tech

VULNERABILITY SCANNING

What is Vulnerability Scanning? Pros, Cons and Best Practices


What is Vulnerability Scanning?

For organizations in need of quantifying their exposure to surface level risks, vulnerability scanning can be a cost-effective method of discovering available attack vectors, albeit with some shortcomings that are important to understand.

First, a vulnerability scan is not equivalent to a network penetration test. In a pen test, vulnerabilities are not only discovered, but they are also exploited and re-exploited, if possible, in the name of discovering all potential damage a harmful actor could do if able to gain access to an organization’s network.

Such testing is carried out by a live specialist – in our case here at Cynexlink, by our Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – who thinks and acts like an intruder.

Vulnerability scans, on the other hand, are typically run via automated programs. While these scans can be effective at performing network discovery, identifying open ports, missing patches, misconfigurations and more, it should also be remembered that such scans only uncover surface vulnerabilities – those weaknesses that exist in isolation, independent from other weak spots.

Unfortunately, vulnerabilities rarely exist in isolation. Indeed, a string of seemingly low-level individual risks could leave a gaping security hole while leaving the scanned organization falsely confident in its risk profile.

Out-of-date signature repositories and the ability of network-based scanning solutions to run only on active systems are further drawbacks, which means poorly established vulnerability scans can either be inaccurate or more labor-intensive than imagined.

If run by an experienced provider who knows how to avoid the potholes mentioned above, however, vulnerability scanning can indeed provide great cybersecurity bang-for-the-buck.

Here are five rules for ensuring a positive outcome with vulnerability scanning : 

  • Scan All Network Assets

Make sure to scan each device and access points within your network ecosystem. Assessing all assets within the system helps expose various loopholes within the infrastructure and lets you create solutions accordingly. Moreover, create an inventory list including all network assets regardless of their function, and determine which target to be scanned from your inventory.

  • Scan Frequently

The gap between the scans can be critical as this time interval leaves your systems exposed to new threats. Scanning can be done weekly, monthly, or quarterly. If done frequently, not every network device is required to be scanned, minimizing the time and effort while providing layered network coverage. Your network architecture and device impact are factors that help determine scanning intervals.

  • Set Accountability

Create asset owners or asset supervisors to create accountability. For example, roles can be designed to protect specific devices and take actions in the event of a data incident. However, asset owners shouldn’t be confined to tech teams; business owners can also oversee some systems.

  • Run Patching Process

Patching internet-enabled equipment for all discovered vulnerabilities is more crucial than patching similar devices that have already been blocked by firewalls or settings. This is a time-management practice that can be needed due to resource limitations and it is essential to focus on assets that provide the highest risk levels to the enterprise.

  • Document All Scans and Their Results:

Make sure to document all scans and their outcomes. Every vulnerability scan should be scheduled utilizing a management-approved timetable, with an audit process set to provide detailed reporting. By documenting the scan run according to a timetable, companies can monitor vulnerability trends and issues, identifying susceptible systems and creating accountability.

Interested in learning more about how Cynexlink provides pen testing and vulnerability scanning solutions for companies of all sizes? Contact us to learn more!

 

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hacker

How To Protect Your Data From Hackers


Hackers are the digital thieves who illegally get into your network to steal valuable information—financial data, passwords, intellectual property, personal information, or whatever crucial information they can get their hands on.

This data is generally used to steal money from accounts or to set up credit cards, and they may even sell data to your competitors.

In fact, all they need is one account or device to inflict damage. On top of that, they are not easy to stop because they are often located outside the country. They use sophisticated technology to resist law enforcement and get massive amounts of information.

According to one survey, 52% of data breaches are hacking. Hackers attack every 39 seconds, accounting for 2,244 times a day. Another scary finding is that hackers steal 75 records every second.

Don’t think that your business is too small to be attacked. Small businesses are always on the radar of cybercriminals due to outdated security systems and lack a cybersecurity team.

Fortunately, you can minimize or eliminate the risk by taking precautions.

Here are some security tips to protect your business data from hackers. 

Be Careful with Your Password:

Creating a strong password may seem an essential piece of advice, but the fact is that not all users are serious about their passwords. Most users still create secure passwords like ABCD, 1234, or their date of birth.

Such passwords are low hanging fruits for today’s sophisticated cybercriminals. Therefore, you need to create a strong password and change them frequently.

A strong password is a combination of alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use the same password for all accounts.

Work With the Right ISP:

Make sure to choose the right Internet Service Providers or ISP beyond their cost and speed.

The market is stacked with plenty of ISPs. Go for the one that comes with built-in security features. ISPs have a significant impact on cybersecurity because of their prominent position in the network.

Internet service provider

Limit or Block Access to Unnecessary Sites:

Restricting access to certain websites minimizes the risk of a security breach, so it’s the right thing to make sure only the authorized users get access to specific data.

Similarly, blocking specific sites from being viewed reduces the risk of viruses and spyware injecting sites from being accessed within your network.

Therefore, take the necessary measures to block malicious sites and make sure your security tools like antivirus are upgraded.

password

Use Up to Date Security Programs:

The simplest way to protecting your data from hackers is to update your security software. The constant updates might seem to hassle, but you should stick to them.

Using dated software can increase the risk of being hacked. Upgrades are essential to improve the efficiency of the security tools against the latest malware. Besides, you need to back up your data at least once a week.

Security Program
Protect Your Network:

With an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you are asking for trouble. Hackers utilize a technique known as wardriving, and it’s quite lethal. Wardriving is when cybercriminals equip their cars with high powered antennas and drive around scanning for the vulnerable network. When these hackers find a soft target, all of your passwords, finances, and data are on the risk.

Therefore, make sure to protect your Wi-Fi network and rely strictly on wired networks.

network

Educate Your Employees:

Employee negligence is one of the factors leading to cyber-attacks. For example, your employees can use weak passwords or leave their devices containing relevant data exposed. Or they may open emails that contain malicious links.

This way, they are making your data prone to attack unintentionally. Therefore, you need to educate your employees on cybersecurity. Besides, it would be best if you created formal company data policy, setting acceptable and prohibited online activities for employees. Their email access to personal smartphones via the company’s Wi-Fi should be restricted.

Employees

Conducting regular cybersecurity workshops are also an effective way to keep your staff educated on cybersecurity. If you are small enterprises, you can organize these events together with other local small businesses. Moreover, organizing cybersecurity workshops for your clients can be a great branding opportunity.

Practicing cybersecurity on a daily bases strengthens the security of your organization, eliminates the risk of hackers, and makes your business’s landscape safe and sound.

What do you think? Please let us know by commenting below.

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Voip

How VoIP Works: An Explanation Even Non-Techies Can Understand


VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is counted among one of the outstanding voice communication solutions over the years. Despite its ever-increasing popularity among businesses, many people are not familiar with its functionality. And that has prompted us to come up with this piece of blog on everything about VoIP, including definition and functionality.

Voip

What is VoIP?

You must have made calls over Skype or Slack.

Well, these are some of the best examples of VoIP.

VoIP is the delivery of voice communication and multimedia content over Internet protocol networks like the Internet. VoIP service is also used to make a call to landline or cell phones, apart from calling computer-to-computer.

Simply put, VoIP is a technology that lets you make a call over the Internet.

Or you can say that it is your phone service over the Internet. That’s why it is also known as internet telephone, broadband telephone, broadband phone service, and IP telephone.

It functions like any other content you send over the Internet such as messages in that it transforms voice communication into data packets and delivers it over an IP network. In other words, VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal, letting you make a call directly from your PC, a VoIP phone or other data devices.

With a VoIP service, you have little to no need for the traditional phone as you can make calls using an Internet connection.

How does it work?

Understandably VoIP converts your voice into data packets to be sent over the Internet. Let’s break that down further.

VoIP utilizes the “omnipotent” nature of the internet to achieve the call-like result, though in a different way.

When you speak into PC’s microphone, your voice is assumed as physical sound waves by the machine that converts it into a digital signal using hardware known as a driver. Then, the voice coder-decoder converts this digital signal into binary data. From here, your OS sorts out, separates binary data into smaller pieces of information that are called packets.

How Voip Works

These packets of audio are transmitted from your PC via the router through copper or fiber optic cables across the world to another PC and reversed processed via the computer’s code.

An analog telephone sends information in a slow, linear manner. The internet can deliver these packets in an exceptional faster way, known as packet switching. Packets are rearranged in the right order when they reach their destination (another IP address). This speeds up the delivery over analog telephones and minimizes costs since no exclusive wire has to be installed.

What are the Benefits of VoIP for Businesses?

By opting for this technology, you can minimize cost, accelerate productivity and improve collaboration.

Here are some key benefits of VoIP service for businesses:

  • Cost-Effective:

VoIP calling services are exceptionally cheaper than using a traditional phone. In fact, long-distance and international calls are generally free with VoIP service. You only pay for the usage of data.

  • Portability:

You can use your Voice over Internet Protocol system anywhere as long as you have an active Internet connection. It lets you make and receive calls from any devices, including your smartphone, meaning that customers or colleagues can call you no matter where you are in the world.

  • Call Recording:

It lets you record calls so that you or your clients/colleagues can playback important calls. Plus, you can also analyze call logs to find out what time of the day clients/colleagues call the most, call duration and relevant information.

  • Wide Range of Features:

VoIP communication keeps things in one place, leading to enhanced collaboration. With unified communication, your colleagues or workers can easily interact through voice, video chat, instant messaging and web conference.

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AI and Cybersecurity


The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into a wide range of situations is known to make such a situation better in terms of efficiency and experience. AI has gained recognition in many industries such as education, customer service, banking, and automation to mention a few. Recently, AI is beginning to gain popularity in cybersecurity and it is also playing a substantial role in the fight against cybercrime.

AI is valuable in cybersecurity because it advances how security experts investigate, study, and understand cybercrime. It boosts the cybersecurity know-hows that businesses use to fight hackers and help keep organizations and customers safe. Artificial Intelligence (AI) improves the efficiency of cybersecurity in the following ways:

  1. Timeliness: An AI-based cybersecurity is not founded on human monitoring alone. Threats can be detected almost immediately. In fact, there is no break once artificial intelligence is involved. Your network or system is always available 24/7 because it recognizes no holiday or non-work hours.

Also, this constant availability results in an immediate response to threats. That is, the security of your business is always around the clock.

 

  1. Speed: AI helps to filter the massive amount of data for an outlier in a short time. When this task is done by humans, it could take days or even a month before this can be achieved. In addition, manually creating a network security policy and understanding an organization’s network topography will most likely be cumbersome. For instance, a data center of average size may have up to 500 applications and could require 4,500 different security rules!

 

  1. Improves password protection and authentication: Passwords are a vital part of security. Nonetheless, we can be careless with our passwords or even use a single password for several accounts without changing it for an extended period of time. This approach makes your system or network easy to hack. Fortunately, AI enhances authentication and gets rid of imperfections thereby making your system more reliable.

 

  1. Vulnerability Management: Using AI as opposed to the traditional procedure in identifying risks is taking the innovativeness of your business a notch higher. This eliminates having to allow hackers to exploit the vulnerabilities of your network before you counteract them. AI helps you develop a proactive vulnerability management scheme.

Due to the increase in the complexity of networks, the ability to handle it is now beyond that of human beings alone. Therefore, using artificial intelligence will be a huge advantage to your business’s security and protection.

It is important to note that AI in cybersecurity can either be the savior or enemy of your business. It depends on whose arsenal the weapon (AI) belongs, either yours or your enemy’s (hacker). Therefore, be smart and take advantage of AI in securing your cyberspace instead of allowing the opposite site (hacker) to use it against you. CYNEXLINK is your go-to.

Cynexlink is a technology company that provides services that include Cybersecurity Solutions, Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Managed IT Services, Cloud Vendor Selection & Consulting, Cynexlink VoIP, and CCPA.

For more information, visit our website at www.cynexlink.com NOW!!!

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How to get started without outsoucring succesfully

How to Get Started with IT Outsourcing Successfully


Adopting an effective strategy to IT outsource tasks in your business saves you time, effort and thousands of dollars.

IT outsourcing can make a drastic shift in the way you run your business. Therefore, choosing a qualified IT outsourcing team to work closely with you on understanding your company’s requirements is crucial.

At Cynexlink, we follow a simple three-step process to make your IT outsourcing successful. First, start by assessing your current IT performance. This will enable you to determine the weaknesses in your strategy, in addition to the main aspects that need more improvement or a complete alteration within your business.

In case you already have an IT team, the second step would be to measure the downtime usually needed to tackle the technical issues. The approach conducted on IT problems can have a major impact on the results. This can explain why the expertise of your current team can be the real obstacle standing in your company’s way towards higher horizons.

Throughout each step of the process, we insist on comparing our client’s position today to the vision they hold for the future. Learning each company’s objectives does not only give us a clear understanding of its strategies, but it also provides us with the goals to achieve in the long run.

Consequently, the final step in the Cynexlink process would be to start creating a perfectly adequate IT plan for your company. A few discussions more and the implementation would take place along with a 24/7 IT support team for whenever you need assistance. This is where you will find the all-encompassing service your business needs.

Contact us and see for yourself!

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The role of It Outsourcing In Businesses

The Role of IT Outsourcing in Businesses


Let’s start by pointing out a major issue startups and medium-sized businesses suffer from today: the absence of a qualified IT team.

Yes, we are aware that not all companies specialize in Information Technology. However, as the digital world continues to witness unceasing innovation, the role of Information Technology is representing a major support function in any business today.

For this reason, we believe that neglecting this aspect of your company can cost you thousands of dollars. ‘So would hiring my own IT team’, you might say. This is when we introduce you to a better and cost-effective solution: IT Outsourcing.

IT outsourcing is a compatible strategy for all business types and sizes. Instead of having their own IT staff, companies are now choosing to outsource their IT needs to experts at reduced costs.

For the most part, IT support is not the company’s specialty, but a support function only. Hence, through IT outsourcing, companies benefit from a competitive advantage by shifting their focus to their core business to set better strategies, rather than being consumed by operational technology issues.

On the other hand, any technical mistake can take bigger dimensions and lead to costly consequences. But luckily, IT outsourcing provides companies with the security their business requires. When hiring a competent IT provider, any business will be safe from data loss and cyber risk.

Moreover, IT outsourcing allows businesses to get flexible services that match their ever-changing demands. If your company’s main business is not directed towards IT services, then the projects you will need would mostly be temporary. Therefore, you will be saving money through temporary charges as well.

To sum up, having your own IT staff is not always a good idea, especially when the company operates in a different field. For this reason, Cynexlink strongly recommends you reach out to us for IT outsourcing as a cost-effective solution for all your IT issues.

Whether you are looking for managed IT services or struggling with your company’s cybersecurity, our experts at Cynexlink will go above and beyond to provide you with the solutions your business needs, at unbeatable prices. Get in touch with us and let us see how we can help you push your business forward more efficiently!

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Hacker Loves it when you use same passsword on multiple accounts

Hackers love it when you use the same password on multiple accounts


We all find it very easy to reuse our passwords on different websites, as it saves us the stress of coming up with a new password every time we need to open an account on another website. Even though it seems easy and stress free; the truth is, when you reuse or recycle passwords, you set yourself or your company up for trouble in the event of a data breach.

There have been so many stories of data breaches and web security pitfalls in recent years. These have affected big companies like Twitter, Last FM, LinkedIn, and Yahoo. The story all unfolds in the same way almost every time; First, hackers access passwords and other user data on these sites, then, the company realizes what has just taken place, so they immediately notify the users to change their passwords.

The Danger

The danger of reusing passwords in an interconnected web is that, if hackers get a hold of your password on one site, they could easily use the information they obtained to log in to your account on another sites. They could continue this cycle until they reach your bank account. This is called a chain breach. Every time you reuse a password on another site, you stand a higher risk of being a victim, a chain breach victim.

It may not be too damaging when you reuse passwords for your personal accounts. At least, you are the only one that will be affected if a data breach occurs. Yet, if a company’s information is involved, it then becomes more complicated. This would involve a lot of people and could potentially cause many difficulties for the organization.

Some Options

So how are we to store our passwords, you may ask? About 38% of people just store the passwords in their memory, to avoid this kind of data compromise. But we all know that even the faintest pencil is better than the sharpest memory. So, the likelihood of you forgetting it is higher this way (especially when you have multiple passwords for different accounts). Approximately 26% of people write it down in a physical notebook. But the problem with this method is, it can get lost and you might not always have the notebook available.

A great deal of companies and individuals resort to using a password manager, to avoid their data being breached. This is a software that helps store passwords for different accounts. However, if the password manager ever gets hacked, this could easily in itself become a one-stop data breach.

These days, many companies are taking steps further by forcing employees to change their passwords regularly; making use of tokens; and even doing away with passwords entirely. The companies do this, to avoid the security pitfalls that many of the big names have gotten into and stay off the pathway of a potential chain breach.

A Solution

Many other top companies who value their data and those of their users take it a step further, by hiring companies like Cynexlink, to provide the best tailored cybersecurity solutions for their company’s information and that of their users.

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5 ways small medium Business can save money on cybersecurity

5 Ways Small to Medium Businesses Can Save Money on Cybersecurity


Wouldn’t it be nice if only large corporations had to worry about cybersecurity? They have the I.T. staff, infrastructure, and financing to deal with the threat of cyber-crime. Small to medium businesses simply don’t have the same level of resources.

Unfortunately, cyber-criminals have learned this and increasingly targeting small to medium businesses. So what, as a business owner, can you do to protect your company while keeping your I.T. expenses within your budget? Here are five ways, you can save money on cybersecurity and keep your business safe.

1. Train, Train, Train

Most cyber attacks that hit small to medium businesses are not that sophisticated. Cyber-criminals rely on employees that have not been properly trained to fall for phishing emails, fail to use a strong password, and click on suspicious links. Training is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to protect your business.

2. Create and Enforce Strong Policies

Many small to medium business have not implemented digital security policies. Others have a policy but rarely remind staff members of these rules or enforce them when broken. Often, the policy is just a page at the back of the employee manual. Since your business data is at risk, it is critical to have an up-to-date policy. It is essential that all employees are aware of the policy and that there is an enforcement mechanism when these rules are violated.

3. Focus on the Most Important

In the best possible scenario, you could protect all of your data and systems, but that might be more than your budget allows. And, honestly, some data is more critical than others. Do an audit of all of your data and systems. Determine which systems are the most critical and the most vulnerable. What data, if breached, would be the most damaging for your business operations, clients, or reputation? Focus on protecting what is most important an invest your limited resources there.

4. Move to the Cloud

For small to medium businesses, maintaining your own in-house servers is not as cost-effective as it used to be. By moving your data and applications to the cloud, you can save the expense of hardware and maintenance and take advantage of the built-in security many cloud services offer. This is a great way to save money while improving your overall cybersecurity.

5. Have a Response Plan

Cyber attacks are always bad news. Even organizations with massive budgets and the latest cybersecurity measures can fall victim to a breach. If you want to save money on cybersecurity, have a clear response plan. As expensive as a cyber attack can be, it will be even worse if you are not prepared. Planning ahead with regular backups, a restoration plan, and protocols to communicate with employees, vendors, and customers will allow you to respond and get back to work as quickly as possible.

 

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Hacker Now Hiding behind bitcointo invade android phones

Hackers Now Hiding Behind Bitcoin to Invade Android Phones


Android users beware!

If you didn’t see it, a couple weeks ago it was discovered that some malicious apps are now capable of accessing one-time passwords (OTPs) in SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) messages from Android notification systems, circumventing Google’s recent SMS restrictions.

This technique also works to obtain these passwords from some email-based 2FA systems and it is generally being sent from what looks to be one of the legitimate Bitcoin exchanges.

You can click here to read the full story: https://www.welivesecurity.com/2019/06/17/malware-google-permissions-2fa-bypass/

To stay safe from this new technique, and from financial Android malware in general:

  • Only trust cryptocurrency-related and other finance apps if they are linked from the official website of the service
  • Only enter your sensitive information into online forms if you are certain of their security and legitimacy
  • Keep your device updated
  • Use a reputable mobile security solution to block and remove threats; ESET systems detect and block these malicious apps as Android/FakeApp
  • Whenever possible, use software-based or hardware token one-time password (OTP) generators instead of SMS or email
  • Only use apps you consider trustworthy, and even then: only allow Notification access to those that have a legitimate reason for requesting it

A malware attack can paralyze your business. If you don’t have the time or resources to invest in these security activities, contact us for help!

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Awareness on Whats app Malfunctioning

WhatsApp Malfunction Leaves Users Susceptible To Snooping


Awareness on IT Security

WhatApp thrilled users in January when they revealed compatibility with Face ID and Touch ID, allowing users to open, and continue utilizing their app, with the recognition of their facial features or a fingerprint. However, a recent malfunction with the new upgrade is leaving accounts requiring no verification at all and indirectly encouraging privacy invasion.

Upon enabling Face ID and Touch ID, WhatsApp users are prompted on whether they’d like their authentication “immediately” or in intervals ranging from one minute to one hour. If the option for intervals is selected, the app will use recognition in the allotted time frame during use to ensure the correct person is still browsing the app. Despite the extra security measure, one Reddit user found a loop hole in the app’s code and is warning others who utilize the feature. It seems that, by selection the option of timed intervals, users are able to close out of the app entirely and reopen it without any verification needed. The only users not affected by this glitch are those that have chosen the “immediate” verification.

Although not a high security risk, it still leaves many susceptible to snooping by others who may have access to their phone. A representative for Facebook said, “We are aware of the issue and a fix will be available shortly. In the meantime, we recommend that people set the screen lock option to ‘immediately’.” 

 

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