15 Best Blogs To Follow About Data Security Trends

Many businesses are becoming more and more aware of the importance of data security. However, it can be difficult stay on top of all the latest trends and updates regarding data security. As a result, it can be helpful to follow cyber security blogs to help keep you in the loop. Here are 15 of the best blogs to follow about data security trends in no particular order, so that you don’t have to filter through some of the worst advice about data security.

  1. Brian Krebs is one of the most well known names in the security landscape. His blog is entitled Krebs on Security and he convers topics such as the latest threats, cyber criminals, privacy breaches and more.
  2. Network Security Blog is run by the Senior Security Advocate at Akamai, Martin McKeay. Running since 2003, the blog has posted upwards of 1000 posts about various aspects of cyber security.
  3. Naked Security is one of the biggest blogs around with 1.5 million view per month. There are a number of blog writers who post to the blog offering a variety of views and opinion about data security.
  4. ShackF00 is run by Dave Shackleford, the founder of Voodoo Security. This blog covers topics such as intrusion detection, vulnerability assessments, and malware to name a few.
  5. IT Security Expert Blog is a blog to follow in order to learn more about Identity theft, regulatory compliance, DDoS, Hacking, Data protection and malware.
  6. ImperialViolet is a blog run by Adam Langley who works for Google as a senior software engineer. His blog covers a variety of topics regarding cyber security and software
  7. Securosis Blog is a blog that offers topics such as application security, data security, emerging technologies and security management.
  8. Bruce Schneier is recognized around the world for a being a security guru. His blog,  Schneier on Security, has been around since 2004.
  9. Graham Cluley is another independent security analyst that is extremely well known. He has been in the security industry since the early 1990s and has held senior roles at McAfee and Sophos. His blog is entitled Graham Cluley.
  10. Dark Reading is a widely-read blog about cyber security. The blog reaches out to a variety of professionals from areas such as security research, technology specialists, and workers in the IT environment
  11. CSO online is a blog that specifically focuses on access management for enterprise servers, technology, loss prevention, software vulnerabilities and cybercriminal threats
  12. Forbes’ blog about cyber-security news is reliable and offers some of the latest information regarding security threats
  13. SC Magazine offers information about email security, mobile devices, web security and the latest information on the cloud
  14. The Hacker News has over 5 million monthly readers and is one of the biggest resources for technology, security and hacking
  15. Zero Day a blog dedicated to IT security, security analysis, malware attacks, software vulnerabilities and network threats

Protecting Your Customers Data

One of the most important parts of any business is the relationship you have with customers. With a positive customer relationship, your business will become trusted, which helps to ensure  brand loyalty and a positive reputation, all of which can lead to increased sales and profit. However, an often forgotten aspect of building the relationship is customer data protection. Keeping their sensitive information or assets secure is of the utmost important. Here are some things you can do to help protect your customer’s data.

The best thing you can do to prevent a security breach is to implement preventative security measures. Data security should not only include general business data but personal data as well. Part of preventative measures also includes creating a customer outreach plan in the event that a breach does occur. It may be helpful to also create a breach incident plan. This way, in the event of a breach, everyone in the company will be on the same page when it comes to how to respond.

It is also important to note that when a business has a security breach, not only does it hurt your customers, it also hurts you company as well. In fact, according to a study done by the Ponemon Institute and Symantec, an average security breach will cost a business around $5 million. On top of this, many states have tough laws in place regarding data breaches and if you fail to meet disclosure laws, it can result in lawsuits and even more steep fines. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to security breaches since the fines associated with a breach are often too large to absorb. This is why it is extremely important that your business has a security system in place to help protect sensitive customer data.

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Tips to Protect your Organization from a Data Breach!

One of the most important things that you can do for your business or organization is to protect it from data breaches. Cyber security threats includes any unauthorized access to information or unauthorized sharing or changing of information. Organizations have a large amount of personal information stored on databases so protecting this information is extremely important. Here are ways for businesses to protect private data and avoid breaches.

The first thing you should do is create a data loss protection plan. When this is implemented, everyone will be on the same page regarding data security. Make sure employees are educated on how to handle sensitive information. Consider creating a protocol that employees must follow when working with sensitive information. Where are employees when accessing this information? Are they at work or at home? Is the data scattered over a wide range of devices or is it localized? Who has access to what information? Is there a clear way to document who is accessing what information and for how long? Consider creating secure networks where employees can only gain access at certain places. Another way to protect information is to store all data in encrypted databases.

If you are worried about the amount of sensitive information employees may have access to, it may be a good idea to go through all information and remove unnecessary sensitive data. Is it required that all information be accessible? If not, remove what is unnecessary so that only vital information remains. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of employees that have access to all sensitive information. Finally, ensure that strong passwords are being used. Strong passwords should have 15 or more characters, consist of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols in a random sequence. Following these tips can help ensure the safety of your organization from a data breach.

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What the Ashley Madison Breach means for Cyber Security

Earlier this month, yet another online business has been targeted by hackers. Who was the victim this time: the customers of Ashley Madison, an online dating website for married people looking for affairs. A group of hackers that call themselves the Impact Team claim to have stolen the information from the entire database that Ashley Madison uses – this includes the personal information of all the customers, which totals 33 million members in 46 countries. Meanwhile, official Ashley Madison representatives claimed that the media was simply exaggerating and that the hackers were unable to completely infiltrate their system. The Impact Team said that they have released over 2,500 customer records and demand that Ashley Madison take down the site or else they will release the rest of the data they have stolen.

While some have suggested that there is nothing to worry about since the information that customers of Ashley Madison uses is usually fake, there is still a small source of anxiety for customers who have used the the “paid delete” option on the site. The “paid delete” option is when a user wants to completely delete their account from the system. In order to do this, customers must pay $19 – usually with a credit card. This credit card information is stored in the system as well as other personal information such as legal names and addresses. It is this valuable information that the hackers called the Impact Team are threatening to release.

From this recent attack on Ashley Madison to the number of businesses that have been hacked within the year, it is becoming more and more apparent that cybersecurity is a must. Not only is it important, it is paramount, and should be one of the things that businesses put at the top of their to do list. Cyber security involves all information technology security services that protects not only computers, but also networks, programs and data from unauthorized access, destruction, or change of data. With the amount of cyber attacks that have happened as well as the recent attack on the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management that happened earlier this year, it is clear that the federal government must figure out ways to improve cybersecurity to better protect businesses and customers alike.

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The Federal Government Enhanced their Cyber Security Network

It has recently been disclosed that the Office of Personnel Management was breached and an incredible amount of sensitive information such as financial and medical information of personnel as well as 1.1 million fingerprint records were taken. While there have been a large amount of security breaches occurring within the business realm, this is the first large scale breach on the federal government. In the wake of this event, the government has made advancements in Federal cyber security.

Back in June of this year, a “30-Day Cybersecurity Sprint” was enacted for a number of Federal agencies. The purpose was to figure out any areas of vulnerability and recently, the results were collected. This new information will help the government and the Department of Homeland Security to figure out the next steps to create a better system of cybersecurity. The agencies first used techniques, tactics, and procedures provided by the Department of Homeland Security to scan their systems for any immediate signs of cyber attacks or malicious cyber activity. Each week, the agencies will receive a DHS Vulnerability Scan Report where vulnerabilities will be identified in order for these problem areas to be corrected.

A next step would be to crackdown on security policies and practices for users that have access to sensitive information. This includes minimizing the number of users with privileged access in the first place as well as limiting the amount of functions that can be performed when using the account. Other things to consider would be to limit the duration that each privileged user can be logged into the system, making sure that all activities are logged and reviewed, and finally, to limit the amount of functions that can be performed while logged on from a remote access point. These are just some of the things that the Department of Homeland Security is doing to ensure cybersecurity within the government.

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After a large breach, the Federal Government has begun new practices in cyber security.
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Do You Know What The Future of Cyber Security Holds

As technology and the amount of information we share through the Internet increases, so too must our technology to protect valuable information increase. As of now, cyber security includes anything that helps protect the digital equipment that we use. Essentially, cyber security helps to prevent unauthorized access to information so that the information is not changed, destroyed, or stolen. With the growing use of the cloud and mobile devices, there will be many advancements in cyber security in the future.

As the Internet of Things quickly advances upon us, more and more items are being connected through the Internet  – connected cars, homes, cameras, watches, and much more. In fact, it is expected that within five years, consumers will be using over 40.9 billion connected devices, a huge increase from the 8.7 billion connected devices that were being used in 2012. With so many items being connected, there are increasing amounts of ways for there to be a soft spot in your security, which means more potential access points for hackers.

While a response may be to turn away from the growing technology, what is actually needed is a symbiotic relationship between humans and computers. With high functioning technology, humans can create a system that can detect, prioritize, and then efficiently act against the thousands of threats that consumers and enterprises face. Sometimes, a system can detect threats but if there is no standard way to prioritize the threats, then there is no action done – and if there is, sometimes it can be too late. We cannot do it alone. Humans do not have the capacity to sift through the millions of threats that take place over the Internet everyday. With the help of newer technologies however, we can work together in creating a safer space for our valuable information that is shared over the cloud and the rest of the Internet.

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Guidelines for Creating a Secure Password

With the amount of personal information that we provide over the Internet, it is extremely important that we have secure passwords in order to protect this valuable information. Without a strong password, it is much easier for a hacker to figure out your password. This may lead to identity theft, which will result in the loss of security and money. It is also advised that you use different passwords for different sites. Here are some guidelines for creating a secure password that will be more resilient to attacks.

The first thing is to avoid using a common password. For example, if the word you use for your password can be found in the dictionary, then it is not a strong password. Avoid using the names of your kids, your pet, friends or relatives. Also avoid the name of your favorite team, your anniversary, birthday or any other typical dates. Even if you include a number or character after these names or dates, it still is not a strong password. In fact, there are programs that hackers use that specifically check these kinds of passwords. So be sure to avoid these common mistakes.

Instead, what you are looking for in a strong password is one that is long, contains a mix of upper and lower case letters, has symbols, and includes numbers. In addition, there cannot be any ties to personal information and dictionary words should be avoided. Instead, try using a phrase or sentence that you will remember. For example, a sentence you might remember could be something like “The first apartment I lived at was 768 Fake Street. Rent was $500 per month.” Now, simply convert this sentence into a password by using the first letters or digits of every word. The above sentence then becomes, “TfaIlaw768FS.Rw$5pm.” This is a strong password as it is 20 characters long, consists of characters, numbers, and upper and lower case letters. It will also be easy for you to remember because you have attached a phrase to it!

Be sure to keep these tips in mind the next time you have to create a strong password.

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Why Cyber Security is Important

Today, businesses rely more and more on computers and the Internet in general.Valuable information is stored and transferred through the web at a faster rate. While this technology provides ease and convenience, if not handled properly, it can lead to serious security threats. Data can be compromised and computers can receive viruses among other things. In order to prevent this from happening, and secure your network, cyber security is key.

Cyber security is also often referred to as information technology security. Cyber security will consist of many things, particularly the protection of computers, programs, data, and networks from unauthorized or unintended access, change or destruction to information. Cyber security is important because of the sensitive information that is gathered and stored by businesses. For example, identifying information of workers such as social security numbers could be exposed if a business did not have proper cyber security. Recently, there have been a number of businesses that have been hacked or have been the victim of cyber attacks. Just within the past year huge companies such as Home Depot, Anthem, Target, Ebay, and JP Morgan Chase have fallen victim to hackers. In the case of Home Depot and Target, credit card information from customers was stolen. In order to avoid these hacks, cyber security is key.

One thing to consider in making your company’s network secure is to have an independent external scan and vulnerability assessment done. This way, you will be able to see all the areas that may need to have more protection. In addition, become aware of all the best practices that you should do in order to have the safest configurations of mobile devices, laptops, workstations and any other place that work is done. While we cannot ignore that hackers and security threats are a real issue, it can be easy to protect information through proper cyber security.

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Keep yourself and your business protected by practicing strong cyber security methods.
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New Tools for Corporations to Protect Your Data.

So much of what we do is now online. We bank, shop, share information with others and much more while online. While the Internet can be extremely useful, because we do so much on it, there is a lot of valuable information that is used on it, and therefore, information that can potentially be hacked. Knowing how to keep your identity secure online can be very difficult. In 2014, the US director of national intelligence stated that the breach of online systems and theft of valuable information online was the number 1 threat to America’s national safety. In fact, cyber security was put ahead of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the research agency of the Pentagon) showcased their latest cyber security system, which they are calling Plan X. This new type of cyber security uses a 3-D graphical touch interface that displays attacks on a network in real time. One of the biggest problems that networks, companies, and even governments are facing when it comes to cyber attacks is that more often than not, they don’t even realize that they have been hacked after the fact. By that time, much of the damage has already been done. With Plan X, it will allow the network to react in real time so the moment that they are being hacked, they will know. This will now allow for the system to fight back, which will significantly decrease the chance of the hackers being able to infiltrate the system. Meanwhile, Congress has also passed an act, which will help cyber security as well.

The Federal Information Security Modernization Act allows for federal agencies to be more effective in the development and implementation process of network security measures. The act promotes more enabling of real-time technologies such as Plan X, the sharing of potential cyber security threats and vulnerabilities across federal, state, and local government agencies, and the opportunity to provide recommendations on security measures to federal and non-federal entities. These are just some of the ways the US government is working towards more cyber security.

The Equation Group: A New Threat to Cyber Security

Earlier this month, researchers at the Kaspersky Lab in Russia discovered an incredibly sophisticated cyber espionage operation. This operation has been dubbed the “Equation Group” and has been using malware tools and spyware to infect a number of computers. The Equation Group seems to have a very specific end in mind though as they have mostly attacked the computers of government institutions, research groups, telecommunications companies, and other organizations such as nuclear research groups, and military groups in more than 30 countries with at least 500 victims that have been noted. Some of the countries that have been attacked include Russia, India, Afghanistan, and China. While the Equation Group seems to have no quarrel with everyday citizens, this is still something that everyone should be concerned about.

As security expert Bruce Schneier says, “technology democratizes.” This means that while the extremely sophisticated malware is, for now, being used to attack governments, the same technology can trickle down so that other hackers without such lofty plans can possess this knowledge. What makes this technology so dangerous is that it is nearly impossible to detect and even more difficult to completely destroy. Even wiping the hard drive and overwriting the system does not completely destroy the malware. The technology uses at least six malware platforms, which means only the highest skilled cyber security expert can detect it. Researchers at the Kaspersky Lab reported that it took them two weeks to even crack just one cryptographic element and they were trying more than 300 billion guesses per second. In the end, the best way to get rid of the malware at this point in time is to physically destroy the hard drive. While this is not ideal, it is so far the only proven way to completely destroy the malware. If there is a good side to this, it is that the leak is now out in the open and it is now up to antivirus companies to figure out how to keep your data secure.