The Data Blog
Everyone always tells you to be careful what you post online and that once posted to the internet something will be there forever. Social media websites are the biggest examples of pages you should monitor your activity on and the information you give out on them. Whether it's someone being able to see private information you uploaded about yourself publicly, through your messages with friends, or clicking on a link from the website that turns out to be malware, it's safe to say there are numerous ways one can become less secure simply by just having an account on a social media website.
Twitter and Facebook accounts get hacked all the time and even prominent figures accounts (which could be argued are actually less safe than the average person's account) are vulnerable to cyberterrorists, hackers, and anyone trying to get a good laugh or access information they maybe shouldn't be able to see as easily. So is social media bad for cybersecurity? Not necessarily; social media websites take these hackings as a challenge and create algorithms and programs to detect any funny business so that hackers can't access information as easily as they used to. Hackers in turn develop better hacking software and it becomes an endless cycle where one party tries to outdo the other to ensure they get the final say in what happens to your data.
Avoiding social media all together seems like a good strategy then, right? On one hand, If you don't have an account, you can't get hacked, so your data and personal software are safe. However, it just takes one devious person to notice you don't have any social media accounts before it comes crashing down on you. By catfishing and pretending to be you, hackers are able to get access to private information they may not otherwise be able to get. Furthermore, if you can't monitor social media, pictures or information about you that you wouldn't want up otherwise can go unseen by you and thus uploaded, downloaded, and on the internet forever.
The best practice for social media is to monitor your accounts and limit both what you post and what information you provide. Limit who can see that information and what they can do with it, and to be really secure, make sure you use different passwords for each of your social media accounts, so if one is hacked, you have the others to fall back on.
Social media is still an evolving technology much like cybersecurity, and due to this it has led to many data leaks and hackings. However, because of it and the focus on keeping your information safe on social media, the world of cybersecurity has advanced greatly.
Within the cyber world, there are many myths that exist about cybersecurity and how it impacts you. Today we explore several of them and debunk those which are not true!
Myth #1: I am immune from being hacked because I am up to date on my own cyber defense and anti-malware programs.
Truth: Nobody is immune to cyberattacks, despite how strong or up to date they are on their anti-virus or anti-malware software. Hackers and cyberterrorists are constantly scheming and coming up with new ways to trick or hack into unsuspecting victims to get their personal information. Thus, it is not only important to keep up to date with your own cyber defenses, but the best practices and recent news within the cyber world.
Myth #2: To keep my online data private and secure, I just need to be aware of my own cyber presence.
Truth: While the best way to keep your data safe is to ensure your own cyber data and presence are well maintained, you must not forget to keep your real life data confined as well. Any indication of what your passwords or security answers being passed within earshot to anyone with malicious intent can backfire very quickly for you. To best protect yourself against cyberattacks, make sure you're staying safe, both online and offline.
Myth #3: I don't have anything worth protecting so I won't be hacked.
Truth: Everyone has something worth protecting; any private data is worth protecting. Any assets you have are worth protecting. Not only is your cyber profile at risk, but your identity itself as well as all of your belongings are too. Cyberterrorists, hackers, or anyone with malicious intent do not care who they take from as long as it benefits them, thus they will take as little or as much as they possibly can, meaning everyone is fair game to be targeted.
We hope debunking some of these myths about cybersecurity practices is helpful, and look out for more content for cybersecurity awareness month!
To celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we have five great tips everyone should know to have safer cybersecurity practices and avoid risky malware and potential hackers!
1) Have an anti-virus program; An anti-virus program or software to detect suspicious malware or activity on your device can be very beneficial! Not only does it keep up with the most recent viruses and types of malware so you don't have to, but it will filter out and destroy system threats, sometimes without you even knowing!
2) Don't tell anyone your password; the most secure way to not get hacked is to keep all of your private information, private. Try to use a different password that is alphanumeric with special characters to make it hard to crack and guess as well!
3) Use a VPN! VPNs are both secure and useful; they can change your IPAddress so hackers also can't locate your physical address, and are great at preventing security breaches due to establishing a more secure network connection. Your data will be kept secure and private through the use of a VPN, so we encourage you to use one if possible!
4) Use two-factor authentication! If you're able to, it's much more secure, so even if your password is cracked, make sure they a website or application has to text your phone as well to make sure it's really you. You're not only more secure, but it limits the activity to an application to only those with access to your accounts.
5) Be aware of what you post on the internet! Although it may seem trivial at first, information over time can lead up to a lot of information gathered about you. You should make sure anyone who can see your information is a trusted source, and that any suspicious activity is clearly monitored.
October is Cybersecurity awareness month, and we at ExactData are excited to bring even more cybersecurity content and information to our website and social media accounts to celebrate! Cybersecurity Awareness month was created in October, 2004 to spread awareness about how to stay safe an stay secure when online, and this year will be no different; in these unprecedented times, it's now crucial more than ever to make sure your online profile, accounts, and networks are as secure as they can be.
Likewise, it's important that all of your data, personal and professional, is protected, and some of the content we have prepared will help you do just that, so make sure to catch all of our cybersecurity month content here at ExactData!
Over the past weekend, chaos erupted and Universal Health Services experienced what could be now potentially the largest cyberattack in United States history, affecting more than 400 hospitals by causing their computer systems to fail, prompting employees to fill out patient information manually with pen and paper. While Universal Health Services itself did not respond to allegations, those familiar with the company security and response issues mentioned that the outage "looks and smells like ransomware."
Two other employees of Universal Health Services commented that the attack had begun over the weekend and caused delays and hardships in the work of employees. The cyberattack could have been much worse, as in the past patients have suffered and even died due to an indirect result from cyber attacks launched at hospitals around the world. Luckily, at this time it appears nobody has past away due to the malicious behavior that may be taking place across the Universal Health Services computer network.
Medical data and information is critical to have at any given moment as it may make a difference in saving one's life, and thus it is also critical to have the highest security available for computer networks which have such delicate and necessary information to prevent attacks such as this one. Otherwise, the impact could be more severe and in some cases, even fatal.
Cyber Security Consulting companies are always interested in new value-added advice they can provide to their clients. One potentially lucrative area is recommending a synthetic data solution that would eliminate the risk of a data breach through your development, laboratory, and testing ecosystems where most breaches occur.
This is potentially a very lucrative market opportunity for these consulting companies. Software development globally is estimated to be around $500B annually, of which about 30% or $150B is for test data provisioning. This is all being done today through a process that modifies production data with the potential to convert to services revenue through a new disruptive synthetic data process. ROI’s are strong for the end customer eliminating repetitive labor tasks, compressing development times and removing a security risk area, which drives high margins for these new professional services.
Learn more at www.exactdata.net
As of today, most companies in the world still use big data with big costs to account for all of their testing and production value. Companies like Amazon and Oracle rely on large datasets which while are sufficient, aren't able to be used as much after a few years due to changing standards in the world.
By utilizing artificially generated data, these companies would be able to mold their data so it can be adaptable with the next big trend. Thus, be applicable in years to come rather than have to continually spend a lot on R&D and production testing operations to yield very similar results to its synthetic data alternative.
Financial analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are just a few of the benefits you may reap from switching over to a synthetic data alternative, and with the technological advances being made in our society, getting ahead of the curve is the key to being the next big thing in the industry.
When expanding out and scaling a company, expenses don't have to expand with you; minimizing costs on data and production testing is possible in several ways, but none better than making that switch to synthetic data.
Each type of database and database management system has its associated advantages and disadvantages, but when should you use one over the other? Is there a certain situation that one of these will be much more beneficial than another, or is the reverse true where using one will make it even harder for you to store and retrieve data?
Database management systems alike allow user access and data manipulation within a database but the way users actually interact with each database differs per usage of the DMS. For example, in a relational database management system typically users will use SQL for data manipulation and the process is inherently easy, making RDBMS' historically very popular. However, relational database management systems are not without their limits; it is hard to scale relational databases horizontally, or adding more to machines to your resources to allow for faster processing. As such, you may want to look into a different type of database management system if your work will involve horizontal scaling opposed to vertical scaling, the upgrading of system hardware.
So what other types of database management systems can one use? NoSQL databases such as graph databases and key-value store databases use document store objects to match a certain key to its one to one value such as integers, strings, and JSON objects. As opposed to relational databases, NoSQL databases tend to be highly scalable while also being quite efficient. Typically they are used for session management, account creation and set-up, and message-queuing. NoSQL databases are not without their disadvantages however; their 'eventual consistency' as part as their BASE structure as opposed to ACID results in some periods of time without updates rather than on the fly updates every time a change is made. Additionally, there isn't much of a standard in terms of uniformity for many NoSQL databases yet.
Network database management systems, invented by Charles Bachman, use network structures to define relationships between different entities, typically on larger networks of hardware. In network database management systems, parent nodes can relate to "member" or children nodes through many-to-many relationships. Thus, each node can connect with another making the database structurally simple and easy to follow. Consequently, this structure is difficult to change because of how connected each node is to one another and therefore one change can affect the whole database. Network database models are most commonly used when one needs a flexible way to represent entity relationships but not necessarily modify them.
There are many other types of database management systems one can use to interact with their database, and each have distinct advantages and disadvantages, Thus, it's always important to carefully examine your database, your goals for it, and how you'd like to interact with it to establish which database management system is right for you.
When one thinks of cyber security, cyber attacks and hackers, one doesn't typically associate the manner with terrorism. However, cyberterrorism and foreign intelligence cyber attacks are becoming more of an issue as the internet evolves into a more mainstream medium around the world. Just this past July, hackers from Russia have been accused of electronically meddling in international affairs and general elections of the United Kingdom and of trying to steal information relating to a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Likewise, The United States has reportedly launched cyber operations against countries such as Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea via the CIA to 'cause disruption and leak information to the public.'
Cyber attacks can take many different forms; phishing emails, keystroke monitoring, malware downloads, and web activity monitoring, which makes tracing them hard to begin with. Additionally, attacks can be historically hard to trace due to the sophisticated nature the operations tend to take. Why, anyone can download a VPN to fool online tools and fool browsers and companies by placing their signal in another country; if just about any computer user can change their location on the internet, just imagine what the most advanced hackers are capable of.
Fortunately, there are several ways to combat cyberterrorism which range from flooding the internet with fake data to discredit the findings of any successful cyber operations to full fledged task forces and commands to fight it such as the United States Cyber Command or China's Blue Army. For more information about how the United States combats cyberterrorism, visit the United States Cyber Command website.
One newly emerging but very important aspect within the financial and banking industry is the element of cryptocurrencies like BitCoin which are constantly fluctuating in market value. While some praise cryptocurrencies for being more secure and manageable compared to regular currencies, skeptics criticize it for being less traceable, less stable, and more susceptible to being stolen through hacks and cyber attacks. In 2019 alone, more than $4 billion worth of cryptocurrencies had been stolen, so if banks and other financial institutions were to start using cryptocurrencies at a higher level, they would need to invest in their own defense and cybersecurity activities first.
This means mobile and web portal security would both have to be upgraded tremendously to remain as safe as possible. Online banking already poses a big threat to security due to the risk of potential cyber attacks, but with cryptocurrencies coming into play, web and mobile portals will have to be monitored more closely than ever.
So the ultimatum is, should banks and financial institutions begin carrying cryptocurrencies if their consumer groups have a demand for it? Would that ruin the point of or demonetize cryptocurrencies? Only time will tell, but as these financial technologies become more advanced so will those who will attempt to hack them.