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Members blog at WebmaisterPro. Covering topics related to online marketing, SEO, web development as well as software reviews.

Endpoint Devices with the Highest Security Risk and Why It's So Hard to Manage Them

One of the prevailing fears of businesses all over the world is the potential for cyber attacks to hit their networks and steal valuable company data or damage infrastructure. There’s good reason for these fears. The number of attacks against companies have increased this year, and security risks are bigger than ever before. A recent survey from the Ponemon Institute shows that the explosion of personal mobile devices in the workplace, along with expansions in cloud computing, have increased the number of security risks. If that weren’t disconcerting enough, the same survey showed IT departments were having a much more difficult time managing these new technologies and risks. As companies prepare to head into the future, they’ll need to come up with the right strategies for dealing with these new threats and shoring up endpoint security. (Tweet This: A recent survey shows more mobile devices in the workplace has led to increased security risks. #security #byod) Security risks have always been a problem for companies, but only recently has it grown dramatically. The same survey from the Ponemon Institute compares the recent numbers with the previous year, and nearly every category has seen an increase. Endpoint devices are the primary concern,...
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5 Predicted Cyber Security Trends for 2014

As disturbing details regarding the depth and breadth of Target’s security breach continue to surface, the clear message is that organizations need to implement greater cyber security safeguards to prevent future breaches from occurring. For as the Target attack shows, such breaches of personal data not only pose financial risks, they also put the company’s reputation at risk and open the doors for legal retaliation. In the interest of creating better safeguards against cyber attacks going forward, here is a look at 5 predicted cyber security trends for 2014. Greater adherence to NIST standards and guidelines Under the Executive Order “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," President Obama has directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to work with organizations on developing — as stated on nist.gov — a “framework of standards, guidelines and best practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure.” While developing this framework has been considered a “voluntary” practice on the part of organizations thus far, heightened scrutiny of security practices by the FTC and other regulators will force organizations to more strictly adhere to NIST standards and best practices with regard to cyber security in 2014 and beyond. Otherwise, in the event of a security breach,...
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Mobile Devices Users Everywhere Are Realizing the Implications of Their Lax Security

Between the exorbitant financial losses, expensive legal or regulatory infractions, and shameful reputation damages, businesses paid a whopping average of $7.2 million per data breach, according to computer security firm Symantec. Across the country, mobile device users are realizing how mistaken they were to be so lax about their security. Everyone, from medical professionals to politicians to social media addicts to small businesses to everyday smartphone users, are suddenly feeling the potential impact of security breaches and data losses, and looking for appropriate solutions. Over 80% of pharmaceutical and healthcare professionals routinely access sensitive records while mobile, according to a report in Medical News Today. Of that 80%, the vast majority (90%) use free file-sharing services, which do no have the adequate security necessary to access such sensitive documents. This puts these medical professionals at risk of breaking HIPAA codes, which would lead to serious infractions. In addition the medical industry, the federal government is also incredibly vulnerable. According to a study titled "2014 Mobilometer Tracker: Mobility, Security, and the Pressure In Between," almost half of government employees who rely on their mobile devices aren't practicing several essential security protocols. The security issues don't stop with professional industries either. Recently, a...
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7 Biggest Cyber Threats of 2014 — And How to Protect Yourself

At the end of the 2005 blockbuster film Batman Begins, police officer Jim Gordon makes a point about crime and escalation. In a nutshell, he points out that no matter how sophisticated law enforcement becomes, there will always be those criminals who who are willing to take things to the next level, and as both sides work to gain a clear advantage, very little ever actually changes. In few areas does this seem to apply more than in cyberspace. As computer systems advance and grow, virus protection firms work tirelessly to create new defences intended to keep sensitive data safe from the criminals who would steal it. And as they do so, black-hat hackers around the world put just as much effort into defeating these new security measures. And so, as we enter a new year, we’re faced with a new crop of potential cyber threats. Anti-virus giant McAfee has recently released its own report on the kinds of cyber-threats we may begin to see in the next twelve months, and the top contenders to make the list may surprise you. Here are seven cyber-threats to look out for in 2014, and how to protect your information from them. 1. Mobile...
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What the Government Shutdown Meant for National Cyber Security

The United States Federal Government Shutdown of 2013 lasted for approximately half a month. During that time, citizens of the United States were generally only inconvenienced in that they were forced to constantly hear about the government shutdown from alarmist news agencies. However, while the nation’s military was exempt from the shut down in order to be able to better protect our country’s interests, a different and much more vulnerable front may have been left undefended: or nation’s cyber security. And although the shutdown may have been temporarily resolved with the signing of a bill on the 16th of October, the possibility of future shutdowns might mean that we could be placed in danger once again. Cyber security is an issue with which most Americans have very little familiarity. At most, we generally tend to keep our own personal virus protection software up to date. Beyond that, we hardly consider the dangers. However, when it comes to national security, our country can’t afford to pay a passive role. There is no software secure enough or all-encompassing enough to be able to protect the United States’ assets from the constant attacks from hackers, both foreign and domestic. Thus, it is imperative that...
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5 Cyber Security Threats You Aren’t Considering

Cyber threats used to consist of annoying viruses or college-aged hackers looking for a challenge, but today cyberthreats are a real danger to businesses, governments and other organizations. Hackers have grown to be much more sophisticated, from groups hired by nation states, to hackers stealing business secrets for profit. Unfortunately, many organizations continue to be unaware of the danger they face even though any company no matter how big or small could be attacked at any time, and has probably been attacked before. Even those who are aware of the danger and use firewalls and a secure web gateway are often overlooking certain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. 1. Physical Access Sometimes organizations will put so much emphasis on protecting the IT system’s firewall from outside attacks that they forget that physical access to the server can give hackers just as much leeway to cause damage. Sometimes getting in is as simple as an employee holding a door open for the person behind them after the employee has entered in the access code. For example, in April of this year thieves broke into Walmart’s video service and stole the hard drives that contained customer data. A huge part of securing the...
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8 Types of Hackers on the Internet

During its infancy, cybercrime was really more of a novelty than an actual threat. Young hackers would write harmless viruses that would display a funny message or break into supposedly secure systems just to poke around. However, as the internet began to grow throughout the world and change the way that people and organizations interact, those with the propensity and ability began to fully realize the power that they could hold over an increasingly digital world. Today, hackers are anything but harmless. Acting alone or as organized groups, hackers have infiltrated the highest levels of government and defense, cost the United States and its civilians hundreds of billions of dollars, and destroyed countless lives. But what kind of people would dedicate their existence to such endeavors? Well, here’s a quick guide to the different kinds of hackers that operate in the world today. 1. State Sponsored Attackers Perhaps the most dangerous of the modern hacker groups are the state sponsored hackers. These are clandestine groups who are government funded and trained and exist to undermine the nations and countries that they consider to be their political enemies. These hackers are able to work as organized groups and to devote all...
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5 Tips to Make Your Website More Secure

There are a lot of things that go into making a good website. Whether you are a big company who is looking to expand your online presence, or an independent website developer with a message to share, there are a lot of necessary steps to take before the process is complete. One of the most important, however, is making sure that your website is 100 percent secure. If it is not, you can face any number of problems, such as hackers, viruses, and other cyber attacks that will damage the success of your site. Here are five top tips for making your website more secure. Secure Coding Much of the best security starts at the foundations of your website, that is to say your coding. You might be concerned with getting your site up and running, but do not let that prevent you from doing the proper work required to make sure that your coding has no holes that can harm security. It might take a little bit longer, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run! Secure Payment Processing If your website has anything to do with the transfer of money, it is crucial that...
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Security Challenges with Denial of Service Attacks

Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have featured heavily in the tech news of recent years as their ease of delivery makes them a simple tool for those wishing to disrupt a target's online presence. A DoS is initiated when one computer continually sends data, typically as requests, to another computer with the aim of exceeding the target machines resources such as bandwidth, RAM or processing power. A DDoS is when multiple computers join forces, typically controlled by a Botnet, and target an organisations web servers or network. The disruption from a DDoS, however, can affect different organisations in different ways. Some organisations such as banks have seen DDoS attacks prevent their customers from accessing their online banking services. This has obvious implications for consumers and businesses looking to manage their accounts. HSBC suffered a DDoS attack in October 2012 that was attributed to Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters allegedly as a protest aimed at forcing You Tube to remove the controversial film Innocence of Muslims. The same group has continued its DDoS attacks into January of 2013 against a long list of U.S. banks such as JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp and Bank of...
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Password Security Tips

Passwords. The world online is littered with them, from shopping to banking information to even booking a gym session, users can't click without a password. Gate-keepers of our personal information, passwords provide protection; a buffer between private and public. That's until they fall into the wrong hands. Over the past few months, several big names have had password problems. First up it was the social media giants Twitter. Fresh off the back of its record 20 million US election tweets, later many Twitter users found they couldn't access their accounts and had received emails advising them to reset their passwords. The company denied there it being to do with a security issue, with a statement on its blog reporting that it was just an on-going part of the brand's user protection. It also stated that when it looks like a user's account has been compromised, Twitter resets the password. But it added that, in this instance, more had been reset than was necessary. Then, a few weeks later, it was the turn of communications company Skype. The Microsoft-owned brand, which is used by some 250 million people, experienced a security issue that had the potential to lock users out of their...
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5 Ways Your Web Hosting Affects Your Online Marketing

When it comes to precious commodities, time and money are up there. Yet these are also the top two things everybody loves to save on. But when you are choosing a webhost, the cheapest option is not likely to be the best choice for your business' online marketing strategy. Here is a rundown of what to look for and why when choosing your webhost. 1.SEO, and when it comes to the rules, it's best to play by the ones set out by Google.  Over 60% of shoppers now research their purchases of products and services online before buying. So when you are marketing your products or services on your super new website, it's a given that you want it to be near the top of the Search Engine Results Pages. Now you can employee a Search Engine Optimization expert to structure your pages correctly, build up a healthy backlink profile and develop your social media strategy, but did you know that Google now also includes in its search algorithm how fast your web pages load? So the key here is to make sure your website can load quickly and always has the available computing resources to serve the webpages being requested...
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Security Tips for Bloggers

A blog can easily be hacked if the proper security measures are not taken. Depending on what platform a blog is hosted on might make it more susceptible to attack. If the blog is self hosted, not on Blogger or WordPress.com, it's definitely more vulnerable. The personal information of the blogger and its subscribers is at risk. The good news is that there are plenty of security steps a blogger can take to protect their site. Most of the tips are very basic and can be done by anyone. Other tips might require a little bit of coding know-how to make the necessary changes. And remember security isn't just a one-time thing, it's important to stay aware of current security threats and make changes as the security threats morph. Software Updates Staying current on the latest software updates for your blog is essential to its security. Take WordPress for example, they're always looking for ways to improve the structure of WordPress. Part of those upgrades include the most up-to-date protections against hackers who are constantly trying to break in and do damage. WordPress has an automatic upgrade option. Anytime a new plugin is released it can be automatically downloaded and upgraded on your blog....
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Tips for Online Security

The birth of the Internet has brought a lot of changes in our lives and on how we normally do things. Before, people would rather talk over the phone than connect to the internet and check their respective social networking sites. They would rather meet up in person than have an online conference or a quick chat over an online messenger system.Now, everything has changed dramatically. Thanks to the faster internet connections we have these days, the availability of wireless networks and routers, people have appreciated the use of the internet by utilizing it for paying bills online, checking emails, connecting to friends via social networking sites and more. These days most businesses can be transacted online too such as payroll, inventory, point of sales, accounting and more. Because of these, people have are so dependent on the internet that they just cannot imagine their life would be without it.Just like any other technology, however, there are also definite drawbacks. One of the things that we should be concerned about when going online is, without a doubt, security. Security is now a major issue in the online world as hackers are all over trying to get important information from your computer...
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