Analysing the security level of an organisational IT infrastructure is essential to overcome the chances of security attacks. Vulnerabilities may exist both in the network and operating systems which can cause a data breach. It is recommended for organisations to perform pen-test so that improper configuration of the infrastructure can be recognised.
Implementing the most potent security tools is not the only solution for a better security. It is recommended to test these tools with a collection of fake breaches that imitate real-life situations. This way, the effectiveness of security tools can best be analysed by disclosing every possible loophole within the network.
Employing specialised managed security services Dubai to pen-test is the best approach to analyse possible vulnerabilities in a network. These services can provide experienced professionals who can best identify every possible loophole within the network. Following is a summary of different phases they usually execute through.
Reconnaissance is a type of investigation to collect the initial data of the target network. The data that is collected during reconnaissance is further used during planning to attack. The inquiry can either be active or passive. Professionals stay in contact with the network in an active investigation, while they use common ways for inactive research.
Not just the initial data have been enough for getting an improved intelligence on the target network. Different types of technical tools such as vulnerability scanners are used to get an in-depth intelligence in this regard. Scanning phase further supports the testing procedures and deliver crucial details that can assist the professionals in the data breach.
Networks usually consist of different devices that act together for delivering improved protection. To obtain full access to a target network, professionals typically control just a single device. They use it for extracting the information that can facilitate them in accessing the network. They use that single device for accessing the system as a whole.
Upholding access within the target network is a speciality of penetration testing Dubai-based service providers. Because the more an access is maintained, enough data will be collected to specify the extreme amount of loopholes in the network. Professionals cautiously use the host environment to identify holes for getting the full control that should be avoided in the real-time scenario.
Covering tracks are the efforts of attackers to remove the impressions they have performed during operations. This is for the purpose to prevent the detection of a network breach. They overcome the appearance of changes they have made and the authorities they have intensified. This is for the purpose to make the administrator can’t recognise any activity within the network.
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that most of you are already well aware of the perils of cyber security for contemporary corporate world, but I bet not many of you have the real grasp of the menace that cyber security has turned into.
Sounds too dramatic? What if I tell you that:
"North American SMBs alone suffered an impact of about $1.3M in data breaches through 2017, amounting to $117k per incident"
When you talk of modern-day hackers, theft should not be the only area of concern for you; sheer destruction also motivates many of them, which is even worse.
To be honest, prevention is better than cure becomes highly relevant dealing with cyber security issues. Undoing the damage done by a hacking event is far tougher, costlier and unlikelier thing to do rather than preventing such gruesomeness in the first place.
That is what compels managed security services provider to compile a list of simple but effective ways of beefing up cyber security of your company website:
1. Staying Updated
Keeping up with latest hacking threats is the best way to go about it. Having a better understanding of looming threats can help you devise a better strategy to cope up with them. Following industry’s top tech sites, attending seminars and workshops, listening to tech gurus’ advice are some of the ways to make sure you stay updated on what’s going on in the hacking world.
2. Reinforcing Access Controls
For present-day hackers, admin level of a website serves as an easy way to peek through the vulnerabilities to exploit; make sure you do not let a hacker see yours. Go for intuitive and ingenious user names and passwords, making it difficult for a hacker to guess.
Sometimes, something as simple as changing the default database’s prefix from ‘wp6’ to anything hard to guess or limiting the number of login attempts might help you save your online identity. Also, curb the habit using unsecure email serves to communicate confidential information, because hackers can break into email accounts as well.
3. Improve Network Security
Hackers can also breach the security of a network through the users on a particular network. Make sure that:
4. Don’t Undermine the Significance of a Web Application Firewall
Web application firewall, also referred commonly as WAF can either be software based or hardware based, which is set up between your website server and the data connection. It is meant to read data passing through it.
Like most other things, WAFs have also gone cloud based these days, providing plug-and-play features. Once installed, a WAF can be one of the best ways to counter all hacking attempts in addition to filtering out various other types of unwanted traffic flow including spammers and malicious bots.
5. Conceal Admin Pages
One of the biggest mistakes to lure cyber bullies to your company’s website is to index your admin pages on search engines. Resorting to robots.txt file can be a great way of discouraging search engines from indexing your admin pages. It takes more time and effort for hackers to find and damage pages not listed on search engines right away.
6. Scrutinize File Uploads
Hackers are also very fond of gaining access to a network through file uploads. No matter how thoroughly they are checked, the possibility of bugs getting through file uploads can never be totally ruled out. One of the simplest yet effective ways of dealing with this issue is by preventing direct access to uploaded files. Instead, host them outside of the root directory and access them using a script whenever necessary.
7. Use SSL
The transfer of personal user info between your database and website should never take place without using SSL encryption protocol, which will prevent the information being intercepted in transit.
8. Avoid DIY
You might be quite an avid DIYer, but restricting those expertise to physical realm is the right thing to do, because virtual world has turned up unbelievably hostile in past some time.
Have You Ever Been a Victim, What Did You Resort to?
Has your company website ever been targeted by a hacker? How did you overcome your ordeal and what’s your best line of defense against such concerns now? Don’t hesitate in sharing your experience with us in the comment section below.
As technology evolves over time and new software solutions come up, it’s natural for a company to want to upgrade its existing security resources, especially the firewall.
The problem, however, is that migrating to a new firewall vendor is incredibly challenging because all seven OSI layers need to work well, starting at the physical connectivity and ending at the application layer.
If even one of these layers malfunctions, it will effectively be the same as not having a firewall up at all. Then, of course, there are the problems that start showing up right after a migration.
No matter how smoothly and perfectly the process may go there were always be sync issues as the existing technology starts adjusting to the new one.
In this article, we are going to share the process of a successful firewall migration and give you tips that should help you migrate without getting a migraine.
Firewall Migration Procedure
These are the 7 steps you need to employ for a successful migration:
1. New technology training
The worst thing you can do during the process is to jump at the opportunity to replace your old software with the new one without first bringing your team up-to-speed with the ongoing changes.
What happens if something goes wrong during the migration and no one has any idea how to fix it? You will be stuck in a dead zone where the older software no longer works, and the new one can’t be implemented properly, leaving your network highly vulnerable to attacks.
To avoid this, make sure everyone on your team gets extensive training, is introduced to the new technology, understand the different features, and learns how to configure them.
2. Review existing firewall
Firewalls tend to bloat over time as more and more policies and rules are added to the database. The result is that a lot of information manages to get through which would otherwise be blocked.
This is why you do not want to switch over to the new technology without first reviewing the current one. Many good firewall management tools such as Checkpoint Smart Center will let you do this operation in a few clicks.
3. Initial dry run
You will have no idea how long the actual migration will take and what kind of tools it will need until you go through a few dry runs.
Take some time out and plan a test migration using the original configuration of the existing firewall. This lets you test out the features without actually migrating to the new technology.
Most of the basic setup can also be prepared during this phase.
With a basic setup ready and the new configuration prepared, you can start testing the overall system extensively.
Prepare a test list that details the kind of tests to be run and their expected results. The main focus here is on ensuring that the system will continue to work effectively even if a few elements break down.
5. Configuration testing
This is the most crucial part of the project since the configuration needs to go smoothly for a successful migration.
Here, we highly recommend that you keep a backup plan ready just in case anything goes wrong and you need to revert to the old technology for a while.
6. Actual migration
Make sure you schedule this event during a routine maintenance window and whatever you do, DON’T tell your customers that you are upgrading your firewall. Just tell them the network was down because of a maintenance break.
The people who do need to know about the migration, however, is the team responsible for your networks. They will need to test all the applications both before and after the migration, so everyone should be present and ready while the process is going on.
7. System Monitoring
Finally, once the new technology is installed and everything has been implemented as required, the monitoring phase starts where you ensure that the migration was successful.
It’s important to remember that no matter how well you implemented the 6 steps above, there will always be problems that you’ll need to take care of. It is just the nature of the task.
Make sure your team is on-hand to solve all issues that exist, and do not stop the monitoring phase until you are 110% sure everything is working as it should. Sometimes, this can even take months, but it is an essential step.
All companies around the world at this time of the millennium have crossed the barrier of going cyber with all their activities. These organizations whether they are large multinational enterprises or small firms working in their limits have to rely heavily on data and store info to keep their business operations running. Although it has lot of uncountable benefits but surely it has a downside to it as well.
Safety of client’s data:-
Ensuring the safety of data from unauthorized use and securing the clients info from any losses is the priority nowadays. But it has opened many ways for the cyber criminals to enter into the system from any weak point in the network. This can result in a huge loss to the company if the data stored is manipulated, cleared or accessed by unauthorized people.
Information security is one of the major problems faced by the large organizations and even small firms in the ever growing city of Dubai. This city has shown tremendous growth in the field of IT in the last decade but with it the hazards have also grown. Whether it is
Reasons why these incidents happen:-
Unaware owner or manger:-
One of the major reasons for these kinds of mishaps is that the owner of the company is not aware of any kind of wannabe mishaps which mean that right level of tools and systems are not in position to defend against with any kind of cyber-attack efficiently.
Shortage of resources:-
Another reason that is particularly proved right for the small businesses is that the owner may not have the resources to employ a high level and skilled IT professional on his payroll. This negligence can consequently result in money loss, data loss, bad reputation, closure of network and many other problems.
Dealing with other companies:-
In a corporate sector where economy is based on services many small and large businesses work together. The larger firm having tighter defense mechanism can also get vulnerable to the attacks because of the data and info shared between them. Because smaller firms are more prone to these attacks so by accessing, sharing and managing data larger firms can also become a target.
This dealing and sharing activity between the smaller and larger firm can also give back door entry to the larger firm or any other big target. The reason behind it that the hackers may have access to the network of smaller firm so by managing each other’s data they can have easy access to the bigger firm.
Another reason why information security is posed with danger that a user or employee may have visited a malicious site or page. This is called malvertising. Sending of a malicious file to another system or to install ransom ware, this can result in the grabbing of your personal information which can be used for other abominable purposes.
Make no mistake about it; all of us are caught in a global war on cyber security!
These past 12 months saw yet more high profile attacks on large organizations like Equifax and Verizon, and experts are predicting that the total cost of data breaches will have reached 2 trillion dollars by 2019!
There have been a few silver linings in 2017, like the cost of a data breach going down 10% over previous years, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the threat of hackers can be truly eliminated.
With that in mind, here are some of the trends, threats, and challenges that await businesses and security consulting firms in 2018!
1. An AI-led war on both sides
Future artificially intelligent machine learning will process immense amounts of data and perform actions at an incredible scale to identify and correct known vulnerabilities. This is great for organizations and their security needs, since they’ll finally have a system that adapts to evolving threats in real time.
The problem, however, is that the hackers will have access to this technology too!
As security systems get increasingly intelligent, so will the hackers. It’ll be an endless struggle to see which system can get an upper hand first.
2. New General Data-Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Legislative bodies in the European Union have adopted the new GDPR, which explain how companies will store, process, and protect the confidential data of EU citizens.
The new regulation will come into force on the 25th of May, 2018, after which companies can be fined up to 20 million Euros for any breach of the law.
This should mean organizations putting better, more advanced security systems in place, which is definitely good news for all of us!
3. A rising threat of insider attacks
Two of the biggest cyber breaches of the year, Equifax and Anthem Inc. were actually the result of insider attacks, after employees at the company had sold off their shares and disabled the network security.
Organizations around the world are finally realizing the importance of hiring an ELV design consultant to set up CCTV cameras and local network monitoring systems in their buildings.
More often than not, the biggest threat to a company will come not from sophisticated external attacks, but from internal users who gain unauthorized access to confidential data and information.
4. Solutions to ransomware
In the coming months, the occurrence of ransomware attacks should decrease as the industry adopts new solutions to tackle this ongoing problem and users gain more awareness.
These attacks are predicted to have caused almost 5 billion dollars in damages to companies around the world this year, according to multiple reports!
To protect your own systems, we suggest you do the following:
Network security should be at the top of your priority list going into the New Year!
Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and threats in cyber security, and you won’t ever have to face the huge financial damages and loss of reputation cyber breaches bring with them.
A rising threat of attacks
Cyber-attacks are getting deadlier day-by-day, and every organization in the UAE is at threat – large and small.
According to reports, the cost of cyber crime damages will reach a yearly average of 6 trillion dollars by the year 2021. These numbers mean that most companies which were established this year will be out of business in the next few months if they’re not careful!
Every business is in danger
As a small business owner, you may feel safe thinking it’s only larger organizations that are targeted. After all, what good would it do a hacker to target a company which isn’t even profitable yet, right?
Hackers specifically go after SMEs because they know these companies can’t afford to spend big on security. Unsecured networks are the easiest to exploit, and the damage is usually fatal for businesses owners.
The stats back this up!
Studies conducted in past revealed that almost 62% of cyber breach victims were small-to-medium sized businesses.
Even more worrying is the fact that 93% of companies which had no access to their own data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within a year, and almost half of all victims filed for bankruptcy immediately!
So what can you do to protect your networks?
Outsource your security
Now that you understand how serious the threat is, it’s time to talk about solutions!
As mentioned earlier, smaller businesses don’t have the financial means to hire and train their own specialized IT staff that can watch over network safety 24/7.
The easiest way around the problem for these companies is to outsource their IT networks to one of the many security consulting Dubai based firms.
3rd party security consultants offer SMEs a ton of great benefits, like:
There are, however, a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind.
Outsourcing your network’s security means you’re effectively handing the keys of the business over to someone else. If they’re not trustworthy, you run the risk of trade secrets getting leaked to your competitors.
Here are a few tips on outsourcing smartly:
4 tips for secure IT outsourcing
In an age where businesses are constantly under threat from cyber crime and hackers, make the smart choice for your company and outsource its network security!
Security consultants offer SMEs across the UAE a ton of great benefits at surprisingly low costs. You can rest assured your networks are going to be in safe hands, as long as you’re smart about the choice of vendor!
There should be no debate about the necessity of Security information and Event Management (SIEM) for both small and large scale organizations. In this cyber age, every organization is prone to unseen cyber threats that can affect them badly. We have competitors, enemies, hackers all ready to breach into our security and steal our information. We are hearing too many stories of Hacking and ATM scams these days.
SIEM is a complex, smart and efficient security system that could be deployed at any scale of business by taking care of its prerequisites. SIEM protects you from all kinds of malware, virus, and other potential security threats. It is an effective real time monitoring program that ensures security of your important data. SIEM as a service, features extraordinary ability to identify security events and analyze them quickly.
Many organizations fail to deploy the SIEM system because of its complex nature and not understanding the technology. By mishandling the system, it generates more logs that require deployment of 8 to 10 persons in the organization for monitoring purpose. Small and medium sized organizations can’t afford that much work force on cyber security because they don’t have all the resources to operate this service.
Why outsource the security?
It’s not easy to operate and maintain SIEM service efficiently if you don’t have the expertise. You should go for hiring third party services to look after your security needs. Because it takes a detailed and regular monitoring of the system. They will keep check only on the services and data that you want the security for. Relevant data is produced in multiple locations to secure all the data from a single point of view.
Be smart before deploying SIEM System
Organizations need to know exactly what they want to monitor so that the concerned vendor be approached. Your smart choice will make it easy for the vendor to install the service that will provide relevant protection. It could be your database server or any security product.
It requires maintenance
After smartly deploying the SIEM system, you have to keep a constant watch on its progress in reacting to any kind of threat. Threats continue to evolve and that is why SIEM system requires maintenance on a regular basis to ensure information security. It is therefore recommended to outsource the service to a third party who is expert in handling hundreds of organizations with a team of 20-30 people.
When operating online, things can go in grey zones within no time, irrespective of the markets in which one may be performing.
Things are going to be more or less the same attacking in nature, whether one operates in a highly promising and dynamic market of Dubai, or a market that has got a promising future such as Qatar or even a third world country’s market. If things are managed online, the risks of unauthorized access, hacking and attacking are always going to be high.
What are the experts’ approaches?
Experts associated with such domains, especially IT security, use various approaches, techniques and tools in order to ensure that they are on top of all the aforementioned threats.
They know that such threats would require professional penetration testing Dubai oriented approaches if the business is operating from and target UAE markets, because relevancy is important.
The adverse effects of hiring remote solution providers:
One may hire or acquire services in the said domain from specialists who may be operating remotely, i.e. from areas like Europe, USA and Australia but they may not be so effective because they may not have a clear understanding of the market nature and behavior that is usually found here and this is where things may go wrong.
When in complex zones:
When things are complicated, one as a business owner may need solutions that are elite, up-to-date and highly technical as a response in order to stay on top of such threats. The real problem starts when one is not tech savvy and has very little or no understanding at all of what exactly is required to cap the gaps and rescue the situation.
In such situations, professional and pro-active business owners in Qatar won’t put their business future and success on the line by tampering with things all alone on their own. They will simply look for reliable, authentic and affordable IT security solution providers to who they can outsource all their managed security services Qatar based needs.
This attitude from them will not only save them from going through hassled situations but at the same time will help them to save resources like time, money and personnel resources from going into the in vain zones.
Ultimate security online would required timely, smart and needs based solutions. Timely actions will save one from going through longer routes when aim to achieve something. Why not cover these weak and uncapped areas starting from today and grow business graph upwards without any stoppages, delays and unenthusiastic results.
Managed information technology facilities are undoubtedly not a new origination. Service providers in the information security industry are continuously monitoring organizational systems since 1990. They not only provide IT support, but also ensure their business information is protected enough against vulnerabilities and security attacks.
A noticeable growth has been observed in security services providence these days. In today’s world, outsourced security facilities like security threat and risk assessment are becoming a key requirement for modern businesses. Business owners are now capable of avoiding damage to their reputations and finances from data thieves and hackers.
Firewalls were previously considered as an optimal solution for data protection which no longer works alone these days. Organizational security now depends upon a well-organized Security Operations Centre, Security Information and Event Monitoring policies and an extra protection of Unified Threat Management tools.
The migration of security needs from firewall to such a combined approach is considered to be the growth of information protection. This development and evolution period of organizational data safety is been through various stages. A short outline of the evolution is presented here to review its different stages.
Development Of Security Model:
Long ago, both firewall and anti-virus installed on a local computer were acting as the most optimal solution for organizational data protection. They were both adding a patching cycle for the servers and were able to protect everything to an extreme level.
Business operations need multiple devices these days. An operational team requires a range of devices like tablets, laptops and other tools that enable exposure of the network to attack. Using up-to-date applications and staying obedient is although helpful, but not perfect.
Experienced Security Model:
The next phase towards an improved protection of organizational data is enhanced safety procedures. These procedures together with advanced appliances lead to a strong solution against information protection. These procedures and appliances were managed by an experienced security person.
All of the reputable service providers, including managed security services UK had been through this evolution. A range of larger sized corporations have realized that organizational data safekeeping is a full time job. They are appreciating this evolution due to the presence of round-the-clock monitoring system which is the crucial requirement for businesses.
Advanced Security Model:
Supported by improved reporting capabilities, an advanced security model provides all-time protection for sensitive data and confidential information. Service providers having these features are capable of improving business security in a lasting way.
This approach, in turn, enables organizational owners to have an eye on their data and the users that are accessing it. With the help of the advanced security model, organizations are able to have a real-time decision making option.
Firewall plays a key role in providing the best protection to organizational networks. They are always monitored and managed by administrators. Their duty is to observe the traffic on the network and avoid data breaches by allowing just authorized users to access the data. They also avoid misconfiguration of the devices which is the primary cause of data breaches.
Organizations that are maintaining confidential data of users carry out certain procedures to overcome the chances of a data breach. From firewall migration to management and maintenance, every activity of the administrator is to overcome the challenges to protect a network. Following are some of the recommended practices everyone must know.
Keep Security Policy Manager In The Loop From Changes:
Organizational security policies are arranged by security managers. They stay in charge to ensure that these policies are followed thoroughly. Beside that fact that they are not operational employees, the administrators must keep them in the loop when deploying rules. Both of them must work together so that none of a corporate policy rules can be violated.
Clean Up Unused Rules:
Among thousands of organizational rules, there must be some out-of-date rules that need to be clean up. Connections are often left unclosed even for a long time that can be noticed by hackers. One must close similar connections that no more serve any business purpose. Such a clean-up improves firewall performance and organizational security.
Conflicting Rules Elimination:
When implementing new rules, the administrator must have an in-depth idea of the existing ones. They must do not implement rules that can conflict with those that are existing. The new rules stay dysfunctional if they are implemented on existing ones. The administrator must have a policy for cleaning up the existing rules when implementing new rules.
Follow A Consistent Work flow Changes Implementation:
Every rule must be properly documentations so that they can help in demonstrating that who owns it. The organizational security managers need to define a business process needs so that a particular workflow can be followed when a rule is required. A better firewall management would be the one where such a workflow covers everything ranging from an access request from the owner to analyzing it and making the changes by the administrator.
Have Developers And Firewall Administrators On The Same Page:
Both the application developers and firewall administrators must have mutual understanding when requesting changes to an already implemented firewall. Using a technical translator is recommended in this regard to avoid misconfiguration and waste of time. The use of higher level language by developers is recommended that can be translated into details of technical implementation by technical translator.
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