Enterprise Cyber Security Strategy - Awareness

A successful enterprise cyber security strategy begin by awareness.
Nowadays, phishing attacks are common and it doesn’t mean they have to be highly sophisticated to do any big damage. In this aspect, it’s your duty to ensure that your employees are well-familiar with the methods in order to spot these malicious attacks.

The latest and new forms of ransomware like BadRabbit and NotPetya may lead the news pertaining to cyber-attacks and cause aggravation amongst the victims, but the majority of them are basically phishing attacks. A recent study conducted by Google even found that the criminals carried out their nefarious activities by breaking into a victim's account more competently in contrast to a data breach.

Phishing is a kind of illegal activity that is carried out by using an email to steal user’s confidential details, such as login passwords in order to make access to user’s data. In general, the hacker imitates to be a faithful colleague, creates a similar email address with only one mislaid character. After that, the stealer cheats the user by fooling him to open an attachment having a malicious link. Ultimately, this leads to identity theft on account of malware installation. As a common practice, we are in the habit of checking our mail box while switching between several devices. Unfortunately, most of us don't pay more attention prior to opening an attachment from an unknown source. Here, the theory of phishing attack works which indicates that it is not complicated, but, in other words, we can say it is sensitive enough to be efficient.

The Ponemon Institute has revealed in a study that phishing campaigns can cost a heavy expenditure of $3.77 million a year to a normal U.S.Company. As per the numerous damaging phishing attacks reported in 2017, there was an indication that anyone can be fooled because of opening the wrong and malicious sites unintentionally. Take for instance; malware-loaded emails were sent by the hackers to Chipotle staff, and the point-of-sale systems at many spots got compromised on account of this. The secret customer credit card data was stolen from millions of people in this development. Another instance is that when Google and Facebook lost $100 million each when a cyber criminal used a phishing email to cheats their employees for transferring funds overseas. Furthermore, a spear-fishing scam featuring fake information requests were sent to employees for the purpose of tax payments, affected over 120,000 individuals working in over 100 organizations.

The above-mentioned examples indicate the velocity of cyber attacks that are alarming in information security. Moreover, it doesn’t matter how high-tech attacks get over time, but the best way is to impart suitable training to the employees, so that they can handle cyber-attacks in an efficient manner.

Phishing testing involves a method in which you have to consider the hacker’s role and target employees working at your organization to see who gets allured. In this way, you can uncover a standard judgment of employee vulnerability to cyber attacks. Consequently, you can impart practical training to those employees who carry on to get deceived by these tests. The main purpose of this training doesn’t mean that it would lead to employees’ embarrassment, but it can certainly help them learn how to spot and manage phishing attacks. Furthermore, if they fail to come upto your expectations in the unreal-phishing test, it could turn out to be a liability when the actual thing happens.

An employee working in a security firm ‘Absolute’ disclosed that a high-ranking executive was too targeted by a phishing attack. In response to this attack, the firm’s internal training assisted him to identify the attack and their IT team right away tackled the same.

The phishing test development should be made in such a manner that the fake email generation is adequate enough to offer a skillful moment, but not so tempting that it would even fool the cyber security experts responsible for managing the latest ransomware.

One of the employees in an organization even sent a phishing email to his associates that rewarded employees with coffee shop gift cards as a part of company celebration. Surprisingly, more than 78 percent of the company employees, at random, clicked on the link for the coffee, and the coffee shop chain also accepted these coffee gift cards. Moreover, the company had to pay them back. In order to make sure that such things never happen, the best solution is to impart training to the employees when building a phishing test. As a result, they will become aware of the phishing mails and know how to manage them.

Keeping in view the modern-day phishing attacks, the training programs should reflect their complexity and the basics too. Interactive security trainings carried out throughout the year helps in keeping the employees alert and also the organizations can notice latest trends and track processes in due course. Make sure that your employees should think twice, earlier than opening an email attachment after falling victim to an unreal phishing attack.


Is Mac more secure than Windows?

Most of the users have a preference for Apple’s macOS, as it is usually considered to be secure in contrast to Windows 10. Even, some users believe that Apple’s operating system is not vulnerable to infections by viruses. However, this is not the true picture because both Windows and macOS have been reported to be attacked by several viruses. Eventually, this has also raised a question in terms of the security aspect of both these platforms.

As per the analysis done by Malwarebytes, Apple’s macOS malware noticed an increasing percentage of 270 percent last year. In the first few months of the year, there were four different major vulnerabilities that accounted for infecting Apple’s operating system. Now, it is been suspected that if the same trend concerning macOS malware’s growth goes on throughout 2018, the users will have to consider some ways or need to pay more attention to maintain the security of their systems.

Malwarebytes even highlighted that the OSX.MaMi malware, revealed by users on their own, also made an attempt to highjack DNS settings of their systems. This malware attempted to direct Internet traffic to malicious sites.

After that, Apple’s macOS was attacked by Dark Caracal, OSX.Coldroot, and OSX.CreativeUpdate. Accordingly, the security of Apple’s operating system was compromised. The users running Apple’s macOS or a different platform were cautioned to be careful when visiting unreliable websites or opening content from phishing sources.

According to Thomas Reed - Malwarebytes, on an average, the Mac users have no effectual protection from getting infected with malware, and even adware and PUPs. The worst thing here is that, since the users are ignorant of any threats, they frequently do not exercise the same carefulness online, as done by them on a Windows machine.

Since the security of both macOS and iOS platforms have been compromised on account of malware attacks, Apple is now thinking seriously to improve its software security coming in the new versions. Accordingly, Apple is anticipated to cut the focus on new features and spend more time on the security features. Nothing can be said now on the performance and functionality, and as per the strategy planned by Apple.

Ransomware attack - What would happen if you paid?

Ransomware attack - What would happen if you paid to get back your stolen data? 

The victims of ransomware attacks are often being bribed by cyber criminals to pay ransom in order to get back their hijacked data. The data illegally accessed by them featured confidential information, stolen credit card numbers, users’ credentials, passwords, and many more. It is shocking here to reveal that hackers are proving to be dishonest in the pretext that ransomware targets who paid the bribe to them, only half of them could get relief in the form of getting their stolen files back. Restoring to double standards, this act and conduct of criminals could be a great way losing both your valued money and your data files.

As per the study conducted by security company- CyberEdge, it was revealed that those individuals who were victims of ransomware infection, the best way for them is to pay ransom to get back the stolen files. The poll pointed out that only half of paying ransomware targets were able to get their files and confidential data back.

The report further disclosed that 55% of the individuals examined by them found their systems infected by malware. As per the study made, in Spain, 80% of the users reported malware with the highest rate. Other companies reported as 74% in China, followed by 71.9% in Mexico. The malware hit percentage was 53.8% in the U.S, and in the UK, 49.5% were reportedly hit by the malware.

The studies revealed that approximately 72.4% of ransomware infected companies were able to acquire their data back. Furthermore, there were some companies who simply overlooked the payoff demands. These companies restored their systems on their own with backup copies that were uninfected. Nearly 86.9% of the companies simply, who overlooked the criminal intention of the hackers, also restored their backup system.

Out of those companies who were left with no other alternative other than paying the bribe amount, only 49.4% were able to recover their data, and 50.6% finished up losing both their money and data files. These figures indicate that cyber criminals are not true to their words, and they are adopting a double standard policy.

CyberEdge pointed out it’s just like flipping a coin twice repeatedly, firstly to find out if your company will be the victim of ransomware infection, and then, if you settle on to pay the bribe, flip it once more to find out whether you'll acquire your confidential data back or not. It is very important to determine a method that can help maintain offline backups in a secure manner.

However, the good news in the report indicated that the percentage of a number of respondents who reported as a minimum one attack has gone down from 79.2% to 77.2%


Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac 2018-2019 Review

Our review for Bitdefender antivirus for Mac 2018-2019
A new ransomware-protection tool has been offered by Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac, in order to prevent ransomware malicious attacks that can encrypts your Mac and locking access to your files.

Let's get started and see what's new!

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Protection
In order to detect Mac viruses and adware, the mode of protection offered by Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac incorporates a signature-based malware detection, cloud-based data collection, and behavioral-pattern recognition.

The new anti-ransomware feature added by Bitdefender antivirus for Mac is known as ‘Safe Files’. This new ransomware-protection tool that helps in constantly monitoring the system folders in order prevent any sort of hijacking. Another beneficial aspect is that this new ransomware frequently locks system’s backup drives, thereby, protecting Time Machine backups in an efficient manner. 

Bitdefender's new anti-ransomware tool can be assessed by clicking on command and opening the preferences menu. You'll get the option to protect files, folders, and disks under the ‘Safe Files’. These can be protected from being accessed by unnecessary applications. The permission to such programs can be managed by clicking ‘Manage Application’s button.

The directory of quarantined files and settings is located in the preferences window. Also from this screen, you can access your account details and scan history. The "Go to your account" link placed in the right corner’s bottom provides you an access to more settings. Bitdefender Central not only offers the facility of blocking specific websites, but also it has the provision to block websites related to gambling, drugs and the adult content in order to keep children away from them.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac also helps in protecting Windows machines from malware, and other possible threats. After its installation, Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac adds free TrafficLight browser extension with ability for advanced phishing detection to Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Furthermore, if the web search directs to an unsafe page, it warns you, thus, proceeding as an added, browser-based malware filter.

As per the Bitdefender's full scans, an average of 1 minute and 46 seconds was timed, and thus, it was the shortest time among the products assessed by us.

Design & user interface
The sleek design of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is the most attractive option, as compared to other available Mac antivirus products. The main screen of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac illustrates the status of the system as "Your Mac is safe ". The display of the screen is clear with large fonts, and big scan buttons positioned below that. Furthermore, only a single click is needed for each Bitdefender scan in comparison to two or more steps needed for the scan by Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac.

Another beneficial feature of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is that the main Bitdefender window also informs about the installed web browsers – Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on the web protection extension. You can also disable its autopilot scanning, in case the need arises.

After purchasing Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac, you can install it on your Mac. The procedure involves accessing Bitdefender Central, opening an account, inserting the activation code and downloading a .pkg installer file. In this way, the rest of the installation files get downloaded and the process gets concluded. Amongst the eight antivirus programs examined by us, it took roughly eight minutes for the entire procedure. 

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac was got installed on our MacBook, and it took just about 3 minutes.

Bottom Line: 
The new Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is an excellent security program. It comes in an elegant sleek design, together with the new ransomware protection tool, advanced built-in parental controls. Easy to use interface with a single click scanning and powerful performance make it a very strong challenger in the entire market.
Click here & Save up to 70% off The New Bitdefender products line

Bitdefender 2018 System Requirements

System Requirements for Bitdefender 2018 Security Line
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018
Bitdefender Internet Security 2018
Bitdefender Total Security 2018
Bitdefender Family Pack 2018
Bitdefender Antivirus for MAC 2018
Bitdefender Mobile Security 2018

Bitdefender for Windows
Operating system 
o Microsoft Windows 7(SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

Minimal System Requirements 
o CPU: Dual Core 1.6 GHz processor
o Memory (RAM): 1 GB
o Available free hard disk space: 1.5 GB free space

Recommended System Requirements 
o CPU: Intel CORE 2 Duo (2 GHz) or equivalent processor
o Memory (RAM): 2 GB
o Available free hard disk space: 2 GB free space

Software requirements 
o Internet Explorer version 10 or higher

Integrates with 
o Google Chrome version 34 and higher
o Mozilla Firefox version 30 and higher
o Thunderbird version 14 and higher
o Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013

Bitdefender for Mac OS
Minimal Requirements
Intel-based Macintosh running the one of following operating systems:
o Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9.5)
o Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.5)
o Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11.6)
o Mac OS Sierra (10.12.5 or later)

Your Mac must also meet all of these additional requirements:
o RAM: 1 GB o Available free hard disk space: 600 MB
o Internet connection is required to receive online Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac updates.

Bitdefender for Android
Minimal Requirements
o Android 4.0 or later
o An active Internet connection SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
o Default Android browser o Google Chrome

Bitdefender for iOS
Minimal Requirements
o iOS 9 or later
o An active Internet connection

Bitdefender Central
Google Chrome
o Minimal: 34
o Recommended: 43

Mozilla Firefox
o Minimal: 30
o Recommended: 39

Internet Explorer
o Minimal: I



Cortana Assistant Security Vulnerability

In order to provide user-friendly experience, there are many technology companies who are continually introducing powerful virtual assistants that work across several devices. On the other hand, for a certain group of technology-competent individuals, these smart assistants can virtually open a gateway for the purpose of hacking. As per a recent report, 2 Israeli security researchers were able to download malware onto a locked Windows PC. This was possible on account of accessibility provided by Cortana that helped users to open websites locked on certain PCs. In other terms, Cortana gave an opportunity to hackers, and even a helping hand to them to gain access to locked websites.

Cortana, a virtual assistant, has been created for Windows 10. Most recently, it added an additional feature that can be helpful to use Cortana from the Windows 10 lock screen. This development can’t be termed as innovative, since, Google Assistant and Siri are able to do so on Windows 10 as well as Smartphones. This functionality while the screen is locked is limited in the case with Siri and Google Assistant, but Cortana is an exception.

Even if the PC is locked, the users can open websites using Cortana. The websites can be loaded, and Cortana allows for the same without making any sense or being visible in this process. The oddness of this nonsensical feature of Cortana can actually be an opportunity to gaining a wrongful access to the computer. As a result, the hackers can perform their nefarious activities on any of the computers linked to the same network.

The Israeli security researchers carried out the process by plugging in a USB using a network adapter. Subsequently, it was able to secure webpage opening requests and redirect them to a malicious site. After that, this site will automatically install malware by downloading it, thereby, providing hackers an opportunity in the form of a gateway to gaining access to the locked computer. Evidently, this kind of unauthorized access was temporary, and no physical access to that computer was involved. However, the compromised PC can be used by the hackers for several illegal means to infect other computers linked to the same network, including Cortana.

Unfortunately, Microsoft was made aware of the insecurity on account of Cortana, but their reaction is amusing. Cortana has been observed to be bypassing security passwords. As a substitute for opening a webpage directly, it will now redirect the webpage opening command to the Bing search engine. Even so, it will still respond to the website opening command, and the researchers are making an effort to discover other similar cases where Cortana can be utilized to ignore security. As a security measure, Cortana can also be set to respond only to your peculiar voice. Even, this measure has been found to be non-reliable and non-perfect.


Blockchain Technology Hacking and Cybercrime Risks

Bitcoins and blockchains are quickly becoming a dominant player in large-scale finances. Bitcoin as a substitute for money has opened up innovative ways to trade multiple options. It has gained much public awareness and is accepted by an increasing number of merchants globally. Now the main question arises whether they could be hacked or not? In the past, there was uncertainty about the hacking of Bitcoins and blockchain due to their secure crypto nature. Nowadays, everything runs online with the assistance of highly-developed computers. This has led to many hijacking incidents, and the computers have emerged to be the main targets for the hackers. On account of this, the crypto-currencies, Bitcoins, and blockchain have also been targeted by the cyber-criminals. The most recent figures reveal that hundreds of millions of dollars have been stolen by the thieves till date. The volume of the people cheated so far is huge, and even no day passes where is some news pertaining to cryptocurrency hacking. Here are some of the points that explain some of the hacking incidents related to Bitcoin and blockchain:

1. Bitcoin miner malware 
The process of generating Bitcoins involves huge consumption of electricity, since it cools the mine computers specifically engaged for this purpose. In order to save more from electricity consumption charges, many Bitcoins miners utilize the resources accessible at their company’s premises. Another method adopted by them involves the spreading of malware comprising of Bitcoin-mining. Nowadays, a botnet representing a network of infected computers is used by the malware to mine Bitcoins fraudulently. As a result, the victims are losing hundreds of millions of their hard-earned money.

 2. Hijacked online value stores 
The value of crypto-currencies is stored online in the files stores or wallets. Since, these wallets are accessible online; they can be stolen or compromised just like any other store of value functioning on a computer. The worst situation occurs when the users fail to remember their passwords or PIN, or misplace the computer’s hard drive holding the value store details. In this event, the value store turns out to be perpetually inaccessible. The same problem can be caused by the ransomware. In case, you are holding a bank account, you can access your account by using another computer, and your value remains unharmed. However, the cryptocurrency wallets have a different story to tell. These online wallets can be hijacked on another computer easily. Most financial experts suggest that the best way to protect your cryptocurrency value is to keep it in an offline wallet. As a result, the malware or hackers will not be able to access your value wallets. If you are using an online wallet, it can be best protected with multi-factor verification.

3. Crypto-currency Trojans 
The Crypto-currency Trojans sit at your computer and wait for getting the format of a crypto-currency account number. As soon as, it finds an account number, it replaces that account in which you are moving value with their account number. If you fail to notice this, you will be unable to stop it, just the once you hit the send button.

4. Disadvantages of Crypto Implementation 
In any crypto implementation, the main point to consider is the cryptologic algorithm that is being utilized. In case, if you make an arrangement for any cryptographic solution, the worst sufferers from vulnerability are the blockchain. The deficiency of a secure private key for Bitcoin mining can result in bringing the whole system down. Even though, this is not apparently noticeable, but, it is recommended that earlier than you get involved in a blockchain project or utilizing a crypto-currency; make sure that the programmers are using SDL (secure development lifecycle) processes to curtail bugs. As reported in most of the hacking incidents, cyber-criminals fraudulently hack the crypto-currency software in order to steal value. Any coding mistake committed by the hackers during this fraudulent practice can corrupt everybody’s cryptocurrency wallet sooner than any recovery. Even if the thieves are not successful in stealing money, yet, everybody can get cheated or troubled.

5. Cryptotext and cheating attacks
The qualities of a good crypto make sure that the ensuing cryptotext is not noticeable to anybody. The cyber-criminals would not be able to work out the original nature of cryptotext. On the other hand, in blockchain technology, the block formats are simple to figure out. In every block, there are instances when same letters, numbers, and characters exist in the same place. On account of this easy figuration, the crypto-attackers get an opportunity to steal the partial image of unencrypted text in every crypto- protected block. In addition, every block is a function of the preceding block. As a result, the entire protection of the basic encryption code gets weakened. Ultimately, the hackers get an opportunity to carry out their nefarious activities.

6. SHA-256 and Bitcoin security 
SHA-25 is similar likes its precedent SHA-1, but one doubts whether it would be able to offer the same level of security as in the past. Most security experts observe that SHA-256 is not of much concern regarding Bitcoin and blockchain. The most significant thing is that the world’s powerful financial as well as HTTPS transactions are provided highest protection by SHA-256. In the event, if somebody makes an attempt to break it down, the biggest thing to worry is the security of Bitcoins and blockchain. In case, if you are planning to make a blockchain or crypto-currency, you can utilize “crypto-agility,” which, in other terms, is the ability to substitute codes and maintain the basic program.

7. Hacking of centralized websites
At the moment, one of the most common threats that surround Bitcoins as well as blockchain project is the hacking of the centralized website controlling them. Only last week, there was a major setback to Bitcoins values, when the cyber-criminals fraudulently took over $70 million in Bitcoins. On the similar pattern, many crypto-currency sites managing more than hundreds of millions of dollars were hacked by stealers. These incidents have resulted in the downside value of Bitcoins.

The best way recommended is to store your cryptocurrency value in an offline location. There are many instances in which criminals ran away with millions of corrupt money. Therefore, you have to remain very careful while doing business with a crypto-currency web site. Make sure that particular site is fully protected and reliable. No organization is going to safeguard your interest in the event, in case, any mishappening occurs.


Cyber Security and Hybrid Clouds Risks

A new study has recently revealed that zero-day attacks on hybrid cloud environments are posing a major threat to many businesses. The demand for cloud platforms is picking up very fast, and as a result, most businesses are under pressure to protect their hybrid environments.

As per the research conducted at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), opinion poll were conducted on the hybrid cloud environments and containers in relation to 450 IT and security wizards in North America and Western Europe. The results expressed worry over zero-day attacks and augmented container adoption. Doug Cahill, a senior analyst at ESG, emphasized in his thesis about the growing concern pertaining to cyber security and hybrid clouds.

According to Bogdan "Bob" Botezatu, Bitdefender’s senior e-threat analyst, a shift in hybrid infrastructures has led to major concerns and worries. More and more organizations want to go with the hybrid cloud, owing to its flexibility and reasonable rates. In other words, the move to hybrid infrastructures is an essential step toward public cloud adoption.

Cahill told that hybrid clouds are complex in nature, and in addition, more than 80% of organizations utilizing ‘IaaS’ run through services acquired for different providers. As a result, the public cloud platforms get burdened with heavy workloads. Containerized production applications have been structured by near about 56% of organizations, and 80% still report they will acquire the containers within a year or so. Furthermore, the implementation of new technology is a continuing process, and many companies are midway between shifting old applications to the cloud platform. As assessed, 73% of organizations employ, or are going to employ the containers for both new as well as former legacy applications.

It is anticipated that many businesses will carry on to moderately relying on legacy systems for years, despite their budding dependence on containers. In this situation, it is obvious that the accessing from multiple environments and multiple locations by multiple users can pose a serious threat to security. Cahill further told that despite the biggest challenge, hybrid cloud is maintaining constant security across the multiple cloud environments as well as enterprise data center. The main aim of each and every business is to maintain steadiness and security control in an efficient manner.

Another challenge being faced by security teams is the major concern and pace at which cloud is increasing. The implementation of cloud was decelerated by security teams, and even now containers are determined by the app development team. In general, the progression in cloud computing is very fast, and so, they have to maintain pace with the current changes.

Botezatu says, since, the major concern for companies are the fulfillment factor; Bitdefender took over to an opinion poll in 2016 about the major threats related to hybrid cloud. Other concerns are the unclear picture about the huge hybrid datacenter, the bigger attack surface, backup security and data security.

Organizations face a major risk for attacks on account of the multiplicity of hybrid cloud environments. In the past year, near about 42% of organizations witnessed an attack on their cloud environment. Furthermore, 28% of businesses reported the involvement of zero-day attacks. The reason behind these attacks is the flexible and unprotected nature of these environments, says Cahill. The arrangement of servers is so rapid, that hardly any attention is given to the security aspects, including vulnerability scanning and thorough assessments.

The most common risks take account of well-known flaws in unpatched applications (27%), mishandling of privileged accounts by employees (26%), and ventures utilizing well-known flaws in unpatched operating systems (21%), network security controls (20%), and unorganized cloud services.

Ofri Ziv, VP of research and Head of GuardiCore Labs says that manifold hybrid cloud environments are facing security threats, and these involve the perimeter and totally mislaid comprehensive dense systems. Ultimately, this leads to weak network segmentation in the hybrid cloud environments that are liable to get attacked by cybercriminals and malware.

 John Viega, CEO of Capsule8, says that zero-day attacks are posing a serious threat and they are genuine and random. In production, too, they pose the same threat due to the impact of open source. Consequently, zero-day attack threat in production from open-source software will have an effect on a lot of organizations.

Cahill is of the opinion that the security is difficult to maintain for the big hybrid cloud, for the reason that approximately 70% of companies at this time make use of separate control systems for public cloud-based resources, fundamental machines, and servers. Surprisingly, only 30% pay emphasis on integrated controls. Despite the fact that different tools for different hybrid cloud environments are managed by different individuals; they are not keen to afford the uniformity of security policies as a whole.

Within the next two years, a considerable transformation is going to occur, and about 70% of organizations assert that they will focus on integrated controls for all server workload types by that time.

Viega further points out that the best way that an organization can carry out is to make sure that have kept their applications in a secure manner in their premises and before moving then, they will take care that they comply with the security standards laid down. Furthermore, focusing on containerization in the software development method is the most excellent way to manage and control this security aspect.