Washington Post - A Washington area computer security business looks for more customers close to home

This week, a computer security firm looks for more customers in the greater Washington metropolitan area. –Dan Beyers

Check out the article about Untethered Labs and GateKeeper at the link here.

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How to Find and Ban IPs of Hackers

Dealing with the hackers and malicious visitors is becoming tough day by day. The ease of changing IP addresses and names is giving them freedom to attack different online store and eCommerce websites. They can anonymously access websites for their monetary gains, theft of data and leak personal details of the users. For any reputable organization or a business, the privacy of their corporate documents, employee records, customers' data and financial details are of utmost importance. It becomes mandatory for them to take drastic measures for improving the security of their online presence and ensures no access for the intruders. Hackers are devising new tools and procedures for breaking passwords and firewalls to penetrate into your secure server and get what they want. It is the reason that every security company needs to keep their security check abreast with the latest challenges. Leaving any path unattended may lead them to surprisingly uncalculated damages either in finances or a deteriorating reputation. To help you cope up with the issue, here are some of the recommended tools and procedures to find and ban hackers by their IP addresses.

Installing security plugin is a possible solution

The security measures start with the type of platform you select for an online store and extends to the installation of additional plugins. The recently developed software are vulnerable to security threats as the developers have to go through several checks to ensure the end product is hacking resistant. In this regards, PrestaShop and Magento are reliable for setting up a secure place for selling products and services online. Keeping the platform version up to date is one side of the store, whereas you need to install a module like PrestaShop Block Hackers IP addresses to recognize and restrict an intruder right away from your website. In most of the attempts, web developers ban a complete region to prevent hacking, whereas hackers are now found around the globe. And, you could be attacked by anyone from anywhere else that’s why banning them by their IP addresses is one of the effective solutions. You can have such an application to enrich your website with auto recognition of the hackers’ geographical locations by their IP addresses and banning them before they do any harm. Such applications are backed with an ultimate database of the countries and IP addresses which are actively involved in malicious activities around the globe. The security agencies keep an eye on the hackers to keep their databases updated and effective.

How about banning a region or country?

Banning a region or country in pursuit of security threat can be devastating for your business. It can be an alternate, but not an ultimate solution. All the users coming to your website are not hackers. There are innocent users who may become your loyal customers. If you completely ban a territory, you may lose potential sales as well. Firstly, to prevent such a loss, you need to opt for detecting fraudulent activities and banning them by their IP addresses. Secondly, if you are comfortable with banning a region, there are IP exception boxes in the configuration options of above mentioned module. You can add IP addresses of the users who may not pose a threat to your website, and they will never be banned from viewing products and proceeding with to the checkout pages. In other words, you are white listing those IPs from that banned country.

Create a dedicated page for reporting

The security plugins and extensions are quite helpful in keeping the hackers at a distance, whereas you can create a dedicated page to allow users to report any unauthorized access to their accounts. Most of the users fall victim of the data loss but are unable to communicate properly, or their email gets piled up in hundreds of queries to the customer's support group. In result, your website remains exposed to severe threats. A dedicated page will help you figure out the weakness and improve the security checks. Most of the notable organizations like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and PayPal have developed separate pages to let their valuable consumers report any attack. A report can help you trace down any intrusion and close down the back door the hackers use to enter your official website and violate the rules. It can also help you update the security definition and alter the restriction rules for your websites’ visitors. Besides this, you can get a web application firewall which serves as a nail in the coffin of banning hackers. It serves as an intermediary to read every bit of the data between your website server and the users. Thus, blocking any unauthorized access and hacking attempts. It can also help you get rid of spam traffic that is manipulating the statistics and nullifying the conversion optimization.

Conclusion

Online security is an online war between the good and bad of the cyber world. Just like for every virus, we have to have an update definition, for hacking, we also need to be equipped with all the latest plugins and modules. The web developers and ethical hackers are finding different ways to restrict the access of intruders to your online presence. We hope the above tools and tips will help you to ensure the safety and security of your online venture, and help you provide a trustworthy shopping experience to your target audience.

About the author

Alastair Brian is a professional blogger with a sound grip on addressing eCommerce problems with their possible solutions. He is working with FMEModules, which specializes in developing interactive modules for varying needs of the merchants. One of the top performing modules is PrestaShop Redirect. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn.

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Virtual Security in Rio

The Rio Olympic games are over, but they have not been without their share of issues. Reports of pickpocketing, muggings, robberies and violence have besieged Olympians and tourists alike. Security was of one the main causes of concern, yet one of the largest threats remained unseen; hackers competed to steal as much personal data from the visitors of the games.

Hackers Go For Gold

The Olympic games are no strangers to cyber attacks. During the 2014 Sochi winter games, visitors were warned that their devices could be hacked within minutes of connecting to the WiFi. Similarly, the 2014 World Cup, which was also hosted in Brazil, was a target of numerous hacking attacks.

This time in Rio, hackers used high traffic areas such as shopping malls and coffee spots to set up fake WiFi networks to swipe personal data. Mobile security firm, Skycure, reported that Rio Galeão Airport, where most tourists first gain entrance to the country, hosts numerous networks with SSL decryption capabilities. In addition to non-secure or fake WiFi spots, hackers also created malicious apps designed to steal information from various electronic devices.

Hot Spot for Cyber Crime at the Games

Brazil is no stranger to cyber-crime, ranking as one of the most active cyber-crime countries in the world. With large communities of hackers and cyber-criminals ready to hijack personal data, tourists needed to be aware of the dangers they face by leaving their data exposed. Skycure issued a Rio Travel advisory warning tourists to be wary of these hazards, and listed ways to avoid getting hacked. The advisory suggested that while some companies may be able to track and shut down malicious software, preventative measures should be the first of line defence.

Although threats of cyberattacks are prevalent, there are ways to prevent hackers from stealing personal data. Upgrading to the latest operating system and firewalls can prevent malicious software from breaching your device. Utilization of the cloud will offer more security than physical servers. Facebook and Twitter are among the websites that offer two-factor authentication services to add an extra layer of security. In addition to built-in website security, companies such as Untethered Labs specialize in preventative security, utilizing a physical two-factor authentication system – GateKeeper - that automatically logs the user in and out of their computer. If these options are not enough, travellers can follow company policies that require their employees to bring “clean” laptops overseas in order to avoid sensitive data to be stolen.

Be Vigilant. Keep Your Data Safe.

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Is there life after passwords?

Mark Burnett (IT security analyst and author) talks about an interesting experiment he did to understand password usage in daily life. And he enlisted the support of his family! Find out how every member in Mark's family uses passwords, and the tools he created for them to reduce their dependence on passwords, or failing to do so, increase the security of their passwords. Great experiment Mark. GateKeeper is one solution for computer security that would reduce the dependence on passwords. Maybe have us included in the next article!

Medium

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The Password Game

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon's CyLab, recently did a survey that showed that users' perceptions of password security do not always match reality.

View their findings here.

Find out how knowledgeable you are about the quality of passwords by playing The Password Game.

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Principles to ensure good enterprise system security architecture

“Employees will be company’s biggest threat” according to Experian. Data can be breached and companies can lose massive amounts of information in a matter of minutes. A good security system for your site can stop or limit the amount of damage hackers can do. Do not wait until your system is hacked, be proactive and setup your security system now. The following are a few principles to follow that will ensure your site will be better protected.

Secure the Weakest Area

Start with the weak spot in your system because if there is a weak point, hackers will find it. Even if it is not a security function or features, hackers will still go after this part because it is a weak area and it still links to your system. Once hackers are in, it only takes a few manoeuvres until they get the information they want.

Redundancies Redundancies

UK police forces had 2,315 data breaches in 5 years, Do not use just one security or detection system, such as a firewall. Use a combination of a few, such as the firewall combined with an intrusion detection system. If one layer fails, the next layer will prevent your system from being breached. Just recently, the file containing the information of 112,000 French police officers and their families, did not use strong protection – just a simple password.

Give as Little Permission as Possible

According to Cisco “44 percent of employees share work devices with others without supervision”. There are times when you have to give other people permission to use something, whether it is a process or an application. When giving permission to someone else, make sure it is as little as possible, such as just enough to get their job done. For example, if they need access to your Outlook contacts, give them access but don’t allow them to edit these contacts.

Assume Nothing is Safe

A hacker will find out as much as possible about your system as they can, especially if secrets are stored in your code. The attacker may use everything from decompilers to disassemblers to analysis tools. Be prepared for this and use the necessary tools in your system to stop these attempts. The largest healthcare cyber breach in history, Anthem’s 80 million names, had been unencrypted internally.

Security Should be Usable

If your security system is too complicated or users can’t figure it out, they are going to find a way around it. Make sure your system is as secure as it needs to be, but not too complicated. Furthermore, make sure the system is still user friendly.

Keep Privacy in Mind

Privacy is on the forefront of everyone’s concerns nowadays, so keep this in mind when you have a security system. Users want their information private. If you do collect and store information, is it secure? Can it easily be hacked? What is the reason for collecting the information? It is a good idea to think about these things beforehand so you know the answers if and when questions arise.

Follow these principles to ensure a good security system in your enterprise. By having multiple layers and protecting your information as much as possible, hackers will be less likely to breach your data and gain access to important documents. Furthermore, keep your privacy as well as the privacy of your employees in mind so they are protected as well.

Wilson is a Tech Guru and Security Specialist at The PC Doctor – Australia’s Number 1 Computer Support company.

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Laptop Security is Challenging for Remote Workers

Sarah Watson talks about security challenges for remote workers and how GateKeeper could be a potential solution. Read more at the link below:

The Computer Experts

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Password Security - Who's to Blame for Weak Passwords? Users, Really?

Swati Khandelwal talks about the complexities of passwords, and what users do to make their own lives easier. Can we really blame an office employee who writes down a complex alpha-numeric-special-characters password that changes every 60 days, on a post-it note? It is important for everyone us in the computer security business, to consider the end-user of our product - the embattled employee at a healthcare, financial, government or any other organization, while designing security solutions for these businesses.

Read Ms. Khandelwal's article here.

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