DATA SECURITY

Quantum Literacy Critical in a Post-quantum World

PHILIP LAFRANCE | May 5, 2022 | 5 views

When quantum computing gains widespread adoption in the future, general knowledge about quantum computing — and skills for using quantum-enabled applications — must also become widespread. We can all recognize the importance of modern (classical) computer literacy today — in the workforce and in our recreational lives. So too, will we one day recognize the importance of quantum computing literacy?

In a post-quantum world, basic knowledge and competency with quantum computing will become critical, even if they do not reach the same level of importance as classical computing. In addition, specialized skills will also be needed. Today, an accountant, for example, needs to be well versed in specific specialized software and have general computer skills, but they do not need to understand how the CPU on their laptop works. Similarly, the future accountant may require specialized training in quantum-enabled technologies and general skills with quantum platforms. Still, they won’t need to understand exactly how the underlying quantum processors put qubits into superposition.

Let’s take a selective look at the history of classical computing to see where we came from and where we are today.

What are some differences between early and modern computers?

Many people over many years contributed to the creation of computing as we know it today. The early development of classical computing involved a small number of experts. Early computers were enormously expensive and had minimal functionality (they could perform simple calculations, but they weren’t solving complex systems of partial differential equations). In the 1960s, computers were difficult to use, requiring exceptional skills and knowledge to operate. Before the advent of second-generation programming languages (assembly languages), programmers were limited to writing in binary machine code (i.e., 0’s and 1’s). As a result, there were high barriers to the use and adoption of early computers, such as skill and economic obstacles.

Nowadays, classical computers are ubiquitous, and essentially anyone can use one with little training. Modern computers have as many applications as there are stars in the sky. Third- and fourth-generation programming languages, user-friendly development environments, and cloud-based learning platforms allow novices to create and run programs without understanding how the programs actually “work.” Indeed, much has changed.

If modern computers were still prohibitively expensive and required deep expertise to operate, they would still be a niche technology and not the world-changing powerhouses that they are today.

Likewise, if large-scale quantum computing is going to see widespread use, quantum devices and applications will need to have low skill and economic barriers for their adoption. Otherwise, they will remain niche and for specialized purposes only.

Who even truly understands computers, anyway?

What does understanding computers mean? Does it mean that you have deep knowledge of computer hardware design? That you’re an expert in software development? That you can write assembly code? Maybe it means that you’re well-versed in the OSI and TCP/IP layers and various protocols that go with them. Perhaps it means that you broadly understand how bits can be processed to achieve computation. Or maybe it means that you’re capable of using a computer to perform any number of daily tasks.

Regardless of how ridiculously complicated modern computers are, almost everybody can use a computer reasonably well for various purposes. Even if you don’t truly understand computers, you can still do your job and live your life. Nearly every modern business utilizes computers and requires a workforce with varying skills and knowledge of computers.

Similarly, think of an automobile. Modern vehicles can have hundreds of millions of lines of computer code, more components from more suppliers than you can count, and are, in many ways, absolute marvels of engineering. (Have you ever looked into how differential braking works? It’s incredible!) Yet, teenagers can operate these machines. Likewise, modern computers, like modern vehicles, are deeply complicated while, at the same time, they are relatively simple to operate. And as the technology improves over time, the machines become simpler and simpler to use — for example, autonomous driving or computers designed for infants.

Let’s consider the early days of computers and how many people “understood” or could competently use one. We don’t need to go as far back as Charles Baggage, Alan Turing, or the Antikythera mechanism to see that as the technology was developing, much fewer people understood it at all. Those who were developing the technology — at IBM, Microsoft, Apple, etc. — understood more of the body of knowledge at the time than someone working in the industry today has of the current body of knowledge. The modern body of knowledge is more extensive than it was even a few decades ago.

How did we go from a world where relatively few people understood anything about computers and where it took notable expertise to utilize a computer to a world where computers outnumber people, and very little expertise is required to use one?

Evolution. Over decades and decades, the technology, the knowledge, and the enabling peripheral industries, standards bodies, and supply chain ecosystems evolved from their nascent forms into what they are today. Consumers became increasingly aware of the utility computers could bring them (businesses certainly did). Over time, as the adoption of computers increased, the cost of purchasing and owning a computer decreased. It was a complicated process that simply took time.

Why should we care about how the complexity or accessibility of computers has evolved over the years? As we step back and look at the storied history of computing, we can take lessons learned and apply them to our future. These lessons can give us foresight into the future development of quantum computing and the goals we should set for ourselves moving forward.

What knowledge is required to build a quantum computer?

Here are highlights:

• Some understanding of quantum mechanics (which in turn requires an understanding of classical mechanics)
• The theory of quantum computation and quantum algorithms, and complexity
• The materials science for constructing physical qubits — and knowing the difference between a photonic, trapped-ion, superconducting, or topological qubit
• The engineering for entangling and controlling qubits
• The engineering to create stable environments for qubits to maintain coherence
• Specialized software for using the machines
• Quantum error correction codes
• And so much more

One of the bottlenecks often described by organizations working to build quantum computers is the lack of general expertise. While it is possible to find someone who is an expert in a handful of the above, there is a notable lack of a well-rounded understanding of what all is involved. And even if one person had a solid experience of everything required to build a quantum computer, more specialized knowledge would still be required to develop applications for the technology.

At the same time, nearly every organization involved in quantum computing will be quick to tell you of the future virtues of large-scale quantum computing (and rightly so); of how its future applications will be an unprecedented boon to humanity. But, for those applications to become widespread and usable by anyone other than a handful of world-class experts, the accessibility must increase, and the barriers (intellectual and economic) to using them must simultaneously decrease. This means then that for the much-heralded applications of quantum computing to become a reality, we must get to a point where the workforce will have enough knowledge and skills to competently use the future quantum computers.

If you are trying to sell a product that leverages quantum computing, you must have sufficient knowledge about quantum computing. If you’re developing a use case for a quantum computer, you’ll need a team with enough understanding to create and market your product. If today’s developers each required Ph.D.s and a decade of hands-on experience to make any meaningful software, then we’d have a lot less software available. Lowering barriers to developing excellent software is essential.

What’s next?

Companies producing quantum-related products and services will be well served to gradually make their wares more and more accessible to a broader number of people, geographies, and applications.

What will reduce the barriers? As was the case for classical computing: technological development, standardization, competition, incentives based on market needs, and experts able to communicate the concepts, applications, and their utility clearly to non-experts, including customers, partners, and the general public.

The more people and companies work on quantum-related technologies, the more that the technologies advance. As the technologies advance, more and more use cases will be discovered, more jobs will be created, and maybe even whole new industries will appear. As all of this happens, the barriers will slowly erode.

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Top 5 Endpoint Security Solutions for Business

Article | April 11, 2022

“As more of our IT resources shift to the cloud, and more workers become mobile, the importance of endpoint security increases” -Elliot Breukelman, Senior Information Security Engineer, Land O’Lakes, Inc Endpoint security is a must to secure your business against cyber threats, but it is challenging for companies to implement and maintain it. According to Small Business Administration research around 88% of small business owners think they face cyberattacks. Two significant factors contribute to this challenge: The amplified use of mobile phones and tablets for office work The rapid growth in the number of remote workers These factors make it difficult for businesses, especially SMBs, to manage IT security. So, the question is how the businesses will address the issue? The answer to this question is endpoint security software. This endpoint software protects all your servers, computers, and mobile devices, which are collectively known as endpoints, from cyberattacks. Different features of endpoint security products help businesses meet diverse requirements. For example, some companies manage thousands of endpoints using endpoint security solutions, while others might want to use threat hunting tools. Solo entrepreneurs and companies with their own SOC (security operations center) can utilize the best endpoint security software to safeguard their IT systems. Check out the list of the best solutions below that meet all your endpoint security requirements. The Necessity of Endpoint Security Solutions for Businesses All businesses need endpoint security software to protect computers and other IT assets from various cyberattacks. Cybercriminals think SMBs are easy targets; they are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks than different types of businesses. Furthermore, as cybercriminals sophisticate themselves as technology improves, companies cannot think of running a business without endpoint security solutions. Cybercriminals wreaking havoc on IT systems and stealing your data can be effectively stopped using the best endpoint security software. Find yourself in peace with the below listed advanced top 5 endpoint security solutions that can help you mitigate any cybersecurity risks. Top 5 Endpoint Security Solutions for Businesses McAfee Endpoint Protection The McAfee endpoint protection system includes small business protection through its McAfee endpoint security platform. Also, the company offers a comprehensive range of security products for businesses of all kinds. This platform's threat-prevention capabilities were perfect at blocking malware and zero-day attacks in test situations. McAfee endpoint security comes with essential features, including a firewall and the ability to prevent users from visiting infected websites. In addition, adaptive threat protection (ATP) is one of the standout characteristics of this platform. With the help of ATP, McAfee endpoint security can detect all sorts of malware, even complex threats like file-less attacks. It looks at suspicious activity and decides what to do about it based on the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence network, reputation parameters, and risk criteria. McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) assists IT teams in managing the security of the company.. Set security policies, examine and analyze endpoint status, take action when threats are discovered, and assess the overall health of your company's security with ePO as a central management platform. Kaspersky Endpoint Security Kaspersky Endpoint Security provides adequate and easy-to-manage malware protection for small organizations. Kaspersky Endpoint Security cloud is a preconfigured protection platform designed for enterprises with a small IT team and less than 100 employees. It allows for speedy implementation and continuously checks the security system. Kaspersky's defenses blocked all malware and zero-day attacks in independent tests. Even on older devices, the technique works without affecting computer performance. Reports and a dashboard provide endpoint security information through the platform. For example, you can find out where endpoint security vulnerabilities exist and what threats the platform has prevented. In addition, the monitoring dashboard has a Cloud Discovery tool that allows you to look at how your employees use external cloud services like Google Drive. Microsoft Defender Antivirus Before 2020, Microsoft was known to develop poor antivirus protection. The brand has worked hard to change this reputation. In 2020, the tech giant unveiled a revamped antivirus solution, Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which replaced the existing Windows Defender software. The malware prevention capabilities of the new system are impressive. Over 13,000 malware samples were tested by AV-Test Institute, an independent testing organization. All of them were successfully blocked by Microsoft's solution. It also thwarted all zero-day threats, which exploit software flaws. This is better than the industry average of 98.9%. Avast Business Antivirus Pro Avast Business Antivirus Pro is a feature-rich antivirus explicitly designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It has a free trial version that is completely functional, allowing you to test the breadth and flexibility of this simple-to-use, simple-to-install tool. SMBs and managed service providers (MSPs) who serve SMBs should consider Avast Business Antivirus Pro. SMBs can purchase the management console or the standalone version. All devices have the standalone version loaded and managed from the device. It's a no-brainer alternative for SMBs with OS-agnostic networks, offering different versions for the modern Windows operating systems workstations, macOS, and Windows Server with Sharepoint compatibility. Avast also offers free versions and antivirus for Linux, which are not included in this evaluation. Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security is a robust IT endpoint security solution that caters to the needs of small enterprises. More than 500 million endpoints worldwide are protected by GravityZone, which processes 11 billion queries every day and uses machine learning to assess and improve protection mechanisms. It uses numerous layers of defense to prevent cyberattacks. This strategy integrates machine learning, heuristics, endpoint security analytics, browser-based security, event correlation, continuous monitoring of computer operations, and more to block malware and other threats from getting on the computer and causing harm. The Future of Endpoint Security Endpoint security is essential to run any business online. With the resurgence of ransomware, ignoring endpoint security is a prescription for catastrophe. Malware affects businesses of all sizes' reputations and bottom lines. Endpoint security platforms are used because of their endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities, application control, and other features. Possible prospects on the future of endpoint security are: Endpoint security switches to monitoring Endpoint security merges with identity management Endpoint security goes lightweight Summing Up When it comes to supervising workplace security, the correct endpoint security software boosts efficiency and productivity without jeopardizing safety. Endpoint security solutions also have lots of advantages that can help your company grow and thrive. Sensitive data, customer trust, and financial loss can be protected with endpoint security solutions. Endpoint security solutions protect Frequently Asked Questions What do you mean by endpoint security? Endpoint security is a method of defending endpoint devices, such as PCs, laptops, and mobile phones, from threats. What are some of the examples of endpoints? Any device that is physically an endpoint on a network is referred to as an endpoint. Endpoints include laptops, mobile phones, desktops, servers, tablets, and virtual environments. What are some of the types of endpoint security solutions? Some types of endpoint security are Internet of Things (IoT) security, antivirus solutions, endpoint detection and response, URL filtering, application control, network access control, browser isolation, and cloud perimeter security.

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DATA SECURITY

Tips to Protect your Business from Ransomware Attacks

Article | April 11, 2022

“Ransomware is not only about weaponizing encryption, its more about bridging the fractures in the mind with a weaponized message that demands a response from the victim.” - James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology Businesses can reduce their vulnerability if they know how to prevent ransomware. While this type of malware does not draw much attention, it can be much more devastating than other types of malware. As ransomware attacks are sophisticated in nature, many larger financial organizations have their own call centers for handling these types of data breaches. Ransomware contributes to 10% of all breaches, but it doubled its frequency in 2021. 37% of global organizations are victims of ransomware attacks. According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, 14 of the 16 U.S. critical infrastructure sectors faced ransomware attacks in February 2022. There are more than 130 different ransomware strains detected. Ransomware usually stops the user from using the system, programs, or files. Hackers ask you to pay a ransom to regain control of the PC. You may have to pay to avoid losing everything. As backups may not provide complete protection against ransomware attacks, this malware is considered essential. It shows the importance of depending upon a professional security service. Read the article to know more about how to detect and prevent potential data breaches through ransomware effectively. How to Detect Ransomware Attacks It is hard for traditional antivirus software to detect ransomware because this advanced malware uses a set of complex evasion techniques. Therefore, it has become essential to educate yourself and your employees on ways to detect ransomware before it damages data in your system. Ransomware creators apply advanced social engineering tricks and military-grade encryption algorithms to take control of your system and encrypt your data. Unfortunately, it becomes difficult to recognize which files are infected as the ransomware can scramble files. In 2018, 180,000 users globally had been infected with ransomware. Due to the increasing number of ransomware attacks, it has become imperative to know how to detect and prevent ransomware attacks in time. Below are some of the tips on how to detect ransomware. Through a similar-looking email account, ransomware creators send malicious emails. For example, they use capital letters instead of the small letters in the original email ID. So, it is important to learn how to spot ransomware by paying close attention to the email addresses. Another thing is to check the content of the email thoroughly, especially if it has sensitive information. Modern ransomware creators are so sophisticated that they even cleverly imitate emails and even the writing voice of the institution or person. Do not do anything suggested in the mail content if you sense anything strange. The best thing to do is to call the person or organization involved to check the email's authenticity. If you doubt the authenticity of the email, do not click on the links in the email immediately. Closely assessing the email can give you hints as to whether the email is genuine or not. In addition, you can check for unusual domains and spelling errors in the email. Another effective way to detect ransomware is to be careful while downloading attachments. Ransomware creators hide it in an encrypted zip file. You won’t be able to see the malicious file encrypted until you extract it from the file. Tips to Prevent Ransomware Attacks Avoid Providing Personal Data to Unknown Do not give out personal information if you receive a call, text, or email from an unknown source asking for it. Before a ransomware attack, there is a possibility that cybercriminals may try to obtain personal information. This information can be used to target individuals personally through phishing emails. The goal is to get you to open a malicious attachment or link. Permitting the perpetrators to access data to make their trap more plausible is not a good idea. If a corporation contacts you for information, ignore the request and contact the company on your own to confirm that it is legitimate. Get Security Software Assistance As cybercrime increases it becomes essential to have ransomware protection. Use a comprehensive internet security solution like Kaspersky Internet Security to protect your PC from ransomware. Software stops corrupted files from being downloaded or streamed, preventing ransomware from getting into your system and keeping hackers away. Back up your data It is always a good idea to keep a backup of your data. In case you are hit by ransomware, you will know that your data is safe. Keep everything on a hard drive, but don't leave it attached to your computer while you're not using it. Leaving the hard drive attached to your system can compromise the data if you become a victim of ransomware. The data inside the hard drive can get encrypted. With cloud storage solutions, you can also go back to previous versions of your files. As a result, if ransomware encrypts them, you should be able to restore an unencrypted version using cloud storage. Click Only on Verified Links Clicking links on unfamiliar websites or in spam emails should be avoided. One way for your computer to become infected is through downloads that begin when you click on malicious links. When ransomware infects your computer, it either encrypts your files or locks down your operating system. Once the ransomware has anything to hold as a 'hostage,' it will demand to unlock your files. The simplest solution is to pay the ransoms. However, this is what the criminal wants you to do, and paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will be able to access your device or data. Do Not Download Software from Unknown Websites To make sure that you do not get ransomware, don’t download software or media assets from unknown websites. If you want to download something, go to a site that has been verified and is reputable. Most reputable websites will have trust indicators that you can spot. For example, type “https” into the search field to see if the site uses “https” rather than “http”. A shield or lock symbol may appear in the address bar, to confirm that the site is secure. If it’s something that you want to download for your phone, be sure it's from a trusted source. For example, Android users should download apps from the Google Play Store, while iPhone users should go to the App Store. What to Do in Case You Have Become a Victim of Ransomware What if you've already been under a ransomware attack and you are unaware of it? It's critical to know what to do in the event of a ransomware attack. Here are some easy steps that may help reduce damage to some extent. If you're hit by ransomware, the first thing you should do is disconnect from all networks and the internet. By disconnecting, you isolate your computer and limit the ransomware virus from spreading to other devices. It's advisable to consult a cybersecurity professional before paying ransom to cybercriminals. They will learn the situation and advice you to act accordingly. Summing Up Ransomware is difficult to detect and defend against. Organizations, on the other hand, can take steps to protect their systems and sensitive data by taking necessary precautions. The first thing to do is to educate employees about common red flags and vulnerabilities, set up processes and procedures for preventative monitoring, and install anti-ransomware software and tools. Frequently Asked Questions How does ransomware work? Ransomware encrypts files on a computer and prevents the user or organization from accessing them. This malware encrypts files and demands a ransom for the decryption key. This puts businesses in a situation where paying the ransom is the most convenient way for them to get back the data. Is it possible to remove ransomware? Robust cybersecurity software can be used to decrypt ransomware files. A cybersecurity specialist should assist you at every step of the ransomware eradication process with the ransomware removal tool. However, retrieving all the files may not always be possible. Is it possible to detect ransomware? Ransomware can be identified at the network level by checking for unusual traffic patterns. This can signal a ransomware infestation or malware in general.

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NETWORK THREAT DETECTION

Top Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities to Keep an Eye On

Article | March 31, 2022

Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities are prevalent in all types of businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop shops. The basic fact is that there are far too many risks to counteract all of them adequately. According to Kaspersky Lab, a leading antivirus company, “The number of new malicious files processed by Kaspersky Lab’s in-lab detection technologies reached 360,000 a day in 2017.” This contributes to 250 new malware threats every minute. When it comes to cybersecurity threats and network vulnerabilities, malware is not the only thing to be worried about. Hackers can steal your data and sensitive information. Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities: The Difference To put it simply, vulnerabilities are weaknesses or flaws in a system or network that could be exploited to bring harm or allow an attacker to manipulate the system in some way. This differs from a cyber-threat. Computer system vulnerabilities are the weaknesses and flaws present in the system, unlike a cyber threat. Cybercriminals will also use these flaws in their attacks, but they aren't usually the result of a deliberate plan. I short, vulnerabilities lead to cybersecurity threats. How a computer cybersecurity vulnerability is exploited is determined by the nature of the exposure and the attacker's motivations. For example, these problems could be caused by software programs that don't work well together, system parts that don't work well together, or flaws in a single application. Top Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities of the Year Internet of Thing Devices The Internet of Things (IoT) includes many smart devices, such as Wi-Fi-equipped refrigerators, printers, factory robots, coffee makers, and countless other appliances. The challenge with these devices is that attackers can use them to create slaved networks of compromised devices to carry out additional attacks. Worse yet, many firms are unaware of how many IoT devices they have on their networks. This means they are unaware of the risks and possible threats they are exposed to, as well as the vulnerabilities to information security. These unknown devices provide countless opportunities for attackers and increase the vulnerability risk in cybersecurity for corporations. To reduce the network security threats and vulnerabilities of IoT devices, a security audit should be conducted that identifies the diverse assets of the network and the operating systems they use. In this manner, the company's cybersecurity plan can effectively account for these IoT devices. In addition, audits like these should be done regularly to account for any new devices added to the network over time. Phishing Attacks or Social Engineering In a phishing attack, the attacker tries to persuade an employee of the targeted organization to divulge important information and account credentials by prompting them to download malware. The most common attack is through identical emails from one of your company's vendors or someone from a higher level. One such example of a phishing email is: "This is Mark from IT. Your user account has shown unusual behavior. Please click this link to reset and secure your password." When you click the link in the email, it directs users to a website that downloads malware and compromises their machine. Other phishing scams may try to get people to handover their user account credentials to the attacker to resolve a problem. Malware New malware is generated regularly. The figure of 360,000 new malware files every day may appear alarming. Many of these new malware files are simply rehashes of earlier malware programs that have been tweaked just enough to make them unidentifiable to antivirus software. However, numerous new types of malware have been developed over time, such as ransomware, trojans, and worms, each uniquely affecting the target's systems. Security Vulnerabilities That Are Unpatched As new sophisticated threats are produced regularly, companies have to find sophisticated ways to tackle them perfectly. Malware is looking to exploit the same cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities repeatedly. Failing to patch those cybersecurity vulnerabilities, once they're discovered, it can be dangerous for companies. It's all too usual for a company—or even individual users on a network—to ignore the ‘update available’ warnings that appear in some programs because they don't want to waste the 5-10 minutes to perform the update. These updates can save a company a lot of time and money and save from threats. Thus, it is good for companies to update programs regularly. Backdoor Programs that Are Hidden This is an example of a computer cybersecurity vulnerability that was purposefully engineered. Usually, a backdoor is a piece of software or code that is installed by the manufacturer of computer parts, software, or entire machines. This allows the manufacturer to access a computer remotely for diagnostic, configuration, or technical support purposes. A hidden backdoor program installs a backdoor into a computer without the knowledge of the user. Secret backdoors are a significant software flaw because it is easy to gain unauthorized access and affect the computer system and the networks to which it is connected. Employees The employees working for an organization are considered to be cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Most data breaches can be traced back to an employee due to intentional mistake or an accident. Employees, for example, may take advantage of their access credentials for personal gain. Alternatively, an employee could click on the wrong link in an email, download the wrong file from a website, or give the wrong person their user account credentials, giving attackers simple access to your systems. Using a least privilege policy, for example, prevents users from having too much data at once, making it difficult for them to steal data. Another benefit of cybersecurity awareness training is that it helps employees recognize phishing and other social engineering-style attacks and not fall for them. Software or Programming Interfaces With Unknown Security Flaws Computer software is complicated to comprehend. The complexity of a system grows exponentially as two or more programs interact with one another. The problem is that there may be programming flaws and conflicts inside a single piece of software, resulting in cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. When two applications are linked together, the chance of disputes that result in software flaws increases. Programming errors and unexpected code interactions are the most frequent cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals constantly seek new ways to exploit them. Unfortunately, forecasting the emergence of these threats and vulnerabilities to information security is not possible because of the infinite number of software combinations that can exist on a single computer, let alone an entire network. 3 Ways to Find and Prevent Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities Identifying vulnerabilities in cybersecurity before an attacker can exploit is one of the essential steps in preventing a security breach. Many firms, however, does not have the tools and expertise to identify network security threats and vulnerabilities. Here are some ways to find threats and vulnerabilities in information security: Audit Your Network Assets Penetration Testing Create a Threat Intelligence Framework Summing Up Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities have become too sophisticated as our dependency on digital technologies grows. It is because of this companies that use outdated cybersecurity techniques are at a risk of being hacked. Organizations must improve their cybersecurity program to avoid risks. An effective cybersecurity program can assist firms in preventing attacks, reducing recovery time, and containing future risks. Frequently Asked Questions What do you mean by cyber threats and vulnerability? Vulnerabilities are gaps in a system that allow threats to occur and let threat actors take advantage of the data. It is called a threat when the chance of an attack is multiplied by the possible loss. What are some of the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity? Network vulnerabilities, operating system vulnerabilities, human vulnerabilities, and process vulnerabilities are some of the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. What is the difference between vulnerability and threat? A threat is a process that increases the possibility of an adverse event, such as a vulnerability being exploited. On the other hand, exposure is a flaw in your infrastructure, networks, or apps that could expose you to threats.

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Ways to Prevent Top Social Engineering Techniques

Article | March 30, 2022

‘Social engineering bypasses all technologies, including firewalls.” - Kevin Mitnick, an author and computer security consultant from the United States Social engineering is an attempt by attackers to trick or manipulate individuals into handing over access, passwords, financial or other sensitive information. It's a cyber-threat that exploits the weak link in the security chain to obtain access to company networks. Attackers use sophisticated deception and emotional manipulation to get workers, even top executives, to provide critical information. Phishing is the most common type of social engineering technique. 43% of IT experts report that they have been scammed in the last few years. 93% of successful data breaches result from social engineering attacks. 45% of workers click on suspicious emails thinking "just in case it's essential." 71% of IT experts report seeing workers fall for a social engineering attack. Social engineering assaults cost an average of $130,000 to any company. 60% of IT workers think that new employees are likely to fall for social engineering scams. 45% of workers fail to report suspicious emails and messages for fear of repercussions. Cyberattacks that are socially engineered are less than 80% successful. Business email compromise is the most expensive socially engineered attack - 64 times more expensive than ransomware! “Companies spend millions of dollars on firewalls, encryption, and secure access devices, and its money wasted; none of these measures address the weakest link in the security chain.” – Kevin Mitnick, computer security consultant and author from the United States Even though millions of dollars are spent on cutting-edge perimeters and end-point security systems, determined hackers can get into enterprise networks through human elements every day. How Does Social Engineering Affect Businesses? Successful social engineering has a catastrophic impact on a firm. When confidential information about customers, enterprises, finance, and personal details is compromised, your company's reputation and goodwill are at risk. Successful cyberattacks affect businesses in different ways, such as: Financial losses Loss of productivity The cost of recovering Cyber-attacks cause business disruption Social engineering hacks cause massive damage to your reputation Learn about the top social engineering attacks and how to protect against them. Top Social Engineering Techniques and How to Prevent Them Phishing In phishing, attackers send messages through social media, emails, SMS, or instant messaging to clients to trick users. This way, they make the user click on links that lead to malicious websites. Phishing messages capture a victim's attention and prompt them to act by stimulating curiosity, requesting assistance, or eliciting other emotional responses. In addition, they often use logos, photos, or writing styles to make it look like the communication came from a colleague, the victim's bank, or other legitimate source. Most phishing communications use a feeling of urgency to convince the victim that there would be severe repercussions if they did not immediately hand over critical information. Prevention Tips for Phishing Know what a phishing scam looks like Don’t click on strange links Get free anti-phishing add-ons Never give your information to an unsecured site Change passwords regularly Install firewalls Baiting Baiting attacks usually involve luring the victim by generating curiosity or offering a hard-to-refuse deal. For example, social engineers may send an email with an attachment or a free download/sample link that promises lucrative deals. This would install malware on the recipients' systems when clicked. Social engineers who access the location may also put USB devices on an employee's workstation to trigger curiosity. When the employee inserts the USB drive onto their computer to inspect its contents, malware is installed on their PCs. Social engineers may use the malware to control and access data once the malware gets installed on the computer. Preventive Measures for Baiting Companies should teach employees to recognize if an offer seems too good to be true. Encourage employees to ask questions (if in doubt) before sharing any personal information. Ensure all employees in the organization use antimalware and antivirus software on their systems. Set up network security measures to stop incidents even before they happen Pretexting Although more focused, pretexting social engineering attacks are similar to phishing attempts. The social engineer constructs a fictional setting by impersonating an authoritative, well-known, or trustworthy person. The social engineer wants to gain confidence by pretending to be genuine and persuades the victim to share information. Once the social engineer gets the information they want, they may execute further deception. For example, acting as if a customer needs urgent account information. How to Prevent Pretexting Teach employees the business rules and security best practices Make sure employees always check with management before disclosing sensitive information Have a clear-cut policy to handle suspected attacks Avoid clicking on unknown links shared via emails or other sources Spear Phishing Spear phishing is a more advanced kind of social engineering in which communications are more targeted, well-written, and addressed to a single individual or group of people. Criminals personalize and modify emails for their intended recipients. The subject lines are unique and will include relevant themes for the receivers. It's no surprise that spear-phishing emails are responsible for 91% of successful breaches. Unfortunately, email security filters and receivers may overlook the communication because they are well-tailored. In addition, the communication appears genuine and non-aggressive. The spear-phishing email's developer makes an effort to obtain precise information on the target. Such information may be found in company directories or on websites like LinkedIn. After that, the hacker may gather more personal data from social networking sites to fine-tune a spear-phishing email. How to Defend Spear Phishing Train users to recognize, avoid, and report suspicious emails. Security teams must develop, manage, and upgrade security technologies and practices to prevent, identify, and react to ever-evolving spear-phishing attacks. Security teams must invest in continuously updating threat information to employees to stay ahead of attackers. Vishing In vishing, the hacker pretends to call from a bank, merchant account, or another service. The phone call starts with an automated message that directs the callers to the criminals acting as customer support representatives. To fake or disguise their phone numbers, criminals use smartphone applications or other technologies. Vishing is a kind of social engineering attack in which the victim is deceived into disclosing personal, financial, or business information. The attacker may even act as an off-site executive from your organization. Preventive Measures for Vishing Verify unexpected phone requests using an official directory or call the company’s main office and ask to speak to the person making the request. Login credentials should not be disclosed over the phone. If a caller requests account or personal information, do not share it and inform the security. You will not be contacted by security to change your logins, passwords, or network settings. Any caller who makes such a request is most likely a hacker. Decline the call and alert the authorities. Summing Up Cognitive biases and fundamental human decision-making play a significant role in social engineering strategy. As humans, we are bound to make mistakes. Building awareness will help you make the perfect decision at the right time. This will guard your business and loss of reputation. Cybercriminals who use social engineering campaigns are aware of human psychology and use it to their benefit. Unfortunately, such cyber attacks may affect your company if a lot of data is compromised or there is a ransomware attack. Recognizing typical social engineering tactics is the first step in strengthening your security measures and avoiding data leaks. Next, make sure your personnel are trained on how to deal with potential dangers so you can have the most effective defense possible. Frequently Asked Questions What are some of the examples of social engineering attacks? Some of the examples of social engineering attacks are: Quid Pro Quo Tailgating Smishing What do you mean by social engineering attacks? Social engineering attacks take advantage of human mistakes to get passwords or spread malware, usually through infected email attachments or malicious website links. What are the six fundamental principles of social engineering? The six fundamental principles of social engineering are commitment and consistency, reciprocity, social proof, authority, scarcity, and liking.

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Cyware | June 24, 2022

Cyware, the industry's leading provider of the technology platform for building Cyber Fusion Centers for businesses and threat intelligence sharing for ISACs and ISAOs, announces the successful completion of the System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type 2 Audit for the trust services criteria relevant to Security ("applicable trust services criteria") set forth in TSP section 100, Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Integrity, Confidentiality, and Integrity, Confident (AICPA, Trust Services Criteria). The result demonstrates the company's dedication to the highest levels of data protection. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) developed SOC 2 as a reporting framework that establishes guidelines for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enterprises that manage customer and user data. The accreditation confirms that the organization's internal systems and controls are in ongoing conformity with the SOC 2 audit criteria. Schellman & Company, a worldwide-recognized attestation and compliance services provider, performed the audit for Cyware. “Commitment to the highest levels of data security has always been one of our foremost business priorities. The SOC 2 Type 2 certification process is not easy to achieve but our team was fully committed and prepared to ensure we check all the required boxes. The new milestone will further strengthen the confidence of our current and future customers in our robust compliance with industry benchmark data security standards including SOC 2 (Type 1 and Type 2) and ISO/IEC 27001:2013.” Anuj Goel, CEO, Cyware Cyware unifies previously compartmentalized security operations, allowing firms to more efficiently automate and exchange threat data, as well as cooperate on threat response inside their security divisions and with other enterprises within their network.

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Cyble Launches Dedicated Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) Program to Empower Industry-leading MSSPs

Cyble | June 16, 2022

Cyble, the Y Combinator-backed leader in AI-powered global cyber threat intelligence, is proud to announce its latest threat intelligence platform for the Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). Through the new program, Cyber MSSP partners can benefit from a comprehensive dashboard comprising advanced threat intelligence and cybercrime monitoring and mitigation. It will be instrumental in enabling both customers and partners to work in tandem towards achieving their cybersecurity goals. The platform is designed to empower Cyble’s MSSP partners with an enhanced control to provide, configure, and monitor all services provided by Cyble Vision as a software suite to its end customers. This new update brings in features such as a multi-admin management console, seamless access to the user hierarchy dashboard for the easy understating of customer distribution and ownerships, centralized dashboards and consoles for access, and the ability to manage and maintain end-user dashboards from their own accounts. Additionally, it also enables tracking of all customer alerts, thereby fostering early intervention and safeguarding customer assets & interests. Manish Chachada, COO and Co-founder of Cyble, said, “The launch of our MSSP program is a key development in Cyble’s journey. It will enable our partners to extend Cyble’s Threat Intelligence, Digital Risk Protection Services, and Darkweb and Cybercrime Monitoring capabilities to customers worldwide, ensuring seamless integration with their environment. We are completely committed to the needs of our clients and partners, and the ability of our MSSP program to provide users with a single intuitive dashboard for AI-enabled threat management, advanced threat hunting, and mitigation response has been a key differentiating factor against competitors.” “Strategic partnership is a critical necessity for organizations due to the unprecedented need to quickly and efficiently address takedowns, incident response, 3rd party risk scoring, and monitoring emerging risks etc. The MSSP program will pave way for cost savings with ROI and access to increased visibility, operational efficiencies, control, and actionable intelligence for our partners' clients.” Mandar Patil, Vice President International Market and Customer Success at Cyble The MSSP platform comes with upgraded threat detection abilities backed by AI-based innovation, unlimited scalability, open platform with the capability to integrate effectively, and is governed by the GDPR privacy mandates. The news closely follows Cyble’s recent announcement on being the winner in 8 categories of the prestigious 10th Annual Global InfoSec Awards by the elite Cyber Defense Magazine (CDM), the industry’s leading electronic information security magazine. “We are incredibly excited to release this core module to a broader partner base and can’t wait to help a larger enterprise community. This is an outcome of having worked tirelessly to design a solution that enhances the threat detection and proactive mitigation capabilities of our clients. MSSP partners look for nothing more than comprehensive, easy-to-navigate, secure solutions that provide the best-in-class threat intelligence and digital risk protection. Our solution does just that! Our excitement knows no bounds as we look forward to strengthening our existing strategic MSSP partnerships besides onboarding new partners worldwide,” said Beenu Arora, CEO, and Co-founder of Cyble. About Cyble Cyble is a global threat intelligence SaaS provider that helps enterprises protect themselves from cybercrimes and exposure on the Surface web, Deepweb, and Darkweb. Its prime focus is to provide organizations with real-time visibility into their digital risk footprint. Backed by Blackbird Ventures, Xoogler, and Y Combinator as part of the 2021 winter cohort, Cyble has also been recognized by Forbes as one of the top 20 Best Cybersecurity Start-ups, along with several other industry recognitions. Headquartered in Georgia, United States, and with offices in Dubai, Australia, Singapore, and India, Cyble has a global presence.

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QuSecure Partners with DataBridge Sites

DataBridge Sites | June 15, 2022

QuSecure, Inc., a pioneer in post-quantum cybersecurity (PQC), announced today a collaboration with DataBridge Sites, a cutting-edge data center provider that serves off-site business critical IT environments, to demonstrate its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform QuProtect. QuProtect is the industry's first end-to-end post-quantum cybersecurity software-based solution that uses quantum secure channels to safeguard encrypted communications and data with quantum resilience. As an outcome of the collaboration, QuProtect is the first and only PQC solution provided as a live service in a data center. Business, IT, and security executives may quickly learn more about a successful PQC implementation by offering an accessible and tangible example of advanced PQC at datacenters like DataBridge. According to Shor's algorithm, any quantum computer with sufficient power would ultimately overcome all present global encryption. As a result, in order to secure data and communications, all business and government bodies must update to quantum-resistant equipment. Furthermore, data stolen now can be decoded in the future by a quantum computer, thus major enterprises must begin the strategic and information collecting stages of transitioning their cybersecurity to assure quantum resilience. The QuSecure/Databridge collaboration offers a technique for demonstrating quantum resilience. “Our team is very excited to now be home to the QuSecure environment, which is the first PQC software that is currently live in a data center. Our company sees the quantum computing industry as a rapid growth area that can be used widespread through the commercial and federal marketplace. QuSecure’s unique offering will add to our ecosystem of service providers for clients to utilize.” Mike Lozupone, DataBridge Sites director of business development He further added, “DataBridge sees this partnership as being mutually beneficial, and we feel fortunate to work with companies like QuSecure as their business continues to grow. We expect new customers to be driven to our facility to benefit from the combination of QuSecure’s quantum security offerings and the infrastructure scale and physical security provided by DataBridge Sites.” QuProtect delivers quantum-resistant cryptography at any time, on any device. QuProtect employs an end-to-end, quantum-security-as-a-service (QSaaS) architecture that addresses the most vulnerable aspects of the digital ecosystem by combining zero-trust, next-generation post-quantum cryptography, quantum-strength keys, high availability, simple deployment, and active defense into a detailed and coherent cybersecurity suite. The end-to-end method is built around the full data lifecycle, including data storage, communication, and consumption. Skip Sanzeri, QuSecure Founder and COO said that “DataBridge is a world-class organization, and we are pleased to partner with them to provide the first instance of post-quantum cybersecurity available in a data center. The quantum threat, or Q-Day, is coming at us rapidly, and in May the White House published two initiatives to actively build U.S. quantum computing and post-quantum cybersecurity programs. Our partnership with DataBridge is another big step along the way to National Security in line with the White House memos.” QuProtect is the most sophisticated PQC solution in the market, offering quantum-resilience for many of today's key use cases such as network, IoT, edge devices, and satellite communications. QuProtect may be hosted on-premises or in the cloud, giving the most suitable solution to the post-quantum dilemma and addressing today's complicated compliance concerns, such as BYOD and work-from-home regulations. PQC can be implemented across all network devices with minimum interruption to existing systems, defending against present and future quantum assaults that might irrevocably destroy industries and infrastructures in the government and commercial sectors.

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Cyware Achieves SOC 2 Type 2 Compliance for Data Security

Cyware | June 24, 2022

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Cyble Launches Dedicated Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) Program to Empower Industry-leading MSSPs

Cyble | June 16, 2022

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QuSecure Partners with DataBridge Sites

DataBridge Sites | June 15, 2022

QuSecure, Inc., a pioneer in post-quantum cybersecurity (PQC), announced today a collaboration with DataBridge Sites, a cutting-edge data center provider that serves off-site business critical IT environments, to demonstrate its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform QuProtect. QuProtect is the industry's first end-to-end post-quantum cybersecurity software-based solution that uses quantum secure channels to safeguard encrypted communications and data with quantum resilience. As an outcome of the collaboration, QuProtect is the first and only PQC solution provided as a live service in a data center. Business, IT, and security executives may quickly learn more about a successful PQC implementation by offering an accessible and tangible example of advanced PQC at datacenters like DataBridge. According to Shor's algorithm, any quantum computer with sufficient power would ultimately overcome all present global encryption. As a result, in order to secure data and communications, all business and government bodies must update to quantum-resistant equipment. Furthermore, data stolen now can be decoded in the future by a quantum computer, thus major enterprises must begin the strategic and information collecting stages of transitioning their cybersecurity to assure quantum resilience. The QuSecure/Databridge collaboration offers a technique for demonstrating quantum resilience. “Our team is very excited to now be home to the QuSecure environment, which is the first PQC software that is currently live in a data center. Our company sees the quantum computing industry as a rapid growth area that can be used widespread through the commercial and federal marketplace. QuSecure’s unique offering will add to our ecosystem of service providers for clients to utilize.” Mike Lozupone, DataBridge Sites director of business development He further added, “DataBridge sees this partnership as being mutually beneficial, and we feel fortunate to work with companies like QuSecure as their business continues to grow. We expect new customers to be driven to our facility to benefit from the combination of QuSecure’s quantum security offerings and the infrastructure scale and physical security provided by DataBridge Sites.” QuProtect delivers quantum-resistant cryptography at any time, on any device. QuProtect employs an end-to-end, quantum-security-as-a-service (QSaaS) architecture that addresses the most vulnerable aspects of the digital ecosystem by combining zero-trust, next-generation post-quantum cryptography, quantum-strength keys, high availability, simple deployment, and active defense into a detailed and coherent cybersecurity suite. The end-to-end method is built around the full data lifecycle, including data storage, communication, and consumption. Skip Sanzeri, QuSecure Founder and COO said that “DataBridge is a world-class organization, and we are pleased to partner with them to provide the first instance of post-quantum cybersecurity available in a data center. The quantum threat, or Q-Day, is coming at us rapidly, and in May the White House published two initiatives to actively build U.S. quantum computing and post-quantum cybersecurity programs. Our partnership with DataBridge is another big step along the way to National Security in line with the White House memos.” QuProtect is the most sophisticated PQC solution in the market, offering quantum-resilience for many of today's key use cases such as network, IoT, edge devices, and satellite communications. QuProtect may be hosted on-premises or in the cloud, giving the most suitable solution to the post-quantum dilemma and addressing today's complicated compliance concerns, such as BYOD and work-from-home regulations. PQC can be implemented across all network devices with minimum interruption to existing systems, defending against present and future quantum assaults that might irrevocably destroy industries and infrastructures in the government and commercial sectors.

Read More

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