Top 3 Disastrous Data Breaches Of Recent Times

Hundreds of data breaches are taking place on a daily basis. Hackers are devising new strategies to break into your defenses and cause you serious damages. Because of the vital importance of data and information, counter strategies have been made to protect the data.

We install data security software programs and applications on our PCs to protect us from these costly breaches, but almost 80% of breaches remain undetected before their occurrence. Antivirus, firewalls, windows defenders and other systems stood guard against these threats, but all became vulnerable to these dangers. However, Software Intelligence Event Management (SIEM) provides better security by applying advanced security measures.

Different SIEM systems offer different service capabilities. A SIEM system can analyze millions of events per second. We can protect our data by using SIEM as a service.

Here are the disastrous data breaches that took place in the recent years

Yahoo

Yahoo was once a technology giant. In 2016, when Yahoo was negotiating with Verizon for selling its business, it announced the largest data breach of its history. It was reported that the breach compromised the data of more than 500 million users. The hackers had stolen the names, email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information.

Yahoo recently revised the estimate of loss and stated that the data of 3 billion users was compromised. Verizon bought the company for $4.48 billion, which was then worth more than $100 billion. The amount of loss inflicted by the data breach becomes approximately $95 billion.

eBay

eBay is one of the biggest online auction stores. In 2014, hackers broke into its system and stole the data of all 145 million users. The data involved names, passwords and email addresses.

The hackers entered the system by using the credentials of a few of its corporate employees. They remained in the system for 229 days and reached the database to steal all the information.

The company observed a decline in user activity after this breach. It is recommended to approach a competent information security consultant to avoid such losses.

Equifax

One of the largest financial organizations dealing with credit cards has been recently hit by a cyber-attack, which resulted in the loss of personal information of more than 143 million users. The data involved social security numbers, names, passwords and other personal information. The credit card data of 2,090,000 consumers was also compromised in this attack.

The company was of the view that the breach took place because of an application vulnerability on one of their websites.

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What Risks Do Cyber Security Threats Pose To The UAE’s Oil Industry?

It is a well-known fact that the oil industry is the backbone of the UAE’s economy. In fact, considering that the UAE has signed a pact to constrain oil production, the country had to lower its crude oil out for the sake of compliance. Presently though, the country’s oil industry is unprotected against new cyber security risks. This necessitates professional and thorough security threat and risk assessment within local oil businesses. Like other Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the UAE is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Oil companies in the UAE are not even properly aware of the potential cyber security risks that pose a threat to them.

How Severe Is The Threat?

The severity of the threat that a cyber security risk may pose to an oil company may vary, depending on the goals of the culprit. For instance, a cyber attack may result in the leaking of critical, top-secret information. Culprits behind a cyber-attack on an oil company may even sabotage its operation.

Where Does The Vulnerability Lie?

Worms, a malware computer program capable of multiplying, have been specifically designed to target the data acquisition, logic and supervisory control programs that are currently in use within oil companies. Back in 2010, several gas and oil companies in Iran fell victim to the Stuxnet virus, even though they were not the intended the targets. This was an eye-opener.

Where Does The Vulnerability Lie?

Oil companies can actually increase their vulnerability to cyber attacks even just by using common enterprise applications. This is because oil companies use various integration technologies to integrate these applications with their plant infrastructure, connecting them with a wide range of devices within the plant. If the connections between them are unsecured, cyber attackers can take advantage of them.

What Is The Worst That Could Happen?

  • In petroleum companies, the systems that manage tank information and gauge the tanks are interconnected. Some are even indirectly involved in the control of tank filling. Cyber-criminals can hack into these systems, altering critical values, such as an oil tank’s maximum filling limit, which could lead to disastrous consequences like an explosion.
  • Using a malicious, remotely operated computer program, a cyber criminal may alter a petroleum company’s critical oil stock information. In such a scenario, a company may realize that its oil stock has depleted and it may not be able to provide oil to its customers, resulting in the company being deemed fraudulent and suffering drastic losses.
  • As mentioned, cyber criminals can easily sabotage the equipment at a petroleum plant since they are connected to enterprise and other such applications, especially if the connections are unsecured. This way, they can remotely tamper with critical equipment measurements related to pressure and temperature, which could lead to equipment malfunction, resulting in the wastage of valuable financial resources and time.

Conclusion

The solution to such cyber-security threats may sound rather commonplace and ordinary, but oil companies in the UAE can simplify matters just by hiring a managed security services UK-based firms. When it comes to cyber security vulnerabilities, the entire critical infrastructure of an oil company, and the UAE’s oil industry at large, depends on being protected from such threats. Considering everything that can potentially happen if a cyber-criminal hacks through, it is not worth taking the risk by not deploying some sort of a security operation.

Significance, Scope, And Requirements Of GDPR For SMEs

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is more likely to affect medium and smaller business companies owing to the fact that approximately 82 percent of SMEs are completely unaware of the term GDPR and its legislative propositions. Therefore, such companies are expected to hit high rates in fines after the enforcement of the law in 2018.

Significance of GDPR for SMEs

The general data protection regulation is aimed at replacing already existed data protection laws and regulations across Europe and will be a game changer for many organizations.  Further, no one should think that it is only a compliance problem because GDPR is going to impact all those private, public as well as non-profit organizations that process personal data of people who belong to EU or non-EU states.

Therefore, GDPR monitoring has become highly crucial for organizations as its law will be applied to all the organizations of the world. The companies have a trivial time period left for preparation until 25th May 2018.

GDPR Monitoring

Scope of GDPR for SMEs

EU has recognized the following through the GDPR:

  • The right to privacy as a universal right for humans
  • The right to safeguard personal information as a distinctive, impartial universal right

However, it is different to giving universal rights to human beings because these rights have been attached to the personal data of human beings. It means that human rights are different and rights given to privacy of a person are also universal rights. It makes general data protection regulation monitoring highly significant for every inhabitant of the planet Earth.

Requirements for SMEs

Therefore, in order to protect the universal rights of human privacy, EU has demanded data protection on the basis of EU-graded standards. Private and public organizations can simply consider their scope as if they fall under the jurisdiction of EU GDPR by answering only two questions as given:

  1. Is the organization operates in EU?
  2. Does the organization manipulate EU citizen’s data?

So, if the answer to any of the given questions is YES but you are pretty sure that existing data processing mechanism is aligned with provisions of GDPR then you should feel peace and enjoy business operations. On the other hand, if the answer is YES but you are not sure about the data processing mechanism; the organization must go for proper general data protection regulation monitoring as soon as possible.

A few steps will help to make your company align with GDPR:

  • Provide briefings to top authorities and senior management about its law
  • Devise a comprehensive strategy for it.
  • Consider all factors whether a GDRP monitoring officer is vital
  • Upgrade policies for data protection and governance
  • Analyze propositions of GDPR in detail
  • Review strategy for data management
  • Examine private policies of the organization in detail

How To Protect Yourself From Cyber Attacks?

It is necessary for you to take cyber security seriously because it can leave you in trouble without even getting noticed. All around the world, businesses and technology experts have been busy in talking about it because it is such an issue which is troubling thousands of organizations. In short, it is the matter to be taken so much seriously regardless if you are a small, medium-sized or a huge organization.

Bank robbery, data compromising and hacking all these things are actually the main issues. And cyber-attacks are the reasons why these all are happening around the world on daily basis. To keep your firm safe from these attacks, the London SOC could be the right choice. Following are some of the main cyber-threats of the present era.

Hacking:

The hacking is something we all are well aware about, even the small children knows what it is. This cyber-attack penalizes the business completely. It can bring financial loss, as well as data corruption and stealing.

Viruses:

These are small hazardous files that arrive with the data transferred from an unknown online store, USB or other data traveler. It slowly starts corrupting all the data to leave you with nothing.

Malware:

The mostly enter your network from online sources. They also infect your data by either changing their format or locking them with some kind of unknown malicious security keys.

How to avoid Cyber Attacks?

The best way to avoid the cyber-attacks is via regular Security Threat and Risk Assessment. In the market there are a lot of 3rd party network information security consultant and service providers. Apart from that, following are some of the precautions which could also save us from these devastating cyber-attacks.

Providing Personal Information:

When you are providing the personal information or credentials to someone, make sure you don’t provide it in the form of text message or on email.

Keep the Anti viruses Updated:

You must keep all your anti viruses updated all the time. Never ever turn off the updates, otherwise it is going to be a problem for you when some new malware will attack.

Keep Strong Passwords:

It is highly recommended to keep your passwords really strong. Add special characters and those words that are actually really hard to guess.

Spy Through An iPhone

The stunning features of an iPhone device attract customers from all over the world. Friends boast the faster processing speeds, the seamless functionality and the dynamic layout of applications of an iPhone device in the face of an Android mobile user. It could come to a surprise to these avid Apple product users and fans that loopholes in the operating system of the iPhone devices enable certain applications to spy on its users.

The irony of the matter is that the user when spied on is never prompted or indicated in any way. The application can turn on the camera by itself without letting the user know that it is accessing the phone’s camera and take photos, videos and much more. Managed Security Services Dubai and Sharjah are scrambling to provide protection to their high-value customers from this new threat.

This alarming new threat to iPhone users was only recently discovered by a security expert named Felix Krause, last week on Wednesday. Felix is also an entrepreneur and an ethical hacker. On his website, he proved to the world by making an iOS application that could without any hint take photographs of the phone user.

The iPhone has been known for the security and privacy it ensures for its users. To protect the iPhone user, an application has to be scrutinized by Apple to be made available on the Apple Store. Regrettably, the application that Krause constructed fulfilled all standards Apple enforces on every application it makes available for download on its Apple Store. Yet, Krause’s application could infringe a user’s privacy. However, cloud security services protect the user’s information that has already left the iPhone and stored in a protected server.

Krause explained that the exploitation of this loophole is not because of a weakness of software designs or Apple’s own security benchmarks, but in the blanket approve all applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook require to use the phone’s camera.

A malicious application can exploit this expansive approval to access the camera of the phone and;

  • Access both the front and back of the phone’s camera
  • Make a video of the user anytime while the application is running in the background
  • Take pictures and video without the approval or prompting the user
  • Live stream a video from the iPhone of the unsuspecting user
  • Run real-time face recognition software to recognize and detect the user and the people sharing the device or an in the proximity of the camera
  • Based on the images collected the application can reveal the location of the user
  • Build a 3D image of the user’s face
  • Cause a great deal of embarrassment to the user (let your imagination run wild – seriously)

Krause suggested that Apple should give only temporary approval to an application to access its cameras and microphones, and revoke that approval after a specific time.

He also suggested that until considerable measures are taken users should cover their cameras with sticky tapes like Facebook founder Mark Zukkerberg and Former CIA director James Commey.

Cloud Security Services! Real Need Of The Present Era

Everyone around the world is looking for the better and improved security system these days. The reason is the risk of the threats and vulnerabilities which have been penalizing hundreds of businesses around the world. So everyone linked up with internet somehow most often looks around for a better and well managed security solutions.

In the past we have heard about huge security attacks that have penalized and brought businesses to the ground in no time. That’s why, it is common practice these days for multinational firms, either they establish their own security system or hire the third party cloud security services. Here are some of the reasons why cloud based security services are the real need of the present era.

Streamlined and Centralized Tools

You have the access of streamlined and centralized tools to model the security stuff as per your likings. You can make use of them to refine and enforce your own policies. Also, you have the access to design, implementation and other control tools make use of them.

Multi-Level Security:

There are different 7 layers of a network. What a cloud based security services does is, it provides you the privilege of adding and implementing security on any of these 7 security levels. Also the monitoring intensity of the security could be controlled accordingly.

Real Time Updates:

It also provides you the facility of real time updates. Whatever activity is happening around in your network is notified to you immediately. Whenever there is a threat alert, it is generated right away on the real time. So appropriate actions could be taken to ensure your business network’s security.

Dynamic Resizing:

The bandwidth, memory and storage needs of the network keeps on changing with the passage of the time. The dynamic resizing feature allows you to resize your plan according to your initial requirements.

Full-time Managed Services:

They are the full-time managed security services which are which are better for the improved network security level. You can hire the services of the managed security services Dubai to secure your business network with a better cloud based security services to remain safe from the devastating attacks of the modern day threats and vulnerabilities. They can be severely harmful for you to infect you, in no time. That’s why, the managed security services have become the real need for us.

Ways For Cyber-Security Risk Assessment You Must Know

Certain organizations face security powerlessness due to availability of partial resources. In such situation, security personals often use the best practices implemented by other organizations to overcome the limitations. However, such an approach is not a helpful strategy to better protection of organizational data assets.

Following interior cyber-security risk valuation is a best practice that many organizations adopt these days. Organizations mainly follow certain steps for better security threat and risk assessment. In this regard, the following five-step plan can better guide to lay down the foundation for better protection.

Information Assets Identification:

Organizations mainly handle certain types of information including SSN, payment card information and employee details. A better approach is to identify the most crucial assets by making a priority list for all of those that are important to you.

Locate Information Assets:

The identified list of assets, needs further refinement. All of them must be present inside the organization. So their locality needs to be identified that where an individual asset exist. They must be present either in laptops, removable media or file servers and databases.

Classification Of Information Assets:

Classification of these assets involves proper rating so that their importance stays known to all. A better approach is to use a scale strategy from 1-5 based on certain categories. This will enable organizations to rank information assets centred to effectiveness of damage if they are disclosed or accessed in an unauthorized way.

Public Information:

Public information is not usually protected enough from public access. They normally hold contact details, information regarding marketing campaigns and financial reports.

Internal But Non-Secret:

Certain information is although internal but they are not enough confidential. In this regard, phone lists and certain office policies are categorized as internal but non-secret information.

Sensitive Internal Information:

Not every type of information that an organization maintains must be accessible to all. This includes business related plans, strategic creativity and non-disclosure contracts.

Tagged Internal Information:

Certain information like compensation related evidences and dismissal strategies must be classified as tagged internal information.

Regulated Information:

Regulated information is mainly the general information about users. They are the classified facts regarding the organization or people within it.

Conduct A Threat Modelling Exercise:

Microsoft’s STRIDE is a method that is commonly used for rating threats that might face to information assets. Microsoft STRIDE is commonly used by managed security services UK to ensure that all of the highest threats have been covered so that enhanced must be incorporated.

Finalize Data And Start Planning:

Now find out the product by multiplying cells within the worksheets by the ordered rating performed in the third step known as classification of information assets. This will give you a detailed ranking of possible threats to the business. Such a reasonable security plan will undertake the risks that have been identified with the maximum value or number.