mobile devices. Two well-known Mit Mobile hacks are ZitMo (Zeus-in-the-Mobile) and SpitMo (Spyeye-in-the-Mobile).

How do MitB attackers use proxy trojans to target their victims?

A proxy trojan is a type of Trojan horse that is meant to function as a proxy server on the victim's computer. It may intercept all requests to the legitimate programme, like as the victim's Web browser, and determine whether or not it can handle them. If it is unable to process a query, it forwards the request to the real application code. The attacker now has complete control of the victim's computer and can do almost anything with it. Some MitB variants contain the ability to act as a proxy trojan.

MitB hackers taking huge advantage of clickjacking vulnerabilities on webpages

When a hacker employs malicious code included in a webpage to trick a user into clicking on something other than what the user expects, this is known as clickjacking. It is most commonly used on eCommerce sites to entice users to click on links or images. These fraudulent links take users to another commerce site, which might be a competitor's portal or a phishing site.

 Why installing a trojan horse required for a successful MitB attack?

Because a MitB attack requires the installation of Trojan software on the target system, attackers utilise a variety of phishing tactics to convince their victims to comply. The attacker gains access to all of the user's internet destinations after the Trojan Horse has infected the system. Many Trojans designed for MitB attacks can then generate code for additional input forms. These input forms are subsequently shown on the websites that the visitor visits. As a result, attackers can gather a wide variety of personal information.

How is MitB carried out in any browser?

MitB attacks are launched via a user script, a Browser Helper Object (BHO), or an unprotected browser plugin. The virus enables the creator to circumvent the web browser's security features. The trojan then facilitates the interception of calls between the user and the website they are viewing. The trojan has the ability to conduct the following activities in particular:

  1. Modify or add new columns and fields to your website.
  2. Modify financial transaction data such as account and purchase information.
  3. Suspend or seize an ongoing transaction in real time.
  4. Modify the style and feel of a website
  5. Modify the server responses, such as thank-you pages
  6. Capture information put into webpage fields
  7. The entire transaction may also be altered if the user returns to the website.

How Boy-in-the-Browser attacks differ from Man-in-the-Browser attacks?

BitB (Boy-in-the-Browser) attacks utilise malware to change the network routing tables of victims' devices, allowing a standard MitM attack to be carried out. Once the routing modifications are implemented, the virus may attempt to delete itself in order to conceal its tracks and make detection more difficult.

Centex Technologies offers online portals and businesses comprehensive web development and cybersecurity solutions. Call Centex Technologies at (855) 375-9654 for additional information on how to safeguard your website.

What Is Business Constraint Bypass Vulnerability?

While a lot of attention is paid to technical vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, CSRF, and cross site scripting, modern applications are equally susceptible to business logic flaws. As business logic flaws can defy easy categorization, discovering these flaws can be difficult. Business constraint bypass vulnerability is a unique case of business logic vulnerability.

In order to understand business constraint bypass vulnerability, let us take a simple example. Let us consider a website that provides information about top cyber security software. The users may be able to read top three results as a free version but they are required to either pay or subscribe to access complete information.

Business constraint bypass attack tries to circumvent the constraints set by the website to retrieve as much information as possible. Even if the attack is not able to access the information unlawfully, the attack might cause small application based Denial of Service (DoS) attack. In case the attacker is able to distribute the attack, it may result in a DDoS attack.

How Is Business Constraint Attack Launched?

Launching a business constraint attack is a stepwise process.

  • Recon: The first step is to find a parameter that can be modified to return more data than allowed. For example, if a page shows 10 results and the only way to load more results is to go to ‘Next Page’ of the app or website; this can be used as a candidate for bypass constraint attack by cyber criminals. In modern applications, when a user requests data, an API request is called for n values of data (where n is allowed value of data that can be accessed in return of the request).
  • Exploitation: Once target API call is identified, the motive is to attack the variable ‘n’. If the call is coded to return 10 results, it may look like /api/v1/get_books/10/site/all_books. The hackers execute this call in a new browser or by using cURL to check if it returns data. If yes, they modify the number (10 in this case) to their desired number to fetch more data or results.

How To Remediate Business Constraint Attack?

  • An API call may be designed to be invisible to the user, but it is not invisible to everyone and can be manipulated. So, always check the data being requested by API.
  • To make an API dynamic in nature, make sure to either limit it by user or use-case, including the session in request.

For more information on business constraint bypass vulnerability, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.