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Things You Need To Know About Mobile Device Management

Most of the employees at workplace connect their mobile devices to secure corporate networks. The trend is gaining popularity as it offers flexibility and convenience. However, this has given rise to concerns over security, privacy and connectivity. With the rapid adoption of BYOD culture by organizations, there is a requirement for more dynamic security solutions. Without a MDM (mobile device management) software, business information on lost or stolen devices will not be secured and can lead to loss of data. Also, personal devices used by employees have increased exposure to malware and viruses that could compromise confidential data.

This results in a rise in number of incidents involving data breach and hacking. Such events are detrimental for a company’s reputation among customers and other business partners. As there is an increase in corporate cyber-attacks, businesses are seeing the value of comprehensive MDM solutions.

Mobile device management is a system that is designed for IT administrators to secure policies, permission rights and applications across multiple platforms. It enables easy monitoring of all mobile devices to safeguard all business applications and credential assets. The organizations, through MDM software, can have complete control over their data.

For effective results, MDM solutions should be executed effectively. Essential criteria for successful MDM solution are:

  • Enforcement of security policies and passwords
  • 24/7 monitoring and fully manageable
  • Cloud-based system (to have automatic updates)
  • Remote configuration and monitoring
  • Restricting access to specific data and applications through Geo-fencing
  • Remote data wiping to prevent unauthorized access
  • Data restoration facility for corporate data
  • Rooting alerts for any attempts to bypass restrictions
  • Logging for compliance purposes
  • Remote disabling of unauthorized devices
  • Scalable – to accommodate new users and sophisticated devices
  • Device troubleshooting
  • Device location tracking

Other factors to be considered while implementing MDM solutions are:

  • Architecture: MDM software should be implemented depending upon the preferences of an individual business. Even with the increase in cloud services and infrastructure; organizations still have some systems that are run in their own data centers. In this case, solutions are required for on-site, cloud and hybrid options.
  • Direction: MDM solutions should be opted by a company depending upon the development of the enterprise. It should best fit current and future needs of the business.
  • Integration: It is essential for MDM solutions to comply with the existing security and management controls of the business. The right software will enhance both security and efficiency, enabling IT administrators to monitor and control from a single access point.

For more information about Mobile Device Management, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375-9654.

Trending Technologies In IT Industry

As technology is evolving rapidly, it has enabled a faster change and greater progress in the IT industry. The disruptive technological trends like interconnected humans, robots, devices, content and services driven by them have become an integral part of modern IT applications.

Some of the major technology disruptors revolutionizing the IT industry are:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): It is an emerging form of automation technology that uses software with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. RPA is used to perform high-volume repetitive tasks that awere earlier done by humans. The RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications like humans do.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT enables devices, home appliances, cars, etc. to be virtually connected and exchange data over the internet. The connected devices share data that they collect and take instructions from multiple sources which may or may not be in close proximity. Proper use of IoT technology can enable optimized traffic system, efficient waste management, energy use, etc.
  • Cloud Computing: The major part of the IT industry relies on cloud computing, making it one of the most trending technologies. The range of cloud solutions & delivery models is widening and it now requires the cloud services to be more adaptable in different areas of activity. Majority of IT service providers are acquiring hybrid cloud solutions to speed up the service delivery.
  • Blockchain: Blockchain technology has potential applications in almost every field. We have already witnessed use of blockchain applications in healthcare, IT, real estate, law enforcement, cryptocurrency, banking, etc.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI are computer programs that perform highly intelligent tasks, such as recognition of images, speech, patterns and complex decision making. Machine learning is a new branch of AI that is creating and enabling smart business operations with greater accuracy.
  • Data Security: Cybersecurity is increasingly evolving due to technological advancements. As the threats are constantly arising and the hackers are finding better ways to illegally access information, technologies are required to enhance data security by incorporating hardware authentication, cloud technology and deep learning. This makes data security an emerging technology as it will constantly evolve to defend against intruders.

Implementation of modern technology in business operations, marketing, customer care, etc. can increase productivity of an organization. For more information about various trending technologies and how they can be applied within your organization, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Importance Of Multi-factor Authentication

In recent years, there is an increase in number of cases related to password breach. The main reason for upsurge in number of such instances is the ease to crack an account password using modern algorithms and software. Accessing personal, financial or business information using a hacked password has become a lucrative option for cyber criminals; while it poses a great threat to businesses around the world.

In order to avoid falling prey to password theft, organizations are making a drift towards MFA (Multi-factor Authentication). MFA is a security system that requires the user to verify his identity using more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials at the time of login or a transaction.

Why Do Organizations Need MFA?

Following are the primary motivations to incorporate MFA in organization’s cyber security protocol:

  • Stronger Authentication: As per a study, 80% of hacking-related breaches are a result of weak or stolen passwords. MFA modifies the traditional practice of granting access based on username and password. It adds another layer of protection to the resources of an organization which is based on multiple weighted factors. This reduces the risk arising from compromised passwords.
  • Adaptive Work Culture: As organizations are promoting BYOD and work from home culture, more employees request access to the organizational resources from their personal devices. The employees may access their email accounts over unsecured Wi-Fi networks outside the organization’s protected premises. This gives the hackers greater opportunities to steal passwords.
  • Common Passwords: As employees are required to set up and memorize passwords for multiple accounts or resources, they tend to keep easy passwords. Alternatively, they may keep a common password for multiple accounts. This puts the organization at a higher risk for password breach.
  • Higher Risks: Most of the password breaches result in identity theft. The cyber criminals may impersonate the victim employee and gain unauthorized access to the data, financial information, trade secrets, customer credentials, etc. The hackers may even erase the data files hampering the functionality of the organization for a long period of time.
  • Defamatory: A password breach may allow hackers to access the customer records including personal details, address, personal health information, etc. They may leak this information resulting in defamation of the organization in the market. This may cause serious business setback.

How Is MFA Set Up?

A commonly used MFA practice is implementation of TOTP (time-based one-time password). A user now requires two pieces of information to access the resources; password set by him and a TOTP generated on his registered smartphone or email id. This helps in significantly reducing the incidents of breach. However, there are numerous other factors that are used to set multiple layers of security.

Some of the factors used for setting up MFA are:

  • Factor 1: Password, security question, PIN, etc.
  • Factor 2: HMAC-based OTP, TOTP, Personal Identity Verification, etc.
  • Factor 3: Biometric
  • Factor 4: Geolocation Security Checks, IP address, etc.
  • Factor 5: Picture password, gestures, touch, etc.

For more information on Multi-factor Authentication, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Watering Hole Attack

A watering hole attack is an opportunistic cyber security attack where the attacker targets a specific group of end users, usually an organization.

What Does ‘Watering Hole Attack’ Mean?

The attack gets its name from a wildlife predatory tactic. Many predators in a forest lurk around a watering hole or an oasis to wait for their prey. As the prey comes to drink water from the oasis, the predator grabs the opportunity to attack. The cyber-attack follows a similar approach and is thus named as ‘Watering Hole Attack’.

How Is The ‘Watering Hole Attack’ Executed?

For executing the attack, hacker traps a single user to gain access to a corporation’s server. The attack is executed in a stepwise process:

  • Finding The Waterhole: The attackers begin the process by finding the waterhole. They conduct thorough research and observe their target user to find out the website that is frequently visited by him. This website acts as the waterhole.
  • Compromising The Website: Once the attackers identify the frequently visited website, they look for existing vulnerabilities in the website. They inject malicious JavaScript or HTML code in the ads or banners displayed on the website. When the end user accesses the compromised website, this code redirects him to a separate site where the malware is hosted.
  • Infecting the server: When targeted user accesses the site, a script containing the malware is automatically downloaded on the user’s system. This malware collects personal information from user’s device and sends it to the C&C server. In some cases, the malware script may allow complete access of the victim’s system to the attacker. The infection is then spread across other systems on the organization’s server.

Avoiding ‘Watering Hole Attack’

In order to increase the impact of an attack, hackers choose trusted websites for launching the infection. Also, they make use of zero-day exploits for infesting these websites. This makes it difficult for traditional tools like antivirus to detect these attacks at an early stage. Thus, employing preventive measures is the best way to keep yourself safe from Watering Hole Attacks.

  • Keep your system updated with latest software patches.
  • Configure firewalls & other network security protocols.
  • Monitor the popular websites visited by your employees to ensure that these sites are not infested with any malware.
  • Regularly monitor your organization’s websites to detect any malware at its earliest stage.
  • Use browser’s private settings and VPN services to hide your online activities.
  • Configure your security tools to keep users notified about compromised websites.
  • Educate your employees about ‘Watering Hole Attacks’ and ways to avoid them.

For more information on Watering Hole Attack, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Cyber Security For E-commerce Portals

In simple words, an E-commerce website is an online portal that facilitates the exchange of goods (or services) through transfer of information & funds over internet. Common examples of E-commerce websites are shopping portals, ticket booking websites, auction websites, music portals, etc.

Need For Data Security In E-commerce:

E-commerce operations involve exchange of user’s data like payment details, delivery address, contact information, etc. If there is an instance of data leak, the users can become victims of serious financial frauds, privacy violations and identity thefts. This makes it vital for e-commerce portals to keep the data secure through advanced cyber security solutions.

Below are a few most common security measures that e-commerce portal should adopt:

Choose The E-Commerce Hosting Service Wisely: The hosting service plays an important role in keeping the website secure. Following are some factors that should be considered while choosing a hosting service for an e-commerce portal:

  • The hosting company should have a strong cyber security policy and should deploy required solutions to keep the servers safe.
  • Hosting server should be configured by keeping in mind the security level desired. The configuration should allow advanced cyber security solutions to work well without compromising the performance of the portal.
  • The hosting provider should have a good backup management.
  • The hosting server company should provide technical support 24/7.

Use HTTPS: It is recommended to buy SSL certificate and move your E-commerce website to HTTPS. SSL or Secure Sockets Layer encrypts the traffic and creates a secure layer between user’s browser and your server to prevent data breach by hackers.

Secure User Information: An important aspect is to keep user login information secure as hackers tend to steal it. Also, it may help to have unique password requirements like using a combination of alphabets, numerical values and special characters.

Store Selective Information: It is understandably important to store the data required to contact customers or plan your marketing strategies. However, avoid storing data that is not required. Also, it is advisable that E-commerce websites should not store sensitive user data like credit card details.

Audit Your Website: Regularly audit your E-commerce platform to keep a check on vulnerabilities. Also, keep an eye for security updates and patch up your settings accordingly. It is important to have a stringent security policy and update it on regular intervals as new threats arise.

For more information on cyber security solutions for E-commerce portals, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

What Is Hybrid Cloud

Cloud computing offers an array of benefits to organizations and thus, it has become a popular choice for data storage and computing. Depending upon individual business requirements, organizations can choose between private cloud and public cloud solutions.

Private Cloud: It is a model of cloud computing where IT services are provisioned on-premises over private IT infrastructure for dedicated use by single organization. It is managed by internal resources of the organization.

Public Cloud: In public cloud model, computing services are offered by a third party over public internet to multiple client organizations as per their capacity or usage requirement. It is managed by the service provider and organizations have to pay according to the storage or bandwidth consumed by them.

However, a new term ‘Hybrid Cloud’ has emerged in recent years. A hybrid cloud combines the services of a private and public cloud to allow seamless sharing of data between them. The organizations can run their workloads partially on private cloud and rest in public cloud. This prevents public or third party service providers from gaining access to entire data of the business.

Working Of Hybrid Clouds

  • Private and public clouds work independently in a hybrid cloud setup.
  • The resources are abstracted and pooled into private and public clouds by virtualization.
  • These abstracted resources are then allocated by automation.
  • Management tools provision new environments.
  • A hybrid cloud functions properly when APIs, VPNs or WANs connect the private & public clouds as seamlessly as possible.
  • The interconnectivity between public and private clouds is the underlying concept for a functional hybrid cloud.

Benefits Of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

  • It is a cost effective approach. Organizations can use private cloud for managing regular workloads and pay for extra usage on public cloud only when there is a need for scalability arising due to an occasional increase in workload.
  • The approach helps in separating sensitive or critical workloads from regular data. Organizations employing hybrid cloud approach have the benefit of storing critical financial data, customer information, etc. on their private cloud while utilizing public cloud to run general applications.
  • Public cloud resources can be used for allocation to short-term projects, instead of spending money on buying on-premises hardware and infrastructure for temporary use.
  • The availability of private cloud resources facilitates testing of applications as it grants back-end access to the developers.
  • Hybrid cloud infrastructure integrates the public cloud computing and private cloud which allows the organization to have control over security and regulations.
  • It offers excessive flexibility. A hybrid cloud setup can be scaled up to the use of public cloud or scaled down to private cloud as per the demand.

For more information about hybrid cloud, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.