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White fence doesn’t protect you anymore. Here are the reasons behind it…

It’s good to have a health tracking wearables stalking your heart-rate or fitness but what happens if your most sensitive health data falls into the wrong hands. Will you be happy if your most horrid selfie ends up in the dark side of internet or your money has been stolen from your account naively? Surely, I will not be pleased with any of this. It is an uttermost shock to know how much damage it can do for an individual, now think how much ruin it will cost to an organization. The top global firms are suffering badly from the data breaches occurring year by year and the victim’s list is getting fatter and fatter.

According to Verizon, there are nearly 79,790 security incidents happened the last year and the most affected industries are Public, Information, and Financial Services.

I never thought the artificial intelligence in Iron Man would become a reality in life. Now can you imagine how risky it will become if you combine the big data with IoT (Internet of Things). What if someone hacks into your IoT enabled car and makes it to turn off the engine in the fastest Texas State Highway 130 or what if, they could control your room temperature in your smart house?

I could go on and on for the whole day telling about the security incidents happened to some big shots. But let’s cut to the chase and talk about few global firms which you thought will have the impenetrable security measures.

Incident 1:
Victim: Apple Inc.
Apple’s App Store infected with XcodeGhost malware in China. The hackers created a counterfeit version of Apple’s software for building iOS apps, which they persuaded developers to download.

Incident 2:
Victim: Kaspersky Lab
The compromise included information on the company’s newest technologies, such as Kaspersky’s Secure Operating System, Kaspersky Fraud Prevention, Kaspersky Security Network and Anti-APT solutions and services.

Incident 3:
Victim: Ashley Madison
In July 2015, a group calling itself “The Impact Team” stole the user data of Ashley Madison, a commercial website billed as enabling extramarital affairs. The group threatened to release users’ names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down.

Incident 4:
Victim: Army National Guard
The breach possibly exposed the Social Security numbers, home addresses and other personal information of approximately 850,000 current and former National Guard members, dating back to 2004.

Incident 5:
Victim: Anthem Inc.
The company revealed a breach in February that exposed an astonishing 80 million patient and employee records. Anthem said the breach occurred over several weeks, beginning in December 2014, and could have exposed names, date of birth, Social Security numbers, health-care ID numbers, home addresses, email addresses, employment information, income data and more.

Incident 6:
Victim: Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Sony Pictures Entertainment hack was a release of confidential data belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment on November 24, 2014. The data included personal information about Sony Pictures employees, e-mails between employees, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of unreleased Sony films.

These are just a slight preview of what’s actually happening in the industries. Some of the top tier companies are the most wounded puppies. Even though they have an iron fist security systems, they had security breaches and the issue is they couldn’t recognize it for few weeks.

Do you know how often cybersecurity issues are discussed during company board meeting? If you want to know the shocking stat please go ahead and peek into it.

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Early from 2013 to till date top cats like AOL, Adobe, Evernote, Facebook, Mozilla, Vodafone and Washington state court system had a data breaches. I could hear your voices telling that I am exaggerating, maybe you are correct but perhaps I could be telling the truth too. And it doesn’t mean that we are vulnerable to a cyber-attack, it means we might have a chance of getting hurt. So what I can do is, I could comfort you with some techniques of how to avoid the hackers.

10 Techniques to avoid hackers from hitting you hard:

1. Tighten up your network security… Now!!!
It is not that hard to maintain your network security. Just make sure that login expires after a short period of inactivity, Strong passwords, and all connected devices must undergo malware scanning every time.

2. Raise the (Fire)wall… C’mon you could do that…
Once you installed the firewall, you could be safe from hackers, spammers and malicious bot as it will assist you by blocking all those unwanted activity by filtering it.

3. Encryption (It still exists)…
When you actually IM your colleague about the presentation you were talking about, that is actually vulnerable to attack. So what you can do is encrypt your IM, emails and maybe even the sensitive documents.

4. Regulate Audits (Yeah of Course!!!)
Regular audits to check user access privileges, unlicensed software, and latest patch updates, Configuration management and process.

5. If you don’t want to jump into a pit, then avoid Personal mail access…
It doesn’t mean that you don’t trust your employees but it means that personal free email services doesn’t offer much for the security reasons.

6. Vulnerability Assessment…. Duh!!!
Conduct regular Vulnerability assessment of Websites, Applications and Networks. Make sure that no hacker takes advantage of your vulnerability.

7. Strong Passwords, Two-Factor Authentication (Shouldn’t you…?)
Of course you need a strong password or authentication, if you think no one knows you DOB, so let’s keep that as a password then you are wrong. The basic info you fill out in Facebook is your DOB. So don’t judge the hacker as a mediocre.

8. Back… Back… Back-up, Please:
In case, if the worst happens, you should not be stuck with affected data, so try backing-up everything in multiple locations. Back-up several times a day, thus the users can access the updated data during those horrible days.

9. Protect your WIFI network not only from your neighbor!!!
Your roommate stealing your Wi-Fi doesn’t matter but what if the hacker tries to do it. So be cautious and protect your wireless network.

10. It’s a Pandora box, Do not open it…
Yeah, it may look like an awe cat’s funny video link but it is not, it might be a link to the door of hell in your inbox from an unknown source. And remember one more thing, you don’t get offered a $100 million dollar from an undisclosed recipient. So think before you click..!

Some of the points I suggested are the basic corporate security measures which is a need and we also believe in some advanced security measures like

• Strong Governance
• Risk management
• Compliance to International standards

And when it comes to tools for security behavioral analytics I think we are quite proud to stand where we are now in our expertise. Some of the security tools which our developers would love to get their hands on are

• Splunk
• Stormpath
• Code42
• FORTSCALE
• SiftScience
• OpenSOC

Here I wind-up with the fact that this world is a big data world and anyone can know your most sensitive data. So it is time to take a step towards security and privacy. If you could turn up the news you would find Europe is most concerned about its privacy and security in Internet, maybe not with the really restricted laws but with some precautions and common sense we could definitely avoid data breaches. Do you have some more spicy data breach news? If so, could you please share with us…??? Stay Tuned for more updates

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