Cybersecurity and Technology

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How Students At Home Can Practice Safe Cybersecurity

How Students at Home Can Practice Safe Cybersecurity

With the rise of social media, its become second nature to share every single thought we have on the internet as we chase internet fame. No one can guess what just might take off and make them famous, so people have become more bold and open with strangers with the assumption that everyone will appreciate their transparency.

 

This clearly isn’t safe for anyone but especially for the younger generation. The previous generations are now reaping what they’ve sown when it comes to internet transparency as many of them realize that there is no way to fully erase their actions online. It’s because of this notion that it’s important to teach kids how to navigate the internet safely, and it’s a lot easier than one might think.

 

Social Media

 

When using social media, keep in mind that every platform has built-in security features, most of which are turned off when an account is first made. Take some time to familiarize yourself with every platforms’ security features, and use them. Here are some of the main ways to stay safe when using social media:

 

  • Set accounts to private and be choosy about who is let in
  • Never post anything that would give away an address, phone number, name, or social security number
  • Never post any financial information such as bank account numbers or show off a new card
  • Remember that everything posted has the chance to be screenshot, so even if a post is deleted it could still exist somewhere

 

Websites in general

 

  • Try to stick to encrypted websites if possible. the Url will have ‘HTTPS and a padlock next to it, which means data is safe even if it’s leaked
  • Use a VPN if possible, but make sure the VPN doesn’t store personal information either.
  • Make sure any usernames and passwords chosen can’t be easily guessed

 

These are just a few ways to stay safe online, but the world within the internet is always shifting and changing. The best mindset is to be vigilant and not overshare. If something seems too easy or too good to be true it usually is.

 

For more helpful tips, click here.

Four Cybersecurity Tips For Small Businesses

Four Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Most small business owners ignore the threat posed by cybersecurity. There is a common myth that cybercriminals can’t attack small businesses and start-ups. However, cybercriminals are now focusing on small businesses as they are aware that they put very few measures against cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals target small businesses with the aim of hacking and stealing vital data. A single hack may eventually lead to loss of business records, fraud, and theft of customers’ confidential information.

 

The following are four cybersecurity measures that small businesses should consider:

 

1. Encrypt and back up all business data.

 

Small businesses should have all their data encrypted before backing up their data. They should consider installing encryption software to encrypt all sensitive email and hardware drives. It’s advisable not to store essential business data in one place. Therefore, small businesses should back up all data in an external drive or the cloud storage, or both.

 

2. Install firewalls.

 

Why would you operate systems without an effective firewall? A firewall prevents any unauthorized access into the small business networks. Firewalls are readily available as there are multiple vendors in the market.

 

3. Install antivirus protection software.

 

Antivirus software is for protecting small businesses from viruses, spyware, and malware. Small businesses should use up-to-date antivirus software since they have improved patches; hence, cybercriminals can’t exploit the older version’s weaknesses. System users should also regularly scan all hardware for malware to ensure that the systems are secure from viruses.

 

4. Embrace strong passwords.

 

Every computer hardware, software, system accounts, and essential documents should be password-protected. Small business employees should avoid easy-to-guess passwords, e.g., date of birth, ID number, etc. When creating strong passwords, ensure you include numbers, symbols, and a combination of capitalized and small letters. Even if the passwords are strong, small businesses should regularly change them since hackers may have intercepted them and wait for the right time to attack.

 

With all the above four cybersecurity tips, why would any small business and start-up wait to experience data theft? A successful hack into the system may lead to financial losses and unending lawsuits from customers whose confidential information has leaked. Third parties can be a source of your cybersecurity vulnerability; hence small businesses should only deal with third parties who have embraced effective cybersecurity measures.  

The Importance Of Having A Vpn At Home

The Importance of Having a VPN at Home

  Anyone who’s been on the internet has heard of VPN services in the past couple of years. However, the average internet user might not truly understand the need to have a VPN. You should consider these reasons why you should start using a VPN service on your internet-connected devices.

Restricted Content

 Whether you’re using Netflix or Hulu, you can access a catalog of content that can specific to your country. This means that you could be blocked access from the movie or TV show that you want to watch while another user in a different country gets access to that content. Fortunately, a VPN service can help out with this issue.

 To solve this, a user needs to subscribe to a VPN service that offers a server in the country that their streaming content is available. From there, users can watch any restricted content as long as they are using it through their VPN service.

Public Networks

 If you need to use the internet while traveling, you might be thinking of using a public network somewhere like an airport or a coffee shop. This might seem simple enough, but you can run into intruders that are on the same network. Having intruders on the same public network as you means that you could have your details and files leaked to them as you browse the internet. Fortunately, a VPN can prevent you from these attacks.

 To protect yourself, make sure that you’ve subscribed to a VPN service before accessing your public network. You should then be able to connect to your VPN at any time to create a secured connection on both ends. With a secure connection, intruders won’t get any private details from you since packets coming from your computer and VPN network are encrypted.

Blocked Websites

 Getting past restricted streaming content can be great, but you might be wondering more about websites that are blocked in your country. In countries like China, users can go through social media websites like Twitter and YouTube without getting a blocked message. Fortunately, having a VPN lets you bypass this.

 You can bypass website restrictions on a VPN because the packets are encrypted in a way that isn’t if you are using a typical network. However, users should find out if any laws make this a criminal offense anywhere they may be living or traveling. 

2021 Cyber Security Predictions

 2021 Cyber Security Predictions

Many corporations have prioritized cyber-security amid the COVID-19 pandemic. PwC’s recent report shows that 96% of managers have changed their cyber-security techniques, and 40% of them claim that their digitization efforts have increased. Correspondingly, IDC anticipates that global security expenditure will increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% during the 2020-2024 prediction period, reaching $174.7 billion in 2024. Similarly, Forrester’s 2021 cyber-security forecasts indicate that funding for cyber-security companies whose headquarters are outside the United States will rise by 20% in 2021. Analysis Mason also predicts that between 2019 and 2025, mobile device security will be the fastest-growing cyber-security category and will reach $13 billion with a CAGR of 17%.

 

In 2020, breaches became a challenging problem that was difficult to stop. For example, the U.S Depart of Health and Human Services (HHS) Breach Portal shows that in 2020, 436 breaches attacked healthcare organizations, affecting 17.3 million.

 

Here is a list of predictions that apprehend how cyber-security will advance in 2021:

 

1. In 2021, 55% of businesses will increase their cyber-security budget allocations, and 51% will hire more full-time cyber staff.

2. In The Next Three Years, the most dominant cyber-security technologies will be the Cloud Workload Protection Platform, Passwordless Authentication, and Posture Management. As Gartner’s Impact Radar for Security framework indicates, the Zero Trust Networking will have a significant impact within a period of one to three years.

3. Security services will be the fastest and largest growing security market sector, occupying half of the security budget meant for the 2020-2024 prediction period. The segment will also attain a CAGR of 10.5% in five years.

By 2021, cyber-security IT spending will reach a CAGR of 12% due to the drastic increase in cybercrimes, such as breaches, endpoint security attacks, phishing, and privilege access credential abuse.

  1. Intellectual Property will be cyber criminals’ target in 2021.
  2. The global cyber-security expenditure for small and medium-sized businesses will increase by 10% CAGR between 2019 and 2024, making this segment an $80 billion industry in four years.

4. Business cybersecurity spending will grow at a higher rate in four major industries- healthcare services and systems, financial and banking, technology and media, and social and public segments.

5. Improvements in AI and machine learning will contribute to 80% of devices’ capability to self-secure-and-heal, enabling IT to implement policies and remain confident that their data and devices are safe.

  • Many companies will struggle to reduce their vulnerability to cyber-attacks in 2021 and beyond.
  • Over the next five years, cyber-crime costs will increase at an annual rate of 15%, reaching $10.5 trillion per year by 2025.
  • Security vendors will continue to consolidate endpoint security in 2021.

In 2021, cybercriminals will devise new and innovative ways to attack personal devices to access corporate networks. While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced workers to work remotely, many organizations have not fully protected their employees. As a result, cyber attackers will exploit these gaps, leading to increased cybercrimes. 

 

Understanding If Your Device Has Been Hacked

Understanding if Your Device Has Been Hacked

From social sites to banking, smart devices are increasingly becoming part of most people’s daily lives. Unfortunately, they are also exposing them to data snatchers, popularly known as hackers. The hackers may gain access to a device in many ways, but we will discuss how to know when that happens.

Receiving Random Pop-ups

Random pop-ups are not annoying, but they are among the most popular signs that a device got hacked. If one is getting random pop-ups from their browser, something has compromised their device with adware. Adware is popular with hackers when trying to force someone to view certain websites to drive revenues through viewership.

Draining Battery without Any Reason

If one notices that a device battery is quickly losing power for no reason, that is a sign that it has malware. This sudden loss of battery power is due to malware or spy-app that is operating from the background. The spy-app uses a lot of battery power to scan the device and transmit it to the hacker.

Poor Performance

One may notice that their device is suddenly crashing all the time or loading web pages much slower. When such happens, first try shutting down the machine, and take notice of what happens. If the device has gotten hacked, it may fail to shut down correctly or not shut down at all.

One can also notice slowed functionality of some operations, such as making calls or receiving text messages. Such things shouldn’t take long unless the device has a spy-app.

 

Increased Data Usage

Another indication of a compromised device is the exceptionally high data usage. The usage may be a result of a background running app communicating to a third-party.

Contact List Gets Call and Tests That the Owner Didn’t Make

When a device gets hacked, the hacker leaves the malware in the gadget and may use the contact list to spread it. One’s email list, text messages, or instant messages may transmit the malware to his contact through messages with links or attached files. Check out for complaints from the contact list about notifications that they supposedly received.

The Device’s Settings Change

If the hacker physically accesses a device, they may manually change its settings. For instance, one may notice that their device Bluetooth is on, despite them not switching it on. Such settings change maybe a sign of malware interfering with the device settings to spread it to other devices.

There are many ways to know when a device has gotten hacked. To prevent losing data or money, always take preventive measures. For example, one can run a malware scanner on their device.

Chika Wonah Space

Cybersecurity and Space Are Becoming a Key Battleground in 2021

Outer space is more critical to the global communication system than one would think. Communications, defense, transport, and more rely on it to send their signals. The world doesn’t realize how critical space cybersecurity is to modern life.

The following industries are vulnerable:

  • air travel
  • communications
  • defense
  • finance
  • trade

Satellites are very vulnerable to attack by bad actors. Cyberwarfare is becoming a bigger threat. Many countries are expanding their military to compete in this space.

What are the Vulnerabilities in Space Cybersecurity?

DDOS – Distributed Denial of Service

Sending massive amounts of data can overwhelm the receiving device. Many times the device will shut down or stop receiving communications. Other times it can overheat.

Losing a connection during a disaster or conflict would be extremely dangerous. It would disrupt first-responders or ground force’s communications.

Malware

Malicious code can exploit weak points in outdated software. Sometimes malware quietly eavesdrops on private communications. Other times malware causes deliberate damage.

Signal Spoofing

Signals are susceptible to interception and distortion. False communications can pose as a legitimate order.

Spoofing can hide locations of key assets too. One side would have accurate coordinates, while the other would not. Massive amounts of defense systems rely on accurate location coordinates.

Why Do Vulnerabilities Exist in Space?

Many of these satellites have been around for decades. They were not designed with modern cybersecurity in mind. Security was simply not considered.

Many of the solutions have been band-aid solutions. The design of older software and hardware focuses on ease of use. Every device and software will have vulnerabilities. This is more true the older and more out of date something is.

What Policies Can Solve These Issues?

Officials need to create a comprehensive plan to protect critical infrastructure. More nations and organizations are developing capabilities to cause damage.

Routine threat assessments will allow decision-makers to manage risk wisely. This will streamline establishing industry guidelines.

Allied-nations will have to work together to apply these standards. Data flows between many countries at any time. If one nation is lax in its protocols, it can compromise many other nations.

It is critical to pay attention to cybersecurity in space. More of the world’s economy and defense systems will rely on secure communications. The world must work together to mitigate its risk. Otherwise, it will be at the mercy of hostile nation-states and well-organized groups.

Bitcoin Breakdown

The recent explosion of cryptocurrencies on the market as of late has left many people scratching their heads and saying, “Just what exactly is Bitcoin?” Though a full description of Bitcoin would take a lot more than a single blog post, here’s a short-but-sweet breakdown of the headlines’ crypto darling.

Bitcoin’s Anonymous Founder

Developed in 2008 by a still-anonymous person named Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin was first developed as a software solution to electronic transfers in a burgeoning internet landscape. It Offered quick and efficient money services unmatched by current systems at the time. Bitcoin claimed it would revolutionize the financial industry and since then it has come pretty close.

Understanding the Blockchain

Every transaction made using Bitcoin is transparent and recorded on a universal ledger called the blockchain, and is updated every ten minutes. As the name implies, the transactions in those ten minutes form a “block” that is stacked on past blocks, forming a “chain” that is viewable by anyone. It, in turn, creates a checks and balances system making it a more secure and transparent option.

Transferring Bitcoin

Your bitcoins are stored in a virtual wallet that is accessible by using a private key that is known only by the primary user – which makes keeping that key safe a top priority. If you want to buy something or transfer bitcoins to someone else, you can send them to a specific wallet address, much like you would send an email. The transaction can take up to a few hours to process, but you can pay more bitcoin if you would like it to move faster.

Obtaining More Bitcoins

The most straightforward way to gain bitcoin currency is by buying it on an open trading platform like Coinbase, but with enough computing power, you can also mine them straight from the blockchain themselves. Every time your computer solves a specific mathematical problem, you’re rewarded with a certain amount of Bitcoins that you can use.

Advantages of Bitcoin

This highly volatile currency is one of the hottest trends in the financial sector today, primarily because it delivers a few distinct advantages. For starters, Bitcoin transactions are almost completely anonymous, which makes it ideal for people who want to transport large sums of money without a trace. Second, it’s universal, so you won’t have to pay any fees to send money across borders. Third, it’s trackable. Since the blockchain records everything, it’s possible for a government or user to verify proof the transaction itself, which can help with either taxes or to solve identity concerns.

Is Blockchain the Face of the Next Google ChikaWonah

Is Blockchain the Face of the Next Google?

When we discuss blockchain, conversations usually surround the tech’s association with cryptocurrency, security and investing. In reality, this new tech is multifaceted and shows major implications for nearly every industry. When it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency, news outlets can’t stop reporting on the potential promise. That being said, now people are asking big questions like could blockchain actually be the developments needed to create a search engine capable of overtaking google?

Google dictates much of our online searches with “nearly 80 percent of desktop and 95 percent of mobile searches” taking place on the program. That being said, a plethora of alternatives exist. The problem, of course, is that while some people use these tools, most cater to specific niche audiences, because Google has become a Goliath that many of the Davids of search engines aren’t ready to conquer. Enter blockchain. Given its clout in the tech field, many think it could be the answer to building a search engine capable of overcoming Google.

In terms of basic rising user trends, more people results in more reported problems, and Google users experience their fair share of flaws. Privacy remains the primary point of contention with centralized search engines. As BitClave describes, “With centralized search engines, your search data is recorded, your IP address is logged, and tracking cookies are used by centralized search engines to create a digital profile of you so they can target you with ads. Even worse, there’s no way to voluntarily opt out of this invasion of your privacy, and every time you type a keyword into a centralized search engine, you’re giving up information that puts you at risk.” Blockchain acts as the poster-child for privacy and discretion though. While heavily regulated given its infrastructure, the system manages to maintain a level of anonymity for its users.

Now the question becomes, how do we combine blockchain’s private network with a computing system that has the strength of Google? One program still in beta testing called Presearch, thinks they may have found the answer. As Shivdeep Dhaliwal explains, “Using Blockchain technology, Presearch plans to enable users to personalize their experience while staying in control of their data.” The company also incentivizes the switch, rewarding users who change from Google to their program with cryptocurrency coins based on their use. Of course, this still isn’t a perfect system. Questions have arisen about whether hackers may take advantage of the rewards and hack into other user profiles in order to gain more coins once they max out since users are limited to 8 coins a day.

The Presearch program focuses on decentralizing the search engine model, rewarding users for their contribution. As a result, they hope to build a more transparent and unbiased ranking, a problem that Google has made headlines for, for years. Of course, the idea of using blockchain to create a more effective model is one thing and actually doing it another thing.

 

Chika Wonah Google Cloud IoT Core

Google Cloud IoT Core

As the 2rst century has expanded in tremendous ways, technology has been a big driving factor. The world consists of a myriad of devices from cellphones, tablets, and laptops to wearable devices and more. Through data and the world wide web, better known as the internet, comes the possibility of connecting any and all devices.

In recent news, Google announced the release of Cloud IoT Core, the secure device connection and management system. This system allows consumers to securely connect their devices, along with analyzing data on each device as well. This service allows data to be collected, analyzed and turned into a visualization in real time throughout the globe. When it comes to user experience, Google has an exceptional understanding of what consumers want and will support.

Google is striving to make device data easier among a bundle of technologies. This also provides a rising opportunity to take advantage of this with their own products. The growth of productivity is expected to spike rapidly through the use of these various electronics.

A major trick Google has up its sleeve is the service’s ability to use a tool called natural language processing (NLP). Both consumers and industrial domains will be able to take advantage of the various tools Cloud IoT Core has to offer. This tool means that computers will have the capability to understand both written word and speech, or spoken word. With this advancement in technology, different computers will be able to communicate with each other, thus offering the ability to connect multiple devices through Cloud IoT.

Users of Cloud IoT can expect to improve operational efficiency through this management service. Any device used through the cloud will be connected via data for tracking, analyzing and more. Cloud IoT Core takes a level of complexity and simplifies it for all users. Whether you’re a large or small company, using large or small devices, Cloud IoT is an easy to use tool that takes the data and makes it easily manageable.

Google is also allowing it’s users to bring in third parties, meaning they don’t necessarily have to collect this data and analyze it through Google alone throughout their process.

Although this software is generally most beneficial to companies or even small businesses, Google has opened Cloud IoT Core to anyone who wants a more efficient way to manage their devices and data.

Chika Wonah: What is the Internet of Things?

What Is the Internet of Things?

Popularized by the explosion of wifi-enabled technology, the phrase Internet of Things (often abbreviated IoT) usually refers to the interconnectedness of physical items to the world wide web via wifi or cellular communication. Describing a device as a “smart” device often refers to the same general phenomenon. This “connection” is made possible by sensors and software that allows for remote monitoring and control of said device. Today’s Internet of Things is the stuff of science fiction, marked by self-driving cars, bluetooth enabled refrigerators, apps that turn off your lights from anywhere in the world, and voice-command devices that answer questions and performs on command.

The idea that things could be connected to each other and to a wider network first captured national attention in 1982, when a Coca Cola machine installed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, was programmed with the ability to report its inventory and detect the temperature of recently-loaded drinks. The actual term Internet of Things was coined in 1985 by Peter T. Lewis during a speech he delivered to a Congressional Black Caucus, during which he said, “The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the integration of people, processes and technology with connectable devices and sensors to enable remote monitoring, status, manipulation and evaluation of trends of such devices.” Since then, the term has been adopted in academia, predictive analytics, and technology forecasting to describe the exponential growth of “smart” items, devices, and tools.

Over the past 10 years or so, broadband internet has become less expensive and more widespread. Simultaneously, more and more items have been constructed with wifi capability. Thus, we found ourselves with all the ingredients for an explosion in the field of Internet of Things.

Some items that fall into the “internet of things” have come as welcome advancements in medicine and health. Some heart monitors and glucose monitors, for example, can connect to a smartphone or computer to capture and log data regarding its measurements and the wearer’s health. On a less extreme level, this comes in the form of sports technology like a fitbit or jawbone, which tracks movement and sleep schedules.

Some items in the Internet of Things, by contrast, benefit the home and pander to those who have the funds to make everything in their houses interconnected. Appliances like dishwashers, coffee pots, and refrigerators are now equipped with the ability to sync to a smartphone and take commands from anywhere in the world. Amazon has been on the forefront of developing IoT for the home by producing and pushing Amazon Echo and Amazon Dash buttons to assist in keeping up a home.

The Internet of Things also extends from just the home to beyond. Headlines have touted the continued testing of self-driving autonomous cars. Elon Musk and some progressive European cities have begun designing and implementing the concept of the smart city. In such a city, the assets and properties, including transportation, parks, libraries, schools, roads, hospitals, etc., would all be interconnected via IoT and communications tech.
The future of the Internet of Things looks more and more connected. Gartner, Inc., predicted in 2015 that the number of interconnected “things” will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. As time marches on and “things” become more and more connected, law, research, and human interactions will alter and adapt to keep up with developments.

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