Loving the Cyber Bomb - The Dangers of Threat Inflation in Cybersecurity Policy

JERRY BRITO AND TATE WATKINS |

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Over the past two years there has been a steady drumbeat of alarmist rhetoric coming out of Washington about potential catastrophic cyber threats. For example, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last year, Chairman Carl Levin said that “cyber weapons and cyber attacks potentially can be devastating, approaching weapons of mass destruction in their effects.”1 Proposed responses include increased federal spending on cyber security and the regulation of private network security practices. The rhetoric of “cyber doom”2 employed by proponents of increased federal intervention, however, lacks clear evidence of a serious threat that can be verified by the public. As a result, the United States may be witnessing a bout of threat inflation similar to that seen in the run-up to the Iraq War. Additionally, a cyber-industrial complex is emerging, much like the military-industrial complex of the Cold War. This complex may serve to not only supply cyber security solutions to the federal government, but to drum up demand for them as well.

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OTHER ARTICLES

New Cyber Threat Index Shows Industries Are Under Attack in Uncertain Times

Article | April 16, 2020

It has been more than a month since businesses around the world started to implement contingencies in response to the Coronavirus. The Cyber Threat Index Report by Imperva Research Labs tracks changes in traffic and attack trends across multiple industries and countries. This month’s edition looks at how COVID-19 is affecting all industries across the globe. Our researchers have found that while some sectors are experiencing a dip in the number of attacks, on the whole they remain consistent. As the chart below shows, certain sectors have experienced a significant increase in attacks over the past few months: attacks on gaming are up seven percent, food & beverages are up six percent, and financial services are up 3 percent.

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Mitigating Risks with Social Media Security Best Practices

Article | April 16, 2020

Social media has become an integral part of business promotion, especially to build brand image and maintain brand reputation. Small businesses to large corporations are active on various social media platforms to interact with their target audience daily. Moreover, the onset of the Pandemic has compelled businesses to rely more on these platforms to connect with their world of customers. This has skyrocketed the amount of information businesses, and customers share on social media. As a result, social media security threats have increased. Hackers are looking for a chance to get into accounts, steal personal and business information, and use it for various gains. Publically accessible social media information is vulnerable to cyber-attacks from cybercriminals. To communicate with customers directly, corporations today operate multiple social media channels. However, cybersecurity measures have to be ensured within the organizations while accessing the channels to increase security. The commonly used safety models, such as the Least-Privileged Administrative model, can be applied in organizations to ensure security. In addition, social media access to employees should be minimized. Taking necessary steps to increase social media security in organizations will help in avoiding deliberate sabotage. However, taking no care in this matter may jeopardize your business, as your company's platforms will be vulnerable to malpractices and attacks by cybercriminals. These factors make social media security vital than ever before. Let us look into some social media security threats and mitigate them through adequate cybersecurity best practices. Social Media Security Threats Third-party Apps Even if you ensure a hundred percentages of security for your social media channels, hackers can quickly get into your account through vulnerable third-party apps. International Olympics Committee and FC Barcelona were victims of it. Twitter accounts of these organizations were hacked through vulnerabilities of connected third-party apps. You cannot foresee how dangerous the third-party apps you use are. Malware Cyber adversaries trick their targets into installing malware to systems and start to control and monitor it. This way, they get sensitive information. Phishing Scams Phishing scams can quickly get into your social media security walls. Phishing scams make employees of organizations hand over information to frauds unknowingly. These can be private information such as passwords, bank details, etc. Unattended accounts Organizations are likely to use some accounts for some time and ignore them after a while. Cyber hackers are targeting these accounts, as they know no one is watching them. Even without hacking, they can post fraudulent messages on those accounts. They use an imposter account for it. They even can send malicious links from these unattended accounts to your followers. Therefore, these unmonitored accounts are a huge threat to your social media security. Social Media Security Tips Above mentioned are some of the social media security threats that corporations face while handling social media pages to interact with tier customers. However, following a social media strategy with stringent social media security best practices can save your company from these frauds and criminals. Cybersecurity products are also available to secure your online activities and business. Social Media Policy All organizations should have an effective social media strategy with a social media security policy for employees, especially those handling the profiles. The guidelines in this policy will make your social media executives handle the accounts safely. Additionally, it will save you from various vulnerabilities that make criminals break into your social media security walls. Social Media Security Audit Due to the technology improving every second, new vulnerabilities, threats, and new hacking tactics emerge. In addition, criminals are also coming up with new viruses, strategies, and scams to hack social media accounts. Thus, it is always good to audit the social media security measures implemented in your company. The audit should be done often, such as quarterly or semi-quarterly. This will ensure that your social media security measures are strong enough to fight new-age hackers. Strong Passwords Strong passwords alone can fight any social media security breaches and cybersecurity threats. Therefore, you have to ensure that you have a strong password for each of your accounts. Your employees should be educated regarding what constitutes a strong password. In addition, it is a good practice to change your password often. Two-factor Authentication According to privacy advocate of Comparitech, Paul Bischoff, two-way authentication is the best way to keep all your social media accounts secure. He says, Whenever an employee logs in from a new device, they are required to input a PIN sent to the account owner via an app, SMS, or email. This not only protects you from stolen passwords but can ensure that whoever is in charge of the accounts is present when logging in on new devices. Although some social media channels provide this facility, it is better to enable it for all your accounts with all the channels to ensure social media security. Summing up Social media is an integral part of business today. Companies need it to interact with customers to build brand image. However, social media security is a concern as technology is improving every second. Criminals are upgrading themselves with new tactics and techniques to hack accounts. Therefore, it is vital to follow and ensure stringent social media security best practices for your accounts to confirm your business's safety, avoiding going sensitive information to the wrong hands. Frequently Asked Questions Are social media channels safe for businesses? Social media is an integral part of marketing today. Therefore, it has to be handled with utmost care and vigilance. It will harm your business if you do not adhere to essential social media security measures, as hackers can get into your accounts quickly. What are some of the social media threats for businesses? There are many social media threats for businesses. Some are unmonitored social media accounts, imposter accounts, vulnerable third-party apps, human error, and phishing attacks and scams. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Are social media channels safe for businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Social media is an integral part of marketing today. Therefore, it has to be handled with utmost care and vigilance. It will harm your business if you do not adhere to essential social media security measures, as hackers can get into your accounts quickly." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are some of the social media threats for businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There are many social media threats for businesses. Some are unmonitored social media accounts, imposter accounts, vulnerable third-party apps, human error, and phishing attacks and scams." } }] }

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DATA SECURITY

MERGING AND SORTING FILES IN LINUX: EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Article | April 16, 2020

There are several reasons to choose Linux over other operating systems such as Windows and macOS. Linux is an open-source, secure, and very lightweight operating system consuming minimal system resources. It also has huge community support and has a ton of distros (variants) to choose from. While we have already posted a bunch of articles on simple file handling methods in Linux, sending email from the terminal, and more, we are going to walk you through the simple yet efficient process of merging and sorting files in Linux. Just like with any other operation in Linux, there are several ways you can sort and merge the files in Linux. Choosing which method to use solely depends on the user and based on what needs to be accomplished. In this article, we will show you some easy yet powerful file sorting and merging methods in Linux while pointing out the differences and importance of each method. Cat Cat is one of the easiest and simple commands in Linux that can combine multiple files into one. All you have to do is list all the files that you wish to merge into a single file along with the new file name you wish to create. If a file with the name of the final output already exists, then it will be overwritten by the one being created. Here is a very simple implementation of cat command. $ cat file1 file2 file3 file4 > Newfile However, if you wish to append information from multiple files into an already existing file, you can use ">>" instead of ">." Below is an example $ cat file1 file2 file3 file4 >> Newfile The cat command can also be used in many ways. It is also one of the most flexible and simple ways of reading the content of the file. To view the content of a file called file1, simply use the below command. $cat file1 Join Join is another command to merge the data of multiple files. While it is as easy and simple as the cat command is, it has a catch. Unlike cat, join cannot just simple combine the data of multiple files. Instead, the command allows users to merge the content of multiple files based on a common field. For instance, consider that two files need to be combined. One file contains names, whereas the other file contains IDs, and the join command can be used to combine both these files in a way that the names and their corresponding IDs appear in the same line. However, users need to make sure that the data in both these files have the common key field with which they will be joined. There are several reasons to choose Linux over other operating systems such as Windows and macOS. Linux is an open-source, secure, and very lightweight operating system consuming minimal system resources. It also has huge community support and has a ton of distros (variants) to choose from. While we have already posted a bunch of articles on simple file handling methods in Linux, sending email from the terminal, and more, we are going to walk you through the simple yet efficient process of merging and sorting files in Linux. Just like with any other operation in Linux, there are several ways you can sort and merge the files in Linux. Choosing which method to use solely depends on the user and based on what needs to be accomplished. In this article, we will show you some easy yet powerful file sorting and merging methods in Linux while pointing out the differences and importance of each method. azure linux Shutterstock Cat Cat is one of the easiest and simple commands in Linux that can combine multiple files into one. All you have to do is list all the files that you wish to merge into a single file along with the new file name you wish to create. If a file with the name of the final output already exists, then it will be overwritten by the one being created. Here is a very simple implementation of cat command. $ cat file1 file2 file3 file4 > Newfile However, if you wish to append information from multiple files into an already existing file, you can use ">>" instead of ">." Below is an example $ cat file1 file2 file3 file4 >> Newfile The cat command can also be used in many ways. It is also one of the most flexible and simple ways of reading the content of the file. To view the content of a file called file1, simply use the below command. $cat file1 Join Join is another command to merge the data of multiple files. While it is as easy and simple as the cat command is, it has a catch. Unlike cat, join cannot just simple combine the data of multiple files. Instead, the command allows users to merge the content of multiple files based on a common field. For instance, consider that two files need to be combined. One file contains names, whereas the other file contains IDs, and the join command can be used to combine both these files in a way that the names and their corresponding IDs appear in the same line. However, users need to make sure that the data in both these files have the common key field with which they will be joined. Syntax $join [OPTION] FILE1 FILE2 Example: Assume file1.txt contains ... 1 Aarav 2 Aashi 3 Sukesh And, file2.txt contains ... 1 101 2 102 3 103 The command ... $ join file1.txt file2.txt will result in: 1 Aarav 101 2 Aashi 102 3 Sukesh 103 Note that by default, the join command takes the first column as the key to join multiple files. Also, if you wish to store the final data of the two files joined into another file, you can use this command: $ cat file1.txt file2.txt > result.txt Paste The paste command is used to join multiple files horizontally by performing parallel merging. The command outputs the lines from each file specified, separated by a tab as a delimiter by default to the standard output. Assume there is a file called numbers.txt containing numbers from 1 to 4. And there are another two files called countries.txt and capital.txt containing four countries and their corresponding capitals, respectively. The command below will join the information of these three files and will be separated by a tab space as a delimiter. $ paste numbers.txt countries.txt capital.txt However, you can also specify any delimiter by adding a delimiter option to the above command. For example, if we need the delimited to be "-" you can use this command: $ paste -d “-” numbers.txt countries.txt capital.txt Sort The sort command in Linux, as the name suggests, is used to sort a file as well as arrange the records in a particular order. Sort can also be paired with multiple other Linux commands such as cat by simply joining the two commands using a pipe "|" symbol. For instance, if you wish to merge multiple files, sort them alphabetically and store them in another file, you can use this command: $ cat file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt | sort > finalfile.txt There are several reasons to choose Linux over other operating systems such as Windows and macOS. Linux is an open-source, secure, and very lightweight operating system consuming minimal system resources. It also has huge community support and has a ton of distros (variants) to choose from. While we have already posted a bunch of articles on simple file handling methods in Linux, sending email from the terminal, and more, we are going to walk you through the simple yet efficient process of merging and sorting files in Linux. Just like with any other operation in Linux, there are several ways you can sort and merge the files in Linux. Choosing which method to use solely depends on the user and based on what needs to be accomplished. In this article, we will show you some easy yet powerful file sorting and merging methods in Linux while pointing out the differences and importance of each method. azure linux Shutterstock Cat Cat is one of the easiest and simple commands in Linux that can combine multiple files into one. All you have to do is list all the files that you wish to merge into a single file along with the new file name you wish to create. If a file with the name of the final output already exists, then it will be overwritten by the one being created. Here is a very simple implementation of cat command. $ cat file1 file2 file3 file4 > Newfile However, if you wish to append information from multiple files into an already existing file, you can use ">>" instead of ">." Below is an example $ cat file1 file2 file3 file4 >> Newfile The cat command can also be used in many ways. It is also one of the most flexible and simple ways of reading the content of the file. To view the content of a file called file1, simply use the below command. $cat file1 Join Join is another command to merge the data of multiple files. While it is as easy and simple as the cat command is, it has a catch. Unlike cat, join cannot just simple combine the data of multiple files. Instead, the command allows users to merge the content of multiple files based on a common field. For instance, consider that two files need to be combined. One file contains names, whereas the other file contains IDs, and the join command can be used to combine both these files in a way that the names and their corresponding IDs appear in the same line. However, users need to make sure that the data in both these files have the common key field with which they will be joined. Syntax $join [OPTION] FILE1 FILE2 Example: Assume file1.txt contains ... 1 Aarav 2 Aashi 3 Sukesh And, file2.txt contains ... 1 101 2 102 3 103 The command ... $ join file1.txt file2.txt will result in: 1 Aarav 101 2 Aashi 102 3 Sukesh 103 Note that by default, the join command takes the first column as the key to join multiple files. Also, if you wish to store the final data of the two files joined into another file, you can use this command: $ cat file1.txt file2.txt > result.txt Paste The paste command is used to join multiple files horizontally by performing parallel merging. The command outputs the lines from each file specified, separated by a tab as a delimiter by default to the standard output. Assume there is a file called numbers.txt containing numbers from 1 to 4. And there are another two files called countries.txt and capital.txt containing four countries and their corresponding capitals, respectively. The command below will join the information of these three files and will be separated by a tab space as a delimiter. $ paste numbers.txt countries.txt capital.txt However, you can also specify any delimiter by adding a delimiter option to the above command. For example, if we need the delimited to be "-" you can use this command: $ paste -d “-” numbers.txt countries.txt capital.txt There are several other options available for the paste command, and more information can be found here. Sort The sort command in Linux, as the name suggests, is used to sort a file as well as arrange the records in a particular order. Sort can also be paired with multiple other Linux commands such as cat by simply joining the two commands using a pipe "|" symbol. For instance, if you wish to merge multiple files, sort them alphabetically and store them in another file, you can use this command: $ cat file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt | sort > finalfile.txt The above command is going to merge the files, sort the overall content, and then store it in the finalfile.txt You can also use the sort command to simply sort a single file containing information: $ sort file.txt The command above does not change or modify the data in file.txt and is, therefore, just for displaying the sorted data on the console. There are several other ways of merging and sorting files and data in the Linux operating system. What makes Linux unique is its ability to pair up multiple commands to achieve its purpose. Once users start to make themselves acquainted with these commands, it can save a lot of time and effort while performing tasks with more precision and efficiency.

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NCSC makes ransomware attack guidance more accessible

Article | April 16, 2020

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has updated its guidance to organisations on how to mitigate the impact of malware and ransomware attacks, retiring its standalone ransomware guidance and amalgamating the two in a bid to improve clarity and ease confusion among business and consumer users alike. The NCSC said that having two different pieces of guidance had caused some issues as a lot of the content relating to ransomware was essentially identical, while the malware guidance was a little more up-to-date and relevant. The service said the changes reflect to some extent how members of the public understand cyber security. For example, it implies a distinction between malware and ransomware even though technically speaking, ransomware is merely a type of malware. “Not everyone who visits our website knows that. Furthermore, they might well search for the term ‘ransomware’ (rather than ‘malware’) when they’re in the grip of a live ransomware incident,” said a spokesperson.

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At Devoteam, we deliver innovative technology consulting for business. As a pure player for Digital Transformation of leading organisations across EMEA, our 6,700+ professionals are dedicated to ensuring our clients win their digital battles. With a unique transformation DNA, we connect business and technology.

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