Category Archive Information Security

Avatar ByJayanthi

Social media security!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Continuously toying with a new idea for the technical blog post for several weeks, I couldn’t help but post about “Social media security” finally!

We live in an era where “sharing is caring” and the more we share with our friends and well wishers, the happier we are. Contrast this is to the time, when snail mail was sent and received only in  totally sealed envelopes that nobody could see! As times have changed and social media plays a huge role in most of our lives for different reasons, it is but necessary to adopt some safety standards as we share and care.

As an ardent follower of Information security practices I see how simple data sharing can potentially open the doors for invisible hackers. My InfoSec brain is, tuned and wired differently and I see social media broadcasts in a totally different way! This post lists certain vulnerabilities that social media presents and some common ways to avoid it.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

Wireless security

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Look around you and you see everything has become wireless and more mobile than 10 years ago. Wireless technologies have seen increased growth as being tied to desktops, landline phones have become passΓ©. We see laptops with Wi-Fi connectivity that gives one the ultimate freedom to do business or do casual browsing on the go. In addition to this we also have numerous wireless devices such as the wireless mouse, wireless speakers, wireless headphones and wireless cameras. Another interesting development on the wireless front is the wireless POS terminal that again gives more convenience to the end user and the merchant. Given all these wireless developments, it is but necessary to secure them, using good policies and adopting latest standards.

We start our discussion on wireless security by first seeing the working of the WLAN, security issues with wireless networks followed by the countermeasures that seek to block these security issues.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

Intrusion Detection systems

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

‘Perimeter security’ is placing defenses around an organization’s perimeter thereby ensuring that an organization’s chances of being compromised are minimal. Some of the components that are used to ensure perimeter security are routers, VPN, IDS, IPS, firewalls and so on. We will see one type of perimeter security device the ‘IDS’ or ‘Intrusion Detection system’ in this post.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

What is Steganography?

Reading Time: 1 minute

Steganography is the procedure by which files or information can be transmitted secretly by embedding them in images or audio files. Cryptographic concepts can be used to supplement steganography by first encrypting the message and then hiding it in the image.

For the ordinary user only an image is visible but to the sender and receiver, a message is hidden in the picture which  can be unearthed only by using special steganographic tools.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

Don’t cry….

Reading Time: 2 minutes

….just remain vigilant about security issues surrounding you! The ‘Wanna Cry’ ransomware is the talk of the world having affected 150 countries including India, Spain, Britain, parts of Europe and crippling 2,00,000 systems globally.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

Definition: Risk analysis

Reading Time: 1 minute

Risk analysis is a tool to implement risk management. Before we go onto see the definition of risk analysis, recall that a vulnerability is “weakness” in the system and the “risk” is the threat agent exploiting the vulnerability.

Some examples of the three concepts working together are when a vulnerability like an unpatched application is exploited by a threat agent like a malicious user to create risk. This risk can only be reduced by applying the patch to the application.

Risk analysis is done by the following steps:

a. understanding the vulnerabilities within the organization

b. assessing the value of the assets in the organization

c. calculating the value of safeguards that have to be implemented

d. Is the value of safeguard greater than the value of asset? If so, look for cheaper safeguards but equally effective safeguards.

While risk can only be reduced/mitigated or transferred, it cannot be entirely avoided. It is always good to remember that there is no such thing as 100% security!

 

Avatar ByJayanthi

Definitions: Top-down approach to security

Reading Time: 1 minute

The top-down approach to security is when an information security program moves ahead with management approval. The appropriate security funding is secured and there is a proper plan and direction towards the program. This approach is more efficient and generates better results. In short, the top-down approach is a more active and serious approach to security.

In contrast, the bottom-up approach to security is a reactive approach to solving information security concerns. Only after there has been a data breach or several hacking incidents does the company decide to act. This approach will only generate “stop gap” results and not long term results.

Avatar ByJayanthi

Firewalls!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Irrespective of our profession we have all encountered the term “firewalls” in our life. We are all glued to our laptops or mobile devices and are constantly engaged in business or personal conversations all the time. Β These digital and electronic conversations will sooner or later bring the malicious part of the Internet into play. We come across viruses/malicious traffic/ worms/phishing scams all out to steal our personal and business information. Firewalls are a type of countermeasure to stop these elements.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

Password cracking!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Password” is the simplest and easiest way to authenticate a user. It is also one of the most easily understood ways to authenticate a user. Recall, that authentication is the process of uniquely identifying a user and making sure that “they are who they are”. The username and password combination is the defacto method of identifying a user in all websites.

Read More

Avatar ByJayanthi

Introduction to Java

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We see programming languages all around our digital lives and there have been a few languages that have stood the trials and tribulations of time. Each language is created with a different purpose and sometimes, the whole motive behind it erodes with new technologies.

Read More