Security Amid Chaos

Cloud, automation, and DevOps have led to cloud-based companies speeding up their releases, improving their innovation, and expanding their app scalability. But the speed and unlimited scalability can cause some shortfalls. You will start noticing the real repercussions when you are granted the facility to build without any restrictions.

Whether you are a new SaaS or a mature organization like Reddit, discoverability of the assets is the key to detecting vulnerabilities that prove costly. However, even the large and well-resourced teams of players find it difficult to achieve visibility.  The high frequency of changes in the engineering cycle or DevOps pipeline makes it difficult for engineers and security analysts to spot vulnerabilities. This brings us to the question, how can companies sustain in this challenging environment without slowing everyone down?

Leaders in digital technology like Auth0, Reddit, Databricks, and others are adopting a data-driven approach that powers a continuous governance and security solution to manage vulnerabilities efficiently.

Data Should Be The First Priority

Data reliability is critical in all tasks including security reviews, enforcing policies, asset visibility, monitoring changes over time, or remediating gaps in the security framework.

It is impossible to protect what you cannot see and most organizations aren’t really seeing the overall picture of the complex environment of the present.

Just take the example of misconfigured public S3 buckets continuing to deceive many people. The problem seems like an easy fix but if you lack the right tool to consistently provide up-to-date data, it would be difficult for you to discover the depth of the problem and its root causes.

Companies like Auth0 and Reddit identify the activities like routinely collecting and consolidating their disparate infrastructure data as core parts of their vulnerability management process. Automation of resource recovery ensures the reliable identification of infrastructure-vulnerable packages.

Automate Context And Not Action Alone

The context of a task, its vulnerability, and risk significantly influence the way your team decides priorities. You are in fact inviting disasters by treating alerts and notifications from multiple security tools equally. The most effective among the security teams give the required weightage to assessing context to address the most critical needs-context derived from living in your environment.

Your organization, treated as a combination of infrastructure, policies, tools, and team members are unique. Out of the box automation is seen as a compelling option by security teams who are finding it hard to keep up with the attack of vulnerabilities. However, this type of automation often fails in addressing the root cause of the issues.

Automating context through relationship mapping of resources and their owners is a much better way to bring up the accountability rate.  This is a better way when compared to auto-remediating issues that lead to poor security and development hygiene. Mapping of the relationships between resources and their owners enable the cloud security teams to automate accountability.

Managing Vulnerability And Risk

With the data in place, the security teams at Reddit can deploy a seamless vulnerability management program and assess the things that have and haven’t been scanned for their infrastructure and the person responsible for remediation. An example would be the maintainer of a repo code or the technical owner of a server instance.

These companies can make use of data and query to know the number of services and products in their organization and report on the percentage of servers in production scanned on a daily basis. They can also identify a resource quickly and gather all of its attributes and contextual relationships within a few seconds in order to generate a response to an active threat.

Ensure That You Avoid Noise By All Means

Never lose your focus on your key goals; preventing security incidents and spotting and remediating accidents when they occur. It is important to prioritize simplicity and visibility of the security operations. This is especially true when it comes to tooling.

Noise is undesired even if it is sourced from the tools designed to make your job easier. The operations slow down due to noise in data and reporting. Noise also has a negative impact on your urgency and response to alerts making you vulnerable.

Simple And Reliable Security Operations

By centralizing data collection, DevOps and security tooling, consolidation, and aggregation from their infrastructure, companies like Reddit, Databricks, and Auth0 can rely on this data-driven foundation to perform their overall security operations.  They have developed insights into all the resources that exist in their environment and visibility into the owners that are in charge of remediation. They can do even the hardest tasks and make decisions confidently.

Why You Should Consider a VPN for Your Business

The technology field is developing tremendously every single day. This has paved the way for working remotely allowing employees to better manage their work-life balance. Note that nowadays, people can work from their home or any remote area they prefer. There are many people who log on during their transit as well. All that is required for this is an appropriate device and a reliable internet connection.

According to some studies conducted in the field, professionals feel that they can be more productive when enjoying flexible time shifts or working out of their regular workplace. Even though working from other locations or home is a great way to increase the productivity of your company, it comes with its own risks. Note that connecting to the client or company data over an unsecured device or network can pose major threats to your business. Unfortunately, this is one of the major scenarios that occurs at companies boasting working remotely or time shifts.

Most people tend to use their personal devices for both private and professional business. Without any doubts, logging in with a public network using your mobile phone or other personal devices will create weak links in the cybersecurity of your enterprise. This can attract cybercriminals. Thankfully, there are ways to tackle this issue. One of the simplest and cost-effective measures for this is a Virtual Private Network or VPN.

What is a virtual private network?

VPN is one of the best innovations in the technology field that will let a person create a secured network connection even if he/she is using an unsecured home Wi-Fi setup or a public network. In this case, the data that can be easily hacked by cyber culprits otherwise will be encrypted even before your public Wi-Fi or internet service providers can see it. Then, the data is sent to the destination from a virtual private network server without being clubbed with the information of your device.

Note that even if a hacker tries to check out the data you are sending or receiving thru a VPN, they will be able to see only the encrypted data rather than its raw counterpart. This way, you can provide an extra layer of protection to your client and company data against cyberattacks when your employees are working from remote places.

The significance of VPNs

The cybercrime rate in the business world is on the peak these days. In fact, ransomware attacks leading to the destruction of companies have become a common issue nowadays. Note that DDoS and malware attacks are reported to be the most popular and common methods used by hackers to sabotage a company. You will be amazed to know that the United States of America is one of the countries that holds a top position when it comes to security breach issues. The country witnessed thousands of ransomware attacks resulting in data loss and huge ransom demands in the past few years.

Furthermore, cybercriminals are most likely to attack small businesses because of poor security measures since it will be easier for them to steal the data. Plus, startups will pay the ransom without much bargaining if possible since they will be more focused on expanding or growing their business. Sadly, business owners who run small establishments often overlook the significance of VPN networks making the task even easier for hackers. According to some studies, the average cost that small businesses in the US had to pay for cyber attacks range from $84000 to $148000.

When it comes to the UK, the monetary loss suffered by small organizations in 2016 alone because of the data breach is around £29 billion. Nevertheless, some sophisticated hackers may target established business enterprises as well. After all, no business is small for an online culprit to exploit. To avoid this, make sure to rely on a VPN and secure your servers and network using anti-malware or antivirus software.

Implementation of VPN

Fortunately, it is easy to implement or use virtual private networks in addition to being cost-effective. Hence, this is a great choice for all the organizations out there that do not have a dedicated IT department or an IT specialist. However, make sure that all your staff is transferring data over VPN networks so that there will be no gaps in your defense. For this, give strict instructions to your employees and ask them to install VPN software on devices such as a home computer, laptops, etc., that they use to perform professional tasks.

Additionally, check whether your team requires a mobile app version of VPN for checking emails or other necessary information on the move. In case you don’t want to deploy a VPN on the devices of almost every employee in your company, make a clear rule regarding who can access client and company data at first and act accordingly. For instance, if your team use to work from home using their laptop, make sure that he/she uses the same deceive rather than their tablets, mobiles, or any other devices even when working from other remote locations.

Other security instructions

Even though VPN is one of the best ways to tackle online sabotage, it is not the only tool that you may rely on. Note that your staff can easily create gaps in your defenses by opening a malicious email attachment or using poor or default passwords. To avoid such silly yet grave mistakes, give proper training to all your employees on cybersecurity as well as the aftermath of a successful attack.

If you are running a small business and cannot afford to put an IT expert on the payroll, take care to focus on factors such as using strong passwords, installing antivirus and anti-malware software on the devices, performing regular scans, preventing and tackling phishing attacks or any other threats, etc. In short, craft a perfect security policy for your company and make sure that all your employees adhere to it.

Amazing Ways to Secure Your Business Data in the Cloud

The development and innovations in the technology field play a significant role in the growth of e-commerce, especially in this digital age. The major upsides in this case include the availability of wider markets, convenience, and reduced market costs. However, it’s not a cakewalk and digitization has got its own share of downsides as well. Note that the rise in cybercrimes has become a major reason for concern for both startups and established businesses.

In fact, several well-known and reputed enterprises such as LinkedIn, Yahoo, Facebook, etc., had to face political and civil outrage for their incapability to uphold their user confidentiality or privacy. Note that these companies have become victims of successful cyberattacks. Even though no one is exclusively immune to such hacking issues, storing your client’s confidential data and company in the cloud is regarded as a relatively safer choice regardless of whether you run a small company or a high-end one.

Furthermore, just transferring your sensitive data to the cloud alone will not enhance its security. Rather, you will have to adapt some security measures and precautions as well. In order to help you out, below are some of the best tips that you may consider to secure your company data in the cloud.

Understand the significance of internet security

The first step to achieve or design a flawless security policy is to understand the significance of internet security for your business. Rather, the aftermath of successful cyberattacks. Below are some of the few reasons that you might want to consider.

  • If your company data or client information is hacked by cybercriminals, this is due to a poor security policy. This will not only put you in some legal troubles but will also negatively impact your brand reputation and, thereby, your market value.
  • Another issue that can occur if your company became a victim of hacking scandals is heavy fines from the government. Note that you will have to provide fair monetary compensation to your clients who are affected by data leaks. The compensation amount or fine will be determined by the court.
  • To survive in the competitive business field, you will have to implement some new and unique strategies. Hence, if your business secrets are leaked, it can lead the way to your company’s destruction.

Analyze the behavior of your employees

Do you know that your employees are the weak links in the cloud computing platform? Most hackers tend to target your employees first in order to gain access into your company network. To avoid this, conduct shadow IT tests of the systems in your company regularly. This way, you can check the activities of your staff and the cloud sites they are accessing.

Check whether the information or data stored in every cloud site that they access is accurate or should even be there at all. When it comes to the latter, more sensitive data such as business secrets and client information must be encrypted before transferring to data protection sites or apps. Needless to mention, this enhances the confidentiality of your data. However, this is not a must-do task if access to the particular cloud site is restricted to one or two employees.

Choose your cloud service providers carefully

Since the cloud platform is extremely popular these days, you can find several cloud service providers in the field. Without any doubt, every cloud service provider in the market claims to have the best services, especially when it comes to data management and security. Of course, not everyone will be a veteran or trustworthy. To tackle this, try to meet several cloud providers and shortlist a few. Then, go through their user reviews to zero in on the right option.

Better, if you can contact any of their existing or former clients. Furthermore, the parliament has introduced some laws, known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), to secure the data of online users. Make sure that the policy of your cloud provider complies with these laws.

Most importantly, ensure that your chosen provider possesses all the necessary certifications issued by respectable bodies in the field such as SOC (Service Organization Control) report, ISO 27001 certificate, etc. That being said, one of the credible certification bodies that you can rely on in this case is the Cloud Security Alliance. This agency provides a star certificate to the cloud companies that adhere to industry standards.

Secure your server using strong passwords

One of the main factors that can make you an easy target for hackers is using poor or not strong enough passwords. Similarly, not changing your default password is also a big risk in this case. The worst case is keeping the same password for multiple platforms since it makes it easier for hackers to steal all your information instantly once they figure out your password. To avoid such issues, it’s recommended that you create a strong and different password for your important files and sites. For this, design a password that features a combination of alphabets, numbers, characters, symbols, etc.

Of course, some people may find it challenging to remember all these passwords, especially when they’re complicated. Thankfully, you can easily address this issue by using password managers such as RoboForm and LastPass. Besides, as far as extremely important and sensitive data is concerned, you cannot rely solely on strong passwords since sophisticated hackers can break it at times.

In such cases, rely on MFA or on a multi-factor authentication scheme. Hence, anybody accessing a site or file will have to submit a one-time password apart from the regular password and username authentication.  Note that OTPs are usually sent via SMS, voice calls, or emails to the email id or mobile number that you provided during the initial processing of account registration.